What to expect when driving to Spiti valley in winter?

Hidden in the Trans Himalayan range between Tibet and Ladakh, Spiti valley in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, attracts the peace-loving and the adventurous from around the globe. The tourist season starts from the end of May till the month of October, just after the famous rally, ‘Raid-De-Himalaya’ passes through the valley.

In early November, when the temperature dips down to -10˚C, the hotels are closed for the tourists and the first spell of snowfall stops the government bus service from Kinnaur. The road from Manali closes much before that. The NGOs working to develop Spiti and some for their own development, postpone their activities for the next tourist season, leaving the people of Spiti to face the harsh winters head.

After few more spells of snowfall and another drop of 10˚C in temperature, the road becomes extremely slippery and the only vehicles visible on these roads are private cars of Spiti people, local taxis, government jeeps, fuel trucks and ambulances.

It is when some brave hearts, venture out to explore the white Spiti, that remains hidden from the eyes of the regular travellers who visit during the tourist season. This post is to answer the frequent questions I get from such travellers, who want to experience Spiti when only few dare to drive on its snow-covered roads.

This is what you should expect when you are driving to Spiti in winters.

Difficulty Level – Extreme

Sub Zero Temperature

As I write, the indoor temperate of my room is -1˚C. Keeping the fireplace alive with fresh supply of wood every now and then is a hassle and I really care about the environment (I am lazy). I am sitting in a blanket and after every few minutes, I keep going to the kitchen of my hosts to warm my cold hands.

Dogs of Kaza village sleeping in the market as it snows on them
Dogs of Kaza village sleeping in the market as it snows on them

The minimum temperature in Kaza goes down to -20˚C and will further drop as the winter progresses. Higher villages are more colder. So you have to prepare for it. It is colder than your freezer at home. There are only few places in India that gets colder than Spiti, so you won’t find many good brands in India to keep you warm.

Also, when your skin is wet, it will stick to the metal. NEVER pull it with force. It will tear out the skin with it. (Yesterday, there was a similar case in Kaza hospital). Always pour hot water on the area and then gently pull it.

How to prepare for it?

The is an old Scandinavian saying, “There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather, Just Bad Clothing.”

Wear layers of clothes to keep yourself warm in the winters. A layer of thermal with a layer of fleece and a layer of a down feather jacket with a layer of windproof jacket is more than enough for the winters.
A warm cap is a must. Add a pair of gloves and double layer of warm socks with breathable shoes and you will be super comfortable even in this temperature.

Also, keep the heater on a low setting while driving. It will make you drowsy and that’s not good when there is snow on the road.

Tip : If your feet gets cold and there is no way you can remove your shoes to warm them, try jumping on the same spot for sometime or even running.


Limited Staying Options

All the hotels are closed and all the outsiders running travel and hospitality business have left the harsh weather of Spiti. So in the winters, you will get a chance to experience the real hospitality of the people of Spiti by staying with them in their warm houses or home-stays. Also, you will be contributing directly to the village economy.

Tenzi Home Stay in Langza village
Tenzi Home Stay in Langza village of Spiti

How to prepare for it?

Book in advance and minimise your expectations. Though the hospitable people of Spiti won’t let you freeze outside, it is always advised to book in advance. The winter life here is tough and the resources are limited. So by informing them in advance, you give them time to arrange the resources for you. If you show up and ask for a stay at the last moment, you are just increasing their problems.

Note : Winter is not an off-season in Spiti. Living here in winter is expensive for a Spitian. So, bargaining at the home-stays with your logic of off-season prices is not only rude, its inconsiderate. Water needs to be carried from the hand-pumps. Add to it the cost of wood to keep you warm and the cost of fuel to cook food and tea for you. No one is giving you a place to stay to earn profit in the winters. They don’t want you to freeze. So I will advice you to be generous and grateful.

Recommended staying option

  • Sakya Home Stay
    By the owners of Sakya Abode, this is the cleanest and the most hospitable home-stay you will find in Spiti.

