Kaza is a very beautiful place in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.Kaza is also known as a Cold Desert having the same similarities to that of Ladakh and Tibet . It is the main hub after Manali.Kaza is situated on the banks of Spiti river.Rudyard Kipling described the Lahaul and Spiti region as ‘a world within a world’. It is more than 11000 feet above the sea level.This is an ideal place for those who are nature lover with some spiritual instinct. Here nature is conglomerated with culture.
What is the best time to visit Kaza ?
You can visit this place between May – september.However it is advisable to avoid any hill station during monsoon.
How to reach Kaza ?
Kullu > Manali > Rohtang Pass > Gramphoo > Batal > Kunzum Pass > Losar >Kaza
Kaza can be reached either from Manali or via Shimla. Indian Airlines and some private airlines operate regular flights to Bhuntar Airport, the nearest airport to Manali.Taxis are also available from Bhunter. Buses and taxis can be hired from Manali to Kaza. Flights from New Delhi and Chandigarh operate on a daily basis to Shimla airport.
Jogindernagar is the nearest railway station to reach Kaza and it is narrow gauge. Shimla and Chandigarh are the nearest broad guage railway stations. Buses and taxis are also available from Shimla and Chandigarh to reach Kaza.Buses are cheaper than hiring a taxi.
It is a 115 km journey from Manali which takes six hours . Another option is to take bus from Shimla via Kinnaur to Kaza. The route from Shimla to Kaza (412 KM) remains open from May to October only .
Suggest a 6-7 days Itinerary to Kaza.
Day 1 Chandigarh to Sarahan
Day 2 – Sarahan to Chitkul
Day 3 – Chitkul to Nako
Day 4 – Nako to Mud Village (Pin Valley)
Day 5 – Mud Village to Kaza
Day 6 – Kaza to Chandratal
Day 7 – Chandratal to Manali
Who should visit Kaza ?
People who wants to know more about Tibetan culture as well as to see the life in remote areas can visit this place. People who love trekking,nature specially high mountains can also visit Kaza.
What is the Climate in Kaza ?
This place is very cold specially in winters.Though after mid-May the temperature is warm enough to tolerate.
What to do in Kaza ?
You can sightsee the beautiful places. You can also see a mummy in monastery.You can gaze stars, meditate in monastery. And the most interesting activity you can do here is to find the fossils here.There are certains temples in villages where you can visit and know about the religion.You can find beautiful carvings on wood used to built the temple.One of the most popular adventure activity you can do here is mountain biking from from Manali to Kaza.
What are the places to visit in Kaza ?
It is basically a place where you can get in touch with local culture .In nearby places you can stroll and enjoy.
What are the places to visit near Kaza ?
Ki Monastery:-It is the largest monastery in Spiti . If you want a spiritual tour don’t miss this place.It was established in 11th Century.
Comic village:-It’s about 4 KM from city. It is a place where fossils are found.Don’t buy them as it is illegal.
Chandertal:- It is 30 Kms from city and 7 KMs from Kunzum pass. Lake is famous for its spellbinding beauty with crystal clear water.
Dhankar Monastery and Lake:-The monastery is very beautiful where you can see the Tibetan culture.Nearby is a beautiful lake .It’s 40 KMs from Kaza.
Kunzum pass:-A temple on the top of the pass is dedicated to Goddess Kunjum (Durga) is which is said to guard the pass and keep the evil away.It is 45 Kms from Kaza.
Kibber village:- It is 18 kms from city.The houses in the area are constructed in Tibetan architectural style with an amazing backdrop of barren mountains.
It is located at a distance of 48 Kms from Kaza. This ancient village has a most prominent monastery considered only next to the Tholing Gompa in Tibet in ranking.It is also known as the Ajanta of the Himalayas.
Pin valley National park:-It is 31 KMs from city.Here you can see a number of endangered animals such as Snow Leopard, Woolly Hare, Siberian Ibex and Tibetan Gazelle.
Chandertal Lake: It is 51 KM from Kaza . You can visit this Moon Lake to have a glance to the beauty of nature.
What should I carry with me while going to Kaza ?
Full sleeve round neck thermals,woolen socks ,woolen cap, medical kit , a small oxygen kit,a hat , sunscreen to protect from sun rays, a goggle, hand gloves for winters, an extra pair of shoes,a raincoat and waterproof shoes and bag .
