Spiti in 10 Days Under 10k by Bus – Complete Travel Guide12 min read

Spiti

Duration of Spiti – 10 days

Budget – INR 10,000/-

 

Delhi – Reckong Peo – Nako – Tabo – Dhankar – Kaza – Kibber – Kee monastery – Pin Valley – Langza – Komic – Hikkim – Chandratal – Manali – Delhi

 

Spiti is also known as a “Middle land”, as it lies between Tibet and India! The most beautiful hill station I have visited on this Earth yet. The landscapes are so beautiful that you would like to see the entire 360 degrees’ view all at the same time. Below you will find a complete map for Spiti along with how to reach, Bus timings, itinerary, cost-cutting tips and stay options.

Also, if you are planning to explore Kinnaur along with Spiti – click here for its detailed guide.

 

 Spiti Infograph
Right Click to Download on the go Route Map that can work Offline

 

Spiti Itinerary – (Route with bus details)

Fact: Ladies get 25% discount on their bus tickets *winks*

Day 1: Delhi to Reckong Peo

To reach Spiti Valley you first need to reach the Kinnaur district. I took an overnight HRTC bus from Delhi to Chandigarh and explored the little corners of Chandigarh in the morning. From Chandigarh, you can get a deluxe bus that leaves in the evening at 5:50 PM, 6 PM and 7 PM. Alternatively, you can also take a bus directly from Delhi at 8 PM to Reckong Peo. The price of the direct bus to Reckong Peo is about INR 600/- and takes almost 18 hours to reach.

 

Reckong Peo Bus stand
Reckong Peo Bus stand

Day 2: Reckong Peo to Nako

Bus Timings 

There are three buses that leave from Reckong Peo to Nako – 7 AM, 9 AM and 12 PM. The best would be to take the 7 AM bus as you will have more time to explore Nako and experience the golden hour (sunset). 

Also, do make sure to buy the tickets as early as possible (preferably the previous day or whenever the counter opens). This is because the travellers who are travelling from Shimla, buy tickets while coming from Shimla itself. Well, if you do not buy the tickets early in advance, you will still be able to board the bus nonetheless, however, you will be deprived of the seat for the entire journey of 4 hours.

Duration and Cost 

It takes about four to five hours to reach Nako from Reckong Peo and costs approximately 160 per person

Stoppages

The bus stops only once in between for breakfast for around 20 minutes. There will be many dhabbas and restaurants to choose from and all of them serves decent food

 

Nako – 3,600 meters

Nako is a part of Kinnaur district, however, since the village lies in a sensitive restricted region that lies along the Tibet border it is one of the lesser explored places. Also, only BSNL works here. 

Insider News: Jio might come up with their tower in the Nako region soon

Top places to see in Nako

Nako Lake

Nako is a holy lake and when the water is still you can get a reflection of the village. Go to the left of the lake and climb the stairs and follow the path that has Tibetan flags at a height to see the panoramic view of the entire village as well as a beautiful sunset

Monastery

Founded by Ringchen Zangpo in 996 AD. It is believed by the villagers of Nako that the monastery built in 11th century, along with 108 other monasteries that stretch from Nako to Ladakh and all of them were built in one fortnight

Where to stay 

I stayed in hotel Zambala, since from here I was able to see the entire lake from my room itself. Plus, during the night you can take out the chairs and make a bonfire with the lake view right in front of you.

 Bonus: Hidden gems

I did not explore these places due to lack of time, but if you have some do explore these least explored places

Nako to Tashigang

The walk to this place is about four hours to this village which you can reach through Nako Pass  

Tashigang to Somang Trek – 3,900 metres

You have to walk for two hours to reach Somang which has caves and a monastery is a hidden land which has stories saying that the place is visited by fairies and immortal people live here

 

Bird's Eye View of Nako Lake
Bird’s Eye View of Nako Lake

Day 3: Nako to Tabo

Bus Timings

There are two buses that leave from Nako and both has its own perks. Read on to find what!

A bus between 11:30 – 12:30 – This bus comes straight from Reckong Peo, due to which you will be able to reach Tabo by 4 PM. This gives you enough time to explore the beautiful village of Tabo, however, you will not be able to find any seats in it. Which I think is okay because the bus journey is just for about two hours which is manageable.