Dry Toilets

In winters, when the sewage systems freeze, you have to go eco-friendly (unless you don’t excrete in the open and freeze in a squatting position). You will have to use the Dry-Toilets. Its where you poop in a hole on the first floor into a room full of compost. When your waste gets mixed with the compost it will later be converted into organic into fertiliser for the fields.

How to prepare for it?

Dry toilets do not smell. Also, make sure you flush with a shovel full of compost after you are done. Also, make sure you don’t drop the phone in that hole. No one would want to help you get your phone back later.

Water Scarcity

Taps are just ornaments to decorate the modern bathrooms and kitchens in Spiti winters. In the winters the water supply freezes and the locals collect water from the hand pumps to their homes in 20lt and 40lt plastic cans.

So make sure you keep that in mind.

Spiti children waiting for their turn to fetch water from the handpump in Kaza village.
Spiti children waiting for their turn to fetch water from the handpump in Kaza village.

How to prepare for it?

The water in Spiti is extremely clean glacial water mixed with more minerals than any average mineral bottle you buy in the cities, but it is sometimes a problem for some people who are not able to digest those minerals. So, people with weak stomachs should bring mineral water with them and keep them in their rooms.

Also, inform your hosts in advance, if you want to bathe, or just help them pump water for you. Do not waste a drop of water.

Snow on the road

While driving to Spiti in winters, the most obvious thing is the snow on the road. This year the main road is maintained by the GREF, so they seem less experienced in properly cleaning the snow from the road. The Public Works Department of the government on the other hand, who are maintaining the link roads to the villages seem far more experienced and are really good at clearing the snow.

This means the road will be slippery and you will have to be extra careful while driving on it.

Driving on snow covered road to Sumdo village in Spiti on 20 Dec, 2014
From Tabo to Losar, road is covered with snow in January

How to prepare for it?

Again, there are only few places in India, that has snow in the winters, so you won’t get winter or snow tyres for you vehicles in India, unless you import them.

So, most important thing you need to have is confidence and an alert mind. Patches with black ice are more dangerous than snow. So be extra careful.

Remember one rule. No Sudden Movements!

A car lost control and went in the drain at Kaza market after fresh snowfall.
Pushing brakes suddenly will make the car lose control.

Drive in a heavy gear at a speed where you don’t really have to apply brakes to stop the car. Use 4×4 and snow chains for extra traction.

Tip: Reducing the type pressure and adding more weight in your car will increase the traction on snow. You can also, load your car with heavy stones.

If your car starts losing control, don’t push the brakes suddenly! Just release the accelerator and gently steer to the intended direction.

Limited food joints on the way

After you cross Reckong Peo or Powari, the only places that might offer some tea and food are Spillow and Hurling.

How to prepare for it?

Always, carry a lot of eatables with you. You should have a week worth of food to eat. Just if you get stuck in landslides or avalanches. You should be ready for the worst.

Problems in your car

Car frozen in a cold Winter of Spiti
Make sure you remove the snow after every long trip.

Sub zero temperature will cause a lot of wear and tear in your vehicle. Diesel driven cars are prone to more problems due to freezing than petrol driven cars.
Winter grade diesel is not available in the fuelling stations of Himachal and the regular diesel freezes in sub zero temperature. Also, the battery can die quickly while cracking the self.

How to prepare for it?

  •  There won’t be any mechanic available in the winter. There is a car spare shop in Kaza and they might help you fix a minor problem in your car but you should never expect much.
  • Get your car serviced properly and only use winter grade engine oil and coolant. Never mix water in the coolant.
  • If possible, mix diesel with Anti-Gel or anti freeze chemicals.
  • Keep your tank full and try not to park your car in the open.
  • Always keep a towing cable and a jumper cable in your car.
  • There won’t be any puncture shops no the road after Kinnaur, so make sure the spare tyre is in a good shape and you have all the material required to repair the tyre.

