Doorway to Spiti
Kaza, the headquarters of the Spiti Valley, is the largest township and commercial center. Kaza sets up a thrilling foreplay to what the trek to Spiti valley has in store for the adventurous travelers. Nestled in the Spiti valley’s floodplains, one has a view of the enormous mountain ridges that surround Kaza. It is geographically divided into the Old Kaza and the New Kaza by a small stream called the Kaza Nullah that eventually meets the Spiti River. Kaza Soma, or the new Kaza, is less populated in comparison to its counterpart and houses the government offices along with lovely little homestays open for the tourists. Lately, Kaza has become the common ground for travelers who are in the mood to explore. One can easily travel by accessing the bus service or one can walk from one village to another and take in the scenic landscapes.
Monasteries being a tourist attraction in Kaza, one can delve into the Tibetan architecture and culture by visiting them. The New Monastery is one such hotspot located by the side of the main road connecting the New and the Old Kaza. As one climbs higher towards Hikkim, the aerial view of the town is a scenic pleasure of its own. One of the highly recommended activities at Kaza is stargazing amidst the raw mountainscape with bare minimum trees. A good company coupled with some local beverages, and one is set to enjoy the beauty of starry nights that is so dearly missed during the city bustle.
Being a small town snuggled within the Spiti valley floodplains, Kaza is an upcoming destination for travelers. Its true beauty and value is one factor that has remains comparatively untapped by the major tourist population who are in a hurry to head towards Spiti. It would a smart decision to give yourself a day’s worth of buffer time and indulge in the rare experience that Kaza has to offer. Many people have started to follow this trend and Kaza, in the recent past is slowly turning into a base camp to travel to the nearby villages and trekking.
As mentioned earlier, the strong geographical character that can be identified by the two parts of Kaza- the old Kaza, or the Kaza Khas and the new Kaza, called the Kaza Soma, is a stark feature of identification. The former still holds on to its old world charm but has now become densely populated by the tourists. Though the new Kaza is also slowly getting infiltrated by tourists, it hasn’t been overtaken by its footfall yet.
Top things do in Kaza
How to reach
Kaza is well connected by road to the other parts of the state. Fairly good connectivity is present by air and rail that helps you access Kaza from landmark cities located nearby.
How to Reach by Flight
Bhuntar is the nearest airport to Kaza, set about 250 km away. Shimla which is located 445 km away is also a viable option to reach Kaza. One can access Kaza from the Chandigarh airport that is 211 km away and drives down to your destination.
How to Reach by Train
Joginder Nagar railway station is the nearest station present to Kaza, that is located 365 km away. One can avail the taxi services from Joginder Nagar station or hop onto a bus.
How to Reach by Bus
There are regular buses that will take you to and fro. One can find both government buses as well as privately run buses along the route. HRTC(Himalayan Road Transport Corporation) has bus services that run from Kulu to Kaza via Manali.
In summer, state transport runs buses through two routes
1. Manali- kunzum pass- Kaza
2. Shimla-Reckongpeo-Sumdo- Kaza.
In winters, buses run only between Reckongpeo and Kaza
How to Reach by Road
The road to Kaza is not for the faint-hearted. It is recommended to split the journey in 2 days and enjoy yourselves on the road. You can drive from Shimla to Kaza via Thanedaar and then Sangla.
You can also drive from Manali to Kaza with a distance of 202km to cover. This route is opened Mid June and is closed from October.
How to travel within
Taxis and private jeeps are readily available for those who would like to move around Kaza.
With all the details covered, one can assure themselves a replenishing time in Kaza. Being a hotspot of the tourist attraction, Kaza has managed to develop a healthy amount of modern civilization facilities. One can enjoy the charming little cafes and restaurants that are spread across Kaza. The Himalayan Cafe is one such place that welcomes you with bright energy and multi-cuisine options. There are many such places that offer a similar ambiance. Some of the most recommended places include
- Sol Cafe
- Hotel Deyzor
- Taste of Spiti
- Raangyul Cafe.
However, as winter progresses, only two joints are open in Kaza village, serving momos, thukpa, and tea. None the less, you can delve into the experience of sipping a hot cup of tea in the chilling weather. Being a common base, Kaza serves as a good social joint where travelers can gather and enjoy some communal interaction.
Day 1 :
Enjoy a morning stroll on the Chandratal lake on the way to Kaza.
Reach Kaza and check into one of the lovely homestays.
Visit the famous Ki Monastery.
Day 2 :
Visit nearby villages - Kibber, Kaumik, Langza, Tashigong
There are 2 options to cover the travel circuit
- Go from Langza and come down from Hikkim
- Or first, visit Hikkim and go to Komic at the top, come back from Langza side.