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This 6 day jeep safari takes you through “Little Tibet”, as the Spiti Valley is sometimes know, a high, remote region in Himachal Pradesh surrounded on all sides by the craggy peaks of the Himalayas. A land of space and deep blue skies, where little villages dot the rocky slopes and prayer-flags flutter in the dry wind, this is a place that truly speaks to the spirit.
The geological landscape is by far the most immediately striking feature of the Spiti Valley: the massive mountain peaks reaching above a broad, bowl-shaped valley completely dwarf any signs of human activity. The sense of sheer space is colossal, with an otherworldly feel due to the almost complete absence of trees and oceanic deep-blue sky. This is one of India’s least-populated regions, with tiny villages of fewer than fifty houses peppered here and there, and isolated monasteries built on rocky outcrops gazing out into the silence. A place of desolate beauty, where Himalayan Blue Sheep and Snow Leopards eke out a precarious life among the rocks, this is a land that leaves a lasting impression on those who visit.
From the moment you cross Rohtang Pass, you will be transported into another world: the vast contoured rocky landscape is completely different from the lush green hills of Manali below. You’ll visit Tabo Monsatery, at over 1000 years old, the oldest in Spiti, and Dhankar, its name meaning “cliff fort” with its old monastery spectacularly located on a rocky ridge overlooking the confluence of two rivers. You’ll explore high deserts and pastures where you may see Himalayan Blue Sheep, and experience the homely, timeless hospitality of Spitian village life. You’ll also get to visit the largest monastery in the valley, Key Gompa, which is piled up defensively on a rocky outcrop, originally a fortress monastery built to protect the monks from invaders.
This is a tour through some very high-altitude areas, and on the first and last days you’ll be spending around ten hours in a jeep on winding mountain roads. You might think that this could be a rather testing experience, but the ever changing landscape makes for a truly fascinating journey. For anyone in reasonable health with a robust sense of humour, the jeep rides can be fun, and the landscape alone is well, well worth it. If you want to feel dwarfed by raw natural majesty, Spiti is a place that will give you what you’re after. This small region shares with Ladakh a culture that is unique in its blend of North Indian and Tibetan influences, and the memory of the incredible blue of the sky will remain with you long after you leave.
The tour operator who organises this Spiti Valley jeep safari has responsible tourism at the heart of their business. Working closely with local communities, they seek to ensure that tourism has a positive, rather than a detrimental effect on the environment and people. They are also involved in specific ecotourism initiatives including working on restoring the Dhankar monastery, encouraging and aiding women in promoting and selling local handicrafts and promoting the use of green houses and solar passive homes.
We know a lot of people claim responsible practices, but this really is a holiday where you get to see a hidden part of the world and, in doing so, support local people and communities.
We select specialist operators who are experienced, qualified and most importantly passionate about what they do. Your enquiry will be passed straight through to the experts who will be able to give you the best advice.