Manali to Spiti Valley: Spiti Valley is a remarkable tourist destination, often referred to as a captivating wonderland. Manali to Spiti Valley Journey offers a diverse range of experiences, encompassing everything from majestic snowy mountains to vast valleys. Spiti’s abundant wildlife further enhances its appeal.
Spiti is a unique destination among travelers in India. The majority of Spiti’s population resides in rural areas, the area’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, horticulture, and tourism. Spiti is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, particularly its breathtaking mountain views.
In this article, we will provide an in-depth guide for those planning to journey from Manali to Spiti Valley, offering details including Roads, Distance and valuable insights for a memorable trip.
Manali to Spiti Valley: Travel Guide
Nestled between Tibet and India lies the stunning Spiti Valley, a region renowned for its towering mountain ranges and accessible roadways that are perfect for exploration. When it comes to reaching Spiti, there are two primary routes, namely via Shimla and Manali. However, the Manali to Spiti Valley route is the preferred choice for many due to its shorter distance and superior sightseeing opportunities that are bound to leave you awe-inspired.
Covering a distance from Manali to Kaza of 185 kilometers, this drive is undeniably one of the most challenging road trips you’ll ever embark upon. As you traverse this route, you’ll encounter an exhilarating adventure of navigating through pristine waters. The journey takes you through iconic landmarks like the renowned Atal Tunnel, Rohtang Pass, Kunzum Pass, and picturesque towns such as Gramphu and Batal. The exact distances from Manali to Kaza in Spiti Valley and Tabo town are 185 kilometers and 231 kilometers, respectively.
The Manali-to-Spiti route can be mapped out as follows: Manali -> Solang Valley -> Atal Tunnel ->Sissu -> Gramphu -> Batal -> Chandrataal -> Kunzum Pass -> Losar -> Kaza -> Dhankar -> Tabo.
Best Time For Manali To Spiti Valley Trip
The roads through Atal Tunnel, Batal, and Kunzum Pass are typically snow-free and open for travel from mid-May to October, making this period the ideal time to embark on your journey. September, in particular, offers a great opportunity to explore Himachal Pradesh as it experiences minimal snow and rainfall, ensuring dry and mud-free road conditions. Additionally, water crossings during this season tend to be relatively calm and manageable.
In contrast, from November to April, these roads are completely closed off to travelers due to heavy rainfall/snowfall and the challenging water crossings that result. During this time, many hotels also shutter their doors, primarily because temperatures can plummet to as low as -30 degrees Celsius in winter. An interesting observation during this season is that water pipes often freeze, remaining in that state until the winter season subsides.
Duration of The Manali To Spiti Valley Trip
The distance covered on this Manali to Spiti Valley trip is precisely 180 kilometers. However, it’s essential not to solely rely on Google Maps for estimating travel time, as these are challenging roads that demand more time than what a simple device might suggest. In reality, completing the journey to Kaza will likely take around 9 to 11 hours. If you decide to make a stop at Chacha Chachi Dhaba Batal, expect the journey to extend even further.
It’s worth noting that it’s on the second day of your trip that you’ll truly begin to witness the mesmerizing beauty of the Spiti Valley. So, set aside a full day for your Spiti Valley adventure, and you’re in for an unforgettable road trip experience.
Traveling from Manali To Spiti Valley:
Navigating these roads by car can be quite a challenging experience. You’ll encounter off-road tracks that require a level of expertise in driving. During the monsoon season, the terrain can become muddy with water crossings, presenting additional challenges. Even during dry seasons, there’s a risk of encountering dry rock slides, making a car a more practical choice for travel.
If you opt for independent travel from Manali to Spiti Valley by car, you’ll have the flexibility to make convenient stops and savor the scenic vistas at your own pace. Alternatively, there’s the option to share a rented Sumo from the Manali HRTC bus stop, which typically costs around 1000 INR per person. However, be prepared for an extended travel time of approximately 11 to 12 hours to reach your destination.
Opting for a Manali to Spiti Valley by bike can indeed be a favorable choice in this region, but it’s essential to note that riding in these challenging conditions demands expertise. You can rent a bike for approximately 1200 INR per day, and bike rides can be an enjoyable way to soak in the fresh, invigorating air of the surroundings. However, it’s wise to plan ahead by carrying an extra set of shoes and clothes, as you’ll likely encounter water crossings during your journey.
There are two daily buses that make the journey from Manali to Spiti Valley, each priced at 250 INR per person. These buses depart exclusively from the main Manali HRTC bus station. To secure a seat, it’s advisable to book your bus ticket one or two days in advance. These buses are operated by HRTC, the government transport service. The journey typically commences at 5 am in the morning and reaches its destination by 6 PM, offering a convenient and stress-free way to travel from Manali to Spiti Valley.
