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Reet Cheema Jun 12 2014

Can you suggest an itinerary for Delhi-Spiti-Manali-Delhi driving holiday

Anupriya Bedi Jun 12 2014
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Rediscover the magic of the road with an itinerary for Delhi-Spiti-Manali-Delhi driving holiday. Sometimes the journey can be more exciting than the destination. As you accumulate miles on the odometer, you can observe first hand changes in the landscapes and cultures across regions.

Photo of Rohtang Pass (by liitle byte of luck)

Route: Delhi-Shimla (346 km)-Thanedar (82 km)-Sangla (145 km)-Tabo (205 km)-Kaza (47 km)-Manali (212 km)-Chandigarh (320 km)-Delhi (253 km)
Total distance: 1,610 km
Time: 7 days
States: Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh; Union Territory of Chandigarh

Photo of Manali (by Munish Chandel)

Day 1: Delhi to Shimla

One should leave for Shimla early morning from Delhi. NH22 to Shimla is one of India’s best hill roads, well maintained, wide and smooth. Shimla is a the only hill station in India to combine the beauty of the gigantic Himalayas, the energy of a city and the old world charm of a hill station. To know more about Shimla, check out the 1 day itinerary for Shimla.

Photo of Shimla during snow (from the Official Facebook page)


Most travellers prefer Thanedar to Shimla for a halt. It is a charming little village nestled amongst apple orchards and is much quieter than Shimla. Barobag Hill is the highest point in Thanedar and offers stunning views of snow-capped mountains and the Sutlej. A walk to Kotgarh is worth taking; there, you’ll find St Mary’s Church, which was built in 1872. The church is notable for its Belgian stained glass. You can go on several walks around Thanedar; head out to Tani Jubbar Lake or Hatu Peak.

Photo of Apple Orchards at Thanedar (by Muffet)

Day 2: Shimla to Sangla

Nestled between the Dhauladhar Range and the Tibetan Plateau, the Sangla Valley is a plethora of colour and boasts of gorgeous scenery. Orchards are abundant here and walks and treks are the order of the day. A walk to Rakcham Village is a must while in Sangla. It is also famous for its Kamru Fort, and Kamakshi Temple, which stands on a hillock.

Photo of Sangla Valley (by Ashish Bodade)

Day 3: Sangla to Kalpa

A striking mountain village that was once the haunt of Lord Dalhousie, Kalpa offers lovely views of Kinner Kailash Peak. The village has some beautiful walks. You can plan a 2 km hike down to nearby Reckong Peo. Also visit the Kinnaur Kalachakra Celestial Palace Gompa and ancient Chandrika Devi Temple at Kothi, 3 km from Reckong Peo.

Photo of Kalpa Valley (by Vladimir.savan)

From Kalpa, while heading to Tabo, make a 600 m detour to Nako (2950 m). The Nako Lake is a serene place with prayer flags reflected in its waters. On its banks are typical Spiti houses; on one bank are stones with Tibetan inscriptions, whose antecedents are uncertain.

Photo of Nako Lake (by Munish Chandel)

Day 4: Kalpa to Tabo

The drive to Tabo will be marked by a change in the landscape and you’ll see a stark moonscape that’s at once stunning and desolate. Tabo is most famous for its Tabo Monastery and the complex of nine temples and cave shrines, which represent the oldest continuously functioning Buddhist enclave in India.

Photo of Tabo Monastery (by the margi)

The Tsuglagkhang (the main temple) life-like clay sculptures are particularly striking. En route from Tabo to Kaza, visit the 16th century Dhankar Gompa. Once a jail, it is today home to about 150 lamas.The views from its terrace are astounding. Huge mountains with the Spiti River meandering by their bases make for a heavenly sight.

Photo of Dhankar Gompa (by torchmeister)

Day 5: Tabo to Kaza-Chandratal Lake

Kaza is the district headquarters and administrative centre of Spiti. The major attraction here is the Ki Monastery. Hundreds of lamas receive their religious training here. Close to the monastery is Kibber village. Also do drive up to Langza and Komik. The large Buddha statue in Langza is worth seeing. Do not forget to look for fossils here.

Photo of Ki Monastery (by Anil Kothapalli)

Chandratal Lake is located at a height of 4152 m is so astonishingly beautiful that it makes you more favourably disposed towards Himachal Tourism’s tall claims that the state is an abode of the gods.

Photo of Chandratal Lake (by Gurdas Singh)

Day 6: Chandratal Lake to Rohtang Pass--Manali

From Kunzum La the road runs along the Chandra River all the way to Gramphoo before it climbs up again to cross the Rohtang Pass. Rohtang Pass lets you explore the stunning panoramas of the glorious snow peaks and glaciers. From Rohtang it takes a 5 hour (50 km) drive down to Manali.

Photo of Rohtang Pass (by Vivek Sheel)

Manali known as the Valley of Gods stands high at an altitude of 2050 m above sea level. Manali is the right place for both adventure lovers as its really popular for adventure sports like skiing, hiking, mountaineering and paragliding. Old Manali is a pretty famous hippie enclave with a string of riverside cafes offering international menu and nirvana music.

Photo of Manali (by Munish Chandel)

Day 7: Manali to Chandigarh-Delhi

Chandigarh is a convenient stopping point for travellers heading to the hills from Delhi. In this itinerary, Chandigarh doesn’t feature in the onward journey, but while returning to Delhi from Manali, you can stop here. You can also check out the popular tourist attractions in this capital city.

Photo of Manali (by Adarsh Kuruvath)


1. Up to Shimla, there are many fuel stations, but this is not the case from there on. The Ixigo Road Trips Appis a very helpful app to download on your phone. It will let you know about the nearest fuel station, ATM and dhabba on your route.

2. There are no dhabas after Narkanda but plenty of lovely viewpoints on the road where you can stop and eat. Little teashops could also offer dal and rice and could even whip you up an omelette.

3. Towns like Solan, Shimla, Theog, Narkanda, Nogli, Rampur and Kaza have several auto repair shops and puncture repair shops.

4. On the drive from Kaza, stop at teashops at Losar, Batal, Chhota Dhara and Chhatru. These usually have information about the road ahead and will tell you if there has been a landslide or if there’s any particular section you should look out for.

5. The detour from Kaza to Chandratal Lake via Kunzum La is breathtakingly beautiful but extremely difficult because of the narrow road.Go on this detour only if you are very confident of your driving capabilities.

6. The Tabo-Kaza Road is arrow straight at some places and the landscape is marked with chortens in brilliant white, which stand out against a deep blue sky.

7. There is no road more wilder and adventurous than the one from Kaza to Manali.

8. Be prepared for long traffic jams while on your way to Rohtang Pass.

Check out Delhi-Spiti-Manali-Delhi: The High Ground for a more detailed look at this itinerary.

Also check out the tips to get your car ready for a driving holiday.

The itinerary for Delhi-Spiti-Manali-Delhi is very doable and is an extremely enjoyable one. So if you are planning a getaway or have a long weekend coming up, here’s an excellent driving holiday idea for you. For hotel accommodations along the way, check out ixigo app-hotels flights restaurants. Happy holidays and happy driving!

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