Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti Trip Report September 2015

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#31 Feb 19th, 2016, 19:04
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#31
Blue Bharal,

Thank you so much for the wonderful response. I am planning to book a cab for the entire trip, but nothing is final yet. Sorry for not specifying it earlier.

Just a couple of doubts:
1. While going, are you suggesting Delhi-Solang Valley-Losar? I read about people starting their journey from Chandigarh, so wondering if that's a better place to start off, than Delhi.
2. Can you talk a little about the plan of entering through the Kinnaur valley, without adding any extra day? I thought, I would do a separate trip may be for Kinnaur, since the place deserves much more attention than a couple of days. And i will not get enough days to cover the entire circuit at a relaxed pace. However, if you are saying we can cross kinnaur in one day, I may give it a thought!
3. Finally, I will have my parents (around 60) with me. Do you think the altitude can be a serious problem for them?

Thanks a lot for all the help!
#32 Feb 19th, 2016, 19:22
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#32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joydtraveller View Post Blue Bharal,

Thank you so much for the wonderful response. I am planning to book a cab for the entire trip, but nothing is final yet. Sorry for not specifying it earlier.

Just a couple of doubts:
1. While going, are you suggesting Delhi-Solang Valley-Losar? I read about people starting their journey from Chandigarh, so wondering if that's a better place to start off, than Delhi.
2. Can you talk a little about the plan of entering through the Kinnaur valley, without adding any extra day? I thought, I would do a separate trip may be for Kinnaur, since the place deserves much more attention than a couple of days. And i will not get enough days to cover the entire circuit at a relaxed pace. However, if you are saying we can cross kinnaur in one day, I may give it a thought!
3. Finally, I will have my parents (around 60) with me. Do you think the altitude can be a serious problem for them?

Thanks a lot for all the help!
Can book cab from Chandigarh, but it's better to book a Shimla-cab and have them pick you up from Chandigarh as they are more experienced for Kinnaur & Spiti roads

Base plan could be:

Day 1: Chandigarh to Kalpa
Day 2: Kalpa to Tabo via Nako
Day 3: visit Pin Valley and to Kaza
Day 4: Kye, Kibber, Langza etc
Day 5: Kaza to Manali via Chandratal and Dhankar Monastery (possible, but long day if covering both)
Day 6: Spare
Day 7: Manali to Chandigarh/ Delhi

Can spend extra days, as per your choice at:
1) Pin Valley,
2) Chitkul in Kinnaur,
3) Monastery stay near Kaza,
4) Night stay at higher villages - although not really recommended, it's somewhat difficult to acclimatize.
5) Camping at Chandratal - again can be avoided if you all do not feel absolutely healthy.

Or just make Kaza your base for 3-4 days and make day trips to monasteries/ villages/ Pin valley.

For senior citizens, if you want to take it safe, spend a couple of days at mid-altitude, before proceeding ahead and take medication to aid acclimatization and drinks lots of water and take moderate walks in the town. For example:

Day 1: Kalka to Shimla by toy train, and then take your cab to Sarahan/ Sangla.
Day 2: early morning Sarahan/ Sangla to Chitkul - spend the day there, and night stay at Sangla.
Day 3: to Kalpa and then above plan
Learning to be silent.
#33 Feb 22nd, 2016, 11:18
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#33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joydtraveller View Post Hi Saikat,

I am planning for a Lahaul Spiti trip in mid September 2016. From what I gathered so far, (thanks to you and some other posts on IndiaMike), it seems to be a good time to visit the valley. I will be travelling from Kolkata. I wish I could do the entire circuit (Shimla-Kinnaur-Spiti-Manali). Unfortunately, I won’t get so many days for my vacation and going to such an intoxicating place, I do not want to rush. So, here is what I am thinking:

Day 1: Board Kalka mail
Day 2: on Traim
Day 3: Reach Chandigarh (at around 4 am) and proceed to Manali from there.
Day 4: Manali to Keylong
Day 5: Keylong
Day 6: Keylong to Losar (camping at Chandratal, if possible)
Day 7: Losar to Kaza
Day 8: Kaza sightseeing
Day 9: Around Kaza
Day 10: Kaza to Tabo
Day 11: Tabo to Manali
Day 12: Manali to Delhi and board Rajdhani Exp.

