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8 day Homestay Road Trip 

Manali – Spiti – Manali

Dates:

22nd – 29th July 2018 (Chapter 1)

30th September – 7th October 2018 (Chapter 2)

Spiti valley also known as the “Middle Land” is a Trans-Himalayan terrain bordering with Tibet at an average altitude of 4000 meters. Spiti valley is home to some of the oldest monasteries in the

Himalayan region like Tabo monastery, Dhankar monastery, Sherkhang monastery and Kye monastery, stronghold of Buchen Lamas in Pin Valley, famous for Tibetan medicine system and Amchis, fossils of Langza village, highest motor-able villages and passes, scenic lakes, a 1000 year old culture, beautiful villages, simple people and an out of the world landscape. Come and explore a civilization frozen in time.

Spiti Homestay Fixed Departures have been planned in such a way that you explore Spiti like a local, live like a local to help give you a deeper understanding of the region. Let us take you through this breathtaking region and help you explore the place the way you would want to.

Duration: 7 Nights and 8 days

Cost per person: INR 15,600 per person (exclusive of 5% GST)

Highlights of the Trip:

  • A session on Spitian food and food tasting
  • A session on Life in Spiti with an introduction to Cheesemaking, Rope Making, Liquor Brewing
  • An introduction to Buddhism from a local monk
  • Visit the world’s highest bridge from sea level – Chicham bridge
  • Hike to Dhankar Lake
  • Visit the meditation caves in Tabo
  • Fossil Excursion at Langza
  • Live in local homestays across the valley

Short Itinerary:

DAY 1 (22nd July/ 30th September): Reach Manali

DAY 2 (23rd July/ 1st October): Manali – Rohtang Pass – Batal – Kunzum Pass – Lohsar –  Kaza

DAY 3 (24th July/ 2nd October): Kaza – Key – Kibber – Kaza

DAY 4 (25th July/ 3rd October): Kaza – Tabo – Dhankar

DAY 5 (26th July/ 4th October): Dhankar – Demul – Hikkim – Komic – Langza

DAY 6 (27th July/ 5th October): Langza – Lohsar – Kunzum Pass – Chandrataal

DAY 7 (28th July/ 6th October): Chandrataal – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali

DAY 8 (29th July/ 7th October): Leave Manali

 

Detailed Itinerary:

DAY 1, Sunday (22nd July/ 30th September):  Reach Manali

Reach Manali in the morning from Delhi/Chandigarh after an overnight journey and check-in to the hotel. You will be free to do whatever you want on this day, but the most important thing is to relax and acclimatize and not overexert. You can visit the Hidimba or Manu temples or visit Vashisht to have a bath in the famous hot spring. If you want to take it easy you can also sit next to the river and read a book or just chill in one of the many good cafés in Old Manali. We can most definitely make some recommendations if you’d like. In case you have missed packing something then this is the time when you should go shopping as Spiti valley doesn’t have well-stocked chemists or many shops where you will be able to get everything you need. Once the everyone has arrived by afternoon, we will hold a small briefing session along with the guide. This will also be a good time for you to get acquainted with the rest of the group. We suggest you call it an early night as your body needs proper rest for the long journey ahead. As we will be leaving very early the next day, proper rest will help you in acclimatizing.

Narkanda

 

DAY 2, Monday (23rd July/ 1st October): Manali – Rohtang Pass – Batal – Kunzum Pass – Lohsar –  Kaza

Today we head to Spiti valley which will take around 10 hours (220 km), if everything goes as planned. We leave early in the morning as we have a long way to go and ascend the mighty Rohtang Pass. We shall spend some time at the pass and then head towards Gramphoo for breakfast. From Gramphoo you will start noticing a change in terrain with fewer trees and more steep mountain peaks and the start of a barren landscape. From here we head towards Chatru and cross some of the biggest waterfalls which can be a nightmare for any non-experienced driver. The terrain will change drastically from Chatru and all you will see is rocks all over with huge streams overflowing on the road and converging in the ruthless Chandra river. We shall take regular halts for you to soak in your surroundings, admire the great landscape and feel the fresh air. We will take a lunch break at Batal at the famous Chandra Dhaba, where you can meet the famous Chacha and Chachi who have been a saving grace to a few hundred who have been stuck in bad weather over the years. From here we head to Kunzum Pass and at Kunzum top, we will stop for you to pay our respects to the Kunzum Goddess and as you enter Spiti valley. The jumpy ride on non-existent roads which started from Gramphoo will end in Lohsar. From Lohsar head to Kaza after a small break. It will take another 2 hours of beautiful journey. Reach Kaza, meet your homestay host and enjoy a cup of tea with them. We shall have a small briefing session at dinner. This tiring day will end with you looking at the gorgeous Spitian skies with a million stars the very prominent milky way.

Road to Spiti

DAY 3, Tuesday (24th July/ 2nd October): Kaza – Key – Kibber – Kaza

Start the day easy over a nice homemade local breakfast. Visit the local market in Kaza if you’d like. We will head out to spend our afternoon next to the river where we shall serve you lunch made in the homestay, picnic style and you can spend time relaxing and soaking in the Spitian sun. After lunch, we shall head to Kye monastery, the center of learning in Spiti valley. The monastery is set on a small hill from where you get a complete view of the valley. Have a cup of tea at the monastery, and spend some time with the monks. Next we shall head to Khibber village, which used to be the highest motorable village in the world. The mountains around Khibber are home to the rare Snow Leopard and Siberian Ibex. If you are lucky you can get a sighting. A little ahead of  Khibber is the famous Chicham bridge, said to be the World’s highest bridge from sea level at 4037m (13,244ft). It’s one of the most spectacular bridges in the world.The bridge is situated above a deep gorge. Before this bridge, the villagers of Chicham used a dangerous ropeway to cross this section. We head back to Kaza after your visit to Chicham, where we will have a small talk on Buddhism conducted by one of the monks at the monastery.

