Kinnaur & Spiti Monastery Tour
The mystical & alluring landscape of Kinnaur and Spiti is home to some of the most ancient and remotely located monasteries in the world.
AccommodationMonastery guesthouse, homestay, tent, hotel
AltitudeFrom 2960m to 4550m
Best Time to VisitFrom April to October
The 'Kinnaur & Spiti Monastery tour' takes you on a whirlwind journey, into the lap of the mighty Himalayas, to these thousand year old ancient wonders. Soothen your senses by the divine morning chants, and submerge yourself into the realms of Buddhist culture, traditions and philosophy.
The tour is bound to leave you speechless by the sheer grandeur of the majestic Himalayas and awaken your spirits with the constant blessings of Lord Buddha.
The tour can be designed from 5 to 15 days according to your available time.
- Duration: 5 to 10 days
- Accommodation: Monastery guesthouse, homestay, tent, hotel
- Altitude: From 2960m to 4550m
- Best time: From April to October
Day 1 : Kalpa
We begin our journey at Kalpa, a surreal village located in the lap of the majestic Kinner Kailash Range. Take a stroll across the tiny village and get mesmerized by its charming locals and the stunning Himalayan views.
You also get to visit the Hu-Bu-Lan-Khar monastery, established by Ring-Chen-Tsang-Po, a great scholar and translator, between 955 to 1058 AD.
Day 2 : Kalpa to Jangi via Ridang/Rarang/Lippa (75km)
Our first stop for the day is the village of Ridang, ,or Ribba. Known well across the region for the quality of its apples and grapes, the village is home to the beautiful monastery belonging to the Gelupka sect. The footprints of Lotsava Rinpoche are believed to be engraved here.
Around 3 kms outside Ridang, foreigners must show their Inner Line Permit to enter the restricted area ahead.
We then drive 10 kms ahead to the Rarang monastery, that belongs to the Drukpa Kargyut lineage (Red Hat Sect). Another interesting spot is the cave of Ga Rinpoche, situated on the top of the village.
Leaving Rarang behind, we reach Jangi village, have luch, and rest for a while in a homestay.
In evening, we visit the Da'Chompa, a sacred place believed to have Guru Rinpoche's back printed on a rock in a meditation position. We then move ahead and experience divinity at the Lippa monastery.
Overnight stay is arranged at a homeaty in Jangi village, where we might attend a local ongoing festival, or meet and interact with a Buddhist scholar.
Day 3 : Jangi to Kanam via Kunnu - Charang (75km)
Post breakfast, we begin our drive to Kunnu-Charang village (3400m), which happens to be the last village along the Indo-China border.
The 1000 year old Charang monastery, also known as 'Rangrik Tsungma', is a 2km easy walk, with a gradual ascend, from the village. We spend some time experiencing the divine vibes at the monastery before proceeding with a drive to the village of Spillo, along the right bank of Satluj river.
On the way, we visit the Moorang fort, built by the Thakurs around 500 years back. We break for lunch at Spillo, and then move ahead towards the final stop for the day, Kanam (9km). Ovrenight stay at Kanam homestay.
Day 4 : Kanam Village Monasteries visit
Being home to seven monasteries, Kanam is a truly historical and monastic village, and follows the Geylupka (Yellow Hat Sect). From 1829 to 1831, a Hungarian scholar named Alexander Sandor Korsoi Csoma De-Chorus lived here and translated the holy scripts of Kangyur and Tangyur.
The most famous monastery is the Kha Che Lagang, which also happens to be one of the oldest in the area. Kha che Lagang monastery was built during the time of Ringchen Tsangpo, a great scholar who established 108 monasteries in the Western Himalayas during 955 to 1058 AD.
We then proceed to other monastery in Kanam called Kangyur. This centuries old monastery is home to sacred texts called Kangyur and Tangyur, which are Lord Buddha's first teachings.
After having lunch at our Kanam homestay or at the monastery (as per our schedule), we proceed for a 1.5 hours trek to the Surpu Gompa (3100m). And the rewards one reaps just cannot be described in words. The gompa provides a jaw dropping view of not only the three villages of Spillo, Labrang and Kanam, but also of the towering snow clad Kinner Kailash Range.
One the way back to our homestay, we tour the Lotsava monastery, located in the center of the village. Dinner will be served at the homestay, where a local brew made out of apple and apricots await you !!
Day 5 : Nako via Labrang, Sunnam and Pooh Monastery
We leave early morning for the village of Labrang, lying just 4kms ahead of Kanam. Labrang is another fascinating little hamlet, housing an impressive fort, built by the Thakur Kings in the 16th century.
Admiring the traditional wooden houses unique to this region, we move ahead to Spillo, where we break to have our breakfast. Post breakfast, we proceed to Sunnam village, where we visit Negi Rinpoche's home and monastery. Sunnam village has got it's own dialect, which is one of the 8 dialects of Kinnaur.
