Backpacking Spiti, Himachal- The best travel decision I made as a 24 year old


In a way, I kind of feel obligated to write about my recent travel to Spiti. Something inside me fuels this. But I really cannot pinpoint what.

Just a heads up before you read on- this is not an informative travel blog, with bus routes and food recommendations. This is purely my journey (emotional and not physical), through the land. And my findings that were born from it.

So, this is how it goes. The seeds for my latest travel to this land had been sown long back. Must be some 3+ long years back. I had very recently joined Zostel and was just getting the hang of things. One of the very first things I noticed was that there was a lot of buzz in the office about a place called 'Spiti'.

As a first timer, the word 'Spiti' came out as something weak, unattractive or uninviting to me. Maybe something very remote, small, and unworthy of my attention? To be honest, the 21-year-old me didn't like the name at all.

Thankfully, in contrast to my perception, the destination pictures for Zostel Spiti were just out-of-this-freaking-world brilliant. And it was then that I saw that one picture which changed everything for me.

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Picture by @akshat_ishere

Seeing this, I was certain about where I was gonna be and what I was gonna do for at least a month, sometime in my lifetime. This photograph was the 'seed'.

Frankly speaking, I don't even have that picture in front of me as I write this. I really don't need it. I can picture it, as sharp and crisp that an image can ever be.

If I ever happen to finish this note (or whatever it is), I probably would be scrolling through a set Facebook albums to put that very same picture here. But, now that you are reading this, it means you've seen the picture too and I should probably give you a moment to see it through...

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Picture by @akshat_ishere

Since that day, fairly regularly, I used to say to myself and to countless others around me that I'll be going there soon. But that was so not to be. Although, I did manage to explore its boundaries a couple of times. I even (wrongly) felt that I got a fair bit of idea about how the 'feel' of that place would be after I visited Ladakh. Yet somehow, the spark to learn Spiti persisted and I'm glad it did. Somewhere deep down I really yearned to go there.

And then 'life' happened for quite some time.

But boy, I did! I finally did. After waiting for 30 long months I was finally travelling there. I really don't feel like going into the trip details. You can probably find itineraries all over the internet for that. I strongly feel that the details are irrelevant here, as they’ll take away the 'feel'.

What is there in Spiti? How is Spiti? Can I even describe it to you? Is there anyone who'd ever be able to do it justly?

Well, I can answer that and the answer is NO. For it might be very different for everyone. But I'd not think twice before saying this- Spiti is one unworldly experience.

And you really got to trust me on this. Those who have been here know what the ‘feels' are and I hope you can relate to them. But in case you can’t and wish to, go there and go free! Let the valley take you in. And if you are respectful towards it, you'll know what it is and what I mean.

Oh and
1. An inexplicable all-sensory stimulation
2. Also a very common lingo used by Zostelers all over


Re-reading this note, I thought about a couple of things. One, I never believed I’d ever write anything. Two, it is quite evident that I couldn't describe anything at all. Be it Spiti or be it my feelings about it. So with this, perhaps, I’m leaving a blank note. For you to feel it and fill it in your own way.

So, if you’ve been to Spiti, drop a comment on how it made you feel. I’d like to know your experience too. If not, what are you waiting for? Book your escape to this magical land with Zostel Spiti here.

Writer, Deep Banka.