Is this a good itinerary? I did not find much info about Keylong-Losar-Kaza route. Also, let me know about the best way to reach Manali (should i get down at Chandigarh, or Kalka) Any other inputs will be of much help.
Hi Joy,

Sorry for late reply.

Mid-September is the best time to visit spiti vally. But as you will be there with your parents, you should approach through Kinnaur for acclimatization. I also did it for same reason. Keep Coca 6 (liquid) with you. Also think twice about Chandratal Camp stay with aged persons. Keylong has really nothing however I have kept it in my plan as backup days and nothing else. Being at Kinnaur and Spiti at mid-September to early-October I can say that chances of getting stuck due to land slide is very less. So avoid Keylong. I will suggest you following itinerary.

Day 1: Board Kalka mail(7.40pm).
Day 2: In Train.
Day 3: Reach Chandigarh and go to Narkanda.
Day 4: Visit Hatu peak. Then Narkanda(9am) to Sarahan. Visit Bhimakali temple and Rajbari.
Day 5: Sarahan(9am) to Chitkul.
Day 6: Chitkul(10am) to Kalpa.
Day 7: Kalpa(6.30am) to Tabo.
Day 8: Tabo(9am) to Kaza via Dhankar. In second half visit Key monestary and Kibber village. Then go to Rangrik (much beautiful than Kaza) and night stay there.
Day 9: Morning(9am) visit Komic and Langza village. Have lunch at Rangrik and then go to Losar
Day 10: Losar(start at 7am) - Kunzum Pass - Chandratal - Batal(Lunch) - Manali
Day 11: Start for Delhi by HPTDC/HRTC Volvo (5/6pm)
Day 12: Reach Delhi(8/9am) and board Rajdhani Exp(4.55pm).

As you do have limited days in your hand, if your budget permits then I will suggest you take Indigo flight from Kolkata(6.20am). You will reach Chandigarh (via Delhi) at 11am and then you can go to Shimla/Narkanda. This will allow you to spend one day at Mud (Pin valley) and one more day at Chitkul.

For cab you can visit this link. I found it very helpful.
http://devilonwheels.com/india/himal...lley-t849.html
Last edited by saikatbabai; Feb 22nd, 2016 at 14:04..
#34 Feb 22nd, 2016, 14:57
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#34
Hi Saikat,

Thanks for your reply. We still have some time and I am ready to spend a few more days in chalking out the itinerary. Regarding the camping at Chandratal, my parents won't stay at the camps, they will rather opt for a place like Losar.

The itinerary you have mentioned seems a little hectic to me. We will be traveling 6-7 hours every day on bad and whirling mountains roads. That i think will be a lot of stress on people. I have seen some of the pics you have shared of the road, and in some places, as you have mentioned, the road condition is very bad. Traveling everyday may not be a feasible option for us, and that is why I chose not to cover the Kinnaur valley in this trip.

However, what you are saying about the acclimatization is making me think twice about the plan. The Blue Bharal has suggested an itinerary (Day 1: Chandigarh to Kalpa
Day 2: Kalpa to Tabo via Nako...). What do you think of it?
#35 Feb 22nd, 2016, 16:09
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#35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joydtraveller View Post Hi Saikat,

Thanks for your reply. We still have some time and I am ready to spend a few more days in chalking out the itinerary. Regarding the camping at Chandratal, my parents won't stay at the camps, they will rather opt for a place like Losar.

The itinerary you have mentioned seems a little hectic to me. We will be traveling 6-7 hours every day on bad and whirling mountains roads. That i think will be a lot of stress on people. I have seen some of the pics you have shared of the road, and in some places, as you have mentioned, the road condition is very bad. Traveling everyday may not be a feasible option for us, and that is why I chose not to cover the Kinnaur valley in this trip.

However, what you are saying about the acclimatization is making me think twice about the plan. The Blue Bharal has suggested an itinerary (Day 1: Chandigarh to Kalpa
Day 2: Kalpa to Tabo via Nako...). What do you think of it?
Hi Joy,

Blue Bharal have suggested some very good points. Kalpa to Tabo via Nako in a single day is absolutely fine. However in my opinion Chandigarh to Kalpa which is approximately 350 Km will kill a person specially after making a journey in Kalka Mail. I have just broken this part in 4 days -

1. Chandigarh to Narkanda - We reached Chandigarh at 6am and Narkanda at 3am. So beyond Narkanda will be tiring in my opinion.

