Updated: Mar 17
Spiti Tour - an adventure in the Himalayas
Spiti valley district welcomes us with golden mountains reflecting bright colours of sunlight and a splendid rock drilled road made by BRO. If the introduction is so mystic, then at the end of this trip we will have so many pristine memories.
The journey was covered in the month of second week of september which is the best time for spiti valley bike trip.As we gained height, the sky was never so blue and beneath us was the dry Spiti river that was ready to guide us to the remaining wonderland. Read our blog to know about how to plan a trip to Spiti valley in the Himalayas.
Hats off to BRO without whom no tourists could have explored this mystic place. The lands were dry, devoid of vegetation but yes, I haven't seen such wonderful colours before. This is Spiti district for everyone.
Our pit stops increased as we followed river Spiti because the scenery was gradually turning into martian which stimulated us to make more memories of this alien terrain. I have never seen such mountains with colours of sand and tinge of vegetation adding borders amidst arid lands in Spiti valley.So we can tell september is the best time for spiti valley bike trip
We were amazed to see small villages after a span of 80 km taking its shelter on the foothills of the gigantic Himalayas. How people live here with minimum resources is such a stunning experience for the metropolitans.
It was the best afternoon of the setting sun to view as I was standing high above the ground on the winding roads with my glances to the tiny villages in the Spiti valley area. Soon the light became dark and thus began the Himalayas adventure part of our Spiti valley tour.
We came across a checkpoint of a village called Sumdo where we needed to cross the river. Just before the crossing, we saw two cars waiting before us. Due to distant-blowing dust, we realized a landslide is going in between us and the crossing. We were puzzled and I was strictly against moving in the forward direction when some military officers arrived and asked us to move forward as soon as the landslide stops for a moment. So adventure and the natural beauty both accompany us in the month of september which is the best time for spiti valley bike trip.
We rushed our bikes and Mukul led the way over the stones and boulders when the landslide stopped for a few minutes. Obeying the signals of the military officers, we were rushing over the boulders when my bike fell down since it was heavy with the luggage behind in the carrier.
Behind me were two more cars and Jaykrishna with his Classic. I didn’t know what to do and stood speechless in the middle of the falling stones. Luckily, few stones jumped over us into the river. Jaykrishna arrived and helped me to pick the bike up and quickly I rushed on to the other side.
It was not enough for the adventure when we found out that Mukul lost his bike key in the accumulated stones but he was fortunate enough to avoid the falling stones and pick up his key. We felt so lucky to have escaped the wrath of nature. We were afraid and thanked God enough for saving us.
Yes, we expected high adrenaline in this Transhimalayan highway but not like a fatal one. It was already dark and then we drove for an hour in the dark with even more adventure with the moonlight showing us the narrow lanes along the river. This experience is must for anyone to know about the best time to do spiti valley bike trip
The mountains looked like tall horrifying dark ghosts giving us narrow pathways to Tabo. For the best of accommodations in Tabo, refer to the link below:-
Tabo is the main village in Spiti valley district and the second habitable tourist place after Nako as we enter Spiti. Tabo is the main town to include how to plan a trip to Spiti valley.
We felt so relieved on arrival at Tabo at night. The rest of the few hours in the night spent in discussing our adventure with the mountains. I woke in the morning to the scene of green apple trees surrounding our hotel. This was the first time I was witnessing green apples hanging from a tree. So a traveller can encounter numerous apple avenues at this time so undoubtedly september is the best time for spiti valley bike trip.
Tabo village in the Spiti valley region has an ancient monastery and the whole town is situated in the vicinity of the monastery. Fortunately, we got petrol in one of the shops to refuel our tank to Kaza.
Then as we drove towards Kaza and after 30 km, we came across an uphill road leading to the Dhankar monastery which is precariously built on a cliff. The uphill road from the main highway gave us splendid views of the confluence of the Spiti and Pin river. I found this amazing spot on the uphill road to the monastery. The monastery is now a UNESCO world heritage site.Due to clear weather september is the best time for spiti valley bike trip
It is now being reconstructed by the local people to prevent it from breaking down due to the erosion in the hills in Spiti valley. Its exciting to explore new places on the earth but at the same time, the pollution created due to the heavy influx of vehicles destroys it. Electric vehicles should be the priority in planning for a Spiti valley tour.
