No. of days: 11nights/12days
Places Covered: Shimla (1night) – Sarahan (1night) – Sangla (2nights) – Chitkul – Kalpa (2nights) – Nako – Tabo – Kaza (2nights) – Keylong (2nights) – Udaipur – Manali (1night) – Chandigarh (1night)
Day 1: Shimla: Arrive at Chandigarh airport and straight away start for Shimla, nearly 2.5 hours drive. Check into a hotel on arrival in Shimla. After some relaxation, go to take a glimpse of the famous 17th century built Christ Church. Later on head to Mall Road and the Ridge. Do shopping on the Mall road lined with shops on both sides. Have a wonderful dinner. Overnight in Shimla.
Day 2: Shimla – Sarahan: Check out after breakfast and start for Sarahan, around 180km from Shimla. On the way to Sarahan visit popular tourist spots like Kufri, Fagu, Narkanda, and Rampur.
Check into a hotel on reaching Sarahan, a village is known as the gateway to Kinnaur. It is the site of famous Bhimakali Temple, one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. It has an average elevation of 2,313 metres (7,589 feet). You can also visit Royal Palace of Sarahan and apple orchards in the village. Also make a visit to Shreekhand Mahadev View. Have dinner and overnight stay in Sarahan.
Day 3: Sarahan – Sangla: Check out in the morning from the hotel in Sarahan and start for Sangla, a town in the Baspa Valley (also called Sangla Valley) in the Kinnaur District. This is a drive of a little more than three hours. Halt after a drive of around two hours at Karcham to see Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Plant on the way. From there on the drive to Sangla is on a narrow road with Baspa River flowing on one side continuously. Arrive in Sangla and check into a hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Sangla.
Day 4: Sangla – Chitkul – Sangla: In the morning, after breakfast start for Chitkul after checking out from the hotel in Sangla. First stop on the way should be Rakcham which offers breathtaking views of Baspa River. After taking some snaps in Rakcham and soaking in the beauty of the green Sangla Valley resume the drive to Chitkul. It takes one hour or so from Rakcham to reach Chitkul, a beautiful village on the Indo-China border. It is the last point in India one can travel to without a permit.
Interact with the locals and take a walk around the village. Watch out for tradition houses with either slate or wooden plank roofs. There is a Buddhist temple and a small tower in Chitkul as well. Pay a visit to Kali Mata Temple. After this return to Sangla and have dinner. Overnight in Sangla.
Day 5: Sangla – Kalpa: Check out after breakfast and embark on a drive to Kalpa, some 39km from Reckong Peo, district headquarter of Kinnaur. Kalpa, located at 2670m above sea level and once a favorite of Lord Dalhousie, is known for its apple orchards. Drive from Sangla to Kalpa is of more than five hours. Check into a hotel or resort on arrival.
You can see a 79 feet high rock formation resembling Shivlinga that changes its colour during different times of the day. Have lunch at one of the restaurants and after some rest in the hotel go on a leisurely walk to see more of Kalpa. You can see some cherry trees in quaint and romantic locations.
Enjoy the views of Kinnaur Kailash range and take a visit to Hu Bu Lan Kar Buddhist Gompa, a 10th century monastery founded by Rinchensang-po. Have dinner and retire to the comforts of your room.
Day 6: Kalpa: Get up early in the morning and have a look at the lovely sunrise over Kinner Kailash Peaks. Have breakfast and go out to roam around in Kalpa. Visit Roghi Village and enjoy some wonderful apple gardens and enjoy rural life. Suicide Point, which offers breathtaking views, is also close by.
Later on, move on to explore some apricot and chilgoza plantations. Visit local school and the Narayan Nagini Temple Complex, which has shrines of Hindu, Buddhist and some local deities. You can also visit Chini Village and look at some ancient houses and temples. If you are a trekking enthusiast you can arrange a day trip to Chaka Peak, located at 15,000ft above sea level.
After an eventful day, enjoy a nice local dinner. Overnight in Kalpa.
Day 7: Kalpa – Nako – Tabo – Kaza: After quite an early breakfast check out from the hotel in Kalpa and start for Kaza, headquarter of the remote Spiti Valley in the Lahaul and Spiti district. This is a long drive of a little more than nine hours. You can see hot spring and Sutlej River. You can stop at Spello on the way for lunch. Resume journey and come across Khab where Sutlej River is joined by Spiti River. You continue from here to reach Nako. You can see Nako Monastery from the road. Have a brief visit of Nako Lake and Monastery. Continue your journey towards Kaza via Tabo. Tabo has a monastery which one can visit and continue your journey towards Kaza. It is a scenic drive.
Check into a hotel or resort on arrival in Kaza. Have dinner. Overnight in Kaza.
Day 8: Kaza: After breakfast set out for a full day excursion of Kaza. Visit Kibber Village, supposed to be the highest village in Kaza. Make a point to visit Ki Monastery, a 11th century monastery supposed to be the highest in Kaza. Also visit Komic Village, famous for fossils.
Spend some time in the local market of Kaza. Return to the hotel towards the evening. Have dinner at one of the restaurants or at your hotel. Overnight in Kaza.
Day 9: Kaza – Keylong: Check out in the morning after breakfast and start for Keylong. On the way to Keylong visit Kanzum Pass, an entryway to Spiti Valley from Lahaul. This is situated at an altitude of 4551m. This pass has much-revered Hindu Goddess Durga’s Temple located a little off-route, which all travelers encircle, offer prayers and only then ride ahead.
Situated just 7km from Kunzum Pass is Chandra Tal Lake, located at an altitude of 4300m. With spellbinding panoramic views, and crystal clear blue water, the lake is quite popular among tourists.
Reach Keylong in the evening. Keylong is the administrative headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti and is an oasis of green fields situated on the banks of Bhaga River.
Check into a hotel. Have a nice dinner. Overnight in Keylong.
Day 10: Keylong – Udaipur – Keylong: Start in the morning after breakfast for a full day excursion of Keylong and areas around it. Visit Udaipur and Trilokinath. Udaipur is known for the ancient Marikula Mata temple. There are wooden statues and carvings inside the temple. Trilokinath is famous for the Shiva temple. Trilokinath and Udaipur are located on the two banks of the river Chandra Bhaga (Chenab) and standing at one area, tourists can see the other place.
You can see several waterfalls on the way. There are some monasteries too situated on hill tops. Return back to Keylong in the evening. Have a nice dinner. Overnight in Keylong.
Day 11: Keylong – Manali: Start after breakfast for Manali, a popular tourist town in Kullu district. On the way go for local sightseeing – check out local markets. Pass through Tandi, Sissu, and Gramphu. Cross over Rohtang Pass, situated at more than 3800ft above sea level. Check into hotel on arrival in Manali. Have dinner at one of the many restaurants in Manali. Overnight in Manali.
Day 12: Manali: After breakfast embark on a sightseeing tour of Manali. Visit Hadimba temple and Vasisth temple. You can visit Manikaran Gurudwara and also the Hot Spring. If time permits you can drive to Solan Valley and enjoy some paragliding and other sports.
Have dinner at one of the restaurants. Overnight in Manali.
Day 12: Manali – Chandigarh: After breakfast check out and start for Chandigarh. It is a long drive of over 8 hours. Check into a hotel on arrival in Chandigarh. Have dinner and retire to your room. Overnight in Chandigarh.
Day 13: Chandigarh – Onward destination: Check out after breakfast and drive to the airport to catch flight for onward destination.