A bus at 2 PM – Well the downside of this bus ride is that it will reach later in the evening, due to which you will have less time to explore, but, the brownie for this bus is you will be able to get a bus seat easily!!

Duration and Cost

Approximately 2-2.5 hours of a bus ride through the beautiful valley of Spiti where you can see the steep valley below along with gorgeous Spiti river running amidst it and costs about INR 80/-

Stoppages

The bus stops once in between for lunch for around 20 minutes, where you can drink tea and chill for a while. Also BSNL signal comes in this place

 

Tabo – 3,280 meters  

Tabo is the oldest and continuously functioning Buddha monastery in India that was built in 996 A.D. The renovation inscription tells that it was founded by the “Bodhisatva” and was renovated again 46 years later. In 1960 decade the condition of the monastery was very deplorable and seeing this, two monks came forward to revive the heritage. At the time of writing this article, the number of monks present in Tabo is 62.

Top places to see in Tabo 

Kalchakra Stupa

The rarest kind of stupa whose symbolism is not connected to Buddhism. Instead, it is a symbolism of the Kalachakra Tantra, created to protect against negative energies.

Caves

Previously, the caves located here were used as assembly halls as well as dwellings during the winters. Even today, some of the caves are used as a meditation place, for which they hung flags representing that somebody is meditating inside. To reach the caves you have to climb a few steps for 10 minutes.

Oldest Monastery

Protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) the monastery was destroyed by the earthquake of 1975 which was later revived by the two monks. It is here that the 14th Dalai Lama held the Kalachakra ceremonies twice.

Where to stay

I stayed in a common room of the monastery itself. It is not only cheap but you are next to the monasteries as well. The bathrooms aren’t attached to the room, there is a common washroom just next to the rooms. Furthermore, at the time when I visited the place, the monastery was undergoing construction of their library, as well as building better rooms for the tourists.

 

Bird's Eye View of Tabo Village
Bird’s Eye View of Tabo Village

Day 4: Tabo to Sichling Village to Dhankar Village

How to Reach 

Next morning, take a 9 AM bus to Sichling Village and from here you can either hitchhike to Dhankar or hire a taxi. I was lucky enough to find a vehicle in which I hitchhiked. The bus takes an hour to reach Sichling Village and costs INR 30/-.

Dhankar Village – 3,894 meters  

There are many interesting things about this place

  • During old times, Dhankar served as the capital of Spiti
  • Once upon a time, there was a fort here, but no trace of it now except for a big house on top of the hill
  • From Dhankar you can reach to Kaza directly instead of going down to Sichling first because now there is a motorable road of 27 KMs amidst the mountains
  • The place is rich with its history and I was told there was a Raja here who used to reside with his sons, however, he sold his cultivated lands to the villagers and his sons moved to Kaza

 

Bird's Eye View of Dhankar Village
Bird’s Eye View of Dhankar Village

 

Top places to see in Dhankar Village 

Dhankar Gompa

The complex is built on a 300-metre high spur overlooking the Spiti and Pin Rivers – one of the world’s most spectacular settings for a gompa, however, it falls in as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world

Dhankar Lake – 4,140 meters

Dhankar Lake is a hidden gem lying amidst the tall mountains where you could see white peaks at the distance. It is not allowed to camp in here as the lake is considered a holy lake and a livelihood for people of the Dhankar Village for their farming and agricultural activities

 

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This was an absolute feast for the eyes. I mean, let me put you in my brain. 🌠 We hiked on a really stormy evening for which we were not prepared. With just one jacket on the piercing winds were killing us like needles. One, two, three, one, two, three; I was counting with every step taken forward. The sign board on the mid-way said “Dhankar Lake – 4200 meters’ altitude”. I had goosebumps on my skin because that is the highest wonder I am ever about to experience yet. After some minutes of pushing oneself forward and shivering, the start of the lake was rather peculiar. It overflowed on a mud land that was full of weed and wildflowers. I walked a little further to see the other end of the lake, without taking my eyes off the water. I have never seen something so blue and clear, I have never seen something so blue surrounded by nothing but white snowy mountains. Well if there is magic, I was seeing it right here. #Nomllers

A post shared by Radhika *Nomllers* (@unravelling_travelling) on

Where to stay

You will find many homestays near the monastery that charges INR 800-1500/- per room, depending on the season you are planning to go. During the season, you can also stay in the monastery.