After Dhankar monastery, we diverted our path to follow the pin river towards our destination i.e The Pin Valley. Before coming to this tour, I always dreamt about this place and searched google images impatiently.
Pin valley is the home to snow leopards, Himalayan Tahrs and the wild yaks. I was very excited to stay in one of those mud-roof top homestays in the villages of the park. The diversion for this valley starts 18 km after Dhankar village from the main Tabo Kaza highway.
As we go onto the other side of the river we get to see these martian shapes of the mountains standing up high like huge piles of sand and dust. The formations were of a single colour, unorganized but the geography will surely transform you into an alien land.
The introductory view towards my dreamland left me spellbound and wiped out my flashbacks of the dreams only to be replaced by more colourful ones.
Mud is the last village in pin valley national park of the Spiti valley district where we stayed in the summers of 2016. Despite the village’s remote nature, its people provided excellent homestay facilities for the travelers. Due to sunlight and clear sky september is the best time to watch the natural beauty and spiti valley bike trip.
Mud village is a major base camp for many trekking routes including Pin Parvati. From Dhankar to Mud one has to travel a total of 55kms along the Pin river and trust me the views are the best in this world in terms of landscape panoramas.
The sky and water revealed kaleidoscopic reflections of the numerous colours in the mountains. There were wild horses and yaks grazing in the field. At intervals, there were small villages with farming grounds and mud thatched roofs with trees of yellow colours of autumn.So again september is undoubtedly the best time for spiti valley bike trip.
After the last homestay in Mudh, one can walk towards a rift created by a waterfall that flows into the Pin river. The water is chilling cold being formed by the melting snow high up into the mountains.
In the night, we climbed up into the roof in a ladder and enjoy the starlit galactic sky which looks ever so clearly visible at such an altitude. For best accommodations in Mudh village refer to the link below:-
Village kids in Mudh
Villagers in their Daily Activities.
The villagers at the Mudh village in the Spiti valley area provide awesome food with numerous choices of dishes which really surprised me. There were porridge, custard, momos, cornflakes, and many other delectable dishes for breakfast.
The villagers here do farming in the morning and provide a helping hand as a guide for travelers. Spiti valley tour is obviously incomplete if you haven’t visited The Pin Valley National Park.
So a bit of simple advice to all the riders is to refuel the tanks and check your gears in the workshops of Kaza and have an oxygen saturation level check-up in the district hospital because after this place, the route will be to even more high altitude level roads.
As we drove towards the major town, the Spiti river got broader and the colour changes to that of the sky. The mountains are still dry as sand but it holds the colours of Spiti valley.The colour of the river is best in september so this is the best time for spiti valley bike trip.
Kaza offers a wide range of commercial hotels and it is the major pit stop to visit the key monastery and the three Spiti villages of Langza, Komic and Hikkim. After checking into our hotel, we continued our bike trip to the high altitude villages of Spiti. We took an 18 km uphill drive from a diversion from the Kaza Kunzum highway to reach the three high altitude villages of Spiti valley. For best accommodations in Kaza refer to the link below:-
The three villages had distinctive features. Langza welcomes us with a Giant Buddha Statue with the snow-capped Sheila peak in the background.
Komic is the highest motorable village in the world and Hikkim has the highest post office in the world.
Travelers will be surprised to see such disciplined farming at the top of the Himalayas which is only possible due to the tough life and hardworking people of the mountains.
Many historians once believed that Spiti valley was the part of the Tethys sea millions of years ago from where the Himalayas was born. We can also find some local people selling ancient fossils that are worth to be taken as symbols of ancient lifeforms.
As we reached a height of more than 14000 feet, the land became flat like a football field surrounded by snow-capped peaks with panoramic views of the valleys.
Don’t forget to send your postcards back to your home from the highest post office and carry water as much as you can due to the low levels of oxygen in these places. So, a piece of advice to all the tourists is to check your oxygen saturation level in the government hospital in Kaza and then proceed to these mystic picturesque villages of Spiti valley.