Getting stuck with your car in Spiti

In the winter of 2012, Spiti was covered in more than 5ft of snow and the roads were blocked for more than a month. Parts of the road were buried under avalanches and the people had to be airlifted to different areas. I am not trying to scare you, but you should be ready for the worst.

How to prepare for it?

You can live for as long as you want in Spiti. The hospitable people won’t let you freeze in the winters. When such situations arise, the government arranges for regular helicopter services, but as the service is limited, the seats are allotted on priority basis by the local administration. You can leave your car in Spiti and collect it when the road opens.

An experience of a lifetime

If you have read all the points carefully and still want to drive to Spiti in the winters, than you should be ready for an adventure of a lifetime. You will be greeted with the real Spitian culture and lifestyle and the landscapes, only few had the chance to witness.

A car driving on snow covered road passes through a chorten near Rangrik village of Spiti
A car driving on snow covered road passes through a chorten near Rangrik village of SpitHow to prepare for it?

Forget about getting maximum likes and retweets for the pictures you will update after the trip. There are so many better things in life and driving to Spiti in winter is one of them. So don’t ruin the experience by clicking pictures all the time. Capture the moments in your mind. These moments will stay with you forever.

Note : Only BSNL network works here and the slow internet won’t let you upload anything while you are in Spiti. So you can leave it for later.

The government should also inform the travellers at the checkpoints in Kinnaur about the risks involved.

I hope I have covered all the important points. If you have anything more you want to add. Please feel free to leave a comment below.

  • Really grateful for this very very valuable article. Just a few questions sir –

    I will be in Simla by 23rd January. How can I book a homestay in Kaza in advance? And what could be the normal charge for it (for budget purpose)? I will be coming from Kolkata, so will be depending on any kind of public transport or lift by any kind local I guess. Is it possible?

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Look for the details on http://www.sakyaabode.com It should be around Rs. 1000 for a day with food I guess, not more than that. There won’t be any public transport possible from Shimla at this time of the year and no taxi will be ready to come to Spiti at this time and they will also call you crazy for doing so. You can find a local taxi from Rampur, but the chances are 1 out of a 100. I actually wrote this post for the super adventurous, who are risking their lives to reach Kaza in snow. So, I don’t think its a good idea to travel at this time. Rest is up to you. I am no one to stop you. Just a suggestion.

  • sunny

    I love you bhai 🙂 and I am straight 🙂

  • I am coming Himanshu and thanks for all the insight. We are planning to sight the snow leopard so if you have any news on that plz let me know. Also where are you staying? Would love to see you. Cheers

  • great work 🙂 🙂 … keep it up !!!!! 🙂 🙂

  • Such an informative post , thumbs up from Melbourne. Wish to visit the place one day.

  • Great way of putting Spithi and its surroundings in words for a traveller

  • I stayed out there at Kibber for about a week in 2014 Jan. It was an experience to cherish. I do remember staying at Sakya Abode and borrowing from the well-thumbed-through book library they have in their reception area. Do take a look at some of my work from Spiti and elsewhere here: http://www.roadlesstaken.in

    You have a fantastic site btw and have started following your work regularly. Hopefully will run in to you in some mountain up north some time – Cheers and good luck!

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot Ajith!
    I am sure it must be an experience for you. January is a beautiful time to visit. Definitely, after all its a small world.

  • Himanshu. Thanks for the great article. Very useful info. I have few questions:
    1) What are the dates for Raid-De-Himalayas 2015?
    2) Will there be snow in Spiti and the passes around, during 10th – 20th October 2015?
    3) Will the lodges and other homestays remain open during 10th – 20th oct 2015?

    Best Regards

  • Good stuff Himanshu, and lovely pics as always. I have been to Spiti on the early and late winters but not yet in the peak winter. Hopefully Jan 2016 it will be.

