A Comprehensive Guide To Visit Spiti Valley In Winters

 In Destination, Holidays, Spiti, Travel

‘I think the months of winter are the finest of the year. Snowy days, blowy days, Aren’t you glad they’re here? These lines by Elanor Hammond perfectly describe the happiness one gets in the winter season. You may book your Spiti Valley Tour Packages to take the real feel of these words. 

Spiti Valley, also known as the ‘middle land’, is abode to some of the highest altitude attractions and landmarks and is an essential addition to every traveller’s bucket list. 

Spiti Valley is a barren desert land with rugged terrain; the summertime is an absolute favourite to visit the valley of adventures. But, the same valley turns into a white beauty; the desert land gets covered under thick sheets of snow, making Spiti Valley in winter an absolute delight. 

The mountains become the perfect background for your Instagram pictures. The Best Time to Visit Spiti Valley is in the winter when everything is covered in snow. 

Besides the snow-capped mountains, Spiti Valley in Winter also allows you to witness the beauty of the frozen rivers. The Spiti Valley in December is one of the most visited during the winter, allowing you to see the frozen waterfalls. 

Travelling to Spiti Valley in Winter is one of the best experiences you can have in this lifetime. Travelling to some of the ancient monasteries in the valley will take your Spiti in Winter adventure to the next level. Monasteries such as the Dhankar Monastery, Key Monastery, and Tabo Monastery, among other high-altitude monasteries, become even more enchanting during winter. 

This is just a glimpse of what Spiti Valley in Winter has to offer; scroll through and check out the blog, which tells you why travelling to Spiti in December is the perfect choice for you.

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Why Travel To Spiti Valley In Winter? 

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Travelling to Spiti Valley in Winter in itself is a whole different experience. Besides the unique experience, there are many advantages to why you should travel to Spiti Valley in Winter. 

The unparalleled beauty is one of the significant reasons you should travel to Spiti Valley in winter. The views of the snow-capped mountains, the stunning landscapes, and the breathtaking frozen rivers will for sure leave a lasting impression in your heart and mind. The desert land, which transforms into a winter wonderland, also offers stunning backdrops for those Insta-worthy pictures. 

Fewer crowds are one of the most significant advantages of visiting Spiti in winter. Spiti Valley is a popular destination in the summer months, which is why the region gets crowded. However, in winter, the number of tourists decreases significantly, and one can enjoy the serene beauty of the Spiti in December without the crowds. You can have a more authentic experience of the region, interact with the locals, cover the best places to visit in Spiti Valley and explore the local way of life. 

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Winter Sports lovers, ASSEMBLE! Spiti in Winter is the perfect adventure opportunity for you. During the summer, Spiti is an adventurer’s paradise where you can participate in adventure activities like biking, off-roading, river rafting and much more. But, the valley offers equal opportunities during the winter months, too. 

Spiti Valley in winter offers different charm and beauty, with a wide range of winter sports activities for adventure enthusiasts. Some of the most popular activities that one can participate in during the winter include Skiing, as the valley has myriad ski resorts and ski schools, where you can rent equipment and take skiing lessons. The slopes in Spiti Valley are ideal for beginners and experienced skiers alike.

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Snowboarding is another popular winter sport that you can enjoy in Spiti Valley. The valley offers a wide range of options for all levels of snowboarders. Ice skating during winter in Spiti Valley in December is an exciting activity that excites adrenaline. Spiti in winter becomes the perfect setting for ice skating, which takes the entire experience to the next level. 

Another essential reason Spiti in winter is an ideal option for travellers is that they can get the perfect opportunity to dive deep into the region’s culture. The valley abodes some of the most ancient monasteries in India, which are an integral part of the region’s cultural heritage. In winter, the monasteries become more enchanting, with the snow-covered landscape adding to their beauty. You can also witness the traditional festivals and celebrations, such as Losar and the Tibetan New Year, and interact with the locals to learn more about their culture and way of life.

These are just a few significant reasons you should visit Spiti in winter. Spiti Valley in December has much more to offer to those who visit, and with that being said, it is now time to know about the climate during winter in Spiti Valley. 

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Climate Of Spiti In Winter

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Though summer offers a favourable temperature and climate, with the snow melting and the roads opening, making travel easier, winters offer a different charm coupled with harsh weather and extremely low temperatures. 

The temperature of Spiti in the Winter months, from December to February, can drop to as low as -30°C  at night, with daytime temperatures ranging between -5°C to 10°C. The Spiti Valley experiences harsh cold waves during the winter months, and it is essential to be well prepared for the extreme cold weather.

Spiti Valley in December: Besides the low temperature, the valley also experiences severe snowfall, which covers the entire region, including the roads and villages. The snowfall, at times, can make the commute in the valley extremely difficult as the streets close, making them inaccessible. 

