The Journey so far-

Teaser… A Chorten at Mud Village in Pin Valley
A Chorten at Mud Village in Pin Valley
Day 3 – 7th October, 2011 | Pin Valley | Sagnam – Mud Village

It was an extremely cold night at Sagnam in Pin Valley but good that we 4 slept on one double bed and it kept the warmth, though a bit tight and uncomfortable. Somehow there was lot of disturbance at night around the window of our room. No one dared to go out and check the reason for it. It was 6.30 AM, I was awake but still the disturbance was coming as if someone is searching something. After getting read and waking up everyone I decided to go out and capture the early sunlight on the magical mountains in Pin Valley. As I came out, saw a donkey couple searching things beside our window and yes this was the disturbance throughout the night 😀 … There was a chilling breeze blowing making my nose and fingers numb but I still walked around the streets near Sagnam, PWD Rest House. The landscape was just outstanding, the helipad looked great with majestic views at the backdrop. The red colour school add the magical colour, to the landscape which kept changing with the emerging rays of sunlight. The feeling to capture such landscape was something that cannot be expressed but the cold forced me to go back inside and start winding up from Sagnam to move in the interiors of Pin Valley, the Mud village.

Sagnam PWD Rest House, Pin Valley… Our night stay…
Sagnam PWD Rest House in Pin Valley
Colors of Fall or Autumn in Pin Valley…
Colors of Fall or Autumn in Pin Valley
Early morning views at Sagnam Village…
Early morning views at Sagnam Village in Pin Valley
Helipad at Sagnam Village…
Helipad at Sagnam Village in Pin Valley
Sun and Shade Playing Together…
Early morning views at Sagnam Village in Pin Valley
Sun and Shade Playing Together…
Early morning views at Sagnam Village in Pin Valley

As I went inside, I forced everyone to wake up again especially Dhruv and Saurabh (the lazy ones) and get ready as soon as possible. Again the penalty was missing the breakfast and hitting the state highway. Our target was clear for the day, first we need to explore the Pin Valley and drive may be upto Mud Village, then start journey back to explore places around Kaza like Ki – Kibber and finally end the day at Losar. We started for Mud village, about 16 KMs from Sagnam, with less air pressure in the front tyre :)… The roads were not that great, infact no tarmac was present at all. At places the road was in bad bad shape but nothing worse as compared to what we have experienced so far. We cruised along the Pin River and infact we were the only soul traveling at that time of the day. The breath-taking views changed with each rounding curve topped with pure aqua green colored Pin River.

The colors of Autumn Again… So bright, so refreshing…
Dheeraj Sharma and Saurabh Sharma at Sagnam Village in Pin Valley
The colors of Autumn Again… So bright, so refreshing…
Dhruv Sharma at Sagnam Village in Pin Valley

The views in the entire Pin Valley including Mud village were just majestic, and they valley is mostly virgin, serene, barren and beautiful. Pin valley is the base for Pin Valley National Park which is the natural habitat of the Snow Leopard and Himalayan Ibex. After about 35 minutes or so, we reached Mud village and temperature was still 5 degree Celsius even though the sun was shining bright by that time. We parked the car aside and I must tell you that it was one of the most beautiful car parking I have ever seen :D… It was time to explore village and check if there is some place to take breakfast. Mud Village in Pin Valley, over the years have become the base for tourist, travelers and backpackers. The very reason that you find many guest houses present at Mud Village and some under development for the coming year. The major reason being Mud village also acts as the base for trekking route towards or from Pin-Parvati Pass or Bhabha Valley.