  • Deepak J

    Hi Himanshu,

    the website came extremely wonderful!!! Lot of effort i must say.

    We have plan to visit Spiti during 1st week of April 2016. We mainly want to enjoy the snow and cold weather.

    Do let me know, will there be any snow in April 1st week and a good contact for a driver to talk to.

    Thanks in advance.


  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Devopriyo!

    Thanks! Here are the answers.
    1) 9 -17 OCTOBER 2015
    2) No! Maybe in Kunzum if it snows.
    3) Mostly a lot of lodges will stay open till the raid and after that HomeStays will remain open throughout winters but with limited facilities.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot Rajiv! Be Safe! Cheers!

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Deepak!

    It is really really cold in the month of April with temperatures doing down to -10 in the morning time and the roads will be open but they are a little risky because of the snow melting causing landslides. Avoid traveling after noon. There will be a lot of snow all around. Contact http://www.sakyaabode.com, they are the best in Spiti. They will arrange everything for you at that time of the year. Actually its purely offseason at that time and nothing will be open.
    Thats our ski season, so follow my blogs and http://www.lifeinspiti.com and I’ll keep you updated with the road conditions.


  • Akshit Chauhan

    Just messaged you on you blog. Hoping for a reply.
    But still asking, can i get a taxi in December (around 20th) to go to Kaza and do buses work during those days?
    Also can i get a vehicle on rent from Shimla(possibly a two wheeler)?

  • Abhishek

    Dear Himanshu,

    That was a great article on life in Spiti in Winter. I am planning a trip to Kaza in January 2016 and wanted to know if you could help me with some homestay/hotel options.


  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Abhishek!

    You can contact my friend Tsering Bodh at http://www.sakyaabode.com and take the reference of ‘Life in Spiti’ for exact information.


  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Akshit!

    Bussed run till it snows. So you can check at ReckongPeo about the busses.
    You can also get a Taxi but arrange a Pick up from Kaza. They are the best drivers.

    Its highly unlikely that you’ll find a bike on rent in Shimla


  • Chirayu

    Hi Himanshu,

    I wish to travel to spiti valley in last week of December from Delhi. can you please guide me as thaw can I reach spiti at this time of year by using public transport?


  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Chirayu!
    The busses keep running till the first snow fall so that depends. You can get a 7am bus from Reckong Peo in Kinnaur and you can check about it there itself.

  • Aatif

    Hi Himanshu,

    Very helpful post,

    We are planning to visit spiti Valley after 15 Jan from Delhi with halt in manali,
    Is it feasible with our bullets 350, moreover can homestay be arranged on reaching spiti, also possibility of food at those time

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Aatif!

    I won’t suggest you taking your bikes unless you are really prepared for it. The temperature must be below -15 at this point.
    You will have to take the route via Shimla and Kinnaur.
    For some stay contact http://www.sakyabode.com, they are good friends of mine.


  • Great one Himanshu….

    I along with 2 of my friends are planning trip to kaza around 22 – 27 Jan … In best case how much time do you think will it take to reach kaza from delhi in Jan.
    Also what would be the last point before kaza where we can get an accoumodation without much trouble .

    We are planning to start midnight friday from delhi and reach as close as poissible to kaza on saturday ( kalpa or reckong Peo ) and then start saturday morning to Kaza with a short stay at DHANKhar if possible reach kaza by Sunday after noon …
    is this plan feasible ?

    Thnaks ,

  • Bhopal singh

    Nerve chilling sites and experiences ,roads and drives in Sapiti and also from chamba to Bhadarwa in J&K .
    Hats off to you for the rare photographs and a lots of courage and perservance.
    God bless you for more such expieriances in life in future..

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot Sir!
    I am glad you liked the pictures. Keep visiting.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Saket

    Please contact my friends at http://www.sakyabode.com
    They’ll guide you better.


