Spiti Valley was the ‘IT’ thing for all the travel bloggers, websites and travel enthusiasts, last year and we are so glad for this. Believe it or not, Spiti Valley is one of the wonders in India that demands to be explored in the rawest way possible because of all the amazement that it possess.

If you’re also going to be a first timer at the cold mountain desert of Spiti then cheer up because we have decided to gather 10 things that one should keep in their mind, if they’re travelling to Spiti for the first time. The valley is extremely beautiful and welcomes everyone with open arms and hearts into its lap which has shades of serenity and solace, tucked away in the most alluring way possible.

Check out these 10 things to keep in mind, if you’re travelling to the beautiful Spiti Valley for the first time:

Source: Summit Safari – India
Source: Summit Safari – India

1. Health

Please, Please, Please make sure that you’re fit to visit Spiti Valley before actually planning it. High altitudes are tough for people with breathing problems and do keep it in mind that this is not an easy trek. You need a certain amount of experience before laying your hands on the probability of visiting Spiti Valley. Therefore, consult your doctor and probably get your gym trainer to give you a clean chit for the trip. Because, no one, and I mean no one, likes a spoil sport.

2. Climate

Climate plays a huge part in the exploration of Spiti Valley, visit it in the wrong months and it can almost cost you your entire life, or even make you end up with one fantastic story to share with your generations to come. Visit Spiti during October to March can be extremely daunting for the first timers, therefore, please don’t even try it in your travelling dreams. The best months to enjoy the beauty in the most incredible way possible is to visit it during the months of June to early September.

3. Clothing

Another C in the line is Clothing which can basically make or break your entire first-time-amazing-spiti trip, and we all know that you don’t want it to happen. While days would shine on you in the most glorious way possible, nights can be pretty challenging to even maintain. At night, try to pack some heavy duty jackets, because you never know how mighty the winds decide to be. Also for daytime, remember, open mountain sunlight can leave you with a lot of sunburns even when it feels too amazing to drop. Caps and full sleeves T-shirts would help you in not achieving the dreadful sunburns, as well as weird tattoos. The temperature in summer can go from 29 degrees in the day to 2-12 degrees at night.

4. Permit

While Indian travellers do not need to get a permit before visiting the area, your foreigner friend might need to go get one from Reckong Peo near Kalpa. This is because, while travelling to Spiti Valley from Manali or Shimla, the route takes the traveller very close to the Tibetan Borders. It is not a very elongated process and can easily be completed in a few hours.

5. Hitchhiking or Own Vehicle?

The decision between hitchhiking and going by your own vehicle is something that everyone spends a lot of time on. Travelling by own vehicles should only be considered if you’re travelling in SUV since those can tackle the bad road conditions. However, if you’re one of those who want to hitchhike through Galaxy, one day but would probably settle for Spiti Valley for the time being, then this is the time. Himachal is considered to be one of the safest places in the country to hitchhike around.

P.s. public transport around Spiti Valley are too rare to even spot and hiring cabs is too costly to even think about. Therefore, take your chances and decide what is best for you.

6. Altitude Sickness

Ditch the idea of drinking like there’s no tomorrow on this trek because it won’t go down well, both legitimately and metaphorically. People have mentioned how even one rum drink, spoilt their entire trip of a lifetime. Other than this, hydration is the key to success and this key should preferably be consumed warm.

7. Cash all the way

No matter how much the Government is disseminating the idea of going digital, Spiti is not the place to experiment the phenomenon in. Even though there are ATMs on top, always try to carry a sufficient amount of cash with you which can be used in case none of the ATMs actually work.

8. Where to stay?

Staying while visiting Spiti Valley depends largely on the kind of comfort you want. While there are no 5-star resorts, which we are very thankful for, homestays and guest houses, in Tabo & Kaza, does the work. One can also book a room in Key or Tabo monasteries which are very low in price and definitely apt for all the backpackers. If all else fail, pitch a tent and settle in one of the caves.

9. Never forget First Aid

Forgetting First Aid while being on this trip is like forgetting an essential thing on your trek, which is a first-aid kit. You never know when you’ll need it, and in reality, it is one of those things that you never even want to actually use.

10. Network Issues

You gotta be kidding us if you think that you’ll able to post photos on your social media, in real time or even be able to communicate with your loved ones while being here. No matter how fast mobiles and the Internet has reached places, there are some places which are still prone to our handy distractions. You can make STD calls while being at Kaza through the help of mighty BSNL, like good old days.

Swear by these 10 things and we assure you, Spiti Valley and its journey would be 10 times less infuriating and drenching, however, if would definitely be worth all the tensions, once you reach the place you desire to. All these 10 things come in so handy and are actually very simple when you think of it, but then we all know that simple things are the easiest to forget.

13th April 2017
Jyotsna Amla