Now here is the wallpaper of Spiti Valley -The Key Monastery. I always dreamt about visiting this place whenever I scrolled over the google images and used to come over this symbolic wallpaper. Key monastery is the largest monastery in the district which is a half an hour drive from Kaza.
As soon as we entered the monastery we saw several monks of different age and gender assembled together to listen to the evening speech by their head monk.Tourists need to dress properly and behave decently inside the premises as per the rules and regulations.
The monastery is made up of several rooms decently piled up like small boxes that make this picture most photogenic symbol of Spiti.
On reaching the gates of the monastery one can see such mesmerizing views of the Spiti basin below with the concrete winding road looking like a crawling snake. Visit the monastery at the sunset to have a glimpse of the last rays of the sun on the valley with the last prayers of the monks in the evening.As we got clear sky and ample amount of sunlight so undoubtedly september is the best time for spiti valley bike trip.
As soon as we entered the monastery, we saw several monks of different ages and gender assembled together to listen to the evening speech by their head monk. Tourists need to dress properly and behave decently inside the premises in conformity to the rules and regulations. The monastery is made up of several rooms decently piled up like small boxes that make this picture the most photogenic symbol of Spiti.
On reaching the gates of the monastery one can see such mesmerizing views of the Spiti basin below with the concrete winding road looking like a crawling snake. Visit the monastery at the sunset to have a glimpse of the last rays of the sun on the valley with the last prayers of the monks in the evening.
As we continued our journey the next day from Kaza to Kunzum pass, we came along a colourful part of our journey yet again. I felt like my eyes acting like a prism and refracting seven colours of nature.
For some time, I thought I was in a country like Afghanistan and in a landform that of the Pamir knot. We were driving above 3800 metres above sea level and the entire valley was like a concrete field gifted to us for coming this far as adventure travelers.
The valley was mammoth like a football field with no grass and surrounded by different colours of dry mountains. Though the region has no vegetation and is without a single trace of human settlement, the surroundings were so colourful and rejuvenating like a painting in the mind of a child.
We were fortunate enough to have a perfect climate that added the blue colour of the sky mixed in this wonderland. This was my best stretch of the bike trip in terms of a smooth road along with the scenic feast to our eyes.
Surely Spiti valley is the most colourful valley in the Himalayas in spite of being devoid of any vegetation and being the driest part of our country.
After driving for around 70 km, there is a checkpoint for entering the kunzum pass just after the village named Losar. For Indians, it is just a formality but foreign tourists need to carry their passports for their entire Spiti valley tour.
The road became terribly worse after that and it was like dirt biking with the hard rocks. We were slowly gaining height as Kunzum pass was situated at an altitude of 16500 feet above sea level.Adventure with clear weather.This is the best time of spiti valley bike trip.
The road will be accompanied by the Spiti river on the right side and the dry mountains on the left. After an hour drive, the river vanished and we arrived on flat land as if we were on the roof of elevated land. The road looked nowhere to go surrounded by snow-capped peaks and we were standing in the middle of a desolated field.
Luckily we found a signboard that showed the kunzum pass as 2 km away to the destination. Kunzum pass separates the Lahaul valley with the spiti valley. We bid goodbye to the Spiti valley with lots of memories and photos.
The wind was blowing very strongly which created a fluttering sound from the numerous prayer flags being hung all around the pass. Prayer Flags are flags of worship that signify the heroics of the local residents and their bravery.
There is also a small shop that offers Maggi and hot tea. We were also surprised to see The Himachal State Transport services running buses in such tough roads and remote destinations. That surely makes them the lifeline of the state.
Road trips do build the bonds of friendship and teamwork. Till now, we faced strenuous roads, landslides, water streams and scorching heat of the sun. But as a team, we overcame every tough situation in front of us.
We rejoiced to have completed this far and opened our packed parathas for our lunch. I must say the cold parathas gave us some energy to continue for the rest of the day.
After an hour pitstop in the kunzumpass we started our journey to the only lake in this trip i.e the Chandertal lake.
The road degenerated even more badly and I toppled with my bike twice on the way. Our energy was still high on the air to fetch the memories of the alien scenery around.