  • Many thanks for the write-up. Leaving from Jaipur tomorrow for Peo. Hoping to make my way to Kaza and onward to Losar. Confidence building reading this. (Stocking up on dark chocolate and dry fruits) Thanks again, Himanshu

  • Advait

    Me along with a bunch of friends are planning to go to Spiti around December last week and early Jan.
    We’ll be driving our own car (Swift Dzire) from Maharashtra.
    We’re thinking of parking our car in Shimla or Kinnaur and then travel to Spiti by taxi.
    We’re planning to stay in Spiti for 3 days.
    What kinda clothes should we carry with us and is there any health risk in sub zero temperatures?

  • nikunj

    Your Blog is Really Covers Each Points Well Bro,
    I am Planning to go There In End Of October Thru Shimla with My Family, Basically What I wanna Know is it Safe With Family? And Is OK with My Little Daughter Ages 6?
    Please Suggest.. After Reading your blog I am very much Excited to See Spiti in End Of October Near 26th to 30th..!!!

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks Nikunj!
    Spiti will be quite cold in November. It’ll get below the freezing at night. So if you can deal with the cold, everything will be all right. Its perfectly safe.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Kindly contact http://www.sakyaabode.com, they’ll help you. You should read about Acute Mountain Sickness and try your best to avoid it. Keep it slow and don’t exert. There is no health risk in sub zero temperatures. The only risk is of freezing if you are not wearing enough warm clothes.

  • nikunj

    Thanks A ton @Himanshu i really appreciate Your Work and The way you helping people like me..!!!!

  • Rajpal Navalkar

    gr8 info thanks. I am part of an expedition in first week feb. to sight snow leopard.I am 58 but am doing this trip as it has been on my wishlist for long. Do I need to train for this??

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hello Sir!
    You just need to keep it slow and let your body acclimatise.
    Also wear the right clothing.
    Best wishes! 🙂

  • Manoj sharma

    Hi ,Mr. Himanshu can we go there in a duster and how can we book a home stay there in January

  • Himanshu Khagta

    If you can drive on snow and ice then sure. If not then I won’t recommend risking your life. You can get places to stay in January as well. Also book in advance. January is the coldest. It can go down to -30˚C

  • Himanshu Khagta

    If you can drive on snow and ice then sure. If not then I won’t recommend risking your life. You can get places to stay in January as well. Also book in advance. January is the coldest. It can go down to -30˚C

  • sateesh

    Hi Himanshu, Great work. It helps a lot.

    I will brief my plan:
    We are 20 members group and planning to visit Spiti in the last week of December.
    Starting from Delhi on the way can we cover Spiti, Kaza, Kullu, Manali..And from there next place is Dharmashala.

    So, What best can you suggest best route to travel from Delhi!! either Public Transport? or TT? And which route?

    Please dont say not to go with limited days as we have time constrain! How many is it require to complete these as per your experience!! 🙂

    Thanks in advance,

  • rajat

    hey himanshu
    me and my friend are leaving for spiti on 21st for 5 days on my bike.
    what kind of weather can I expect at that time?
    till when the roads are.open?

  • Hello himanshu! Me and my friends have done some treks and this november we are planning for spiti valley cycle tour or a bike one for just 8-9days .. according to you will you suggest us to go or its just vain to go ?.. reply asap!?

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Ashish!
    It’ll be very very cold. If you can handle it. Then why not?

  • Himanshu Khagta

    It’ll be a little cold. Thats all. Roads always stay open from Kinnaur side but sometimes there is a 70-80km patch of snow in January and February.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot.

    Kindly contact my friends at Spiti

    They’ll be the best people to guide you.

    Just get a taxi and don’t use public transport.
    Also don’t expect running water. It has already started freezing.

  • Ashish chawla

    Rohtang pass route will be open ? Or not ? … we have decided to leave by 6th of December wht will be the condition of roads n we are separately taking a car with us which will follow us from Manali n one more thing I want to ask .. spiti or roopkund lake please suggest me and reply asap.. we will decide according to your suggestion .. or do you have any other place which you ll suggest us to go.. finally last question where do you conduct those seminars ..? I want to attend

  • Hi,

    I am traveling to Spiti & Kinnaur in March, what will be the weather. I am planning to use public transport. How shall I prepare for it?

