Spiti or Ladakh or both?? Kashmir too?
Replies: 14 - Last Post: May 9, 2012 8:28 PM Last Post By: siamiam
Apr 29, 2012 8:03 AM
I'll be leaving Manali in the next few days and I really want to visit Spiti and maybe do some trekking there (which maybe I can't do until the second half of May) but also have been really keen to go to Ladakh for some time. I'm thinking if I set off for Spiti it will take a while and I'd like to spend some time in Kinnaur on the way. After that, if the Rohtang Pass opens, I was thinking of coming back to Manali then on to Leh... then back again in time to get to Delhi mid-June. I'm wondering if this is really worth while, if I'll have already been to Spiti, simply because its so much road travel (though I do enjoy that despite the bone-jarring).. and I had even been considering going the Jammu and Kashmir route to Leh, but not sure about safety (though I know its a lot safer than in the past, there was a car bomb only in March).
Anyway... any thoughts on this would be welcome, in the meantime I'll do some more reading and looking at photos!
Apr 29, 2012 8:16 AM
1Though Spiti and Ladakh are both are mostly dry and arid the population Buddhist, the landscape is different and if you have the time visit both .
If you decide to continue to Ladakh overland, then you can get transport from Kaza over the Kunsum La pass, no need to go back to Manali.
Personally I like the Kunsum La better than the Rothan pass.
Yes long drive, back and other body parts aching, but an amazing trip.
Apr 29, 2012 8:42 AM
Apr 30, 2012 12:26 AM
3You get Inner line permit in Kaza and Manali also apart from Shimla and Recongpeo.
1. Given that you have 45 days ahead of you, I would recommend you to visit both. Spiti Valley and Ladakh.
2. Itinerary should be like this: From Manali go to Ladakh first, Finish Leh and Ladakh and come directly to Spiti valley (KAZA) via Kunzum la So by that time all the pass will be open.
3. Once in Spiti do a circuit from Kaza to Tabo to Pin valley to Nako to Recongpeo/Kalpa to Shimla and back to Delhi for your flight.
The above Route will save some time on back and forth traveling.
Hope this helps.
Apr 30, 2012 1:06 AM
4Spiti is great , but as for now you would have to double back on the NH 22 : the Kunzum La opens even later than the Rohtang. Inner Line Permits neccessary coming this route to Spiti , get them in Shimla or Rekong Peo.
I am in Tabo now and can tell you that the Kunzum La is still getting snow. The locals here expect a late opening this year.
Inner Line Permit in Shimla is reported to require minimum of 4 people (info from Reckong Peo office).
Permit in Reckong Peo reqiures 2 people and costs 350 rupees per person. This means if you are a party of one, as in my case, once they issue a permit on any given day to two or more people, they can give you one as a single traveler as well. If you find someone who is not traveling the 'inner line route' in Peo, but is willing to supply their passport info, etc., you can pay 700 rupees and get the permit (you have to provide passports, etc, for two people minimum).
Permits in Kaza are reported to be issued to single travelers for free (info from Reckong Peo office).
Apr 30, 2012 1:13 AM
Apr 30, 2012 2:02 AM
6I was told in Reckong Peo that the permit is the same in all offices, but that these offices are in defferent jurisdictions, hence the different requirements. I only have personal experience with the office in Reckong Peo.
I have been told by people here in Tabo that they believe the Kunzum La will open in late June this year.
Apr 30, 2012 2:14 AM
Apr 30, 2012 4:40 AM
8Haven´t seen a letter of sponsorship or been asked for copies of the permit as described in the second link : should be really old or really new regs. From the "nowadays I guess" comment I guess the former.
(Still mildly dazzled by working internet in Tabo. )
Apr 30, 2012 4:50 AM
9Haven´t seen a letter of sponsorship or been asked for copies of the permit as described in the second link : should be really old or really new regs. From the "nowadays I guess" comment I guess the former.
Yes, there have been some changes since that thread, even though it is fairly recent (one of the more recent I could find).
(Still mildly dazzled by working internet in Tabo. )
Tabo Cyber Cafe - internet access via satalite ! It has been working very well, even when the town's electricity is out (the cafe has solar/battery backup). 80 rupees per hour, less for fractions thereof. Near the town's bus stand. Cheers
Apr 30, 2012 5:38 AM
Apr 30, 2012 5:54 AM
11Wow thank you for all of those responses... I have been keeping an eye on your blog vistet - very useful.
So given I am fairly sure the Kunzum La will not open during my time in India I think I have 2 options:
1. Head for Spiti straight away then double back to Manali and go to Ladakh whenever the Rohtang Pass opens (if it happens by the end of May).
Thing is, I had hoped to do a 5-day trek in Spiti with spitiecosphere and they reckon we can't do it until maybe 20th May (due to snow), so won't be back in Kaza until 25th May... then it will surely take 3 days st least to get back to Manali, which will leave me only a couple of weeks to go to Ladakh and get back to Delhi. (I would really rather do it all overland)
Is this feasible really?
2. Head for Srinigar straight away then Leh, spend a good amount of time in Ladakh then hopefully come back the other way depending when the Rohtang Pass opens... and maybe go to Spiti after that if I have time (but probably wouldn't since I'd still have to go via Shimla: I doubt the Kunzum La will be open)
This option is appealing as it doesn't involve the doubling back to Manali... and I would really like to go to Kashmir, but I am quite concerned about the security situation.
But maybe if I was just going to Jammu then straight on to Srinigar then Kargil (and not hanging around too much or visiting rural areas) it would be quite safe?
Again.. thoughts welcome!
Apr 30, 2012 8:08 PM
12I don't have any better current info on the Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh routes than you do. I can tell you that the Reckong Peo-Kaza route is in fairly good shape and busses are making the trip daily. I like Spiti and Ladakh equally, but I find that for myself there is more to see in Ladakh, so I would spend more time there than I do in Spiti. It sounds like you would enjoy seeing Srinagar, so one possible option for you would be to do that and then see if you can go on to Leh from there. If not, then you should still have enough time to get to, and see, Spiti. If it were me, that is what I would do, and I would plan on saving one or the other (Ladakh or Spiti) for a future trip. That's just me; I couldn't see both as I would like to in the amount of time you have. However, you might be able do do them both to your satisfaction.
Apr 30, 2012 9:02 PM
May 9, 2012 8:28 PM
14From post 10 of this thread: This may indeed be where all applications must start, but there is a chance that a person could save some money by going through the gate mentioned in the post and going directly to the office where the webcam is located.
I got a second inner line permit from the Peo office a week ago and I was told by the lady at the government 'webcam' office, that I had to start my application process at the 'tourist information center' located at the gate just outside the parking area for the government offices. This 'tourist information center' is a private concern, according to one of the two men named Chander that manage the office. I tried to start my application at the government office where the webcam is located, but was directed to the 'tourist information center' to start the process. Of the 350 rupees that each person pays, 200 go to the government office, 150 to the private 'tourist information center' office. I didn't ask if there are any other private agencies that can also start the permit application process.
The above info was accurate as of a week ago; we all know how these things can and do change.
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