Where to stay in Kaza ?
Here you can get mid-range and budget accommodations in Kaza. Some are located near the river. PWD guest houses run by the Himachal Pradesh government are you other options but prior booking is must.Here you can not set up a camp.Homestays are the best options if you want to know the locale.Here is also a zostel;zostel spiti located in Kaza.They provide bikes on rent as well as you can park car here for free.
What kind of permit do i need?
If you are a foreigner and coming from Shimla, then you need to obtain an Inner line permit from either the District Collectors office in Shimla or at the Reckong Peo border post. Without permit, you will only be allowed to travel as far as Reckong Peo and will be stopped at the next check post if you do not have an Inner line permit. Once you have obtained the permit, please carry several photocopies of it as you may have to submit one at the check posts. It is wise to also carry photocopies of your passport and spare passport-size photos.Though if you are coming from Manali side , permit is not required .The border police will just check your passport and enter the number in their register. The only region where neither Indians nor foreigners are allowed is Shipki La.
What are the problems tourist may face in Kaza?
1.Acute Mountain Sickness may be faced by tourists due to a high altitude.
2.There may be network issue .Only BSNL works in most of the areas.
3.Carry your necessary things (toothbrush ,face wash etc) as there is a lack of shops .
- If you are travelling solo or in a small group, hiring a taxi can be a great trouble to you as there are no other means of transport to reach Komic Gompa.
5.As there is only one ATM ,it is advisable to carry enough cash from Manali/Shimla.And there are no money exchangers in Kaza.
What are the special events, Festivals that Kaza Host ?
Festivals like Fagli and Gochi are celebrated. Hindus also celebrate these festivals like diwali etc. Fairs like Ladarcha fair, Pauri fair, Tribal fair and Tshechu fair are also celebrated.
What to eat in Kaza ?
Here eating options are very limited. Indian and Tibetan cuisines are available in and around Kaza and serve veg and nonveg dishes.
What to shop and buy in Kaza?
You can buy carpets, pure wool shawls and woolen clothes in Kaza.In some shops you may find Tibetan accessories also.You can buy seasonal fruits and vegetables also that are really tasty like Peas etc.There is a special tea called Spiti Tea that you can buy .It is claimed that this tea slows down ageing.
How much cash should I carry ?
Almost $ 50 per head and per day is sufficient in Kaza.
Where are Tourist information offices ,Hospitals and police station in Kaza ?
There is no tourist information office in Kaza.There are a few hospitals nearby Kaza.There is a police station here.Here is the only one Petrol pump where you can fill the fuel.You will find the only one SBI ATM in Kaza.You will find only one cyber cafe here.As far as network is concerned ,only BSNL works in Kaza .
Where to do car parking ?
There are no car parking facility by govt in Kaza but some of hotels or guesthouses provide this facility.
What are the potential health hazards related to high altitudes?
People who are not habitual of high altitude may become sick of Acute Mountain Sickness.Symptoms of AMS include:- 1. Light Symptoms :
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep disturbance
- Difficulty in urination.
- Moderate Symptoms :
- Heavy Headache
- Irregular breathing
- Nausea Mild weakness
- Serious Symptoms :
- Swelling of hands and face
- Difficulty in standing
- Chest gurgles
- energy is totally lost.
You can avoid it by slowing the pace of ascent.It is recommended at least a 7 days tour.
What to do while traveling to Kaza?
- Keep your body hydrated.
- Avoid exertion.
- Avoid sleeping during day.
- Vehicles going to Rohtang from Manali are allowed only from 6AM to 11AM. So keep the timing in mind.And are allowed to come back between 1PM to 6 PM only.The only exceptions are emergency vehicles and HRTC buses.
- Be alert for shooting stones as there are many stretches where this is a great trouble , especially in Kinnaur valley.A small stone can pierce through the windshield of the car .
- Protect your camera from moisture in monsoons.
What should not do in Kaza?
1.If you are going in your own vehicle ,make sure you know how to drive in hilly areas as the road is very tough . There is a deep gorges and rivers flowing just down the road.
- Don’t drive at the edges of the road.
- Avoid visiting Kaza during monsoon as there are more hazard this time like landslides,road blockage etc especially if you are coming from Shimla side.