  • Deepak Dongre

    Though I have been to Spiti on my motorcycle in 2014- was just googling for Spiti in Winters and stumbled upon your blog. Though I wont be going there anytime soon- but would say this one’s an amazing blog. The simplicity, images and the details that you have posted- so so nice of you. Should be really helpful for people looking for an adventure. Thanks!

  • Dhirendra kumar

    Sir i want to go to spiti valley in the first week of january via manali route. is it possibe to go there by bike ? what will be the weather conditions there?

  • Rohit Bhadra

    I am coming to spiti on 26th january 2017 with 14 people and 2 cars, via Shimla, Kinnaur.
    What difficulties will I face? We just want to see spiti covered in snow.

  • Aamod Gokhale

    Hello Himanshu,

    I am planning a family vacation to Manali and Spiti in the end of March and first week of April. While most of the tour operators have rejected the idea of including spiti upfront, I am still looking for exact information. Will it be closed during that period ? And if it is which all parts around Spiti can be visited?
    Afterall, its once in a lifetime kind of chance. I never know when I will be able to make it there again.
    If you could throw some lights on this, I would be highly grateful to you.

    Best Regards,

  • gagan

    Hiii, can we go to spiti in swift (diesel) around mid of dec.
    As we can’t use snow chain in swift so is it possible to drive on snow.

  • Devesh

    I am going there in January this year in Thar soft top. Do we need blankets in Thar if heator is on with one jacket and one set of thermals on

  • Hii saket,
    I am Planning to go There In first week of February bhopal to Shimla with My 4 friends, Basically What I wanna Know is it Safe if we are going through by car?

  • Hetal dedhia

    HI, planning to go kaza around 25 th may , this year . vl go from keylong via rohtang .vl it be accessiable to kaza during 25 th may

  • Himansu sirji i and my friend will be planing in february last week for cycling it is possible? Plz inform me Thanks

  • supreeth s

    hi himanshu
    great job guiding tourists .i am planning to travel from delhi to spiti and back in the second week of february by bike.u have given good tips for people driving in cars but please guide us bike rider too..any info and warnings are much appreciated, thanks.

  • Rajan Shikhare

    Hi….thank you for the useful information. We are planning to visit spiti between 2-8 March from chandigarh….
    -During this period, are there the same conditions of weather and transport as you have mentioned in the above article????
    -Is it feasible to travel with bike?

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Rajan!
    Please contact a travel agent in Spiti for the best and updated information.
    Thanks a lot 🙂

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot! Hope you had a great trip. 🙂

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Anything is possible, but I’ll say no.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Hetal!

    Good time to visit. Keep in touch with a travel agency in Spiti. It’ll surely be accessible from Kinnaur side. Manali side depends on when they clear it.


  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Arpit!
    Thanks for writing but I guess I am too late now.
    Bhopal to Shimla is a piece of cake by a car. Go for it.
    Enjoy the drive.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Sorry for the very late reply. Im sure you must have been there already.

    Blankets and one pair of thermals won’t work in such cold weather.
    You need atleast few layers. Visit your nearest Decathalon Store and they’ll guide you better.
    You can learn about LAYERING your clothes. Thats the best way.

    Hope it helped.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Gagan!

    Spiti is without snow in December generally. So you can take a Swift but you need to know the basics of driving on snow. Just in case.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Aamod!

    I’ll also suggest the same.
    Spiti via manali opens in June.
    To travel to Spiti in winters, you’ll have to travel via Kinnaur and then there won’t be any hotels open. So you are generally on your own. So its more like an adventure than a tour. So you can skip Spiti in March April if you don’t wanna get into a lot of trouble.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Spiti will be below freezing with hotels closed. Public transport might not be functional.
    Kinnaur will be better but reach Reckong Peo first and then you can know for sure.

