Located in the barren coldness of the Himalayan desert of Himachal Pradesh is a valley of wonders called Spiti Valley. This snow valley is one of the most breathtaking places you can ever visit during your lifetime.
Although Spiti valley is indeed raw and doesn’t have many human facilities, this rawness also makes your trip to this valley worth the effort. Humans have expanded and conquered almost the entire planet. There are very few places left that are both accessible and untainted, like Spiti Valley and it is definitely among those few rare gems.
Surrounded by mountains and barren rocks, nothing much goes around in this place. The locals live off their homegrown crops, poultry, and some jobs in a nearby town. Life in this small place is pretty mundane. The only relief from this mundanity to the locals is the stories from tourists – which have become another source of income. People are especially welcoming towards the travelers, and although the location is quite raw, cold, and barren, the locals here are endearing.
With the introduction out of the way, let’s get started with the guide. Here we will discuss the cost estimate, weather, gears you will need, food, accommodation, and how to reach this place from Kathmandu.
So without any further ado, let’s get started!
How to Get From Kathmandu to Spiti?
Since Spiti valley is in India, one of the first questions people have is – how do I get there? The good news is that it is quite easy to reach there even though this remote valley is within the snow-capped mountains. The bad news for us is that you may need to spend quite a bit. We will cover the cost of reaching this place a bit later so let’s focus on the journey first.
You have several options to reach Spiti Valley from Kathmandu. Even if you disregard the adventurous travel route, there are eight routes you can take. They are:
- Flight to Dehradun – Taxi to Spiti Valley
- Bus to Mori Gate Terminal – Bus to Old Delhi Railway Station – Bus to Manali – Taxi to Spiti Valley
- Flight to Chandigarh – Taxi to Patlikuhal Bypass – Taxi to Spiti Valley
- Taxi to Raxaul Jn – Train to Ambala Cant Jn – Taxi to Healing Touch Hospital – Bus to Put Market- Taxi to Spiti Valley
- Bus to Gorakhpur – Train to Chandigarh – Train to ISBT 43 – Bus to Patlikuhal Bypass – Taxi to Spiti Valley
- Bus to Gorakhpur – Train to Chandigarh – Bus to Bhuntar – Taxi to Spiti Valley
- Bus to New Delhi – Bus to Kasol – Taxi to Spiti Valley
- Taxi directly to Spiti Valley
From these routes, one can see virtually no other means of going to Spiti valley other than taxi. Besides this, you can contact a travel agency and get on their travel bus to reach this valley.
How Much Does It Cost to Travel to Spiti Valley From Kathmandu?
After knowing the common routes you can take to reach this untrained piece of land in India, the next concern is the cost. The thing here is that it is tough to estimate a reasonable price for any travel. There are a lot of hidden and unexpected expenses that can arise at any time.
That said, traveling to Spiti Valley from Kathmandu is not cheap. At the very least, you will need an Npr of 10,000 for the most affordable route without food or accommodation. If you add in those two factors, we recommend you have a bare minimum of Npr 15,000.
On the flip side, if you want all the luxury you can realistically get, you can spend as much as Npr 65,000 for the travels and Npr 10,000 for additional activities. This will depend on your travel route as well.
What Are the Food and Accommodation Facilities at Spiti Valley?
From what we have described so far, you may think that this is a remote place without many facilities – which it is, however, we also mentioned that people here had recognized tourism’s potential, which is why Spiti valley has good accommodation facilities.
This valley is in the middle of the Himalayan range, home to highly comfortable hotels and guest houses with hot water baths, lounges, restaurants, and even some decent Wi-Fi.
As for the food, it’s mostly Tibetan cuisine with an Indian touch. While you can find a wide variety of foods in the local restaurants, Tibetan cuisine still rules the table in Spiti Valley.
How Is the Weather in Spiti Valley?
The most straightforward answer to this is – it’s rough. The summer and monsoon in Spiti valley are indeed quite beautiful and refreshing. The months between April and August offer minimal obstruction for the amazingly green pasture lands, and the scenario is simply breathtaking. Although the roads that lead to these scenarios are rough, it is still traversable as long as it doesn’t rain.
Whenever it rains, it is almost impossible to travel further from this place. If you want to travel despite the rain, you better grab some trekking shoes and a trekking stick because the roads will be slippery and filled with mud.
These are the good times before the winter strikes. Winter in Spiti Valley can be extremely brutal – so much so that this valley is entirely cut off from the rest of the country during this season. You can view the breathtaking snow-capped spectacle in its utmost glory – but the beautiful scenery is just a cover for the brutality hidden within the snow. The temperature drops below zero degrees celsius during the day. At night, it falls as low as -20 to -30 degrees celsius.
Despite the extreme temperature and the roadblocks, you can still access Lhaung, Hikkin, and Dhankar. The routes to access these places will be hard to traverse, but it’s worth the effort for the exclusive winter view.
Unless you are an adventure junkie with a good deal of experience, we do not recommend you try out this place until April.
What Gears Do You Need to Visit Spiti Valley?
By this point, you should already have some idea about the gears you should carry on your trip to Spiti from Kathmandu. The general gist is – to bring warm clothes and some bags to protect yourself from the sun. While the weather is generally cold out here, the sun is still a significant concern since virtually nothing prevents its rays from reaching you.
With that being cleared, here are a few gears you must carry on your visit to Spiti from Kathmandu.
- Inner Thermals
- Fleece or windcheater jacket
- Insulating boots or trekking shoes
- Woolen Socks
- Woolen sweaters or pullovers
- Comfort leggins
- Warm caps and hats
- Hand Gloves
You can see from this list of gears you must have that you will face a lot of cold and mountain wind. These gears protect you from the harsh cold and glaring sun in the Spiti valley.
You need to be safe from cold and wind since it will be hard for you once you get sick. While there is a relatively decent health service in Spiti, further traveling in the mountains is never a good experience once you succumb to sickness.
In the end,
Spiti Valley is one of the few untainted places on earth where you can enjoy the rawness of nature without too much human intervention. However, it is still in India. While getting here is quite simple – the cost can put many people off this place.
If you want to experience a similar experience in Nepal, you can always take Manaslu Circuit Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek, or Everest Base Camp Trekking routes. The journey to these places is just as treacherous, if not more.