Surrounded by the Kullu Valley in the south, Ladakh in the north and Tibet in the east, the twin valleys of Lahaul and Spiti are examples of nature at its wildest. This land duplicates and in many ways exceeds the beauty and mystery of the Leh and Zanskar valleys of Ladakh due to its remoteness and less explored terrain. This region is inaccessible for most of the year due to snowed out mountain passes and extreme cold temperatures. The landscape is characterized by glaciers, 6000 m peaks, broad valleys and pastures with a minimum elevation exceeding 3000 m.
This expedition runs along the Hindustan-Tibet road: an old world trade route linking India to Tibet. It is a fascinating land for Buddhist art and culture, unspoilt and practically untouched by tourist traffic and outside influence, a paradise for trekkers and river-runners alike. The people are charming and friendly and have their own traditional dances, ballads, folk tales and legends.
This is a high altitude trip (max. height 4440 m). Please contact us to discuss the implications of this and your own personal fitness. On arrival to India you will be met at the airport. Depending on your personal itinerary you will be transferred to the train station or hotel.
Day 1: Arrival in India. You will be meet at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Spend the afternoon and evening relaxing in your hotel room or taking in the sights of Delhi. Overnight Hotel.
Day 2: Delhi to Manali (2050 m):
We leave Delhi in the early morning driving north to Manali. Over the next three days the scenery changes from flat arable land, to alpine meadows, wooded mountains, and finally to the barren high altitude landscape of Spiti; a fascinating and adventurous. The beautiful hill station of Manali is on the banks of the Beas river on the lower slopes of the Himalaya.
Day 3: Rest day Manali. A relaxing day today offers you the chance to explore this lovely town, you can visit the colourful market and the Roerich Art Gallery. The Hadimba Temple is also worth a visit. Overnight hotel.
Day 4: Manali to Paldhar Plains (3120 m). Today we gain more altitude, driving further north towards Spiti. We take it slow stopping frequently for photos and chai. Overnight Camp.
Day 5: Paldhar to Rangrik (3550 m)
Another early start but you won’t mind that, as today we begin rafting. After a short drive to Kiato, the starting point of our river expedition, we run a training session on the water with a safety talk. Then we set off and paddle all the way to Rangrik. The white-water is easy grade two and we travel through the amazing landscape of snow covered peaks and glaciers, while near at hand are friendly villages and colourful wildflower meadows. Overnight in a home-stay.
Day 6: Rangrik to Gette (4270 m) to Rangrik. Today we go walkabout up and down through the villages of Kaza, Kibber, and Gette with chai breaks to meet the people of Spiti. In the evening we return to Rangrik for dinner. Overnight home-stay.
Day 7: Rangrik to Langza (4440 m)
We have a leisurely breakfast before driving to Langza. En route we see rare fossils, part Spiti’s amazing geology. In Langza we pay a visit to the Lang (temple). The Lang, home to some incredible frescos and thankas (paintings on silken canvas) is seen as the main Gompa of all the deities of the area. Overnight home-stay.
Day 8: Langza to Mikkim (3087 m)
Today we resume our river trip and after a morning of rafting we reach Attargo. This section of the river has some more good whitewater. We leave the river here and drive to Mikkim. On the way we visit a Buddhist monastery, the Dankhar Gompa. We spend the evening in Mikkim in the Pin valley. Overnight home-stay.
Day 9: Mikkim to Tabo (3050 m). After a hearty breakfast we visit the Kungri Gompa and then paddle to Poh arriving at lunch time. From Poh we drive to Tabo. Tabo has no home-stays available so we stay in a hotel.
Day 10: Poh to Tabo
After breakfast we drive back to Poh and get back on the river. On this section the rapids are more demanding, moving up to class III. In the evening we visit a mummified monk in the village of Gui. We return to the hotel for the night.
Day 11: Tabo to Sumdo
Our final day on the river is the most challenging as we paddle through the lower gorge. We leave the river at Sumdo bridge just before the confluence of the Spiti with the Pare Chu. We spend the night in Sumdo. Our adventure on the river ends here.
Day 12: Tabo to Sangla (2880 m): 8 hrs. We begin to travel back to Delhi and the heart of the Indian sub-continent. This journey follows the historic trade route from Hindustan to Tibet. Overnight camp.
Day 13: Sangla to Shimla (2434 m): 7 hrs
Today our destination is Shimla, a name familiar to readers of British Raj literature as one of the better known hill stations, where the British colonists spent the summer months escaping the debilitating weather of the southern sub-continent. Overnight hotel
Day 14: Shimla to Delhi: 8 hrs. An early start sees us complete our journey back to Delhi with several breaks en route. Overnight Hotel.
Day 15: Depart India. After breakfast depart to the international airport for your flight home. Trip ends.
Note: Please contact us for sightseeing in Delhi, or a trip to the Taj Mahal at the start or end of this trip. We can also tailor this trip with a trek or wildlife safari.
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Asia India Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting Cultural Journey
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