Kye Monastery

DAY 4, Wednesday (25th July/ 3rd October): Kaza – Tabo – Dhankar

After a relaxed breakfast in the morning, we will head to the 1000 year old Tabo Monastery, a UNESCO heritage site, also known as the “Ajanta of the Himalayas”. Paintings and murals on the walls of the main sanctum makes it a masterpiece and worth visiting. You can visit the nearby meditation caves that the monks have been using for centuries. This is an optional hike for those interested. We shall then have lunch at a local homestay where we will take you through the different types of Spitian foods :). After lunch, we will head to Dhankar where you will visit the Monastery, and for those up to it, hike to the nearby Lake which is a steep 45 min walk. Dhankar village used to be the seat of the Spitian King in ancient times. Dhankar monastery claimed to be 1000 years old, is on the cliff of a mountain overlooking the confluence of Pin and Spiti rivers. Due to the loose soil that is prevalent in cold deserts, Dhankar monastery is an endangered site and being on the edge it becomes one of the most beautiful monuments in this valley. There can be no better setting of a monument than Dhankar Monastery. Spend some time at the lake and head to your homestay in Dhankar. You can spend the evening with your host family, helping them in the kitchen to prepare the evening’s meal.

DAY 5, Thursday (26th July/ 4th October): Dhankar – Demul – Hikkim – Komic – Langza

Today will be an interesting day, as you will be visiting a couple of villages and learning a bit about life at an high altitude and will be visiting some high altitude villages. We head out to Demul in the morning after breakfast, where you will be able to meet and interact with the locals. From Delmul we will head to Komic, which is one of the highest motorable villages in the world. Komic has a beautiful monastery for you to explore. You can sit near the monastery and enjoy the spectacular view of snow-capped peaks around over a cup of tea and chat with the monks. The monastery in Komic is functional in winters when temperatures dip down to -30 degrees and roads get blocked and it will be very interesting to understand life and survival of such happy souls at this altitude. The next stop is Hikkim which has the world’s highest post office. Not to forget your loved ones, you can send out postcards from the post office. You will be amazed at the post office and will love meeting the postmaster who is a unique personality. Our last stop for the day Langza is also famous for its fossils. In the evening, you can go on a small fossil excursion around the village. Millions of years ago, Spiti lay submerged under the Tethys sea. Fossils of sea life can easily be found scattered close to the village. Once you have found your fossil, we urge you to leave behind in the village where it belongs so as to disturb the ecology of the area as little as possible. With the valley being cut off from the rest of the world for almost six months living in Spiti is often harsh and most of the produce is made locally. At the end of your day, you will learn a little about how local cheese, liquor, and yak rope are made. And if you are lucky, you can even get to try out an activity. Life in Spiti might be difficult but as you would have experienced by now, the other side is that you will never come across such warm and hospitable people.

DAY 6, Friday (27th July/ 5th October): Langza – Lohsar – Kunzum Pass – Chandrataal

After Breakfast with your host family, we head towards Chandrataal Lake early in the morning. This is one location where you will find hard to stop clicking photographs. The lake is a landscape photographer’s dream come true, changing its appearance almost with every passing hour, each shot as stunning as the last one. Tonight we camp in style; excellent dome tents set up to protect you from the cold and biting night winds. If you are lucky and the communal fireplace is burning, you can warm up and meet other travelers over dinner.

DAY 7, Saturday (28th July/ 6th October): Chandrataal – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali

We leave early this morning to Manali after an early breakfast. We will take a small break at Batal to say goodbye to Chacha and Chachi at Chandra Dhaba. The aim is to try and reach Rohtang pass by early afternoon and spend some time at the pass. Head to Manali and relax. We will have a small get together in the evening over dinner. Stay in Manali for the night.

Batal, Spiti

DAY 8, Sunday (29th July/ 7th October): Leave Manali

The trip ends this afternoon as you head back to take your bus back to Delhi or respective places and take some of the memories back of an isolated civilisation and trans-Himalayan terrain. Trip ends here.

 

What is included:

  • All Transport in a Tempo Traveller/Sumo from Day 2 to Day 7
  • Local Spitian guide on all days
  • Stay in Manali on a twin sharing basis on Day 1 and 7, Camping near Chandrataal Lake on Day 6 and Homestays on Day 2,3,4 and 5.
  • 3 meals on each day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from Day 2 to Day 7
  • All activities mentioned in the plan
  • All entry fees to monasteries in Spiti (if any)

What is not included:

  • Snacks and beverages (except the ones with meals)
  • Any kind of insurance
  • Service tax exclusive
  • Cost of any emergency
  • Bus ticket cost
  • Camera Fees

Cancellation Policy:

In case you need to cancel your plans for the trip due to avoidable/unavoidable reasons, please do notify us in writing regarding the same. The cancellation charges levied will be as follows:

60 – 46 days prior to date of departure: 10% of the tour cost

45 – 16 days prior to date of departure: 20% of the tour cost

15 – 8 days prior to date of departure: 25% of the tour cost

7 – 4 days prior to date of departure: 50% of the tour cost

Less than 72 hours prior to date of departure: No refund

 

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