Manali to Spiti

   Manali to Spiti Road Distance 196.2 kms
   Manali to Spiti Aerial Distance 80 km
  Manali to Spiti Travel Time 4 hours and 2 minutes
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How to reach Spiti from Manali

Since there are no flights, or trains that run on the route between Manali to Spiti, the most ideal and the convenient option to travel is by road. The distance of around 196 kms can be covered in approximately 10 to 12 hours as the roads are tricky. For the same, you can travel in an HRTC bus that runs directly between Manali and Kaza. Alternatively, you can hire a private taxi or book a cab. But in case you are up for a little adventure or thrill, you can opt to drive down on your own. It is considered to be one of the best road trip experiences in the country. Have a look at the complete guide of the road trip from Manali to Spiti given below.

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Knowing The Details

1. Route to Follow from Manali to Kaza
2. Best Time to Go on a Road Trip from Manali to Spiti
3. The Road Conditions of the Route Between Manali to Spiti
4. Ideal Vehicles to Drive on the Way between Manali to Spiti
5. Permits Required to Travel from Manali to Spiti
6. Timings of the HRTC Buses
7. Ticket Fares of HRTC Buses
8. Tips
9. Popular Routes to Spiti
10. Popular Routes from Manali
11. Places to Visit in Spiti
12. Hotels in Spiti

1. Route to Follow from Manali to Kaza

Lahaul Spiti Route
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A number of HRTC buses run on the route between Manali to Kaza on a weekly basis. All you have to do is to get a ticket and reserve a seat. Or, you can book a cab from Manali to cover the journey. Depending on the weather and the vehicle, the total journey can take anywhere between 8 to 16 hours to finish. Here’s sharing the details of the route, have a look!
  1. Rohtang Pass

    Rohtang Pass
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    The first stop or the first landmark after you commence the journey from Manali is Rohtang Pass highway. On the side of the roads are majestic mountain peaks, all covered in snow. Add to that sharp mountainside turns, horses carrying tourists and an enchanting landscape. 
  2. Gramphu

    Lahaul Spiti Route
    Source

    Next stop is the Greater Himalayas on the way where you will find muddy narrow pathways instead of wide roads. The splitting point of the route is Gramphu. Also, the lush greenery on the side is replaced by rocky mountains
  3. Chotadara

    Chhatru
    Source

    After Gramphu, you will cross Chhatru and then come to Chotadara where there is river Chenab. The bus or the car has to run over gravel and rubble. A little ahead, people mostly tend to halt at a spot called Batal. Here you can have food and refreshments at the small dhaba.
  4. Kunzum Pass

    Kunzum Pass
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    After you cross the Chandratal diversion, you will come to the last and the final stopover cum landmark called the Kunzum Pass. It is narrow and winding and uneven. But it is incomparable when it comes to scenery and the views. At the top of the Kunzum Pass, there is the Kunzum Mata Mandir which is also the beginning of the Spiti Valley. 
  5. Losar

    Losar
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    Losar is the last and final checkpoint on the Manali Kaza route. Here you will have to get the vehicles registered and the like. You will see several clusters of houses in the distance. The view is like a painted scenery. And a little farther on the way, is the Kaza valley.

2. Best Time to Go on a Road Trip from Manali to Spiti

Spiti Landscape
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The route between Manali to Spiti is open between mid May to mid October. During this time, the route is free of snow and rain, and it passes through Rohtang Pass, Batal and Kunzum Pass. Towards mid October, it begins to snow again, making the route difficult to ride or drive on. The route is completely shut between November and April owing to heavy rainfall and snowfall, and water crossings.

3. The Road Conditions of the Route Between Manali to Spiti

Spiti
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  1. The roads between Manali to Spiti makes for an adventurous trip with scenic views on the way. From Manali to Rohtang Pass, the road is muddy and rocky with views of the hills and mountains on the side. But the downside is that this route has a lot of puddles and wet mud, especially in the rainy season that is between May and July.
  2.  From Rohtang to Batal and Losar, the road gets better with fewer puddles and lesser rocks. 
  3. But just ahead, from Losar to Kunzum, the roads get very uneven and infested with cracks. You will need to take utter care while driving on this route. 
  4. From Kunzum to Chandratal, it again gets better. Aside from a few patches, the road is mostly smooth. 
  5. But again, from Chandratal to Kaza, the roads get pretty bad with huge boulders, rocky slides and water crossings on the way. The most ideal time to travel is between September and October which is devoid of fog or rain or snow.

4. Ideal Vehicles to Drive on the Way between Manali to Spiti

Mountain Vehicle
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The most ideal vehicles to travel on the route between Manali to Spiti are considered SUVs and jeeps due to the rocky terrain. Or you can take a taxi or cab. You can also ride bikes on the route which makes the trip all the more exciting. Obviously, the most convenient way is to travel in HRTC buses which run everyday between Manali and Spiti.

5. Permits Required to Travel from Manali to Spiti

For Indians

Indians only need a travelling pass for the vehicle when entering Rohtang Pass. This can be obtained by only showing the driver's license and registration certificate of the car. This permit is required by all types of vehicles including bikes. 

For Foreign Nationals

Aside from the vehicle permit that is required by all- Indians and Foreigners, the foreign nationals also require an Inner Line Permit to visit places like Khab, Samdo, Dhankar, Tabo, Gompa, Kaza, Morang, and Dubling. Places that can be visited without an Inner Line Permit include Kalpa, Sangla Valley and Chitkul. The Inner Line Permit can be obtained at the DC Office in Keylong which is the district headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti.

6. Timings of the HRTC Buses

Two buses run on the Manali - Kaza Route on an everyday basis.
The first one at 5:00 AM and the other at 5:30 PM.
They reach Kaza at 4:00 PM in the evening.

7. Ticket Fares of HRTC Buses

The starting fares for these buses start from INR 310.

8. Tips

  1. Remember to carry your ID cards.
  2. Carry passports at all times, especially if you are a foreign national. 
  3. Wear or carry comfortable shoes which are slip resistant.
  4. Carry enough warm clothes and accessories like mufflers, hand gloves etc.
  5. Carry enough cash as the ATMs are not functional most of the time.
  6. First Aid Kit with medication for common cold, fever, nausea, respiratory illness, vomiting and infections etc.
  7. Remember to carry a torch light and some batteries.
  8. Carry enough water and energy food like energy bars and chocolates etc.

Popular Routes to Spiti

Important Routes Time Taken Distance
Manali to Spiti 4 hours and 2 minutes 196.2 kms

Popular Routes from Manali

Important Routes Time Taken Distance
Manali to Chandigarh 7 hours 33 mins 309 km
Manali to Delhi 10 hours 55 mins 536 km
Manali to Shimla 6 hours 41 mins 247 km
Manali to Amritsar 9 hours 5 mins 399 km
Manali to Kullu 1 hour 6 mins 40.1 km
Manali to Jammu 9 hours 56 mins 416 km

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