“Great things never comes from comfort zones”
Winter gives Spiti an added dose of mysticism, enigma, the pristine whiteness forming a mantle of purity that not just enchants and enthralls but also triggers an inward journey.You will feel the nature at its harshest and yet its finest. Spiti in winters is not only unbelievable and spectacular but also a big stupefaction at every step. Travelling to Spiti in winters for no leisure or fun time,it is for travelling to new challenges apart from your usual itinerary and self revelation,exploring the colors of nature. The tourist season for visiting Spiti is from May till the month of October and the early novemeber is met by extreme winters. It is when the brave hearts venture out to explore the white Spiti,that remains hidden from the eyes of the regular travelers who visit during the tourist season.
So, here are the top reasons why you should visit Spiti during winters-
# Taking the Shimla- Narkanda route to Spiti-
The only way to reach Spiti is by road from Shimla via NH-22 highway through Kinnaur as the route from Manali is closed during the winters providing a good chance to reach Spiti while exploring Shimla, Narkanda and Reckong Peo.
# Discover the adventure that Winter Spiti provides-
Travelling to Spiti in winters is no way a leisure trip. In early November,when the temperature drops down to -10 degrees, the hotels are closed for the tourists and the first spell of snowfall stops the Government buses. After the temperature drop much down ,the road becomes extremely slippery and the only vehicle visible on these roads are private cars of spiti people and local taxis. In winters, the minimum temperature of Kaza goes down to -20 degrees . It is much colder than your freezer at home . So ,surving in such cold weather is in itself a self exploration.
Moreover, when the hotels close down in the winter season,you can get a chance to experience the real hospitality of people of Spiti by staying with them in their home stays. Staying with the villagers in their houses also adds to their village economy. It is always advisable to book your accommodation as there are less resources,so that informing your hosts will help them to arrange resources for you. And to top it all,you’ll get snow and a lot of snow,the most obvious things when you visit Spiti in Ladakh . This means the road will be slippery and one must have to extra cautious while driving on it.
Hence,with all these experiences ,a hardcore traveler soul will really love to overcome all the problems or you can say new experiences?
# Lesser Tourists-
Spiti sees an influx of tourism in the month of June,July and August. September marks the end of the tourist season in Spiti from where the long slumber of the nature starts. When you visit Spiti ,after September ,you won’t find many people once you cross Kinnaur and start moving towards Kaza. It is the time,when you can explore the real beauty of Spiti without the tourist hustle . Also,don’t forget to carry extra warm clother with you as you would not like to die in such extreme harsh weather.
# To understand the village life of spiti in winters –
Winter may be the perfect time to see the local life of Spiti and it is really motivating to see how the natives of Spiti survive in such harsh westher with very few resources,no electricity for months and still they are doing fine. The temperature goes down to -40 degrees sometimes .Therefore there is no running water as the water freezes,no water supply in toilets as the pipes are entirely frozen,no electricity for months. Most hotels are closed for winters in Spiti,therefore your get a chance to live with the natives and know more about their culture and hence add to their economy. Moreover,Winter is an off season in Spiti.It is advisable not to bargain at the homestays as the resources are very hard to manage by Spiti people which are expensive.
#To live on the basic food and amenities-
Visiting Spiti in winters and bearing such harsh situations can be a experience in self. Ofcourse don’t expect scrumptious meals when you are in Spiti. All you get is the basic food comprising of rice, dal and sometimes momos for a change . It is better to carry food items with you when you are in Spiti as you don’t know where you’ll be stuck in the amidst of nowhere.There are very limited food joints on the way after you cross Reckong Peo or Powari,the only places that might offer some tea and food are spillow and hurling. Water supply also freezes and the locals collect water from the hand pumps to their homes in big and small plastic cans.
There is no tourists in the winters in Spiti,less crowd and lonely snow clapped roads and all you have is you against yourself. If you want to live in solitude for a while,then visiting spiti may be a good idea where you can escape your daily conventional life for a while and meet yourself again who is lost somewhere in urban and digital world. Only ,you and the snow covered valleys,lakes,empty roads .
# An experience of a lifetime-
If you know what adversities you may have to suffer when you visit Spiti in winters than you should be ready for an adventure and indelible experience of lifetime. You will be greeted with real Spitian culture,temperature of less than -40 degrees,no electricity and snow covered landscapes only few had the chance to witness.
So,if you an hardcore traveler and want to experience the surprises what nature offers and see the real beauty of Spiti,then pack your bags and wait for December. Spiti is waiting for you.