“After years of planning and cancelling, I finally visited the Spiti Valley”- Tushar
“In the words of a wise traveller, ‘Spiti Valley, an unblemished canvas of nature’s splendor, is where silence whispers the most profound tales.’ Inspired by such a poetic description, I, Tushar, a travel creator and influencer found myself drawn to this tranquil paradise in the Himalayas.
Spiti Valley was on my mind for a couple of years and as a travel content creator, Spiti is something that finds itself a place on every creator’s bucket list for two major reasons, one for the amazing pictures and reels one can click and make in the valley and secondly the unparalleled experiences one can witness.
So, after making plans day and night and watching them get cancelled at the last minute, I heard from WanderOn, and how they want to collaborate with me for a trip to Spiti Valley. And without giving a second thought, I said yes! From their carefully designed Spiti Valley tour packages, I went on the 6 Days and 7 Nights escapade.
Every part of me wanted to traverse the Spitian landscapes, to see the snow-capped peaks piercing the deep blue skies, to experience the quaint, ancient villages that dotted the valley. I was not merely visiting Spiti, I was embarking on an odyssey of self-discovery, seeking refuge in the sheer immensity of this heavenly hideaway.
As the sun bathed the mountains in a golden hue, I could almost hear the wind carrying tales from the timeless monasteries, deeply echoing in the valleys. The more I travelled into Spiti, the more it unfolded like an carefully woven tapestry of humanity’s simplicity and nature’s untouched beauty.
So, without any further ado, it’s time to delve into my sojourn in the Spiti Valley, so hop on board, and let’s go!
Whispers Of The Wind: A 6 Nights, 7 Days Journey In The Spiti Valley
Day-1: Shimla to Kalpa
On the first day 1, we started our journey from the ‘ Queen of Hills’, Shimla, the starting point of our journey to Spiti Valley. After a tiring but picturesque journey, we arrived in Kalpa, and checked into our hotel to get freshened up before receiving from our trip captain about the journey that lies ahead.
Well, day 1 entirely went into getting to know the other travellers in my group and somehow in its own way, it was pretty fun.
Day 2: Kalpa to Kaza via Nako and Tabo
Day two of my journey unfolded with an unexpected charm. We halted at Nako, a humble yet captivating place nestled in the heart of Spiti. The local Spitian cuisine was rustic and simple; it wasn’t gourmet, but it had a comforting warmth. The day, however, had a slow and tiring pace to it. Between the slow preparation of meals and the camaraderie that unfolded among us travellers, hours slipped away unnoticed.
As we approached Tabo, its unassuming beauty took my breath away. The old monastery there welcomed us with open doors, a rarity if it hadn’t been the start of summer. May 1st marked the season’s onset when the monastery opened its doors for wayfarers. Had it been any other time, we would’ve found it closed. The evening unfurled with a lively game session, marking a memorable end to the day.
Day 3: Visit to the Dhankar Monastery and Pin Valley
Day three found me wandering the timeless halls of Dhankar. Guided by Prashant, each stone and artefact whispered a tale of the ancient past, engulfing me in its rich history. The heart of the day was a visit to the meditation caves. Nestled within, I felt time slowing, my mind becoming tranquil. As each minute ticked by, a sense of rejuvenation washed over me.
A monk told us about the peculiar nature of the monastery. Being one of the oldest, the structure was prone to crumble at any moment, a testament to its resilience against time. Behind the monastery, we were greeted by the mesmerising confluence of Spiti and Pin rivers; their combined might shaping the valley’s contours. Our next stop, Pin Valley, found our trip captains, Prashant and Rishab, assisting the locals with their meals, a heartwarming sight amidst such grandeur.
Day 4: Exploring The Key Monastery, Chicham Bridge, Hikkim, Komic and Langza
Day four dawned with the promise of a visit to the revered Key Monastery. Breathtaking and serene, it was a delight for both the stomach and the soul. The local butter tea warmed us up as we embarked on a hike to the monastery’s pinnacle.