There are two monasteries in Dhankar – Old and New. The New one is situated right at the entry of the village and has the option to stay.

Day 5: Dhankar Village to Kaza

It is easy to trek down from Dhankar to Sichling. I found a shortcut in between the roads and reached Sichling Village in 1-1.5 hours. You can also hitchhike again from this place or hire a cab and take a bus to Kaza. Waiting for a bus is not an issue at all. There are cafes where you can relax, drink tea and wait for the bus.

How to Reach 

There are two buses from Sichling Village. One is at 10 AM in which you will be able to get the seat, else you could catch a bus at 5 PM in which sadly there won’t be any seats as the bus comes directly from Reckong Peo. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to reach Kaza from here and costs INR 30/-

Where to stay 

Kaza is the capital of Spiti. In here, you not only will be able to find a lot of civilization but also there is access to many amenities such as WiFi connection, a huge market where you will be able to buy materials which otherwise was not available in other locations.

Kaza acts as the centre point to other places, and from here you can rent a bike/activa to go around the places.

Winter White: This is the best place to stay in Kaza. Not only do they have free WiFi which is a sign of relief after long days without the internet but also the staff is friendly. They charge INR 800/- per room (excluding food) but have an amazing restaurant where they serve delicious food, from breakfast to lunch.

 

 

Day 6: Kaza to Kibber to Chichim Bridge to Kee Monastery 

You can rent an activa to go to these places. The roads are very smooth and well-built and I rented the bike at INR 700/- per day cost.

 

Kibber – 4,270 meters 

Kibber is famous for its snow leopards. The village actually lies in the Wildlife sanctuary, what I am trying to say here is that when you enter the area it welcomes you by saying “Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary”. Now there is no forest ground here and dedicated land for the animals, the entire zone is actually a sanctuary.

If you plan to explore this place in winters, there are sure shot chances of seeing the Snow leopard, along with other wild animals – ibex, blue sheep, etc.

How to Reach 

There is only one bus that leaves at 4:30 PM from Kaza bus stand for Kibber and takes approximately an hour to reach this place. Midway you will be able to see the Kee Village and Kee Gompa at its best. The bus charges are again INR 30/-. Buses are so cheap, aren’t they?

 

Chichim Bridge – 4,400 metres 

Explore Asia’s highest bridge between Chichim and Kibber Village. During the early days, villagers used to trek down all the way down in the valley and trek to the village later.

Chichim Bridge
Chichim Bridge

 

Kee Gompa – 4,166 metres 

I do not want to sound dramatic on this information giving blog, but then again, in all honesty, I had goosebumps and tears when I saw this monastery. It is the most spectacular thing I have seen in my entire life.

This monastery has gone through a lot, destroyed in wars and then destroyed by an earthquake, but Archaeological Survey of India helped to revive the heritage back to what it looks like right now.

How to Reach  

I trekked down from Kibber Village to Kee Gompa, which took an hour to one and a half hours, through the road. There is only one bus that leaves from Kaza for Kibber which is at 4:30 PM and then the bus leaves early in the morning from Kibber for Kaza at 8:30 AM. So the most sensible option was to walk down or hitchhike. But hey, if you have a bike you do not have to worry about all of this.

Where to stay 

You can easily stay inside the monastery for just INR 250/- and in this minimal amount, they also serve you food (lunch, dinner and breakfast), along with tea. And what better way to explore Spiti than to actually live with the monks and see their experiences right in front of you.

Insider – Trek a little from Kee Gompa to see an ariel view of the valley. It takes an hour to trek but even if you trek even for just 10 minutes, the view becomes equally mesmerizing. Ask the monks of the trekking start point for the ariel view and they will guide you.

 

Bird's Eye View of Kee Gompa
Bird’s Eye View of Kee Gompa

 

Day 7: Kee to Kaza to Pin Valley to Langza

How to Reach Kaza

From Kee a bus leaves at 8:30 AM and takes just half an hour to reach the Kaza bus stand.