The prayer flags at Mud Village…
Prayers Flags at Mud Village in Pin Valley
Testing his muscle power…
Saurabh Sharma at Sagnam Village in Pin Valley
Trying to axe him…
Dhruv Sharma and Saurabh Sharma at Sagnam Village in Pin Valley
A splendid view at Mud Village…
A splendid view at Mud Village in Pin Valley
Road ends somewhere up there ahead of Mud Village…
Mud Village in Pin Valley
Streets of Mud Village…
Streets of Mud Village in Pin Valley
Ever seen such beautiful parking???
Car parked at Mud Village in Pin Valley
That is Mud village for you…
Mud Village in Pin Valley

The walk through the Mud village upto the school was very rejuvenating. The locals there at Mud village were so humble, down to earth and had smiles all over their faces. Living in such harsh conditions with least amount of facilities is always a challenge and salute to the spirit of such people. We interacted with quite a few people, had talks about their lives in harsh winters and then it was time to give gifts to the children present around. As soon as we started distributing the crayons and sketch pens, there were many who started coming out of their house. The smiles on those faces were just priceless, I shall say and I was feeling glad from inside that we added a little joy to their day. Within no time all packets were distributed and we kept 4-5 of them to distribute in Kaza. Being known for their hospitality, on the child asked us to wait as he went home to get a cup of tea for us. It is the basic human nature that was so afresh among the locals at Pin Valley and I was just feeling myself in the remote villages of Leh – Ladakh.

Children at Mud Village…
Children at Mud Village in Pin Valley
Children at Mud Village…
Children at Mud Village in Pin Valley
Children at Mud Village…
Children at Mud Village in Pin Valley
Big Boss of Chillar Party at Mud Village…
Children at Mud Village in Pin Valley
A beautiful smile from a child at Mud Village…
Children at Mud Village in Pin Valley
Expressions says it all…
Child at Mud Village in Pin Valley
A breif chit-chat at a beautiful place…
Neeraj Arora and Saurabh Sharma at Mud Village in Pin Valley
Finally Framing Four of us together…
Dheeraj Sharma and his friends/cousins at Mud Village in Pin Valley

There were couple of food joints open at Mud Village but we hold us back because Kaza was not very and we wanted to have a brunch to save some time for the day. After spending some quality time at Mud Village, it was time to leave towards Kaza where we planned to first get something to eat and then get that puncture tyre fixed.

The Journey ahead-


I am Dheeraj Sharma - a traveler, techie, and Himalayan lover. Since 2009, I have been helping thousands of travelers every year plan memorable & budget-friendly trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, and responsibly.


  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. To ask your travel questions, you can follow my YouTube Channel for a faster reply or for a much slower reply follow me on Instagram. :)

  2. hello dheeraj,
    i appreciate the grt work you are doing on personel level as well as on social level.
    i am planning a trip to spiti from nahan in himachal via narkanda -kalpa to kunzum pass and manali.i have 10-15 days at hand. i am travelling in swift Dzire with my wife in mid june. kindly suggest an itinerary and suitable homestays. would driving in swift dzire a problem?
    looking forward to your reply

    • Thank you, Pravin. You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here
      For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway Or Spiti Valley via Manali Or Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh / Spiti / Manali – Leh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

  3. Pratyusha Barua on

    This is so helpful! I’m planning to visit Pin Valley NP through the Manali route. This has been very useful information.

  4. i am going to lahul spiti , reach there at 4/10/14 from tabo side. what will be the weather condition. wants to go chandra tal is that road towadrs chandra tal good to travel. plz suggest

    • Shantanu, it will be fine to travel but keep in mind that it will be very very cold up there and conditions will be harsh. I am just back yesterday from Spiti Valley including Chandratal and hardly anyone could sleep properly up there.

  5. hey Dhiraj,
    Which is the best month to visit spiti valley if i want to experience little snow as well as summry condition? is May a good month?
    And also which is the preffered route i.e is it from Shimla-kaza-manali or reverse?

    • Dharam, Mid May to June is better than early May else even in May, it is quite cold however, you can enjoy alot of snow up there towards kunzum Pass during May as well.