Places to visit on the Manali to Spiti Valley Trip
Sissu, Himachal Pradesh
Nestled along the serene banks of the Chandra River in the Lahul Valley, Sissu is a charming little hamlet in Himachal Pradesh. Sissu is situated a mere 40 kilometers away from Manali, and just 6 kilometers from the Atal Tunnel, Sissu offers an excellent option for a day trip from Manali. This picturesque village serves as a gateway to three renowned Himalayan regions: Lahaul, Spiti, and Ladakh, making it an ideal starting point for exploring these breathtaking destinations.
The Atal Tunnel in Rohtang, Himachal Pradesh, India, holds the distinction of being the world’s longest highway tunnel. It is an engineering marvel constructed at an impressive altitude of 3,000 meters and spans a length of approximately 9.02 kilometers. This tunnel serves as a vital link, connecting the Solang Valley near Manali to Sissu in the Lahaul and Spiti district.
Rohtang Pass is the crucial link connecting Lahaul and Spiti with the Kullu Valley, and it boasts an indescribable beauty that transcends words. Situated at a breathtaking altitude of 13,050 feet, this pass is located just 50 kilometers from Manali. It stands as a perfect and picturesque location, capturing the essence of natural splendor.
Chandratal, a truly picturesque lake, derives its name from its striking resemblance to the moon in shape, hence the name “Chandratal,” which translates to “Moon Lake.” Situated at an impressive altitude of 14,100 feet, this enchanting lake is located approximately 111 kilometers away from Manali.
Kunzum Pass is a lofty mountain pass serving as a vital link between Lahaul, Kullu, and the Spiti Valley. It’s a popular starting point for several treks leading to attractions like Chandrakal Lake and the Chandrabaga ranges, offering breathtaking views of the natural beauty in the region. Situated at a remarkable altitude of 15,060 feet, Kunzum Pass is located approximately 108 kilometers away from Manali.
Dhankar Monastery is perched on a cliff nestled between Tobo and Kaza, offering a spectacular setting for spiritual contemplation. This monastery is distinguished by its four Buddha statues, each facing a different direction, and its walls adorned with exquisite murals, paintings, and sculptures. Located at an impressive altitude of 12,774 feet, Dhankar Monastery is approximately 235 kilometers away from Manali.
Petrol Pumps on Manali to Spiti Valley Route
For those embarking on the journey from Manali to Spit Valleyi, it’s crucial to be aware of the petrol stations along the route:
In Manali, you’ll find plenty of petrol Pumps, with approximately 10 available options. These include the HP petrol station along Amar Highway and Harrison’s filling station on NH 21. Additionally, you’ll come across smaller pumps like Reliance and BP in various smaller areas near Manali.
As you head towards Kaza, there are three petrol stations to choose from:
- Indian Oil
- Kaza Petrol Pumps
- Kaza Fuel Station
are conveniently located on the Gramphu-Batal-Kaza Road (Near Kaza only).
Furthermore, in the smaller towns and villages en route, you can locate mechanics for quick fixes and repairs for both cars and bikes. Some of these places include
- Reckong Peo,
Planning your Spiti Valley Trip? Read our Complete Guide!!Spiti Valley – Travel Guide, Places to visit, Best Time, How to Reach
In conclusion, setting out on the Manali to Spiti Valley journey is an extraordinary adventure that weaves together elements of excitement, spirituality, and the awe-inspiring beauty of the Himalayas. This Himalayan odyssey promises to etch indelible memories in your heart and forge a profound connection with the majestic mountains that grace this remarkable region.
This guide aims to enhance your journey from Manali to Spiti Valley, making it more enjoyable and explorative. Be sure to stay updated on BackpackerXP for additional information on domestic travel and international tours, and follow the website for fresh, informative travel content.
When is the best time to visit Manali to Spiti Valley?
The best time to visit is from May to October when the weather is pleasant, and the roads are open.
Do I need permits to visit Spiti Valley?
Yes, certain areas in Spiti Valley require permits for non-Indians. Make sure to obtain the necessary permits before your trip.
How do I prepare for the high-altitude terrain?
Pack warm clothing, trekking gear, and medicines. Acclimatize properly and be prepared for varying weather conditions.
Are there any communication challenges in Spiti Valley?
Yes, there is limited connectivity in the region. Inform your loved ones about your itinerary and be prepared for communication challenges.
What is the most iconic attraction in Spiti Valley?
The Key Monastery and its stunning hilltop location make it one of the most iconic attractions in Spiti Valley.