Award Travel Another India
Ecosphere, Spiti

 

Visit Asia’s highest inhabited
village nestled in
the Spiti Valley...

Overview

Visit Asia’s highest inhabited village nestled in the Spiti Valley. The valley is 8,000 sq. kms and located at an altitude of 3,600 metres in Trans-Himalayan Himachal Pradesh. The warmth of these people will sail you through the adventures of the harsh terrain, whether on the back of a yak or on a mountain bike!

Take a journey through time itself as you visit ancient Buddhist monasteries and fossils embedded for more than 500 million years. Spiti valley can be good for your limbs and your soul, offering adrenaline-boosting adventures and soul seeking meditation under the guidance of the Spiti Lamas or Bhuchens. And the goodness doesn’t end there; a holiday at Ecosphere helps the local community and the conservation of its fragile ecosystem.

Spiti

What we've planned for you...

Spiti Kaleidoscope – 7 days – Leaving 10 August 2014 – other dates on request

This trip begins at Manali and takes you up and over the majestic Rohtang and Kunzum passes and through the stunning and graphic valleys of the Chandra, Spiti and Pin Rivers. In the first couple of days we will take in the sights on the left bank plateau and get acclimatized to the altitude. We will then safari to the highest villages in the world and experience Spitian culture through traditional homestays along with visits to ancient monasteries, dating back to over 1000 years that are the cultural and spiritual hubs of the Spitian way of life.

In terms of your holiday experience this is a “high density” trip. In order to maximize your Spiti experience we will spend less time in getting to and away from the Spiti valley. While in Spiti we will travel primarily to the regions and villages that best integrate and typify the myriad aspects of Spitian culture, where you will experience it through our traditional homestays and cultural performances. Our endeavour is to showcase to you, within the available time “window”, a fairly comprehensive Spitian kaleidoscope.

Essential Kinnaur & Spiti Jeep Safari – 9 days - dates on request

This jeep safari begins at Shimla and takes you through the stunning and graphic valleys of the Sutlej, Baspa, Spiti, Pin and Chandra Rivers and up and over the majestic Rohtang and Kunzum passes. During this trip we will travel into the spectacular valley of the Satlej River in Kinnaur. The mighty Kinner Kailash will keep us company in Kalpa, and the enchanting Sangla valley is the perfect place to chill out in.

While in Spiti we go to some of the world’s highest villages, visit ancient monasteries (including an over 1000- year old monastery), experience the Spitian way of life through traditional homestays, get an insight into the essential aspects of Spiti’s history, culture and practices.

This trip packs in as much of Spiti and Kinnaur as is possible without compromising your comfort levels and holiday experience expectations. We will probably travel a shade more than “ideal”, a trade-off that in our opinion is worth making so that you may take with you the essence of the Spiti and Kinnaur experience.

Spiti Safari – 6 days – dates on request

The Spiti Safari begins at Manali and we journey through the magnificent Rohtang and
Kunzum passes and through the little known valleys of the Chandra and Spiti Valleys. We will then safari to the highest villages in the world and experience Spitian culture through traditional homestays along with visits to ancient monasteries that are the cultural and spiritual hubs of the Spitian way of life.

In a span of 6 days, the Spiti Safari provides a great overview of the region covering all the must sees and dos in the valley!

There are some other options ranging from 6 days to 12 days:


The Spiritual Sojourn

Enter the mystic past of Spiti as you experience some of the oldest monasteries in the world. The Spitian Lamas will give you an insight into the Vajrayana School of Mahayana Buddhism.


Rustic Revelations

Discover the authentic way of life in Spiti by living with the villagers in Komic, Asia’s highest inhabited village and learn how they farm at 3,600 m above sea level. Their simple lifestyle, music and dance will refresh you as much as a chug of Spiti’s Chang (Barley beer) or Chaza (Butter tea).


Pugmarks

Track the snow leopards and encounter the Himalayan wolf as you walk through 450 odd species of endangered plants that are natural to Spiti. The wildlife of the Trans- Himalayan region contains 500 million years of geological history! Pack all of that into a few days of fun to enjoy this magical eco-getaway.


Himalayan Trails

From the headquarters of Spiti take eight trails through mesmerizing passes and lakes of the cold desert. Trek through Himalayan trails with a resolve to be back for more!


Adrenalin Inc

Be warned for this trip needs guts of steel and the will power to match the mountains you will set out to conquer. Test your nerves and abandon yourself to the forces of nature as you take on the Himalayan terrain on a mountain bike!