    You need to wear warm cloths and be mentally prepared.

    Hope that helped.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Sorry for the late reply. You must have already seen it. 😀
    How was the experience. Do share 🙂

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Sorry for the late reply.
    You can’t travel to Spiti from Manali in January.
    The roads are blocked.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot Vikrant!

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Deepak!

    Thanks a lot taking the time to write here and for your kind words.

    Do visit again. Thanks

  • Pranay

    Hi Himanshu,

    Super informative blog and surreal pictures. It was a treat to read.

    I know you have gotten enough queries about Spiti already – (i actually went through all of them to get as much information as I could). Since you are one person i have come across with such explicit information, wanted to ask a few questions and I would be grateful for answers –

    Tentative Plan: we are two people (late 20s) planning a trip from 20th – 25/26th March 2017. The idea is to go around Himachal and eventually reach spiti (possible stop point being Bir Billing). Journey would commence from Delhi.

    1) This blog has been written from a chronological stand point starting from the onset of winters – to what degree would all of the above hold true for the mentioned dates?

    2) we are both up for taking public transport (no cabs) for all the places – but would prefer driving in order to save time. What are your views on a petrol i20 for the trip?
    In your reply to Aamod, you have mentioned that Manali route would be closed and Kinnaur could be taken. We could dcrap our plan for Bir and take this route, however, Google maps say the Kinnaur route is shut off due to winters. I am sure there is some way to get to Spiti at this time. Your views?

    3) Worst case scenario – we are unable to make it to spiti for whatever reasons – could you possible suggest similar but accessible places. idea is to not be around crowds at all.

    I know these are quite detailed questions – would love to have a chat with you extensively.

    You can get in touch with me at pranay.sharan@gmail.com

    Thanks a lot!

    PS – have driven down with family till Sumdo via Puh as a kid, but during the summer months.

  • Krish Roy

    Hi Himanshu,

    Super blog!!!

    I have already completed the shimla – tabo – kaza – chandrataal – manali circuit by car during July 2015 and stayed in Sakya, the best in the lot. Now next in my agenda is to drive Spiti during winter. Few questions
    1. Which is the comparatively safe time from driving perspective: Dec-Jan or Mar-Apr?
    2. During these odd months what all are the staying options between Rampur and Kaza?


  • Harkirat Singh

    I am planning to go on Lahaul spiti tour in winter season. Can any one suggest me how to reach to the Lahaul spiti in winters when all passes are closed and I am from Chandigarh…

  • Bikram Singh

    This is the first blog I have ever seen, beyond perfect, you did great job bro.
    BTW we are planning to explore spiti with scorpio diesel/ or figo petrol in last week of June. I am making tent now these days to survive over there. What are the places after chatroo uncle’s dhaba to explore. How to reach chandrataal. Is the spiti valley safe for camping alone in tents anywhere.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Bikram!

    Thanks a lot! I won’t be the best person to answer these questions. A travel agency would be the best. I can only answer the last question. Camping alone is safe provided you know the basics of camping safety.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Everything is in the blogpost Harkirat! You reach via Kinnaur.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot Krish!
    Sounds awesome!
    Everything depends on the amount of snowfall. Dec-January would be the safest provided you know how to drive on snow. Feb End is the time of the avalanches. March and April gets more avalanches.

    You can stay at TAPRI, Reckong PEO and almost anywhere where you can find people. Won’t be a problem.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot Pranay!
    Sorry for the very late reply. I believe you would have seen it yourself by now. 😀

  • Karan Jain

    Hi Himanshu,

    What are the chances of snowfall in the month of November. Me and my friends are planning a road trip to spiti from Mumbai.

