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Itinerary:  Forbidden Himalayas

 

Overview

A glorious journey taking you to the mystique and mystery of the remote Spiti region, once a part of the kingdom of Nariss Korssum (Western Tibet) on the Indian side of Tibetan plateau, on an odyssey of discovery and delight on the old Hindustan Tibet Road once apart of the legendary ancient Silk Route.

The mystical stunning valley of Spiti - home to some of the world’s oldest Buddhist monasteries and temples, endangered wildlife and panoramic vistas, has opened its doors to leisure travellers in the remote cold desert lands of its Trans-Himalayan environs of Himachal Pradesh, standing cheek by jowl with the Tibetan Plateau . Isolated from the rest of the country for half the year by the snowbound passes of the mountains encircling it, its rarefied environs offer the intrepid visitor a stunning bouquet of gorgeous landscapes, warm hospitality and cultural highs that leave you with a dazzling array of holiday memories. The Old Hindustan Tibet road was once a part of the legendary Silk Route of ancient times and the place for high adventure, profitable commerce and cultural exchange.


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Day 1 - Arrive Delhi

Arrive Delhi and transfer to the hotel.Overnight The Claridges or available alternative.


Day 2 - Delhi / Chandigarh / Shimla

Morning transfer to railway station in time to board train for Chandigarh to begin tour of the Himalayas.

Met on arrival and drive (120 kms, 3-4 hrs) to Shimla, former summer capital of the British government in India. Overnight at The Clarkes Hotel Shimla or available alternative.


Day 3 - Shimla

Morning sightseeing of Shimla visiting Institute of Advance Studies, Sankat Mochan (Temple), and Himachal State Museum. Evening at leisure. (During the day visit the District Commissioner's Office to obtain the inner line permit

Note: This should be a working week day) Overnight at The Clarks Hotel or available alternative.


Day 4 - Shimla / Sangla

Morning drive (240 Kms, 8-9 hours) to visually stunning Sangla valley with packed picnic lunch. Overnight at Sangla Camp or available alternative.


Day 5 - Sangla

Trek to Chitkul (3450 metre) last village on the old Indo-Tibetian trade route & Rakcham villages. Overnight at Sangla Camp or available alternative.


Day 6 - Sangla

Day at leisure. Overnight at Sangla Camp or available alternative.


Day 7 - Sangla / Kalpa

Morning drive (60 kms, 2-3 hours) to Kalpa  with a scenic destination where British Viceroys came during summers. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at Kinner Villa.


Day 8 - Kalpa / Nako / Tabo

Morning drive (122 kms, 4-5 hrs) to Nako with packed lunch enroute visiting the high altitude Nako Lake which is surrounded by willow and popular trees. Later drive to Tabo (59 Kms, 2-2.5 hrs). Overnight at Dewachan Retreat.


Day 9 - Tabo / Dhankar / Lalung / Kaza

Morning drive to Kaza (47 kms, 2-3 hrs) enroute visitinfg monastery at Dhankar & Dhankar lake which is about 4270 m above sea level.

Later drive to Lalung in Kaza. Overnight Kaza Retreat.


Day 10 - Kaza

Visit the ancient Ki Monastery (4116 m) the oldest and biggest in spiti pocessing priceless Thanka's (fabric painting) and an array of ancient musical wind instruments. Later drive to village of Kibber (4205 m) and Gete (4270 m) which are among the highest motorable inhabited villages in the world. Overnight at Kaza Retreat.


Day 11 - Kaza / Manali

Drive to Manali (202 Kms, 10 hours) with packed picnic lunch. Overnight at Baikunth Resort or available alternative.


Day 12 - Manali

Day at leisure. Overnight at Baikunth Resort or available alternative.


Day 13 - Manali / Delhi

Early morning drive to Kullu Airport (50 Kms, 2-3 hrs) to catch morning flight to Delhi.

Evening sightseeing tour of Delhi. Overnight the Claridges.


