Lahaul Spiti Chandrataal Tour Itinerary Details
We will start from Chandigarh early morning and stop in Shimla for a brunch. From Shimla, we’ll drive past Wangtu bridge and reach Sarhan to stay for the night. If we reach there in evening, we can visit the bird park or visit Bhim Kali temple. If needed, we can also begin from Shimla or New Delhi.
We’ll drive to Kalpa village and spend some time in meadows and apple orchards. Reckong Peo is district headquarter of Kinnaur district and the launching pad for most expeditions to Spiti. Out hotel over there is nestled between beautiful orchards of apple and cherry trees in a very quaint and romantic location.
From this point, you’ll notice a change in the terrain as the barren cold desert landscape of Spiti becomes visible. Driving through, we’ll reach Nako village and stay there for night. We’ll visit the Nako lake and monastery in village to observe rituals of local Buddhist monks. The walk in near by areas will provide some great views of mountainous scenery.
Tabo Monastery is more than 1000 years old and contains many priceless Thanka paintings and artifacts including Pillar of a Thousand Buddhas. This monastery is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The entry to monastery which is spread over 6300 square meters is made of earthen walls and covered with beautiful frescoes. These paintings depict various lives of Buddha and stories from Jataka tales painted in typical Tibetan style. You can also visit nearby caves which are used by monks to meditate in solitude and introspection.
Dhankar is about 3 hours drive away from Kaza and is also the ancient capital of Spiti and seat of Spitian Kings. There are ruins of an ancient castle and a monastery constructed in 16th century. It’s situated on top of a steep mountain ridge overlooking the valley. A walk to Dhankar lake takes about 90 minutes, We’ll then drive to Lalung village which is a small picturesque village inhabited by friendly and helpful villagers. Lalung monastery is famous for it’s statue of Three Cornered Buddha made with 3 sides to symblise Buddha looking in every direction. It is believed that Rinchen Zangpo, founder of major monasteries in Spiti planted a willow tree and instructed the locals to construct a monastery of the tree survives. Today, an ancient willow tree stands in front of the monastery constructed in 10th century.
Langcha village hangs over Kaza town at an altitude of 4250 meters. The road leading to Langcha village is among the highest motorable roads anywhere in the world. Traveling along this road, the travellers get spectacular views of valley and sparkling waters of Spiti river flowing through it. The route eventually leads to Shilla valley on plateau above which has grazing grounds for local livestock. Langcha village is divided in to Upper and Lower village. We’ll have lunch there in a local house and enjoy authentic delicious cuisine of Spiti . We’ll visit a 900 years old Buddhist temple and then visit Komik. We will then hunt for millions of years old fossils in Langthis Natural Fossil Center. After that, we can visit Komic monastery, which is one of highest monasteries anywhere in world as well as another ancient monastery near Hikkim village which was destroyed in an earthquake in 1975.
We’ll travel on road to Kibber and visit world famous Ki Monastery located at an altitude of 4120 meters. We’ll walk around it and see vast collection of ancient paintings and manuscripts contained in the large complex. Ki monastery belongs to Gelugpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After monastery, we’ll move towards Kibber village which is among the biggest villages in Lahaul Spiti region and situated at an altitude of 4250 meters. The surroundings offer a good spot for wildlife sightings. We’ll spend the night in our hotel there.
Next day, we’ll trek to Chicham village which is located on other side of a sharp and precipitous canyon. We can also go there by a thrilling ropeway ride (called jhoola in local dialect). It’s not uncommon to spot the elusive snow leopard here. It’s also a good place to spot other wildlife like ibex, blue sheep, golden cock, pika, Himalayan wolf and more.
We’ll leave early next morning and drive up to Kunzum La for a short break. Kunzum La is a vital pass in the region at an altitude of 4550 meters. There’s also a temple dedicated to Goddess Kunzum. We can either trek to Chandrataal Lake ( 8 km) from there or drive via Batal. Chandrataal Lake is one of the major attractions of Spiti valley famous for it’s crystal clear water and stunning views. We’ll spend the night in our campsite about 1 km from the lake.
Next morning, we’ll drive to Batal, a popular resting stop for vehicles on this route and have tea in hospitable Chandra dhaba. We’ll get close to Chandra river and spend some time soaking in the views. After that we’ll reach Chatru and camp there for the night near river. We’ll see the fields, spend sometime with local Gaddi shephards and enjoy the views of dozens of small streams flowing through mountains and joining Chandra river as it gains more volume.
Next morning, we’ll leave for Manali. The drive normally takes between 6 to 7 hours. As we leave valley, the desert landscape of the valley is left behind replaces by greenery all over. We’ll reach Rohtang Pass by noon and visit Beas Kund. After having a cup of tea, we’ll reach Manali in evening. Check in the hotel and walk around Old Manali town for sightseeing.
Visit Vashishta Temple and soak in hot water springs to relax the tired limbs. After that visit Hidimba Temple and Manu’s Temple , the sole temple in world dedicated to first human being according to Hindu mythology. After lunch we’ll walk through wooded area of Manali to relax and have dinner in a local restaurant to end this amazing journey through Lahaul Spiti.
After breakfast as per your flight schedule / train schedule we will drive and drop you at the Chandigarh airport / railway station to board your flight / train back to your home town.