Spiti Valley is a cold desert located in Himachal Pradesh. Lahaul & Spiti is the region and both are valleys. It is accessible only by road and can be reached from Manali and Shimla. Spiti Valley is also one of the least populated regions in India.
Being one of the remotest region and accessible only for a few months, it has become famous in people who love traveling in the Himalayas. The landscape is very different from the other valleys and can be compared to a certain extent to Ladakh. Below are a few things that I feel that you should keep in mind while planning your road trip to Spiti Valley.
Chandrataal is a moon shaped lake in Spiti Valley and is one of the high altitude lakes in India. Situated at an altitude of 14000 ft is famous among the travelers community.
Places to visit in Spiti Valley
- Pin Valley
How to Reach :
There are 2 routes to reach Spiti Valley.
- From Manali – You take the route from Manali to Rohtang Pass to Kunzum Pass and finally reach Kaza, which is the administrative headquarters of Spiti Valley.
- From Shimla (the complete circuit)– You take the route from Shimla to Narkanda via Kinnaur Valley to Reckong Peo to Nako, Tabo and finally to Kaza.
Rohtang Pass at an altitude of 13000 ft separates Lahaul & Spiti Valley from Kullu Valley and Kunzum Pass at an altitude of 15000 ft separates Spiti and Lahaul Valleys.
Best time to Visit:
Kunzum Pass and Rohtang Pass only open in May end or by June 1st week. From Manali, Spiti Valley is only accessible once the passes open from June to September and you can also visit Chandrataal Lake. From Shimla side, Spiti Valley is accessible during winters as well from February to May and in Summers till September.
Indian Nationals visiting Spiti from either Manali and Shimla do not require any permits to enter Spiti. For travelers traveling from Manali need permission to cross Rohtang pass which is issued in Manali. For foreign nationals, traveling to Spiti Valley permits are issued at Manali and if traveling via Kinnaur route, Inner Line Permits are issued at Shimla. Permits are required as some regions in Spiti Valley takes you very close to the Tibetian border.
Only BSNL postpaid work in Spiti Valley. The network is always patchy so make sure to download offline maps beforehand when you are traveling in Spiti Valley.
For things to pack for Spiti Valley, check packing list for Spiti Valley