2. Narkanda to Sarahan - We did exactly same. Started at 9.30am and reached Sarahan at 2pm.

3. Sarahan To Chitkul - We stayed at Sangla and I felt that I should have stayed at much much beautiful Chitkul (actually most beautiful place of Kinnaur). We have started at 9.30 from Sarahan and reached Sangla at 2 pm and had lunch there. Chitkul will take another 1.5 hrs which will not be hectic after lunch at Sangla.

4. Chitkul to Kalpa - We started from Sangla at 8.30am. Went to Chitkul. Then came back to Sangla around 1pm. Had lunch and then went to Kalpa (4pm). If you go from Chitkul to Kalpa then you can spend more time at the most beautiful Chitkul. Also it will be 22 Km less.

My suggested itinerary is actually very similar to what I actually did last year with three senior members and a child in team except following differences -

1. I stayed at Sangla instead of Chitkul - my mistake

2. On Day 6 we started from Sangla at 8.30am. Went to Chitkul. Then came back to Sangla around 1pm. Had lunch and then went to Kalpa (4pm) - again mistake. Got less time at Chitkul

3. I have stayed two nights at Kalpa with a thought that visiting suicide point (which is actually at every point in Himalayas), Roghi and Chini village will take one day. But in actual it was a tour of 2 hrs (excessive relaxly) in first half only. Everyone said that if we reached Kalpa on previous day just one hour earlier this could be done then.

4. I have stayed two nights at Keylong. I have already explained the reason behind omitting it from the suggested itinerary.

The road is worst between Batal and Gramphoo and I have posted that picture. It took 4 and half hours in a Xylo to cover around 48 Km. In Kinnaur roads are not that bad. At the same time not excellent. A hydro power project by Patel Group was ongoing last year and that part was very bad. But still not the level of Batal to Gramphoo.

I must say that my suggested itinerary is one which will I follow if I visit this part again Please feel free to ask more questions.
#36 Feb 24th, 2016, 14:47
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#36
Hi Saikat,

I completely get your point. However, I would still prefer not to cover Kinnaur in 1 or 2 days as that will be injustice to the place. Also, it seems I will have to travel a lot more if I choose that route.

I have found a suggested itinerary (for acclimatization)
Day 1: Solang valley
Day 2: Koksar
Day 3: Tabo
Day 4: Kaza
Day 5: Kaza
Day 6: Chandratal

Any suggestion on this?

Also, as a second thought, will it be too late if I plan the journey from 30 Sept to 12 Oct?
#37 Feb 24th, 2016, 19:45
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#37
Superb TR
#38 Feb 25th, 2016, 15:57
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#38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joydtraveller View Post Hi Saikat,

I completely get your point. However, I would still prefer not to cover Kinnaur in 1 or 2 days as that will be injustice to the place. Also, it seems I will have to travel a lot more if I choose that route.

I have found a suggested itinerary (for acclimatization)
Day 1: Solang valley
Day 2: Koksar
Day 3: Tabo
Day 4: Kaza
Day 5: Kaza
Day 6: Chandratal

Any suggestion on this?

Also, as a second thought, will it be too late if I plan the journey from 30 Sept to 12 Oct?
Hi Joy,

One night stay at Solang Valley is a very good idea. It is enough for acclimatization as it is 8000 ft and you need not stay at Koksar. Also as per my knowledge night stay options at Koksar are very limited, probably only one PWD guest house.

So do it this way -

Day 1: Chandigarh - Solang valley
Day 2: Solang valley - Rangrik
Day 3: 1st Half - Komic and Langza village. 2nd Half - Kibber village and Key monastery
Day 4: Rangrik - Dhankar monastery - Tabo
Day 5: Tabo - Kaza/Losar
Day 6: Chandratal

30 Sept to 12 Oct will be to late. Try to cross Kunzum pass with in 30 Sept to avoid get stuck due to early snowfall.

N.B. - Chandigarh - Solang valley is 305 km and almost 11 hr journey
#39 Feb 26th, 2016, 12:59
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#39
Dear Saikat
Excellent trip report.
I have planning to visit the same places via shimla route in end May/Early June 2016. Can any one advice , if the weather there permit it or not. As far as I know, it is not possible from manali route at that time.
#40 Feb 26th, 2016, 13:16
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#40
Wonderful Trip report Saikat.
#41 Feb 29th, 2016, 10:51
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#41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolsomu View Post Dear Saikat
Excellent trip report.
I have planning to visit the same places via shimla route in end May/Early June 2016. Can any one advice , if the weather there permit it or not. As far as I know, it is not possible from manali route at that time.
Dear Somu,

You can go up to Kaza via Kinnaur. But Kunzum pass usually do not open before mid-June (some times end-June). So you will miss Chandratal. Also weather will be chilly.
#42 Mar 1st, 2016, 15:56
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#42
Saikat,

Thanks so much for the suggestion. This looks great for my need.