Leaving Sunnam behind, we embark on a beautiful drive to Pooh (2850m), and visit the historic Pooh monastery. The 1000 year old monastery, housing original murals and painted doors, is dedicated to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni and attributed to the translator Ringchen tsangpo or Lotsava (955-1058 AD). We also come across a local pre-Buddhist deity, named Dabla, who has no dwelling or altar.
Post lunch, we leave for Nako where we stay overnight in a hotel.
Day 6 : Nako and surroundings
The entire day is dedicated to explore the Nako's numerous attractions, like the great Nako Monstery (Lob Dphon Zhabries), the Lake, and the holy footprints of Lord Padmasambhav engraved on a rock !!
Built in 1025 AD, the Nako monastery consists of four large halls, the oldest and largest of which is known as 'Dukhang', or as the complex of the great translator, Ringchen Tsangpo or Lotsava. The monastery is also home to a local shrine, dedicated to Purgyal, the Spirit of Mountain. The intricate artwaork of the monastery is related to the Vairayana Buddhism.
The beautiful Nako Lake is the perfect spot to admire the pristine beauty of Kinnaur. The turquoise waters in the midst of a barren rugged landscape is a visual masterpiece, and a sight to behold. There is a rock nearby, that is believed to have the footprint of Lord Padmasambhav, proving his visit to the area !!
You have ample time to walk around the stunning lake, or go for an uphill walk towards the sacred land of Lamas, called Somang. Somang has been a sacred retreat for Buddhist monks since centuries.
Day 7 : Nako to Tabo via Geu (78 km)
We leave for Tabo after breakfast, and finally, enter the legendary Spiti region. Foreigners need to show their Inner Line Permits at the Sumdo International Check Post.
On the way, we come across Geu Village, which recently gathered public attention, when the body of a Buddhist monk (Lama Sangya Tenzin), was found in a natural mummified condition. The Carbon 14 tests dated the 45 year old Monk's to the year 1475 AD, making it around 550 year old !! The mummy was unearthed in a sitting position with a rosary in one hand!!
We reach Tabo by lunchtime. Post checking in a guest house, we have our luch and rest for sometime. Evening will be spent attending the prayer in the Tabo Monastery.
Day 8 : Tabo
We begin our day with a visit to the historic Tabo Monastery, also known as the 'Ajanta of the Himalayas'!! Belonging to the Gelugpa Sect, the monastery was founded more than a millennium ago (in 996 AD) by the great scholar & translator, Lotsava Ringchen Tsangpo, on behalf of the King of the western Himalayan Kingdom of Guge!!
Spread over an area of 6300 sq meters, Tabo monastery is amongst the largest monoasteries in the Indian Himalayas. The temple houses a priceless collection of manuscripts, exquisite statues and murals, depicting tales from the Mahayan Buddhist Pantheon.
Post lunch, we have free tim for shopping and explore Tabo village on foot. Dinner and overnight stay at guest house.
Day 9 : Tabo to Mud Village via Dhankar & Kungri Monasteries (80km)
We start erly in the morning with a blissful drive to the breathtaking Dang-Khar monastery (35km). belonging to the Gelugpa Sect, the monastery has the distinction of being the only Gompa standing on cliff in the entire Himalayas !! Dang means 'Cliff' and Khar means 'Fort', so Dang-Khar means 'Fort on the Cliff'!! We will have breakfast either in a local eatery or in the monastery guesthouse.
Post breakfast, we begin our drive towards another gem, the Kungri Monastery (35km). Soon we enter the gorgeous lush green Pin Valley, that looks like an oasis in the middle of the barren Spiti Valley!!
Built around 1330 AD, Kungri is Spiti's second oldest monastery, and is the main center of the Nyingma Pa, the oldest order of the Tibetan Buddhist sect in Spiti.
Depending on our arrival time, lunch will be served either at Kungri Gompa, or at our guesthouse in Mud Village.
Overnight at guesthouse in Mud village or in Kungri Monastery, as per the availability.
Day 10 : Mud Village
It's a relaxing day ahead as we spend time enjoying the breathtaking sceneries of the Pin Valley. The valley is rich in exotic species of flora & fauna, and if luck permits, we can spot the endangered Snow leopard, Siberian Ibex, Blue Sheep and the Himalayan Yak !!
Mud Village is one of the biggest villages in the Pin Valley, and also happens to be the base camp for two of the most gorgeous treks in the Indian Himalayas - Pin Parvati and Pin Bhabha !!
Day 11 : Mud To Kaza (52km)
Post breakfast, we leave for Kaza, the administrative headquarter of Spiti region. We reach Kaza around afternoon, so we have ample time for shopping in the local market. In evening, we explore the nearby Rangrik village and it's monastery.