  6. Day 1 (July 19)-4:30 a.m.-Reach Kalka-Change to Toy Train no. 52451 at 05:30 and arrive Simla at 10:15 a.m. 1030 Hours: Board a SUV with Himachali driver to Narkanda (75 KMs/3.5 Hrs). 14:00- reach Narkanda and march 5 kms to Hatu Peak and see the Jaubagh Meadow. Night halt at Narkanda.
    Day 2(July 20)-8:30 a.m. Proceed to Sangla Valley (164 kms. 6.5 hours). Reach Sangla at 1500. Visit Kamru Fort at Sangla. Night halt at Sangla Valley.
    Day 3(July 21) – 8:30- Explore Sangla valley. Visit Rakcham (12kms) and Batseri, and the glacier above Batseri. Night halt at Rakcham.
    Day 4(July 22)-8:30-Proceed to Chitkul (23 Km/1 hr). Trek 3km to Nagasthy. Night halt at Chitkul.
    Day 5(July 23)- 8:30-Proceed to Reckong Peo and then Kalpa (62 kms away; 3 hours drive), see the Kinner Kailash. Night halt at Kalpa.
    Day 6(July 24)-8:30: Start to Nako Lake. 100 kms; 6 hours drive on a pathetic road. Slow ride with many stoppages to see Khab, Khab Bridge, Leo Purygal Peak. Night halt at Nako.
    Day 7(July 25)-8:30 a.m. Proceed to Chango->Sumdoh->Cross Giu/Gue (3050 m) around 11:30 a.m. to see the mummy found in 1970’s. 1230-Head towards Tabo (3280 m/25 Kms/1 hour). See Tabo Monastery. Night Halt at Tabo.
    Day 8(July 26)-8:30-Start from Tabo towards Dhankar Lake. (27 kms. 1.15 hour) 10:00-Start trek (3kms) towards lake. Carry packed lunch. 1130-Reach Lake. 1330-Start back from lake. 1430-Reach Dhankar monastery. See Dhankar Monastery which was built as a fort. Night halt at Dhankar Village.
    Day 9 (July 27)- 8:30 a.m Leave for Kaza. (32 kms. 1.5 hours.) Reach by 10:00. See Tangyud Monastery, Key Gompa (7 kms), Kibber village (18 kms), Gette Village. Night halt at Kaza.
    Day 10(July 28)- 8:30-See Rangrik-Langza-Komik-Tashigang. Spend night at Kaza.
    Day 11(July 29)-8:30 Travel to Losar (54kms/2.5 hours) and Kunzum pass. (74 kms/4 hours). Reach Losar by by 11:00. Halt 1 hour. Reach Kunzum at 1300. Halt 1 hour. 1400-start to Batal (16 kms), Batal-Chandratal-13kms. Trek 2 kms to see Chandertal lake. Night halt in a camp at Chandertaal.
    Day 12(July 30)-8:30 a.m-Chandratal-Batal–13kms. Battal-Rohtang Pass-Manali 129kms. 5.5 hours. 1500-Reach Manali. 1-2 hours sightseeing in Manali. Depart at 17:30 by Volvo. Arrive in Delhi on Day 13(July 31) at 06:00.

    • Vaishali, it looks fine to me. Someone else also posted it to me, guess Shikha. You planning with her it seems. If you want Pin Valley, you can skip night stay at Dhankar and head to Pin Valley that day to stay at Mud Village.

  7. Hello Dheeraj,
    I need your help to tweak my itinerary to Spiti. Shall I stay one night in Mud Village? Is there anything else that I am missing?

    • Vaishali, I need reference of your itinerary to comment upon it. Are you following the most common one? If you want to skip Mud Village night stay, it should be fine

  8. Iam totally smitten by this Blog. This is way way way above any travel guide, travel agent or any resource available on the giant Web so far…Hats off to Dheeraj…Iam really in awe after going thru the writeups

  9. Wonderful pics !!

    I am also interested in exploring pin valley but on public transport (most probably on bus), so can you please guide me a little with accomodation options in pin valley ?? i want to go till mud village, bus also goes till mud, will there be any accomodation option in MUD during june. If not, what are the other places i can find cheap accomodation in pin valley.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Ankush,

      There are lots of options in Mud Village but take them as basic home stay types. If you want I guess I have some pictures of the boards with numbers on it. One I remember is Tara Guest House. Other than Mud willage you can find PWD Guest House at Sagnam and stay at monastery at Gumri.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any queries or doubts.

      Dheeraj Sharma

      • thanks for your fast reply 🙂

        Last question, is nako worth staying or tabo or dhankar ?? or should i first reach kaza and then take short one day trips from kaza to tabo, dhankar and pin valley ??