 

Pin Valley 

With approximately 17 villages and only 1500-1600 people, it is the most beautiful valley to be ever experienced. Somehow I felt colder here as compared to the rest of the places in Spiti district. The last village is Mudh village which is 36 KMs from Kaza.

How to Reach Pin Valley 

Even though there are buses running to this place, but I would highly recommend renting a bike/activa for this place (do it!). The valley is so beautiful and you would like to stop at every nook and corner to capture the valley. I was able to rent the activa for INR 700/- per day.

You have to take the road that takes you to Dhankar Village and take a right turn on a bridge. – Attargo bridge

 

Pin Valley
Pin Valley

Langza – 4,400 metres 

The fossil valley. It is so peculiar that you can find fossils of sails in tons here. Once upon a time, fossil selling became a business here before it was banned by the government. Anyway, why I am saying you to come from Pin Valley to this place during the evening is because in Pin Valley finding stays is a little difficult, plus, in Langza you will be able to see/capture the famous pictures of the milky way along with the Budha statue.

Where to stay 

You will be able to find many home stays here and all of them are equally good and the villagers here are very very friendly.

 

Day 8: Langza to Komic to Hikkim to Kaza 

In all honesty from here on, I was not able to explore the places below due to heavy snowfall but I do know a lot about the places to help you guide through it

Komic – 4,587 metres  

Komic is famously known as the world’s highest motorable road. From Langza there is a road that goes up to Komic. Due to its high altitude, the village is really cold and the winds are really harsh so do take an extra jacket. Furthermore, the accommodation is limited here with only a handful of homestays. 

Hikkim – 4,400 metres 

From Komic drive to Hikkim, which has the world’s highest motorable village. Here you won’t be able to find any homestays to stay.

Furthermore, once you drive down from this village you will be able to see the ariel view of Kaza.

 

Day 9: Kaza to Losar to Kunjum Pass to Chandratal Lake – 4,270 metres

There are buses that run from Kaza to Manali, however only in specific months, which is mostly from June to September, when the snow has been cleared from the Kunzum La pass. Alternatively, you can also opt for shared taxis or tempo traveller which you can book near the bus stand itself.

Get down at Batal and hitchhike on the jeep or dozer till Battal dhaba. You can also trek until Batal but what better way than to hitchhike and reach a little faster.

Alternatively,

You can also get down at Losar, and from there you can rent your bikes which cost INR 800-1000/-. Due to this, you will be easily able to come back to Losar by evening and make an overnight stay in Losar itself.

Where to stay

You can easily book camps to stay near to the lake. However, besides the river banks camping has been banned by the government. One of the numbers that I was able to obtain was of Bishan Thakur who is a local and operated Parasol Camps & Retreats. You can contact him at 09418845817, 09459910098.

Alternatively, you can also stay in the Battal dhaba that would cost INR 200-300/

 

Day 10: Chadratal Lake to Manali to Delhi

Take the same bus that leaves from Kaza early in the morning. To reach Battal it takes approximately 3 to 4 hours from Kaza to reach Battal. Alternatively, if you decided to stay at Losar instead, take a bus from there which will directly take you to Manali via the beautiful Rohtang Pass.

From Manali, you can get buses to Delhi easily. From ordinary buses to Volvo whose cost varies from INR 700/- to INR 1500/-, depending upon your budget and comfort.

 

The Route I Followed – Map

Below, is the complete circuit that I was talking about above. As you see below, it is actually a circle that one goes through. This route can be followed either from Manali side or starting from Reckong Peo.

 

Things to Carry in Spiti

 

  • Snow/Waterproof shoes
  • A wooden stick for the trek
  • Jackets and Lower
  • 2-3 pairs of Woolens
  • Medicines
  • Torchlight
  • Woollen socks – carry some extra pair of socks in case it gets wet
  • A small backpack in case you want to keep your gadgets
  • A water bottle

 

Connectivity in Spiti

Do buy a BSNL sim (prepaid and postpaid) before coming to this place as no other telecom companies operate here.

Insider: In Kaza, Airtel might start functioning in two-three months from the time of publishing of this post

 

Typical Cost for Spiti

For a ten days trip, I was able to manage all my expenses in INR 8,000/-. Why I said INR 10,000/- above was after adding the expenses of Chadratal Lake.