Day 14 - Delhi / Departure

Transfer to International airport to board flight to onwards destination

(Check out at hotel is 1200 hrs noon)

(Check In is three hours prior to flight departure)


Suggested Adaptations to this tour

Tour duration can be reduced if prepared to drive long distance.

* From Shimla - Relax and rejuvenate at the Himalayan Spa at Oberoi Wildflower Hall. A few days of trekking can be added.

* From Tabo - June to October when Rohtang* Pass (3195Mtrs) and Kunzom Pass (4551 Mtrs) open one does not have to return to Shimla. Instead go on to Manali* or even to Ladakh*.

*Do 5 to 6 days cultural or wildlife trail staying in village homes having rooms with basic amenities. This offers one a unique and exclusive insight into this mystical land, its people, their rich cultural heritage, and its diverse flora and fauna namely Langza, Komic, Demul, Lhalung and Dhankhar, set along its highlands at an average altitude of 4000 mts. Most of these villages fall within the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary and are home to rare and endangered species of wildlife such as the Snow Leopard, Tibetan Wolf and Blue Sheep among others. The Canis Lupus or the Tibetan Wolf is the oldest surviving species of wolves in the world, dating back to about 8,00,000 years. Floral diversity especially in the months of July and August lends colour to the landscape. Picturesque trails and rolling meadows interconnect these villages. Each village along this trail is adorned by unique and ancient Buddhist monasteries and temples dating back to over a 1000 years and encased in legend and folklore.

April to November

 

TOFTThe Hotels covered in this Itinerary are:
Claridges
Sangla Camp
Kinner Villa
Kaza Retreat

Sangla Camp

The Campsite & Retreat (situated right beside the campsite & opened to guests in May 2009) are in an ideal setting for total relaxation. You could choose between cosy Swiss style tents with attached, tiled bathrooms or go for the spacious, comfortably furnished and tastefully decorated rooms in the retreat - a two storied stone & wood house in rustic style. Of course, there is a well equipped kitchen to dish out great meals and evening bonfires to keep the chill away. There is no experience calmer and more relaxing, than sitting around a riverside bonfire, feeding the senses with the sounds of the gurgling Baspa River and the fresh, crisp mountain air, while also feeding the stomach from a scrumptious barbeque.


Kinner Villa

Hotel Kinner Villa is located in Kalpa that is 265 km ahead of Shimla. Built in typical Kinnauri architectural style. Kinner Villa offers a comfortable stay. The hotel offers a total of 20 rooms with grand views of the snow peaks through the huge glass windows. The rooms are available in the categories of standard as well as deluxe rooms. An attached restaurant dishes out tasty multicuisine menu.


Kaza Retreat

Kaza is the capital of Spiti Valley. Rudyard Kipling describes Spiti in "Kim" in these words: "At last they entered a world within a world - a valley of leagues where the high hills were fashioned of the mere rubble and refuse from off the knees of the mountains... Surely the Gods live here.

The valleys of Kullu and Lahaul bound Spiti, locally pronounced “Piti”, on its south and west; the region of Ladakh lies to the north and the Kalpa valley lies to the southeast. Geologically and archaeologically, Spiti is a living museum. The mountains are devoid of any vegetation and erosion by wind, sun and snow over thousands of years has laid bare the rocks. The rugged and rocky mountain slopes sweep down to the riverbeds giving the landscape a moon-like appearance.


Map of India

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Delhi
Day 2 - Delhi / Chandigarh / Shimla
Day 3 - Shimla
Day 4 - Shimla / Sangla
Day 5 - Sangla
Day 6 - Sangla
Day 7 - Sangla / Kalpa
Day 8 - Kalpa / Nako / Tabo
Day 9 - Tabo / Dhankar / Lalung / Kaza
Day 10 - Kaza
Day 11 - Kaza / Manali
Day 12 - Manali
Day 13 - Manali / Delhi
Day 14 - Delhi / Departure

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