Spiti is often a popular summer destination but strangely few people prefer visiting Spiti in winter. This is surprising considering the stunning snow landscapes one gets to witness during this time of the year.
Harsh cold temperatures are the primary reason why many people avoid places, such as Spiti or Ladakh during winter. But this is also a time when you will witness some of India’s most gorgeous winter panoramas as the one below, which I captured in Pin Valley.
To make this trip possible, it goes without saying that you will need to invest in proper winter clothes. The temperatures are usually in the range of -10 to -25. Due to the low volume of travelers, this is also the low season for lots of accommodation and guest houses. So, you will need to plan in advance your pit stops. In this post, I will outline my itinerary and provide some key pointers related to planning, car rent and accommodation.
Roads in winter are slippery and you need to have some experience driving in winter conditions if you are planning to drive by yourself. Snow tires are a must for such conditions. I would recommend hiring a car with a reliable driver as this would allow you to enjoy the trip without worrying about the road conditions. I was lucky to get Vinkal’s services for this trip as he is one of the most recommended and sought after drivers for Spiti.
The biggest advantage of booking Vinkal is that he provides you with great accommodation options. He doesn’t go for the costliest or cheapest option but rather chooses a place that has great views with affordable prices. This was the view from the hotel he arranged for me at Rakcham. You can read more about it at Million Dollar View at Rakcham
He has a good traveler’s instinct and he understands the extra stops that you might need to capture something. I felt I was with a traveller rather than just a driver. Below are his contact details:
9459262520 and 9805473522
The itinerary that I planned was:
Day 1: Shimla – Sarahan
Day 2: Sarahan – Rakcham
Day 3: Rakcham – Chitkul – Rakcham
Day 4: Rakcham – Kaza
Day 5: Kaza – Key Monastery – Kibber – Kaza
Day 6: Kaza – Tabo
Day 7: Tabo – Kalpa
Day 8: Kalpa
Day 9: Kalpa – Shimla