One more question: any idea about the cost of food and other additional cost that I may need to keep in mind while traveling in the Spiti valley?
#43 Mar 1st, 2016, 19:25
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#43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joydtraveller View Post One more question: any idea about the cost of food and other additional cost that I may need to keep in mind while traveling in the Spiti valley?
For us, five adults and one child per meal (lunch/dinner - veg/non-veg mixed) costs always under Rs 1000/-. You always should bye mineral water. There were only one entry fee at Dhankar which I have mentioned in the TR. Except this we have tipped hotel boys who carried our luggage.
#44 Mar 2nd, 2016, 00:27
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#44
Hello saikatbabai, very informative TR and such beautiful pics. While reading this I was just seeing the pics. Awesome. I planned to go to this area last year. But due to uncertainty of Kunzum pass being open during that time, I had to cancel the plan, and went to Kashmir. This year again we are planning for a trip to this area. I have few questions. It would be very helpful if you please give me some info regarding these:
- Is august a good season to go there? Will there be much rain during that time?
- Our plan is-
Day 1-Reach Kalka and go to shimla.
Day 2- Sarahan
Day 3-Sangla, stay at Chitkul
Day 4-Kalpa, visit Roghi and Chini village
Day 5-Visit Nako lake, stay at Tabo,
Day 6-Dhanker and then Kaza, Langza and Komic, stay at Kaza.
Day 7-Kaza sightseeing(kibber and kye monastery)
Day 8-Manali
Day 9-Manali to Delhi

Is this plan okay?
-On day 7, what do you suggest? to stay at Kaza or to stay at Losar?
- Which is better to stay at? Kaza or Rangrik?
- What are the approx cost of cars per day? Please share some numbers of good drivers.
- If we want to include one night stay at Mudh/pin valley, how can I plan that?
- If we miss keylong etc., will that be okay? Will we miss much? Because I will not be getting more leave.
Thanks again.
#45 Mar 2nd, 2016, 14:56
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#45
Hi suhaniindia,

Thank you Please see my feedback below -

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaniindia View Post Is august a good season to go there? Will there be much rain during that time?
August is good season for Spiti. But you will get heavy rain at Kinnaur and Manali. Make it on 2nd half of September.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaniindia View Post Is this plan okay?
It looks good, a few tweaks though -
Day 6-Dhanker and then Kaza, kibber and kye monastery, stay at Rangrik.
Day 7-Langza and Komic at first half. Move to Losar.
Day 8-Losar - Kunzum pass - Chandratal - Manali

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaniindia View Post On day 7, what do you suggest? to stay at Kaza or to stay at Losar?
Losar. This way you will be 50 km advanced which takes 2 - 2.5 hrs. It will help you to reach Chandratal next morning as soon as possible to get the best view/reflection. I agree that night stay options are very basic at Losar, but one night can be adjusted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaniindia View Post Which is better to stay at? Kaza or Rangrik?
Rangrik. No crowd/sound. Only one hotel in the mid of the vally. Awesome place. Also I should admit that I did not expect such an excellent hotel at 12k ft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaniindia View Post What are the approx cost of cars per day? Please share some numbers of good drivers.
For cost please see my earlier post here. here
For cab here

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaniindia View Post If we want to include one night stay at Mudh/pin valley, how can I plan that?
Day 6-Dhanker and then Mudh,
Day 7-Mudh to Rangrik via kibber and kye monastery
Day 8-Langza and Komic at first half. Move to Losar
Day 9-Losar - Kunzum pass - Chandratal - Manali

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaniindia View Post If we miss keylong etc., will that be okay? Will we miss much? Because I will not be getting more leave.
No. You will not miss anything. I have only included Keylong in my plan to add more days and keep the backup plan open(if required). But it was a mistake. After mid September everything should be fine.
Last edited by saikatbabai; Mar 3rd, 2016 at 14:46..
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