When...

The best time to visit Spiti is during summer – June to September. For those who really love snow and cold, call us and we can organise a trip anytime!

Tongue Teasers…

Your hosts will treat you with warm Spitian hospitality and provide boiled drinking water and their local cuisine, which is very similar to Tibetan cuisine. You can choose from Momos (steamed dumplings), Thukpas, Tibetan bread and Kyu, a popular vegetable barley stew. If you would like a simple meal of rice or roti with dhal and vegetables, do let us know ahead.


Bunk in

Choose from home stays in five villages of the Spiti valley - Langza, Komic, Demul, Lhalung, Dhankhar and Mikkim in Pin Valley National Park. There are also options in the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary. Guest houses and hotels are also available or better still you could choose to camp under starlit skies.

Homestays - provide you with a clean and comfortable room in a local house with environment friendly and clean toilets. Hot water can be made available on request. Boiled water is provided for drinking purposes.

Hotel/Guesthouse – comprises of a clean and comfortable room with attached bath (running hot and cold water) and toilet.

High Altitude

Spiti is a high altitude region. Since few people have been to such altitudes, it is hard to know who may be affected by high altitude sickness. There are no specific factors such as age, sex or physical condition that co-relate with susceptibility to altitude sickness. Some people get it and some people don't, and some people are more susceptible than others. If one has not travelled to these altitudes before, it is recommended that you consult your doctor.

Your doctor may advice a dosage of Diamox 2/3 days before reaching Kaza – make sure you check with your doctor for the right dosage for you.

Bunk in...

In keeping with its name, the Arco Iris provides rooms in colours of the rainbow to choose from! Opt for the violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow or orange rooms to live in. Rooms are both AC and non - AC and there is access to broadband connectivity, a well-stocked library and a common television.
How to get there?



There are two routes to get to Spiti, via Shimla or via Manali.

Via Shimla: Delhi – Shimla – Rekong Peo – Kaza (790 kms.)

Delhi to Shimla can be done by train, bus or flight. Shimla to Kaza via Rekong Peo is 420 kms. And can be undertaken by buses or taxis, this takes over 15 hours.

Via Manali: Delhi – Manali – Kaza

Manali can be reached by rail, road or air. From there Kaza is a 10 hour drive by bus or taxi through mountainous terrain.

Foreign nationals arriving via Rekong Peo require inner line permits that can be organized at the District Commissioner’s office in Shimla or Rekong Peo.
 
Memories you can take with you...

   
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Holiday with a difference...

Ecosphere won the Virgin Holidays Responsible Travel Award for the Best in a Mountain Environment in 2010. They have been working close to a decade for development and conservation in Spiti. Everything you spend on this trip goes to a fund that helps in development, conservation activities and capacity enhancement of the local people.

The local community is involved at every level to offer tourists a comfortable experience without disrupting the unique ecosystem of the region.

All the trips offered by Ecosphere are carbon neutral. Whatever emissions are generated are calculated and offset through investments in their in-house renewable energy projects within the region.

These include construction of passive solar houses, green houses and investing in other sustainable renewable energy alternatives such as solar water heating systems, solar cookers, solar lighting, etc.

Ecosphere is a social enterprise and your travel with us will contribute to the development and conservation of the region. During your trip you will get a glimpse into the local development and conservation issues and the work being doing to ensure sustainable development of this Trans-Himalayan region.

How Much?

Costs start from Rs.20,000 per person on twin sharing basis

Yak or Horse safari @ Rs.1200/person
Evening of folk expression @ Rs.7500
Bhuchen performance @ Rs.11500
Mountain Biking @ Rs.500/bike (excluding any jeep transfers if need be)
Pottery @ Rs.500/person

Details on inclusions and exclusions for each tour vary.

Prices valid up to 31st December 2014

Transfers - can be organized at an additional cost

Meal prices approx. ₹ 600/- per day per person for typical local food (depending on the lunch home / restaurant you choose)

Check-in and check-out time - N.A.

Payment Policy – 100% payment to confirm the booking 2 weeks before arrival and confirmation of the package booking 30 days in advance

Cancellation policy – 4 weeks: full refund, more than 72 hrs and less than 2 weeks - 50% refund, less than 72 hrs – none

Please note that there will not be any reimbursements in the event that you are unable to complete the trip due to high altitude sickness, other personal reasons, weather conditions or road blockages.

 
 
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'Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness'
- Ray Bradbury
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