I went to Spiti in the month of May. Despite it being a very beautiful untouched hill station of India, the route and amenities are easily accessible if you follow the pathway correctly. Below, you will find a step-by-step Spiti itinerary that I followed, including where to stay and eat as well as the bus timings.
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One Week Spiti Itinerary with Pictures and Bus Routes - Contents
One Week in Spiti
Day 1 – Delhi, Shimla and Reckong Peo
From Delhi, I had two options, either to take a bus directly to Reckong Peo or halt in between. Taking a bus directly to Reckong Peo would have been a task since it would have been an 18-hour long journey.
So I decided to catch an overnight bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate in Delhi to Shimla instead. From Shimla, I planned to catch another bus to Reckong Peo.
I reached Shimla early in the morning and it was best to freshen up a bit before catching a bus to Reckong Peo. Since I got to know that there is a bus every hour starting 5 AM till 8 PM for Reckong Peo, I opted for the closest hotel near the bus stand to freshen up. After resting for an hour I headed out to the Mall road of Shimla to eat something.
Mall road is famous for its street food. I sat at a famous Indian restaurant – ‘Sagar Ratna’ and had a plate of rajama rice. I also picked up some warm clothes from the market and left at 11 AM to catch the bus for Peo.
It took me about 8 hours to reach Reckong Peo, a place in Kinnaur. As soon as I entered Reckong Peo, I was able to see the entire Kinner Kailash range. I was in dire need to rest now and thus opted for a hotel right in front of the bus stand itself. Also because I have to leave early the next day for Spiti. There were at least 10 homestays/hotels to choose from and right below the hotels, there were several food joints as well.
Day 2 – Reckong Peo to Nako
I reached the bus stand early in the morning at 6 AM to pre-book the seats. I also bought some snacks from the grocery store on the bus stand itself. Since I did not have time for breakfast, I picked up packed milk and biscuits.
The bus started at 7 AM for Nako and finally, the adventure began.
The roads were really dangerous, I must say. You can see the 90 degrees’ gradient right into the valley and one wrong turn can lead to a major mishap. But the Himachali drivers are such professionals at driving through these valleys, it almost feels natural to them.
I reached Nako somewhere around noon and started with the hotel hunt. The best one of all the hotels I searched was the hotel ‘Zambala’ as it was right next to the Nako Lake. The lake’s water was so clean that one can see the reflection of the mountains.
I freshened up and went to the market to have noodles. The best part about India is, you can sit and eat at any dhaba/restaurant. There are numerous food joints to choose from, each offering a similar kind of food, especially Indian and Tibetan cuisine.
After this, I went to the Nako monastery. It is said that this monastery was built in 996 AD. I also hiked a bit to get a bird’s eye view of the entire village.
Day 3 – Nako to Dhankar Village
After having paranthas and tea at the hotel itself, I started at 11 AM to reach the next stop - Dhankar village. To reach here, I first had to reach Sichling village first by bus and then hitchhike or hire a cab to Dhankar since there were no buses going to this village.
Finding a car for hitchhiking was not difficult. It was a half an hour ride from Sichling to Dhankar village. As soon as I entered I came across a monastery and decided to stay at the monastery itself to get the raw feeling of the mountains.
I immediately went out to explore the Dhankar village, which in all honesty is the most beautiful village I have ever explored. I visited the oldest monastery which is built on a 300-meter spur. From here one I saw the breathtaking view of both the tributaries Zanskar River and Indus River confluence.
I later hiked for half an hour to reach a height of 4,140 meters to witness the majestic lake amidst the snow-capped mountains. One of the most spectacular and breathtaking sites I have ever visited. This lake is considered a holy lake and is also a supply for the villagers of Dhankar for their agricultural purposes.
Day 4 – Dhankar Village to Kaza to Kee Monastery
The next morning, I hired a cab and left for Sichling village. The bus left at 6 AM, which was a good enough start to explore both Kaza and Kee Monastery.
It took about 2 hours to reach Kaza bus stand. From here I took an auto to drop me off at the Winter White hotel. I chose this hotel to stay as it had Wi-Fi connection, apart from being nice with all the amenities. A key fact to note about Spiti is, it does not have the Internet connection and thus, getting a WiFi after days was a welcome change.
I headed out to the main market of Kaza to take a bike on rent. There were 3-4 such outlets in the main market from. I submitted the necessary documents as proof, including the driving license and left for Kee Monastery. I did think that travelling solo would be a challenge, but it was going perfectly since I already researched for the bus timings and routes previously.
It was half an hour ride to this picturesque place. Kee Monastery is humongous and beautiful; it was such a divine experience. I had ‘Sattu’ here that was served with a cup of warm tea made by the monks themselves. I was also told that the monastery went through a lot of destruction and natural calamities and Archaeological Survey of India came forward to restore it.
Seeing them eat together, cook together, pray together and leading a peaceful life was altogether a different experience. I decided to stay here for a night. I also watched the milky way on the terrace of the Monastery.
Day 5 – Kaza to Langza
The next day, I again took the bike to drive to Langza. There is a circuit from Kaza that tourists usually follow - Kaza to Lagza to Komic to Hikkim and then back to Kaza. However, since I wanted to see the milky way in Langza I decided to carry a small backpack with me with all the necessities and placed the backpack in the winter White hotel’s reception area.
I reached by 11 AM and bought a room in Lara’s Homestay to keep my bag. After having lunch at the homestay itself, I moved out to explore Komic and Hikkim.
It is really commendable that how a place at such an altitude, as well as lack of resources, had an amazing road built. The ride was not difficult due to the well-constructed road. Komic is termed as the highest motorable village in Asia and certainly, it was since I was able to feel the difference in the oxygen level. I strolled around the village for an hour and talked to the locals. A local also served warm tea as the weather was turning very cold.
From here I then moved to Hikkim, a place which has the highest post office in the world. I mailed several postcards from here to my loved ones. It would be really amazing when one will receive a handwritten note from the world’s highest post office.
After an hour, I moved to Langza again. It was 8 PM by the time I reached. The homestay people served warm dinner after which I headed out again in the cold night to see the milky way right on top of the Budha statue. It was a marvellous sight to see.
Day 6 – Kaza to Reckong Peo and back
I started my seventh and the last day in Spiti early in the as I had a bus to catch from Kaza for Reckong Peo. The ride back from Langza was really beautiful since I was able to see the entire Spiti valley from the road due to the height. If you want to get a bird’s eye view, the circuit of Langza-Hikkim-Komic is a must.
I handed over the bike, picked up my bag and rushed to the bus station. Strangely, it started snowing on that day which made me so happy since I experienced everything in just a matter of a week.
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A Week in Spiti – Wrap Up
To be honest, a week in Spiti is ideal but still incomplete. One can spend an entire month here and still not get enough of the view. The cultural expanse here is amazing and when one lives with the monks, the experiences can be cherished for a lifetime. One realizes the beauty of simplicity here.
Would I like to go back again? Definitely! And maybe this time in winters, to see the same landscape in all new formation and different conditions. Spiti is gigantic. The more you stay the more hidden gems you will be able to discover here