The valley is a high-altitude region, which already means that the oxygen levels are deficient, and during the winter months, the level stoops to new lows, which means that one can quickly get struck with Acute Mountain Sickness in Spiti Valley.  

To sum it up, Spiti in winter has a harsh and challenging climate with cold, heavy snowfall, strong winds, and high altitude. However, despite the challenges, the Spiti Valley in December offers a unique, mesmerising, truly unforgettable winter experience. With proper preparation and planning, travellers can explore the stunning snow-covered landscape and enjoy a winter adventure that will create memories that last a lifetime. 

Things To Do In Spiti In Winter

Spiti Valley, synonymous with adventure valley, has many things visitors can participate in and cherish. Visitors can take advantage of many things in different parts of the valley. Though many people say there’s little to do in Spiti in winter, you can do a lot with great will, determination and adventure in your heart. Some of the things to do in Spiti Valley in the winter are:

1. Visit the Monasteries

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One of the best things you can do in Spiti in winter is visit the monasteries in the Spiti Valley, as there would be fewer crowds. You can explore more about the Buddhist cultural heritage without too many hindrances. The monasteries in the Spiti Valley have been the region’s spiritual centres for centuries; even today, they continue to attract visitors seeking spiritual solace. By visiting these monasteries, one can immerse themselves in the region’s rich culture and religious traditions and learn about Buddhism’s great teachings. 

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Visitors will be left mesmerised after the visits as they will observe traditional ceremonies, participate in winter festivals, and learn the Buddhist way of life. 

2. Trekking

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Trekking in Spiti Valley in December can be a challenging but rewarding experience. The harsh weather is what makes trekking in Spiti in Winter an adventurous experience, however, it is an activity that should only be done by experienced trekkers as the weather will be harsh. Some of the most famous trekking destinations in Spiti in Winter are Langza, Hikkim and Komic villages. 

3. Camping

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Camping is a unique and unforgettable experience, especially in Spiti in winter. Many camping sites also offer other activities like trekking, hiking, biking and more. Though the experience is unparalleled, a few things should be considered before camping in the valley. Points like choosing a suitable campsite, being prepared for the unpredictable weather, staying hydrated and being aware of the risks should always be considered. 

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4. Spotting A Snow Leopard

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As interesting as it sounds, spotting a snow leopard in the Spiti Valley is a matchless experience that will leave a lasting impression in your heart. The snow leopard is an elusive cat native to the mountainous regions of central Asia; therefore, spotting the cat in its natural habitat is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

5. Taking Part In The Local Festivals 

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Spiti Valley is home to several festivals that take place exclusively in winter. These festivals offer an opportunity to witness the local culture and traditions up close. Some popular winter festivals in Spiti include the Ladarcha Fair- A fair where traders from the neighbouring regions come and take part in the barter of goods with each other; the Lossar Festival- Said to be the Buddhist New Year; the festival is celebrated to express gratitude to the gods, and the Chaam Dance festival; masked monks perform the dances which symbolise the destruction of all evil forces and negative energy.

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These are just a few things you can do in Spiti in Winter; there’s a lot more you can do when you visit the valley. Next up is the Places To Visit In Spiti In Winter.

A hidden gem in the winter, Spiti is home to a myriad of destinations which take your Spiti in winter experience to the next level. The snow-covered mountains and the serene atmosphere create a unique and unforgettable experience. Some of the places to visit in Spiti in Winter are: 

1. Kaza

Image Source : Times of India

Kaza, the administrative centre of Lahaul and Spiti, is one of the top places to visit in Spiti in winter. During the winter, the town is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, allowing you to cherish the stunning landscape views. The weather is chilly during winter, and the region has continuous snowfall. 

The snowfall makes the roads completely inhospitable, therefore, it is suggested that you visit Kaza at your own risk during the winter season. If you are visiting Kaza during the winter season, don’t forget to check out the monasteries, which give an insight into the Buddhist culture with the addition of stunning views. 

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2. Dhankar Monastery

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Located over 12,500 feet above sea level, the Dhankar monastery is one of the most stunning monasteries and best to visit during winter. The sanctuary is the perfect amalgamation of ancient art, spirituality and intricate architecture; the same goes up a notch during winters.

3. Pin Valley National Park

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One of the highest altitude national parks in the country, the Pin Valley National Park is one of the best places to visit in Spiti in Winter. There are usually two routes to reach the national park: one is the Manali-Rohtang-Kunzum Pass, and the second is considered to be the winter pass, which is Shimla-Tapri-Kaza- Kaza, which is open from March to December. 

To reach the national park, you will have to traverse on the second route. After getting to the national park, you can spot animals like Snow Leopard, Ibex, and the Himalayan Snowcock, among others. 

