Guide to

Kaza

Important Details

12140 feet

Bus

Till kaza

Available

Important Details
Bus

Kaza to Reckong Peo

10760 feet

available

september

About Kaza

Kaza is the sub-divisional headquarter of the serene Spiti Valley in the Lahaul & Spiti district. The entire Spiti Valley is controlled from the Kaza district. It is also the commercial hub of the entire valley. The Kaza town is divided into two parts like most of the Spitian villages:

The small town is the center for all tourism and adventure sports activities in the valley. This town displays tremendous transformation from summers to winters. I’d say the transformation of Spiti, in general, is pretty much similar to Ladakh. Apart from the fact, it snows heavily in Spiti Region, and the tourist influx of Spiti is a lot less than Ladakh. There are a horde of things to indulge in Kaza starting from renting a bike to exploring Spiti to go Ice climbing in winters. Each aspect will be covered in great detail in this article!

Kaza-winters-Spiti-Valley-bus

How to reach Kaza

There are two ways one can take to reach Kaza. One route is through Manali and is the shortest one but is closed by October in the Winter season. Another route is through Shimla from Kinnaur side. Due to massive snowfall in the winters, this route is the preferred choice for adrenaline enthusiasts rather than the Manali route. Kaza is reachable by all modes of transport except air travel. The various modes are covered below.

Kaza-winters-Spiti-Valley-bus
Spiti River basin in Winters

Shimla to Kaza

The distance between Shimla and Kaza is roughly around 450 km, and it takes two days to cover the same. So starting from Shimla, you will discover the Narkanda-Rampur Bushahr-Reckong Peo-Pooh-Sumdo-Kaza circuit. Shimla district, in itself, is pretty big and on the way, you will see multiple apple orchards wherever your eyes can see. Once the bulk of apple orchards pass, you will enter a relatively barren area where vegetation seems limited. Rampur Bushahr is a major town on the way, and most of the modern comforts are available here. Beyond this, starts the Kinnaur district which is again dry and cold. This path is marked by high mountain Ranges with rocky cliffs, and the day ends when you reach Reckong Peo, the headquarter of Kinnaur district. The next morning, starting for Kaza, the roads start to spiral upwards with the altitude increasing gradually. In no time you will find yourself surrounded by big lofty mountains. Once you cross this mountain range, on the other side lies the Spiti district.

Shimla to Kaza Hrtc Bus

You can reach Kaza from Shimla by an HRTC bus that leaves for Kaza at 5:00 AM from the Shimla bus stand every day. This bus will take you to Reckong Peo and by 5:00 PM, where the bus halts for the day. You will have to sort out your accommodation at Reckong Peo for the night. The next day the same bus leaves for Kaza at 7:00 AM. You will have to book tickets in the morning from the ticket counter, or the conductor will provide tickets as and when you sit on the bus. This bus reaches Kaza by 5:00 PM.

 

Shimla to Kaza- 5:00 AM Daily

Shimla to Reckong Peo- 5:00 AM Daily

Shimla to Pooh-4:00 AM Daily

Shimla to Rampur- 3:10 PM, 4:10 PM Daily

Kaza-winters-Spiti-Valley-bus
Extreme cold in Spiti

Manali to Kaza

You can reach Kaza from Manali via the Manali to Kaza bus that traverses at 5 AM and 5:30 AM, respectively. You will reach Kaza by 4:30 in the evening. The bus passes through the Rohtang pass, there are sections where the driver empties the bus to navigate through streams or difficult rock sections. The route is very picturesque, and you get a glimpse of the Bada Shigri Glacier on the way, which is the largest glacier in Himachal Pradesh. The bus then makes a small pit stop at the Kunzum Pass. Encircling around the Kunzum pass is a tradition that almost all vehicles follow to seek blessings for a safe journey ahead from Kunzum Mata(deity). You can go out and offer your prayers at the shrine. This route is operational only during the summer months and closes in winters. Also, the trek to ChandraTal starts from here.

Activities in Kaza

Much can be done in Kaza during your stay there. Kaza is a place where you can get souvenirs for your loved ones and memorabilia of Himalayan paradise for yourself. Winter wear of all sorts are also available in the Kaza Market. Cafe hopping in Kaza is also a thing. Apart from all that, few shops sell locally sourced products which helps to boost the local economy. Kaza has a monastery located on its outskirts, which is at a walkable distance from the main market. Also, one can go to the river basin and have some fun with friends. Lastly, if you happen to visit Spiti in the winter, Yak meat is something that you wouldn’t want to miss. All of this is covered in detail below.

Kaza-winters-Spiti-Valley-bus
Street view of Kaza

Cafes in Kaza

Although there are a lot of Cafes in Kaza, two of them are my personal favorite, partly because I haven’t quite visited all of them.

 

Himalayan Cafe: The Himalayan Cafe is situated in Kaza near the alcohol shop, which is close to the bus stop. Now, the ambiance of this place is great, and you will find this place always abuzz with tourists. The theme of the place is very pristine with its scenic views, hot food, and a space to help you get lost in your thoughts.

