A barren and cold desert in the Himalayas at an altitude of over 3,000 metres, the Spiti valley lies in the Spiti and Lahaul districts of Himachal Pradesh. The valley lies between India and Tibet, and rightly so, gets its name from the word ‘Spiti’, which literally means ‘the middle land’. Bordered by the Kinnaur in the south east, Tibet to the east, and the Kullu valley to the north, the Spiti valley serves as the gateway to the northernmost corners of the country. The region has several high mountain passes, like the Kunzum Pass (at an altitude of about 4,590 metres) which connects the Spiti valley to the Lahaul valley. Best known for its mesmerizing scenic beauty, the Spiti valley is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and visited by many throughout the year. This article gives an overview of planning a trip to the Spiti valley under an affordable budget.
The Spiti valley is accessible by a long road via Kinnaur throughout the year. It can be accessed from Manali through the Rohtang tunnel and the Kunzum pass, though the route connecting Manali to the Spiti valley is comparatively strenuous and challenging compared to the Shimla to Spiti valley road. Shimla and Manali are well connected to the rest of the country via road, railways and airways.
The Spiti valley is best known for its breathtaking views to the snow capped mountains and valleys, along with scrubs and patches of pine and oak forests. The valley is visited in large numbers by tourists from not only different parts of the country but from the whole world. Ideal for people looking to spend some time in serenity amidst nature, the Spiti valley is also one of the most visited tourist destinations in the state.
Trekking through the Spiti valley is one of the most popular activities that tourists indulge in. There are a lot of different trek routes which cover the Spit valley. These include the Spiti valley trek, the Hampta pass trek, the Pin Parvati pass trek, the Chandratal trek and many more. Most of these treks are quite affordable, and allow one to explore the valley at its fullest glory. These treks are also among the most visited treks in the state, and are quite accessible for the common ass. Though trekking through the barren deserts of the valley can be a little challenging and tricky at times, they can be traversed easily with a little aid from professionals. There are several professional instructors and operators for these treks, which ensure one’s safety as well as opportunities for exploring the majority of the valley.
Camping in the Spiti valley is also quite a favourable activity for tourists, and there numerous camping sites in and around the valley which offer comfortable and affordable stay as well as chances for exploring the valley and other exciting outdoor activities. One can pre-book for accommodation in these camps, and there are several options from which one can choose the preferred one. Trekking and camping are the most sought after activities in the Spiti valley. Some of them will lead one through lush green forests and meadows, while some others will take one through the dry and barren deserts with little to no vegetation.
What makes a trip to the Spiti valley even more special and memorable is that one gets a chance to explore the rich culture and age-old tradition of the people of the nearby villages. The valley and the surrounding area has a very scarce population, and these villages are also one of the most secluded villages in the country. The valley is home to some of the oldest Tibetan monasteries in the country. These include the Tabo and Key monastery being the oldest and the most famous.
Another important attraction of visiting the Spiti valley is that it offers ample opportunities for a wide range of adventurous activities like rappelling and rock climbing, making the valley quite a popular destination among adventure seekers. Various tour packages in the valley ensure a variety of different outdoor activities and adventure sports at quite an affordable price.
Although the Spiti valley remains more or less accessible throughout the year, it is most suitable to visit the valley during the months of March to June. Majority of the crowd visits the valley during this time of the year, and it is possible to find cheap and affordable accommodation in the valley if one keeps an eye on the different tour packages. Above all, the Spiti valley tour is definitely a once in a lifetime experience; and despite the challenges that it offers, it is still a favourable and admired destination for nature lovers.