Homestays – You will easily be able to find homestays for INR 1,000/- under which they serve food as well. I was able to share my room with a companion due to which my cost was cut to INR 500/-

Activa charges – Rent an activa for two days – for Pin Valley and for Langza-Komic-Hikkim circuit. The rent of the activa was INR 700/- per day and if you plan to rent a bike the cost is INR 1,000/- to INR 1,500/-

Bus cost – I took an ordinary bus from Delhi Kaza which totalled to approximately INR 1,000/-, which is really cheap considering the fact that the distance from Delhi to Spiti is a lot

Food – If you have opted homestays which offers food to you in INR 1000/-. The cost of food is cut down there itself, however, you will be able to find restaurants easily where per meal you will have to spend at max INR 150/-

 

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Fingers numb. Butt frozen. Heart content. #Nomllers

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I was so excited to write this blog. Spiti is my favourite place and I am sure it will be yours too. Let me know if this blog helped you in the comments below and ask any queries. I love answering questions 🙂

 

Comments

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  1. Naman

    Woah woah woah!!!!! I have been planning spiti trip for a long time now. This has to be the itinerary I have been waiting for, big thanks to you wanderer!!
    Spiti here I come 😍😎😍

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      Author
      Radhika Sharma

      Naman!!! I am so glad you found it that useful. I hope you have an amazing amazing time in Spiti! Let me know if you have any queries regarding the trip 🙂

  2. Chandreyee sengupta

    Great stuff… really helpful…just wanted to know…will november 1st week or mid November be good time to visit spiti??

    1. Post
      Author
      Radhika Sharma

      Every month is a good month for Spiti, just the landscapes keep changing, probably you will find snow, however, do make sure that the roads are fine. Also, there are chances that chandratal gets closed during that time. Hope that helped 🙂

  3. Rooftopsandflipflop (Mukta More

    Since the time u mentioned on your story that you were writing a blog on Spiti i must have checked your website every hour today to see when you upload and it’s finally here.
    Thanks alot for such. Detailed internay and information. My plan to to visit Spiti Valley seems more conformed now. I have the way you have described everything.
    Lots of you!

    P. S. Continue to inspire us to travel to the remotes places in our country and experience every beauty before its heavily populated.

    1. Post
      Author
      Radhika Sharma

      Ah!! Wish there was a like button to like the comment. Thank you so so much for such a wonderful appreciation, really I am at cloud 9, haha! Have a great time in Spiti and do let me know how it went for you 🙂

  4. Shaminder Singh Bassi

    Thanks a lot for the detailed description. Have been planning to do the tribal circuit on my bike since a long time. Most of the planning part is sorted now. Can you shed some light on whether there would be adequate support available in case the bike breaks down and are there enough petrol pumps enroute??

    1. Post
      Author
      Radhika Sharma

      Glad Shaminder 🙂

      Well, there were not many petrol pumps on the way. You will be able to find petrol pumps in Reckong Peo and after that only in Kaza. Better would be to take along some petrol along with you and learn few quick tricks in case your bike faces some issues because I know some people who learn a few basics and then go to Ladakh/Spiti.

  5. Akshay

    Beautifully written. Useful details and insights. Could you tell how much the travel from Delhi to Reckong Peo costs?

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  6. Shuvzit

    Thanks a ton for writing this blog coz I am sure it’s going to be very helpful for all who wish to travel to Spiti.

    Also why don’t you organise trips/treks to different places ? I am sure a lot of people will join in.

    Keep up the good work. May the force be with you. 😄👍

    1. Post
      Author
      Radhika Sharma

      Thank you so much for appreciating 🙂

      Are you planning to go as well? And well, it is on the cards if all goes well 🙂

      May the force be with you as well 😀

  7. Sameeksha shettyy

    What season did you visit spiti in? Will it look as beautiful as the ones in your pictures in July?

    1. Post
      Author
      Radhika Sharma

      In May, this month only. And I have heard that it looks even more beautiful in July and August 🙂

      Great news ain’t it?

