So you fell acquainted with these places way beyond
You felt the need to see them through your eyes
You felt the desire to go out and explore
packed your bags all ready to abscond
With the thrill in your eyes and the fear in your heart
Always wondered if it would be worth trying hard
Lost in there, asked if life was all about that race
Or was it about knowing that being lost was never a disgrace.
This time the journey starts from Batal, where we parted ways with our friends and then just two of us left for the further voyage into the Spiti Valley. This region savors a fusion of solitude and freedom. Its aloofness in the world of superficial familiarity is something you would truly fall for. People say when you taste this kind of freedom, there is no turning back. So, as I told you before, places call upon you and when you hear these voices all you can do is, run to the call.
How to reach Spiti valley (KAZA)?
To reach Kaza, you can take up any of these routes. Lets take the starting point as Manali. So, the distance from Manali to Kaza via Batal is 203 kms.
We have already covered the distance till Batal in our last blog and the itinerary for this one will begin from Batal itself.
Batal – Kunzum La – Losar – Rangrik – Kaza (dist. 90 kms)
Transport means– Bus/ Taxi/ Personal vehicle
It takes around 3-4 hours to cover this stretch via road.
What we did : We got a lift in a taxi at Batal which was already booked but had just a few seats left. (Fare we paid = Rs. 250 each) (You can get them too.)
Reckong Peo – Pooh – Nako – Sumdo – Tabo – Kaza
Transport means – Bus/ Taxi/ Personal vehicle
The distance till Nako is already covered in our previous blog
Note: You can reach Chandrataal via Kunzum pass too.
What are the stay and food options?
Kaza has a variety of options when it comes to lodging. You have guest houses, rest houses and hotels to choose from. We stayed at a friend’s hotel by the name ‘ Hotel Le Karze’. So we barely had to pay anything for the stay too. The normal price range for hotel is Rs. 600-1500 per night.
What are the nearby places of attraction?
Kaza- Key Monastery : (14.6 kms)
This monastery is the oldest one in Himachal. Standing tall on the mountain top, its ambience speaks for itself. The space is gifted with uniqueness and peaceful silence. It’s one of those places where happiness and joy come in naturally. The view of Spiti river by its side adds to your experience of scenic beauty. Also the monastery has a record book which has memories of its every visitor recorded in the form of words.
Kaza- Kibber : (19kms)
Kibber is a village just few kilometers away from the Key monastery. The village is decorated with scenic beauty and has a surprisingly-systematic house planning. It is recorded as the highest village in India.
Kaza- Tabo : (48 kms)
Tabo is also a monastery. It is one of the oldest one and is rich in cultural aspects.
Kaza- Rangrik : (approx. 7 kms)
It lies on the way to Kaza and it houses a very old statue of Lord Buddha. You can truly feel his presence inside and the serenity of this place would surely leave you mesmerized.
The legend of this temple goes back to the discovery of a mummy in the work grounds of ITBP team. The Mummy is believed to be sacred and is worshiped like a goddess by the natives. You can actually see this mummy seated in a glass cabin inside the temple. Exciting right?
Note: We could not actually visit this place because it cuts out on a different route from Nako. You can stay at Nako and then go for the temple the next day.
We began with our journey to Lahaul-Spiti from Chandigarh. The part-1 of this blog outlines our trip to Chandrataal lake and defines the reach till Batal. We’ll start the journey right from beginning here.
Day 1 -: Chandigarh- Manali. Stay at Manali in the Mountaineering institute.
Expenditure for the day per person= Rs 450 (ordinary bus fare) + Rs 100 ( food) + free stay at institute + Rs 100 (dinner)
Day 2 -: Manali- Chandrataal.
Expenditure for the day per person= Rs. 200 (eatables for the journey) + Rs 200 (car fare for lift till Batal) + Rs 100 ( lunch and chai at Batal) + free stay and food at Chandrataal (we had our own food and tent.)
Day 3 -: Chandrataal- Batal. Left from Batal at 1:00 PM and reached Key Monastery at 5:30 PM.
Expenditure for the day per person= Chandratal to Batal trek + Rs. 70 ( per one plate of food) + Rs 250 ( Low fare taxi till a km away from Kaza) + lift till Key + Rs 50 (snacks at Key) + Free stay and dinner( Friend’s Hotel)
We got a lift in a tractor till Key monastery from Rangrik bridge near to Kaza but while returning from Key monastery we had to come back on foot. We started the journey way back at 7:00 PM and reached at the hotel around 11:00 PM. The hotel we stayed at for the night was taken by one of our friends on lease. All thanks to him that our stay and food barely costed us anything.
Hotel name– Le Karze
Day 4 -: Visited Kibber and Tabo monastery.
Expenditure for the day per person= Rs. 500 ( Total Jeep fare) + Rs 200 ( lunch and snacks) + Free dinner and stay
We got a Jeep to take us to Kibber and Tabo. After the day of exploration we came back to the hotel and stayed for a night there. Again the stay and dinner was free for us because of our friend. WIN WIN WIN!!!
Hotel name– Le Karze
Day 5 -: Kaza- Nako
Expenditure for the day per person= Rs. 174 (ordinary bus fare till Nako) + Rs 100 ( lunch and snacks) + Rs. 60 (Dinner) + free stay (own tent)
Left for Nako around 06:00 AM and reached in the afternoon. Went on a little tour and returned in the evening to set our tent for the night. We camped near the monastery.
Day 6 -: Left for Reckong Peo in the morning.
Expenditure for the day per person= Rs 50 (breakfast) +Rs 168 (ordinary bus fare from Nako to Reckongpeo) + Rs 50 (lunch) + Rs 50 (Dinner) + Rs 354 (ordinary bus fare from Reckongpeo to Shimla) + Rs 170 ( ordinary bus fare from Shimla to Chandigarh) + Rs 100 (food)
The thing important to note here is that our total budget was based on ‘JUGAAD’. We built our itinerary through planning our way out on the budget first. Since most of our stays were for free and we travelled through the cheapest means possible we could do our trip under Rs. 4000 (per person). Also we have already travelled a lot in Himachal and we are familiar with the place, so we could take up this risk. But if you are travelling alone or have no such means to base this trip over the given budget, we would truly request you not to compromise with your security. Ensure that you carry the needed amount and have enough money for any possible emergency.
Total cost for our trip per person = Rs 3496
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