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4. Key Monastery

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The oldest monastery in the Spiti Valley, the Key Monastery, is known for its architecture, which becomes more beautiful when covered with snow. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the monastery offers stunning views of the Spiti River. The major attractions in the sanctuary during winter include the prayer hall, the library and daily prayer sessions. The monastery, untouched during the winters, is perfect for those seeking peace without the hustle and bustle of the crowd. 

Common Issues In Spiti In Winter 

Spiti Valley is probably one of the best places to visit during winter; the desert land turns into a white beauty and gives you views you won’t get anywhere else. The winter wonderland certainly gives you an experience like no other, however, there are some common issues that one can face in Spiti in winter. 

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Harsh Winter and Temperature

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The valley is located at a high altitude, and winter temperatures can drop to as low as -20°C in Spiti Valley in December. The extreme cold can hinder travel and stay outdoors for extended periods. It is essential to carry appropriate winter clothing, including insulated jackets, gloves, and hats, to protect yourself from the cold.

Limited Accommodation

In winter, many guesthouses and hotels in Spiti Valley are closed, and the available ones need more facilities. It is advisable to book accommodation in advance and also carry a sleeping bag and a warm blanket to stay warm and comfortable.

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Limited Food Options

The food options in Spiti Valley are limited in winter, and many restaurants and cafes still need to be opened. It is advisable to carry some non-perishable food items like biscuits, nuts, and chocolates to energise yourself during the day. You can also enjoy authentic Spitian dishes like Thukpa and Momos in the local homes.

Snow Blockades

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The roads in Spiti Valley in December and January can get blocked due to heavy snowfall. The streets are narrow and winding, and snow removal can be challenging. Therefore, It is advisable to check road conditions before embarking on the journey and carry snow chains for your vehicle.

Limited Connectivity

The connectivity in Spiti in winter is limited, and mobile networks and internet services need to be stronger or more present in some areas. That’s why carrying a satellite phone or a walkie-talkie is highly recommended to stay connected with your travel group and the outside world in case of an emergency.

Altitude Sickness

Spiti Valley is located at a high altitude, and some people may experience altitude sickness in winter due to the extreme cold and reduced oxygen levels. It is advisable to acclimatise slowly, drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol and smoking.

How To Reach Spiti Valley In Winter

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Reaching the Spiti Valley in winter is the real challenge due to the heavy snowfall and the closure of roads in some areas. However, if you’re ready to take the challenge, then you can take the route from Manali to reach the Spiti Valley in winter. 

By Air: The closest airport to Spiti Valley is the Bhuntar Airport, about 250 kilometres away. However, the airports remain closed in the winter, and the only way you can reach the valley is by road. 

By Road: The road is the only way to reach the Spiti Valley in winter. The best way to go Spiti Valley in winter is by hiring a local taxi or a private vehicle along with a skilled driver with prior experience driving on the narrow and winding roads of the Spiti Valley. 

There are usually two routes to reach the valley. One is from Shimla, while the other is from Manali. The Shimla route is closed during winter. Therefore, the Manali route is the only way to reach the Spiti Valley in winter.

Travelling to Spiti Valley in winter has its pros and cons. Travellers can experience something new when visiting the valley in winter, though travelling during the winter requires some preparation; one thing is for sure: you will have the time of your life in Spiti Valley in Winter.

Frequently Asked Questions About Travelling To Spiti Valley In Winter

1. Can we visit Spiti Valley in winter?

Absolutely, you can visit Spiti Valley in winter.  However, it is important to note that the winter season in Spiti Valley is harsh and can be challenging due to heavy snowfall, extreme cold, and limited connectivity. But, with the right preparation, one can cherish the Spiti valley in winter.

2. Is Spiti open in winter?

Yes, Spiti Valley is open during the winter months. Though the valley is open, it is important to be aware of the fact that the connectivity can be limited due to the extreme snowfall and road blockages. Despite, these hindrances, the valley remains open and one can have the best of fun in the valley by visiting the essential places of attraction and taking part in the winter sports. 

3. Is Spiti Valley open in December?

Yes, Spiti Valley is open in December, but the weather conditions can be harsh during the time. December is the beginning of the winter season in the valley, and during the time harsh snowfall takes place which can lead to limited connectivity due to road closures.

4. Which month is best for Spiti Valley?

The best month to visit the Spiti Valley basically depends on your preferences, what you want to explore and the activities you want to take part in. However, the most preferable time to visit the valley is considered between the summer months of June to September, this is the time when summer begins and the snow starts to melt, which makes travel around the valley easy. 

5. How do I plan a Spiti Valley trip in the winter?

The best month to visit the Spiti Valley basically depends on your preferences, what you want to explore and the activities you want to take part in. However, the most preferable time to visit the valley is considered between the summer months of June to September, this is the time when summer begins and the snow starts to melt, which makes travel around the valley easy. Research, Plan your itinerary, Book your accommodation, Pack appropriate winter clothing and gear, Hire a skilled driver, Carry necessary supplies.

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