        • Hi ankush,

          All of them have their own beauty. But, due to AMS concerns you need to make your decision. Tabo is at lowest height of three and is generally preferred due to this reason. If you have time then spending a night at Dhankar would be really great. Same is true for Nako which is just a timeless village same as Tabo. Again Pin Valley is also worth staying 🙂 … If you have time then stay at all these places otherwise reach Kaza and make a day trip on the way back from kaza towards home. How many days you have?


        • i have about 6-7 days in hand.

          Is it ok if i directly visit kaza with one night stop only at reckong peo and then visit ki, kibber, pin valley, dhankar from kaza. If till that time kunzum pass opens, then i'll go to chandratal and return via manali and if kunzum pass is not open then i'll cover both nako and tabo on the return journey as i'll be returning from same route in case kunzum pass is closed.

          If you have a better plan considering the days in hand then please suggest.

          Thanks 🙂

        • Well, I will suggest that you spend night at Tabo because Kaza is about 3600 Mtrs in height and going directly to Kaza from Reckong Peo may call trouble in terms of AMS issues.

          I will suggest you do something like:

          Day 1 | Kalpa/Peo (Kalpa stay will be better)
          Day 2 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
          Day 3 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Pin Valley (Stay at mud or Sagnam but do drive upto Mud village)
          Day 4 | Pin Valley – Kaza (Do Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Hikkim – Kaumik – Langza in the whole day)
          Day 5 | Kaza – Losar – Kunzam Pass – Chandratal (stay in camps or come back to Losar)
          Day 6 | Chandratal – Manali
          Day 7 | Back sweet home

          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Thanks alot for you valuable suggestions sir. The itinerary seems to be really good.

  10. Nitin Gupta on

    Dear Dheeraj,
    I am touched with your human side, after seeing pics of kids of Mud village. God bless you.
    Nitin Gupta
    HCL Technologies Ltd

    • Thanks a lot Nitin, I always do distribute eateries, pencils, colors, crayons, sketch books etc. The smile you get from them is priceless!! Not sure, but it is hardly a very small part of our overall expenditure, so it is better one always do such things and feel more close to the locals 🙂

      Dheeraj Sharma

  11. anil moses on

    Dheeraj bhai, if we show the snaps of spiti to someone and tell the person that its leh ladakh, person can easily believe that.

    • Truly said Anil bhai. Spiti is a splendid place indeed and almost like a chotu Leh – Ladakh but still my heart always beat for the Ladakh version 🙂 … Having said that after being to Spiti the soul is just been there again, I keep dreaming of this place as well as I do for Ladakh… it is magical, no words but magical. Let 2012 come and I will fall in love with yet another place Zanskar :)…

  12. Anirban Mukherjee on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    I am anirban1954 of Indiamike. Even today you helped me with your priceless tips. The protographs are just splendid and defies language. Is your full Spiti travelogue available anywhere – please send me the link. In the mean time, I am searching your site further for it. One suggestion – In the photo gallery if you could mention the locale of photos, it would have been more enjoyable. We could connecta photo with a place/area. That would have been very helpful.

    Thanks and regards,


    • Hello Anirban Da,

      Thank you so very much for liking the stuff here on the blog and the photo gallery suggestion. I cannot agree more on this and I Will try to develop/customize something around it so that the pictures have some caption with them. Your feedback is highly appreciated, many thanks for it.

      Coming back, I am sorry but I am yet to finish the Spiti Log on the blog and these are the only 5 parts I have written so far with 4 more to come. Due to laziness and little lack of time on personal front I have not been able to complete it so far. Also, I went there just for 4 days so we were mostly on the roads, apart from pictures there will not be much information that can be helpful in this log. However, I am simultaneously writing a series on Spiti Valley Travel Guide, which might prove useful for you and I promise it will be published well before your trip to Spiti Valley :)… As soon as I will finish with it I will surely share the link with you.

      Thanks again, I hope you had good time on my blog 🙂

      Dheeraj Sharma

  13. एक बार भी ऐसा नहीं लगा कि हम लेह देख रहे है या कुछ और…..