A Backpacker’s Guide to Spiti Valley – Part 2
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Spiti Valley is a place that requires no synopsis to the travelers and backpackers! A cold desert hilltop sited high over the Himalayan slopes of state of Himachal Pradesh. A picture-perfect illustration of nature’s surrealism is home to some of the highest towns in the world.

Spiti Valley is a Home to one of the oldest monasteries and the mighty landscapes you’ll ever watch. There are ancient Monasteries of Tabo, Dhankar, Key and scenic remote villages of Nako, Langza, Mudh whereas the turquoise-grey ribbon of the Spiti River, Spiti is an extraordinary experience.

Continued from Part 1…

Nako to Chango

From Nako, There was a group of girls boarded the bus, They were basically from Delhi and Kolkata. They were searching for hotels and homestays near Tabo and stated by locals that Tabo is a quite expensive place. There comes the voice of Liton to break the ice in a moving bus as he revealed his identity in the bus that he’s running a hotel in Chango by the name: “The Yellow Leaves”, and what’s next? They asked him bluntly if there is any room available! And liton played a nice mind trick here, He asked me to give my Room stay plus he had another Room available to provide stay to the Girls, For this favor, he was giving me his scooty he owns for this entire day to the road around the valley. If I give my room to those girls and stay in a backpacker’s dorm. What a smart Business trick huh!

And I decided to give my earlier booked stay to other travelers in need. It was around 2 pm during our check-in. After taking a power nap of around 2 hours, Liton and I decided to visit Gue Village in the Spiti Valley in his Activa Scooty.

The Yellow Leaves

The Yellow Leaves…
The name is very much symbolic to its fantastic ambiance.
You can be lost easily in the colorful orchards of apple hearing the murmuring sound of ever-flowing Sutlej River that flows just in front of it. The staffs are really friendly.

Amazing place … Awesome view .. but the best is the staff, Especially lucky!
Liton loves traveling too so you will get good knowledge about the local attractions. I got a very good friend for life! Highly recommended for chilling and enjoying riverside view and peace, Bungalow near chango highway.

While coming back to the hotel, It was dark with no lights due to a power cut in the area. We brought a few candles before the market was closing. After a few hours, the power was restored and we received our dinner from the staff, Lucky is the most famous one out there!

This trip was turning more adventurous day by day and We had no plans to sleep early. After Dinner, We were carrying few extra blankets outside and spread the sheets near the sides of the highway and arranged our tripod stand for capturing the most soothing Milky way with the starlit sky.

The view cannot be described in words as it’s been a long time that I have seen such a magnificent sight. After keeping tripod on the required mode we sat on the highway beneath the sky full of stars and went on discussing from school life, college life, adventures to paranormal activities, and slept around 1 am.

Day 4: Chango-Tabo-Dhankar-Kaza

I woke up next morning by 7:00 am and went for a walk on the freeway to watch Spiti River curving gracefully just beside the “yellow leaves hotel” bank. Rinzin and Phunsuk(Remember Aamir khan’s name from 3 Idiots) came to pick me up like old school homies! I had to start my journey ahead, I said goodbye to Liton and lucky,  We reached Sumdo by 9:00 am to register our car for access into Lahaul & Spiti Valley, My Couchsurfing hosts were literally driving like homies in Spiti valley.


We Reached Tabo at 10:30 am. Tabo is a hamlet that is situated at an altitude of 10,750 ft. Tabo has a Buddhist monastery which, according to myth, is supposed to be over a thousand ages old. The Dalai Lama has stated his desire to retire from Tabo, The shrines inside the Tabo monastery have a plethora of fence paintings and mud statues.

One of the finest hotels that serve good veg food is named “Tiger Den” near the Tabo Bus Stand where you can get a stay under Rs.800 for a place in Tabo! It also has a restaurant offering European and Israeli Food.

Soundless Shichling:

This was the first monastery visit for me and I was overwhelmed by the look of it. The people maintaining this were humble and happy. Women from the village every morning gather here for prayers and monastery works. Left the monastery by 12:30 and arrived at the homestay arranged for earlier night stay, But rather than staying at the homestay I decided to roam around the valley and asked Rinzin to take me to Shichling, Which is about 25 km from Tabo.

Now from shichling, You are on your own. Either trek to Dhankar Monastery in Spiti Valley for around 7 km or Hitchhike, I decided to hitchhike as it was quite a hot day to trek to Dhankar fort.

Expenditure : Rs. 1800 +Rs.300(Dorm Stay) + Rs. 200 (Dinner) + Rs. 300 (Food) = Rs. 2600.


Dhankar Monastery in Spiti Valley, is located at an elevation of 3,890 meters (12,775 feet) above Dhankar Village, It is built over the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers – One of the world’s record remarkable sceneries for a gompa(Monasteries) Between the hamlets of Kaza and Tabo. Dhang means cliff, and kar or Khar means fort. Henceforth meaning of Dhankar is a fort on a cliff.

Further overhead the Dhankar village there’s a small trail that will take you to Dhankar Lake. The complete trek time is around 2:30 – 3 hrs for a steady trekker, But If you have Chandratal in your itinerary you can give this a miss.

Read Part 1 here…

Travel with Expedia here

Book your Kaza Zostel here

Book your Zoomcar 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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