Buddhist Circuit through Spiti and Kinnaur

  • Aktive Kultur Reisen
  • Kultur Reisen


The twin valleys Spiti and Kinnaur in the north-eastern corner of Himachal Pradesh offer spectacular wild nature. The Lahaul Plateau is bordered by the Chandra and Bhaga rivers. Dry and very cold, it is surrounded from all sides by high mountains. There are many glaciers, the largest of them is the Bara Shigri Glacier. The two valleys are also very interesting because of their Buddhist culture and art. The monasteries, which were impressively built on steep rocks, are still very well preserved and serve as a storage place for antique paintings, wood carvings, thankas and golden paintings of Padmasambhava.

The people here are friendly and like to demonstrate their traditional dances and ballads and tell their stories.

The valleys are located at an altitude of more than 3000 metres. The summers are cool and pleasant with green grass, alpine flowers and barley fields.

Spiti is located in the rain shadow and is therefore perfect for a visit during the monsoon season from July to September.

On this tour you get a great insight into the rich culture and life of the Spiti inhabitants and maybe be lucky to spot some rare animals. (snow leopard, blue sheep, Tibetan wolf).

Kinnaur is surrounded by Tibet and is located in the northeast corner of Himachal Pradesh. The beautiful district has only recently been opened to visitors.  There are secluded green valleys, orchards and remote villages.

This tour offers pure driving fun on empty but also very challenging roads! Lots of loose debris, crossing smaller streams and a lot of dust are the challenges of the local roads! A landslide that blocks the road for hours is nothing unusual here and is part of the experience. Have fun and enjoy to have a knowledgeable and local driver!


Day 1 Shimla Sightseeing

After a delicious breakfast, meet your driver and visitt the summer capital of the former British government. Shimla has not only a lot of British flair to offer, but also colorful markets with plenty of opportunity to shop! (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 2 Shimla to Saharan 124 km

Sarahan is a tiny but beautiful village in the Sutley Valley. It is surrounded by apple orchards and is dominated by the Shrikhand Mahadev peak (5777 m). It was the ancient capital of Rampur Bushehr, one of the largest empires in the mountains of Shimla. You can visit the Bhimkali Temple with its 6 silver gates. It consists of a mixture of Hindu and Buddhist elements and is world-famous. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 3 Saharan to Chitkul 112 km

Today the tour takes you to one of the most romantic and beautiful valleys of Kinnaur: the Sangla Valley. It is 95 km long, the pastures on both sides of the river are green and full of fruit trees and flowers. The mountain ridges are covered with snow all year round. The wooden houses in the Sangla Valley are an example of the unique architecture.

Chitkul is the last inhabited village in the Sangla Valley. One thinks that one is in a fairy tale: green fields, high, white mountain peaks, temples and monasteries… (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 4 Chitkul to Recong Peo to Kalpa 77 km

Recong Peo is the capital of Kinnour. Here you will receive our official permission to continue your journey.

Kalpa, 51 km from Sangla, is a good place for buying scarves and the typical Kinnaur hats. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 5 Kalpa to Nako 123 km

Nako, located at an altitude of 3662 m in the Hingrang valley, is the largest village in the area. Here yaks, horses and donkeys graze peacefully next to each other. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 6 Nako to Tabo 68 km

On the right side of the spiti river is the ancient village of Tabo, flanked by high mountains on both sides. Here you will find one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries: more than a thousand years old, the Tabo Gompa has exquisite frescoes and stucco statues. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 7 Tabo to Kaza 97 km via Dhankar and Kungri Monastery

To visit the 14th-century Kungri Monastery, head to the narrow Pin Valley.

Dhankar is the ancient capital of the Spiti king. The incredibly beautiful monastery is located between high rocks. Kaza is the district capital of Spitis. It is worth visiting the local market. Every year in August there is a big folk festival here. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 8 Kaza to Kibber/ Ki/ Comic back to Kaza 99 km

Today you will visit the famous Ki Monastery. It is the largest monastery in Spiti and participating in the daily morning prayer is something very special! You should also try the traditional butter tea! Kibber was for a long time the highest permanently inhabited village, which had electricity and was connected by road. In the afternoon you go down again to Kaza. Then a road leads us up to the two villages Langza and Komik. The path is unpaved and the area is famous for its fossils. In Comic there is the Thangyud Monastery and in Langza the highest post office in the world. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 9 Kaza to Lake Chandratal 100 km

First we go to Losar, the last inhabited place in Spiti, before it goes up to the Kunzum Pass. It is inhabited by 242 people, there are 4 shops, a school, a health center and even a post office! Then climb the Kunzum Pass (4551 m). We enjoy the descent down the dirt road and then turn to Chandratal Lake. “Chandra” means moon and “Tal” lake. The beautiful lake has the shape of a crescent moon. (Overnight stay in the luxury camp) B/-/D

Day 10 Chandratal Lake to Manali 126 km

It goes along the rough Chandra River. The road is crossed by small streams and there is a lot of loose rock! They fight us through the dry mountain desert and marvel at the beautiful view of the Shigri Glacier, the largest in the area. Today we go up the Rothang Pass (3950 m), the gateway to the Kullu valley. You can enjoy the view of the green valley and go down to Manali. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Continuing the Tour to Lahaul or Ladakh possible


  • Innova car or similar vehicle with driver for the entire tour
  • Accommodation in simple local hotels or luxury camps with breakfast
  • All permits
  • Arrival in Shimla and departure from Manali (can be arranged by us)
  • travel companion (available at an additional cost)
  • Entrance fees
  • unmentioned food and beverages


Prices and Dates

This tour is best for the months of June to September.

For 2 participants from 699 € per person. The price decreases with a higher number of participants!

Tour Info


There are no special requirements. The road conditions are sometimes quite poor.

Further Information


They are located in the middle of the Himalayas in the Federal Valley of Himachal Pradesh, in the valleys Spiti and Kinnaur.

While the green Shimla District, from where our tour starts, is relatively densely populated by mainly Hindus, it is getting drier, higher and lonelier in the direction of Kinnaur and Spiti. The people in the high mountain desert are predominantly Buddhist and there are countless ancient monasteries that invite you to visit.

While in the southern area of Himachal it can rain heavily, especially during the monsoon season, rainfall in Kinnaur and Spiti is extremely rare. The temperatures range from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius during the day, at night it can get quite cold, even below freezing point.


During the tour we are constantly in the mountains at an altitude between 2000 and 6000 meters.

Even if we work with trained mountain guides and take all measures on our mountain tours to counter emergencies, we can never rule out dangers in the mountains. Time and again there can be weather changes, landslides (especially during the monsoon season) or accidents and you should always be aware of this.

Due to climatic conditions or organisational reasons, we reserve the right to change the tours in the suburb as it is safest for all involved.


During the tour there will be simple, clean local accommodations in the 2 to 3 star area.

Meals are adapted to the local cuisine and mostly vegetarian.

Buddhist Circuit through Spiti and Kinnaur

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