Frequently Asked Questions
* What are the Best time and Routes for Spiti Valley?
The two routes are:
(a) Shimla- Narkanda- Rampur- Powari- Puh- Chango (450 kms)- is open round the year
(b) Manali- Rohtang Pass- Gramphoo- Batal- Kunzum La ( 220 kms)- opens in June till October
* How many days are required for a comfortable visit?
To do the whole trip from Shimla to Manali, it will require 10 days and comfortable trip can be done. Manali- Spiti- Manali can be comfortably done only in 5-6 days.
* Do we need permits to enter Spiti Valley and what all is required?
There is no requirement of permits for Indians or for foreigners. Foreigners citizens do need a permit for Kinnaur but not for Spiti valley which can be received either from Kaza, Shimla or Recong Peo.
* How is the climate of Spiti Valley?
Temperature in summer (June to September) can touch 25 degrees with a minimum of 3-4 degrees depending on the place. The temperature can go down to -30 degrees in late December and January.
Annual rainfall is 6″.
* What all do we need to carry taking into consideration the climate of Spiti Valley?
Carrying jacket, pullovers and warmers are always advisable. Sometimes there is a rain or snow in early June therefore you need wind cheaters or raincoat. Good waterproof shoes are needed while trekking and extra pair of shoes and loads of socks. A good spacious rucksack is needed to carry your items of use and a good sleeping bag is a must to carry. Things like sunscreen, lip gel, sunglasses, cap, torch are always handy in this terrain.
* What are the facilities of Post and Telecommunication?
Yes, both are available in Kaza and Keylong. At times, the phone lines do not work due to lack of electricity.
* Are credit or debit cards acceptable by hotels and shops?
No, credit or debit cards are accepted by hotels or shops. However, there are ATMs of State Bank of India in Kaza and Keylong.
* Is internet service available?
Yes, there is one internet café in Kaza.
* What are the languages spoken in Spiti Valley?
Bhot (boti) is the main language spoken. Hindi and English is also among the other spoken languages.
* What are the precautions to be taken while traveling in Spiti valley?
Here is a list of precautions that one needs to take while traveling to Spiti Valley-
- Acute mountain sickness can occur to any one at an altitude above 10,000 feet from the sea level with symptoms like headache, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, breathlessness and lack of concentration. It is advisable to acclimatize well in the conditions.
- Take complete rest for at least 24 hours.
- Consult a doctor if you develop any of the above symptoms.
- Do not use plastic bag since plastic is officially banned in Lahoul and Spiti District. Always separate and properly dispose off litter burns burnable, bury biodegradable materials while trekking.
- Don’t disturb wild life during the trek; be aware of the highly sensitive ecology and the economy of the geographical and cultural landscape.
* What is Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness?
Acute mountain sickness can occur to any one at an altitude above 10,000 feet from the sea level with symptoms like headache, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, breathlessness and lack of concentration. It is advisable to acclimatize well in the conditions. You can read more on the same topic here.
* How can you avoid Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness?
Here are a few ways to avoid Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness
- Take proper rest and night halts and do not ascend more than 1500 meters in a day. Anything more than 1500 meters without proper acclimatization can call for trouble. This is valid for this altitude but as you go higher the meters you can ascend in a day goes down
- Have a lot of water and mint tea
- 24 hours before ascending to higher altitude or in this case traveling to Spiti, you can also have Diamox or Acetazolamide as it helps your body to adjust to higher altitude
- Do not smoke or drink and let the body get use to altitude
- Do not take unnecessary exertion
- Avoid ascending if you are already not feeling well
* Are there good and hygienic restaurants in Spiti Valley?
Yes, there are some really good joints like the German bakery in Kaza and Tabo. Dragon, Layaul, Mahabhudha are good restaurants in Kaza and Lamayuru in Keylong.
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