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A Backpacker’s Guide to Spiti Valley Part – 1
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Spiti Itinerary:

Chandigarh- Shimla- Reckong Peo-Kalpa-Roghi -Chango-Gue-Tabo- Kaza-Kibber- Komic- Mudh- Reckong Peo- Chitkul– Shimla – Delhi

The more I was traveling in the direction of Spiti valley, The landscape kept changing the mountains, and the land kept turning brown as a substitute of green. The bus passed from various streams, crossed the river and kept going up the mountains to cross them. Although in the back of the mind I was initially getting afraid of the bus falling into the river, But the way hrtc driver was driving I got so confident to be taken to mars on this bus!

Chandigarh to Reckong Peo Bus


Day 1: One can easily get on the HRTC Deluxe Bus from Chandigarh to Reckong Peo that goes every evening at 06:00 PM, and this will be the best option to travel in a bus if you are entering Spiti from the Shimla-Kinnaur Side of himachal. The HRTC Bus will drive you on a roller coaster ride through Solan, Shimla, Narkanda, Rampur Bushahr and finally leave you speechless at Reckong Peo around 6 to 7 AM in the morning, Your journey will be depending on the roads and weather conditions as told by café guy in Malana: “Shimla ka fashion or malana ka Mausam Kabhi b Badal Sakta hai”.  This deluxe bus ticket costs you around Rs. 750, Where as ordinary ticket will cost you around Rs.550.

Expenditure : Rs. 750(Deluxe Bus) + Rs. 200 (Food)  = Rs. 950

Reckong Peo:

Day 2: Its always better to take a day break in Reckong Peo and acclimatize your body with the weather. Reckong Peo is a big town of Kinnaur District and you can easily find accommodation at Rs. 500-700 for a room and for a backpacker like me it will cost you Rs. 200-300 for a Dorm plus 70-100 Rs for Food at hotels in Peo. If you have enough time then consider going for better hamlets called “Kalpa and Roghi Villages”, 7 Kms from Reckong Peo Bus stand and buses are quite frequent to kalpa and roghi.

Read Day 2: Kalpa and Roghi Story here:

Day 3 : Reckong Peo – Nako – Chango  ( 110 kms )

As It was informed by the Owner of chini bungalow in Kalpa to spend your night in a dorm near peo bus stand named, “Hotel Bhagwati” which was quite economical for a backpacker as I paid 250INR for my bed. In order to catch the early bus to Kaza. With not many choices, Currently, There is only one direct bus to Kaza from Reckong Peo.

During our dinner at the hotel, I met Liton, a guy from Kolkata who is staying in Spiti from the last 2 years for his documentary on “winter Spiti”, We saw some video glimpses of Snow leopard at Kibber village in Spiti in his laptop and decided to sleep at around 10 PM to catch the early bus to Kaza.

Nako and Tabo in a day Strategy

I Woke up early for a long way to go, Day to enter Spiti Valley. It was cold outside and While waiting for our bus at peo stand Liton was explaining to me how to cover Nako and Tabo in a day, If you want to cover Nako and Tabo in a day, You need a strategy! You have to catch the 6 am Kaza bus and get down at Nako around 11:30 pm, You’ll be getting around 2:30 hrs to explore Nako. Strategize your Nako travel so that you can board the Rampur-Tabo Bus that reach Nako around 2 PM that finally take you to Tabo to travel economically in an HRTC bus!

To get a seat in the Reckong Peo-Kaza 6 am Bus, You have to reach the Peo Bus Stand by 5:15 am. Nako is about 100 kms and it takes around 4-5 hrs by bus to reach. The price of ticket is about Rs.220.

The next bus Rampur-Tabo Bus, Reaches Nako around 2 PM, Board that bus and after 2-3 hrs of the journey you’ll reach Tabo and the ticket price is around Rs.70.

Highway

KHAB: Khab is a small town in the Region Kinnaur of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is located on the bank of Sutlej river near the India-Tibet border. Khab comes on the way of National Highway 22, connected with state capital Shimla. It’s quite famous for the meeting of Sutlej river Spiti river. River Spiti flowing through the Spiti valley meets the Sutlej here, that originates from the Lake Mansarovar in Tibet.

As we approached the Highway, HRTC took us right on highways towards pooh, Traversed the most dangerous rugged rubble path through mountains, We cross the Sutlej again to now drive along the left bank and then came upon the ‘Most treacherous road in the world’ signboard.

Remote Village of India: Nako

Our zesty HRTC Bus stopped for a small tea break at Nako and it turned out to be a relief for many fellow travelers including me! Nako is a remote village in the Himalayas of northern India, situated close to Indo-China border area of Kinnaur District.

 Nako has a small beautiful sacred lake. If you are fond of capturing landscapes and have time, Walk around the small village absorbing the traditional atmosphere and architecture.

I was amazed by the look of this village and to the very fact of life away from commercialization and their happiness while playing carrom with a bunch of other people while it was snowing outside, Yes it can snow anytime in Nako!

Chango:

CHANGO. The place had less than 100 people living there. As the place was small and the travelers were more. And fortunately, the owner of the “Hotel Yellow Leaves” in chango, Where my stay was confirmed was also traveling with me on the bus!

Stay Tuned for Part 2…

Book your Zoomcar here

Book Chini Bungalow here

Trip with Goibibo is here

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My Name is Mohit Chandel, I am an India based Web Developer, Travel Blogger, Content Writer. I enjoy travelling as much as sharing my stories and photographs with people to inspire them to make even more wonderful journeys themselves :)
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