  8. Harshit Sharma

    THIS.IS.AMAZING.!!
    Came here after your yt video (which was beautifully shot) . I have been planning my itinerary for a few days now to have my go at the “middle land”. Your post is, by a very wide margin, the biggest insight in have been rendered so far!
    Just wondering if i would have any electrical powering/charging points at any homestays (i am hopeful of finding those in kaza but not too sure about the other remote areas)as I wish to avoid taking too many powerbanks. Only a stock iphone camera here (imagine a forced smile).
    oh and thanks again for this newly Bookmarked page of mine!

    1. Post
      Author
      Radhika Sharma

      Thank you so much, Harshit for taking out the time to watch the video as well as reading the blog 🙂

      Glad that it gave you insight into your Spiti trip. Hope you have an amazing time. So as far as the charging points are concerned in the homestays – yes, they have excellent connectivity and power even though they are small villages. I still carried power banks with me to be on the safer side, but to all the places I went to, I faced no issue with electricity and sockets.

      Also, good that you have bookmarked the page because tomorrow I will be updating the blog with a route map, so that it gets easier to lay out a plan on the go by following the route 🙂

      Cheers!

  9. Aakash Gola

    Dear radhika,
    You are amazing. I don’t know when I will go to these places but I am saving your itineraries. Surely these will be helpful to me. Blessings to you.keep rocking with beautiful videos & clicks. And your smile ..full of energy and enthusiasm..it’s just give a push to travelling more and more.

    1. Post
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      Radhika Sharma

      Aakash, thank you so much for making my day! 🙂

      I hope you plan a trip soon to this place, let me know whenever you do so!

    1. Post
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      Radhika Sharma

      Thank you Nitin. 🙂

      Sure, for Kibber homestay here it is – 9459053363, although their phone is hardly reachable as BSNL does not work in Kibber
      For Kaza, Winter White – 09459520888

  10. Sunil Bagri

    The article is self explanatory, and seems very helpful, i was kind of preparing my itinerary the same way you made it. Going in next 10 days 😊🏍

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  11. Bala

    Hello Radhika ,
    Beautiful blog . Just one small query , I don’t want to go to tabo , is there any direct bus from Nako to Dhankar or sichiling village ?

    1. Post
      Author
      Radhika Sharma

      Hey, thank you 🙂

      Yes, you can take the bus from Nako directly to Sichling Village. The one that comes from Reckong Peo towards Kaza will drop you off at this place. Sichling comes on the way towards Kaza 🙂

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  12. Anshita

    Hi Radhika,

    Very informative and specific. Thanks for the very useful details. Just a typical Indian question, I’m planning to travel alone (a girl🙄). Is it a safe (considering the network issue as well) bet to do that in spiti?

    1. Post
      Author
      Radhika Sharma

      You got me at a “typical Indian question”, haha!

      Yes, it is completely safe. Of course, you have to take care and be attentive, etc. But people over there are extremely nice and helpful, no worries about that. Just keep track of the bus timings 🙂

  13. Nagendran Ns

    Hey hi. Thanks for the detailed information. But wanted to know if this can be done other way around, because I’ll be arriving from Ladakh to Batal/Losar. If so, where can I find information on bus timing?

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      Author
      Radhika Sharma

      Hey, thank you 🙂 Glad it was helpful. Let me try to help you in this case –

      From Manali, there are 2 buses that leaves to Kaza – 5:00 AM and 5:30 AM. These buses will cross Batal.
      You will reach Kaza in the afternoon then most likely which is by 4 PM.

      The timings and routes for Pin Valley, Langza, Kibber, Komic, Kee remains the same.

      So now if you want to leave from Kaza and take the Reckong Peo route, there is a bus that leaves early in the morning at 6 AM from Kaza bus stand.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  14. Arpan Samanta

    Hi Radhika!! Thanks for the detailed information. Beautiful blog. Just one small query, to rent a scooty at kaza do I need a driving licence?

    1. Post
      Author
      Radhika Sharma

      Hello Arpan, thank you so much and glad that it was helpful 🙂

      Yes, you will be needing it. It is a compulsory document to have over there while renting.

  15. Flexcia Dsouza

    Thanks for this wonderful post! I hope to visit soon. What’s a great time to visit? I was thinking of June. What do you think?

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