This rafting holiday on the Spiti and Pin River offers a wonderful experience of the diverse culture of India. During a 100km long descent you will visit Buddhist Monasteries, meet nomadic tribesmen and spend nights in the homes of the local people. The river expedition offers a relaxed leisurely taste of Himalayan rafting and a close encounter with the indigenous people and their traditional way of life.
The valleys of Spiti and Lahaul are bound by Tibet in the east, the Kullu valley to the south, and Ladakh in the north. While in some ways these wild valleys are similar to the Leh and Zanskar valleys of Ladakh, they are more remote, mysterious, and magnificent. Because of deep snow and subzero temperatures, road access to the region is impossible for most of the year.
This land, one of the most remote areas for rafting in India lies between altitudes of 3000m and 6000m. At lower altitudes, we find wide valleys with rich pastures full of wildflowers. These contrast with soaring peaks and frozen glaciers.
The journey follows the old Tibetan-Hindustan trade route. Isolated from the main tourist routes you will experience at first hand an unspoiled land where the people are welcoming and charming. They will introduce you to their traditional Buddhist art and culture, dances, songs, ancient legends, and folk tales from the mists of time.
Day 01: Arrival in Delhi
You will be met 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 02: 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 03: Rest day Manali
A relaxing day today offers you the chance to explore this lovely town, you can visit the colorful market and the Roerich Art Gallery. The Hadimba Temple is also worth a visit. Overnight hotel.
Day 04: 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 05: 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 to grade two and we travel through the amazing landscape of snow-covered peaks and glaciers, while near at hand are friendly villages and colorful wildflower meadows. Overnight in a home-stay.
Day 06: 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 07: Rangrik to Langza (4440 m)
We have a leisurely breakfast before driving to Langza. En route, we see rare fossils, part of 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 08: 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 Sikkim. On the way, we visit a Buddhist monastery, the DankharGompa. We spend the evening in Sikkim in the Pin valley. Overnight home-stay.
Day 09: Sikkim to Tabo (3050 m)
After a hearty breakfast, we visit the Kungri Gompa and then paddle to Poh arriving at lunchtime. 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. In 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 Sumdobridge 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.