Sol Cafe: The Sol Cafe is yet another cute little Cafe in Kaza. If you don’t turn left at the Theka, and walk straight you will reach the Sol Cafe. This place is decorated with vivid shades in the beautiful valley of Spiti, and it is a cute little and cozy place. Unlike the Himalayan Cafe, it does not have an open seating area which perhaps makes it unique. If I’m not wrong, this place is run by Ecosphere Spiti, which is an organization that promotes ecotourism in the valley and helps locals by selling locally sourced produce.

Punjabi Dhaba in Kaza

Now, it may come as a surprise to you but there is a fully functional Punjabi Dhaba in Kaza that serves good north Indian food at nominal rates. The first time I visited Kaza was, when I was doing the PinBhaba trek and had reached Kaza from Mudh. By that time, we would have killed to eat some butter chicken and naan, so this place came to our rescue.

Kaza-winters-Spiti-Valley-bus

Guesthouses in Kaza

There are a lot of guesthouses in Kaza, and believe me, Kaza never runs out of rooms even in peak season. You can book online, but I would suggest you to reach Kaza and inquire at different stays for the best price. Most of the guest houses are located near the bus stand. If you were to walk around the bus stand, you will find a bunch of guest houses to your left. All these guest houses have basic facilities, so don’t expect too much as you book your accommodation there.

Homestays in Kaza

I could go on listing all kinds of homestays in Kaza, but I will mention just one here because I found it to be the best in terms of the owner’s interest. 

 

Boddha Homestay, Kaza: This is run by Mr.Boddha and his wife. They practice Buddhism, and they charge very nominal rates even if the clients are desperate. They are very helpful and always up for a good chat. The homestay is located just next to the Theka (liquor shop) and opposite the Himalayan Cafe. The rooms are comfortable, and dinner is served in the kitchen downstairs. You won’t get an attached toilet in most guesthouses and homestays in Spiti due to the scarcity of water. They charge Rs.500 per room for a single person. If three people are looking for accommodation, he will charge somewhere around Rs.700 per room including the dinner.

Shopping in Kaza

There are a lot of things you can buy from Kaza starting from t-shirts to jackets. Different kinds of Souvenirs are available in the market. Shopping is not my area of interest, so the data regarding this field is not efficient for shopaholics. However, I’ve observed women flock the shops in Kaza, and they do buy a lot of things. For men, I feel the winter clothing available in Kaza can be interesting. The kind of winter wear available in Kaza is not quite available in Delhi. However, you can also buy similar gear in Reckong Peo’s market.

Bike Rental in Kaza

The temperature in Kaza and Spiti, in general, is moderately low throughout the year, due to the high altitude. The reason behind the drop of temperature with altitude has got to do with the directly proportional relationship between temperature and pressure as the pressure decreases so does the temperature. The rate at which this happens is called the Lapse Rate. The summertime temperature varies between 18C-7C, whereas the winter temperatures vary from -5C to -25C.

Temperature of Kaza

The temperature in Kaza and Spiti, in general, is moderately low throughout the year, due to the high altitude. The reason behind the drop of temperature with altitude has got to do with the directly proportional relationship between temperature and pressure as the pressure decreases so does the temperature. The rate at which this happens is called the Lapse Rate. The summertime temperature varies between 18C-7C, whereas the winter temperatures vary from -5C to -25C.

Winter in Kaza

The dynamics vary greatly from summer to winter. Due to the large amount of snowfall Spiti Valley witnesses in the winter season, most of the guest houses are not open for business. Only a handful of homestays or guest houses are operational during this time. Still, you will not witness full occupancy in the winter months. The internal bus service in the valley comes to a halt due to black ice formation on the road. Almost all the cafes and food outlets also close for business in the winter months. Shared taxis are available on weekdays and are scarce on the weekends. But there is no reason to worry. Click here to view the Spiti Winter Guide to know all the hacks you need to know for a seamless winter trip to Spiti.

Kaza-winters-Spiti-Valley-bus-hrtc-service

FAQ's

Which are the cheap hotels in Kaza?

There are a few cheap hotels in Kaza. Cheap hotels in Kaza

Which are the cheap homestays in Kaza?

There are a lot of cheap homestays in Kaza. Cheap Homestays in Kaza

When does the Ladarcha festival celebrated in Kaza?

The Ladarcha festival is celebrated in the 3rd week of august in Kaza.

Which hotels are open in Kaza during winters?

A lot of hotels close during the winter season in Spiti Valley.So here is a verified list of hotels that keep open during winters. 

Where do I find the Spiti Valley bus service timetable?

The Spiti valley bus service timetable can be found here Spiti valley bus service timetable

 

Share on whatsapp
Share with Friends

Table of Contents

All Villages of Spiti

Conquer Today, Cry Tomorrow.

DIY GUIDES

Ladakh

Homestay listings

Tirthan Valley

Ladakh

Mountain Guide

Spiti Valley

Parvati Valley

Ladakh