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The thrill continued with a visit to the Chicham Bridge, where we conducted a drop test – the rock took a whole seven seconds to hit the bottom, underscoring the bridge’s terrifying height. Later, we ventured to Hikkim and Komic, the highest village and home to the highest post office and restaurant in the world. With a mere dozen houses, we took photos capturing its unique charm.
Day 5- Departing For Kalpa
Well, day 5 was pretty relaxing as it involved just a return journey back to Kalpa where we checked in our hotel and after a delectable meal retired for the night, dreaming about the adventures that awaited us the next day.
Day 6: Driving To The Last Village Of India- Chitkul
Day six came with the thrill of anticipation. Our destination was Chitkul, the last village of India, nestled amidst the untamed beauty of the Himalayas. We shared tea and coffee with India’s last chaiwala, a gentle soul with stories of the mountains in his eyes. As the day stretched into a lazy afternoon, we lounged by the riverbank, the melody of the gurgling water resonating with the tranquillity within us.
In the evening, we sat around a crackling bonfire, sharing our favourite moments from the trip. Every story served as a reminder of the bonds we’d formed, the memories we’d etched in the canvas of Spiti. As the night fell, it unveiled a spectacular full moon that painted the river silver. Some chose to sleep, while others, like me, ventured to the river. Bathed in moonlight, we spent a quiet hour by the riverside, a fitting ode to our unforgettable journey.
Day 7: Retreat To Shimla
After 6 days in the heaven called Spiti Valley, it was now time bid farewell to it. After a hearty breakfast, we hopped on our ride back to Shimla and ended the journey with memories which will be cherished forever.
Spiti Unscripted: Unexpected And Heart-Warming Moments In The Valley
While Spiti Valley was full of unique and thrilling moments, it sure had its share of some unexpected moments, too; well, the first one happened in Hikkim. At the post office, we all took turns posting letters to our families. We wanted to share our incredible journey in this remote corner of the world.
However, one traveller in our group was still writing her letter; and the post office closed unexpectedly, right in front of our eyes. She looked disappointed, being the only one left out, well who wouldn’t be, coming to one of the highest points in the country and not being able to do the essentials. But then, a kind worker from the post office noticed her. He took her letter and assured her he’d post it himself. At that moment, he became a hero in our eyes, turning a disappointing event into a heartwarming story.
The second one happened during our journey back to Kalpa, where we halted at a dhaba to have some snacks. Right beside the dhaba, there was a group of Spitian ladies who asked me where I was from. Upon telling them, that I am from Mumbai they all harmoniously started singing the popular song ‘ Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost’. It might sound like a small thing, but it for sure created a lasting impression in my heart and made me realise how loving the people of Spiti are.
Highs And Lows Of My Spiti Sojorun
The entire trip was full of a plethora of highs, but the major one was my group with whom I travelled. Travelling with strangers is for sure awkward at first and the very thought of it usually creates an eerie feeling in mind, however during my trip everyone opened up so quickly and easily. It happened to such an extent that whenever we had some free time, we all were either playing games like Mafia or Antakshari; or clicking group pictures for our Instagram feed. Undoubtedly, making the group the biggest highlight of my Spiti sojourn.
The other high would be the interaction with the locals, since Spiti is one of the remote regions of the country, the locals usually see fewer people from other parts of the country. But, when they do, they make sure that they make them feel at home. One such instance was when we were having lunch at an eatery and one local who was passing by invited us to his home for a meal and a comfortable stay at night.
The only low during this trip was the unexpected weather in the valley. Spiti being a high-altitude region experiences weather changes at a regular frequency. This aspect resulted in the first couple of days being cloudy, during which we could not see anything in front of us, resulting in us miss a few picturesque views.
Would I Recommend Spiti To Other Travellers
100% Yes! Every traveller, whether a seasoned one or a novice should travel to Spiti Valley at least once in their lifetime. Spiti is more than just a destination, it changes you as a person, since you get to see the humility of the locals, their simplistic way of life and the putting ‘others before self’ attitude.
1 Word To Describe Your Trip
If I had to describe the trip in one word, I would say that it was absolutely ‘WHOLESOME’.