Lahaul and Spiti are separated from Kullu by the Rohtang pass and Kunzum pass and it lies on the Manali-Leh highway. This route is fine to reach Spiti valley during the summers but is inaccessible for most parts of the year due to heavy snowfall. However, Spiti valley is accessible throughout the year though from Shimla via Kinnaur (except for occasional disturbances due to landslides or heavy snowfall).
Route 1: Via Kinnaur through Hindustan - Tibet Highway
Reach Shimla via Delhi or Chandigarh in an overnight bus. There are many public and private buses running between Shimla and Kinnaur from 5 AM to 8 PM. Beyond the specified time, there are around 2-3 overnight buses to Reckong Peo (Headquarters of Kinnaur district). You can get these buses from the New Bus Stand as well as from the Old Bus Stand in Shimla.
In addition to this, you can also hire a shared taxi or even a private one (Xylo or Scorpio). The charges range from INR 2500 - 3500 per day from Shimla depending on the season and your bargaining skills.
Some people also prefer to drive down on their own. A drive in an SUV is safe enough but a sedan or hatchbacks are not preferred due to major landslides and rough terrains.
Although self-driving is more enjoyable and gives you the convenience of stopping and taking in the scenic beauty at your own pleasure, however, a journey in the state/private bus is less time-taking.
Route 2: Via Manali
The other option is to take a private/public bus from Manali and reach Kaza through Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass. There are buses leaving from Manali at around 5 am in the morning to Kaza.
You can hire a shared taxi or even a private one (Xylo or Scorpio). The charges range from INR 2800-3500 per day from Manali depending on the season and your bargaining skills.
You can also take a private vehicle and drive down on your own as the route is without any trouble (slushy roads etc.), unlike the Hindustan- Tibet highway.
The Himachal state transport runs buses through both routes in summers, however just a bus through the Shimla-Kinnaur-Kaza route. Direct buses are available from Chandigarh, Shimla, Kullu, Manali and some other parts of North India.
There is no direct flight connectivity to Spiti Valley. The nearest airport is in Bhuntar, near Kullu, 245 km away from the same. However, Bhuntar airport is small with limited operations. Chandigarh Airport, located at a distance of 522 km is the nearest international airport.
Nearest Airport: Chandigarh Airport (IXC) - 522 kms from Spiti Valley
Tentative return flight prices to Chandigarh from major cities in India:
|Starting City||Return price (approximate)|
|Mumbai||₹ 9,160 Non-stop|
|New Delhi||₹ 3,753 Non-stop|
|Bengaluru||₹ 19,034 Non-stop|
|Hyderabad||₹ 10,010 Non-stop|
Regular bus services ply to and fro the city of Spiti Valley. They operate on a daily basis, whether day or night, from places like New Delhi, Pathankot, Shimla etc. You can also take shared taxis or cabs for the same route.
The nearest broad gauge railway station from Spiti which have good connectivity is in Chandigarh. Jogindernagar also has a railway station which is nearest to Spiti, but it has very poor connectivity.
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The term Spiti means 'The Middle Land', as Spiti Valley separates India from Tibet. Scantily populated, Spiti is an adventure lover’s paradise, with a number of trekking trails that tourists can choose from. All of these treks start from Kaza (Spiti’s capital from where you make your base camp) to various peaks from where you can get panoramic views of the Himalayan mountains. An easy 1.5-kilometre trek along the Spiti River from Dhankar Monastery to Dhankar Lake promises gorgeous views of the villages below. The Dhankar Lake itself is a place where you can sit back and relax amidst the cool mountain air.
The mountain ropeway from Kibber to Chichum is also another popular tourist attraction that offers spectacular views of the gorge below, as well a bird’s eye view of the surrounding peaks.