Overnight stay at hotel in Kaza.
Day 12 : Key Monastery and Kibber Village
We start early morning with a drive to one of india's most photographed monastery, the Key Gompa !! Since we reach early, we get to attend the blissful morning prayers, and get to spend some time with the residing monks. The visually stunning key Gompa is located atop a hill at an altitude of 4160 meters. It was founded in the 11th century (105-1064 AD) by Brom Ston. A student of the famous preacher Atisha, who later established the Kadam School of Tibetan Buddhism. Along with the Tabo and Dhankhar monasteries, Key belongs to the Gelugpa Sects.
Next, we proceed to the nearby village of Kibber (4270 m), that has the distinction of being the second highest motorable village in the world!! We have lunch in Kibber village, and then have free time to explore the village and its surreal surroundings. In evening, we return back to Key Gompa, and stay overnight in its guesthouse.
Day 13 : Key Gompa to Lanza Valley (35km)
We start early again to attend the morning prayers at the Gompa. Post breakfast, we drive into the mesmerizing Langza Valley, and get a life time experience of visiting the world's highest village, Komic !!
The thrill of visting the iconic village of Komic cannot be explained in words; it can be only be experienced when you set your foot on its soil !! You can expect low oxygen level at an altitude of 4500m, but watching the inhabitants doing their daily work is bound to give you a high like no other !!
The high altitude village of less than 150 inhabitants, provides a stunning 360 degree view of the gorgeous snow clad peaks and deep valleys !! You can go for a pleasant walk in the village, or to the nearby Hikkim village, lying 500m below.
Lunch will be served in Komic or Hikkim. Post lunch, we walk back to Langza village, the biggest village in Lanza Valley.
Overnight stay in Langza village. Local brew will be offered during dinner.
Day 14 : Langza to Chandrataal Lake via Kunzum La (90km)
After receiving the hoy blessings of Lord Buddha, we leave for the serene Chandrataal Lake through Losar (the last village of Spiti region towards Lahaul Valley) and Kunzum La (4550m).
Chandrataal Lake or the 'Moon Lake' is a crescent shaped high altitude lake with clear turquoise water, surrounded by towering barren peaks. The resulting contrasting colors are a sheer pleasure to eyes. One can sit hours at the lakeside and be mesmerized by the bewitching beauty and the silent surroundings!!
We camp near the lake, and enjoy the star filled night with a bonfire, barbeque and relaxing music !!
Day 15 : Chandrataal Lake to Manali (137km)
After having a sumptuous breakfast, we leave for Manali via Rohtang Pass. It's a day long drive, since the roads are not in the best of conditions at few stretches. We will have packed luch on the way. Overnight in Manali.
Day 16 : Manali to Delhi
Accommodation in Monasteries, Homestay, Guesthouse, Hotel, Tents
Terms & Conditions:Cancellation Policy:
- Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek - 50% refund
- Cancellations between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek - 25% refund
- Cancellations less than 20 days to the start of the trek - No refund
If a trek is canceled at the last moment due to unforeseen circumstances / govt. restrictions / weather conditions (like landslides, rain, earthquake, strikes, bandhs, etc), 'The Offbeat Soul' will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.
Cancellations requests are entertained only on mail.
The applicable refund amount will be processed within 10 business days
Though maximum efforts are made to ensure the safety of the trekkers, 'The Offbeat Soul' will not be responsible for any injuries, both physical or mental, caused directly or indirectly in the trekking activities.
All participants are requested to download the 'Risk Form' and get it along with them on their respective treks.
It is understood that while registering yourself for any trek, you are well aware of the all the risks involved in high altitude trekking. You have taken efforts to understand what AMS (Acute Mountain sickness' is, and you are in a good state to manage your altitude related emergencies.
When you register for the trek, it is presumed that you are in a perfect physical and mental condition to undertake the rigours of a high altitude trek with low oxygen levels. We assume that you are able to jog a distance of 5 kms in 30 minutes.
The Offbeat Soul has the right to ask a trekker to discontinue the trek at any point if he/she does not meet our expected fitness requirement. In this case, the trekker will be accompanied by our staff back till the base camp.
Last minute changes / Delays
It may happen under some extreme circumstances, that there may be some last minute changes in the planned itinerary. The trek may start a day later or end a day earlier due to volatile climatic conditions, political restrictions, or any other reason. In such cases, The Offbeat Soul is not liable to refund the trek, either fully or partly. The participant cannot ask for compensation for any injury, loss or damage due to such changes.
- Drinking and Smoking are strictly prohibited during the trek. You will be disqualified from the trek with immediate effect if found flouting the rules.
- The Offbeat Soul is not responsible for any loss or damage of your belongings or equipment on the trek.
- Any damage to the equipments by the participant, other than the normal wear and tear, will be billed to you. Our decision on such matters will be final and binding.