The 12 km diversion to the Chandertal lake is in no way a route for the bike. The snow melted water streams and numerous boulders on the road made the ride even tougher. Finally after reaching the base camp which is 2.5 km away from the lake, we booked a tent for us.
They charged Rs 500 per head from us that included breakfast and dinner. This is quite cheap compared to the living conditions at such an altitude which is more than 14000 feet above sea level.
Chandertal is also called “The Moon Lake” due to its crescent shape when seen from the above. The lake is a preserved area for wildlife. So no camping is allowed in the vicinity of the lake.
The lake on one side is surrounded by eroded mountains and on the other side with snow-capped peaks. It is as blue as one can imagine which may be due to the clear reflection of the blue sky at this height.
Chandertal Lake is the most famous destination in the Lahaul valley that is even more prismatic than one can imagine from the picture. The mountains, green fields, blue water along with the clear blue sky makes it a dream and colourful destination for every hikers and travelers to the Himalayas.
In the night it was shivering cold but the localities arranged born fires and hot apple drinks. They explained how in the mountains life is impossible without helping others. The people living in the mountains have their motto of helping each other without which, according to them, life will be impossible to live in the mountains.
They arranged a vehicle for us to carry the luggages up to Batal which made our 12km trip to the main highway a lot easier. Here, I learned how consuming juice of garlic helps in maintaining the saturation level of oxygen in our blood.
The next day in the early hours of the morning, we started our journey back to Manali to avoid the heavy streams of water created from the melting snow. Now the road was all along the Chenab river with numerous water streams flowing over the road due to the melting snow as the sunlight rays were brightening up the mountains.
Thanks to the tough localities of the Royal Enfield bikes which could sustain such ruthless roads. There were boulders on the roads of various sizes which were being carried down due to the rocks losing their ground as the soil softened in the mountains.
Ahaul valley was much greener than the Spiti valley and the weather was much more chilling. The mountains were now grey in colour with more concrete rocks and grasslands beneath them. On an average, the speed of the bike was not more than 25 km/h.
Amidst such tough and strenuous journey,a we were energised by the changing terrain of the landscape.There were waterfalls over the roads, river forming rifts along the highway, mountains with vegetation and wooden bridges motivating us with the prayer flags.
We felt like freedom birds driving over the roads as if flying due to the vastness of the landscape beneath the clear blue sky.
As we proceeded more towards the windward side of the Himalayas, we can clearly see the contrast in vegetation as the mountains turned from brown bald to grasslands. We were approaching the Rohtang Pass which separates the Kullu valley from the Lahaul valley, with the Kullu valley receiving the maximum amount of rainfall.
The route to Rohtang pass from Batal offers spectacular scenic views of the mountains covered with graceful garb of white snow. Rohtang pass-the gateway to Ladakh is the nature’s most bewitching and pristine pass of the mighty Himalayas and hence is a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.It also acts as an escape from the heat of the plains during the summer which we availed in the month of September 2016,best time for spiti valley bike trip.
As we approached Chatru from Batal we crossed numerous Tea dhabas which kept boosting our energy,most importantly The Chacha Chachi Dhaba in the stressful Transhimalayan highway.The water streams became broader over the roads as now the melting snow created waterfalls like the one in the picture.
Our bikes got stuck numerous times in the rocky bed of the water streams that was even more painful as our clothes got drenched in the chilling cold water.
As we approached Rohtang to pass the roads widened up and became crispy smooth due to the efforts of the BRO. The dark clouds began to hover over us as we were approaching the windward side of the mountains.
We chased the rainfall and arrived in the mighty Rohtang pass which was crowded with tourists.I imagined Rohtang pass to be a snow-covered wall when I used to scroll over the google images. But to my amazement,September I was spell bound by the greenery.
It was not snowing in the late september but it was raining which rejuvenated the colours of the vegetation. The valley was lightened up with green grasslands all over the place, refreshed and cleaned by the water droplets from the cloudy sky.
The rain was pouring down continuously so after an hour pit stop we continued our journey now along the Beas river towards Manali and bid goodbye to the magnificent Lahaul valley with lots of memories in our mind and heart. Hope the blog is enough in how to plan a trip to Spiti valley.I hope this blog gives every traveller a clear idea of the best time for spiti valley bike trip.