  • vishal

    Hi himanshu we are 2 couples going to travel in spiti through shimla kinnaur. Starting from 4 th November and will be back to shimla on 13th November so can u guide us about atmosphere over there??? And will I be able to see the snowy roads like you showed in your photos

  • Lachu

    I am planning to go this year last week of December, would the lands be barren or snow fall will start…

  • Lucky chauhan

    Dear himanshu, m planing to go spiti on 4th of nov this year is it right time……What are the weather conditions any suggestions……..I am coming with my wife and son…….I am from palampur

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Lucky!
    Sorry for the delayed reply. I am too late now. Also, its too late for Spiti now. It’ll be way below freezing and non of the hotels would be open. Not suitable for regular tourists. Try between June and October.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Lachu!
    It snowed yesterday but it wasn’t that much. Can’t say about the snowfall. Check Accuweather, it is quite accurate in its weather predictions of KAZA. All the locals use it.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Vishal!
    Sorry for the delayed response. I won’t suggest Spiti in November as its really tough for regular tourists. You need to be prepared for subzero temperatures. The videos were from January end and there will hardly be any snowfall in November. It did snow yesterday. 😀

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Hi Karan!
    It snowed yesterday but driving from Manali at this time is not recommended as many sections are completely covered with ice. Try from Kinnaur side.

  • Swapnil Srivastava

    Hi Himanshu,

    We are a group of 6 friends who want to visit spiti around 23rd dec via the shimla route. I have a few questions in mind.
    1) What level of snow fall can we expect?
    2) is it going to be really very difficult to drive?
    3) how many days should we take to cover the sector and reach delhi?
    4) the website link for home stays you have given to fellow travelers has a glitch it seems, its not opening?
    5) how cold is it going to be around christmas?

    hope to hear from you soon. Thanks in Advance.

  • kripal singh

    Hi Himanshu!
    planing to visit spiti from 5th to 10th December in a self driven car . is it possible ? how to know the current condition of the roads and spiti !! and i have only 5 days delhi to delhi .

  • Dev prakash

    What is the lowest tempreture you had encountered in the spiti valley trip

  • Prince

    Hi Himanshu,
    Great article.Enjoyed reading it. ??
    I have a question. Our rider group(our bikes- Royal Enfield) will come to spiti in the beginning of Feb 2018, they’ve already been to spiti before. They are telling me that one needs to drink to keep his body warm but i’m a non drinker. Any suggestions about how i can manage? Thanks in advance

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot Prince!
    Haha! Thats one of the funniest things I have read.
    They are totally wrong bro. You don’t need to drink and drinking is more harmful for AMS as it dehydrates you.

    “Alcohol and drug use. Alcohol may make your body feel warm inside, but it causes your blood vessels to expand, resulting in more rapid heat loss from the surface of your skin. The body’s natural shivering response is diminished in people who’ve been drinking alcohol. In addition, the use of alcohol or recreational drugs can affect your judgment about the need to get inside or wear warm clothes in cold weather conditions. If a person is intoxicated and passes out in cold weather, he or she is likely to develop hypothermia.” Source – https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothermia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352682

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot for your comment. The lowest I recorded was -27ºC in the middle of Kaza village. Places around and high altitude ares would be a lot colder.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Sorry for the late reply!
    Its totally possible. The roads are amazing from Kinnaur side and you can take any car you want. Also its still not snowed.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Sorry for the late reply!
    Here are some quick answers!
    1. No Snow.
    2. Depends on your mountain driving skills.
    3. If you want to touch the places you can complete it in three days. If you really want to travel and explore, then even an year is less. 😀
    4. Thanks for letting me know I’ll upload the links. Try this one. http://www.sakyaabode.com
    5. Not very cold. Should be around -5 to -9ºC

  • Hi..thank you for sharing the information. Kaza has been on our bucket list for a long time. wanted to know if it will be possible to visit Kaza in Mid- October. We have a 18 month old toddler with us.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot for writing Shubhda
    It sure is. Its one of the best time. Just keep the toddler warm.

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