Popularly known as the cold desert mountain, "Middle Land" or "Little Tibet", Spiti Valley can be more aptly called as ?Trekking mecca and a virgin paradise?. Nestled in the Himalayan range in Himachal Pradesh, this desert terrain is sure to spellbind you. Further inward, ancient monasteries, quaint little habitations, snow-capped mountains, verdure forests, crystal clear rivers and magnificent glaciers make this picture perfect valley all the more enthralling and surreal. The breath-taking views and the untouched natural beauty will make your visit a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Lahaul and Spiti district comprises of both the valleys which are separated by Kunzum pass. One of the most unexplored destinations in Himachal Pradesh, Spiti or Spiti valley is located at a very high altitude in the eastern part of Himachal Pradesh. This region is a desert mountain valley and is known for its beautiful monasteries and untouched natural beauty. The terrain of Spiti Valley is highly difficult and the entire region becomes completely isolated during the winters. A visit to Spiti would remain incomplete without visiting the monasteries here. The Ki/Key Monastery and the Dhankar Monastery are must-visits. For adventure enthusiasts, there are a few trekking trails and mountain biking routes that they must go for. The Chandratal lake and Surajtal lakes are some of the most beautiful lakes in the world and are among the highest lakes in the world. This region plays host to a number of festivals which are all celebrated with a lot of fervour, which includes burning of the devil, chaam dance and Pauri festival.
There are just a few rest-houses, some hotels, tourism guest houses in Kaza which is the headquarters of Spiti subdivision of the district. There are also a lot of accommodation options in Keylong, which is the headquarters of the Lahaul subdivision of the district.
Staring from INR 1,500
Paradise for adventurers. Mesmerising view of the mountains with fresh air.
Risky highways. Hostile in late monsoons and winters. Become deserted during the winters.
Ideal for all sorts of adventurers, whether trekking, or camping, or even hiking. Also suitable for backpackers from nearby sites like New Delhi, Shimla, Manali, etc.
For the much-awaited escapade to the mountains, Spiti is the go-to place for all you trekkers and backpackers out there. Here, we have a ready itinerary to make life easy for you.
Reach Rohtang or Solang Valley a day before and start for Kaza- headquarters of Spiti, via Rohtang Pass early in the morning. Spend some leisure time at Kunzum Pass on the way and the beautiful drive through Battal, Chattru and Gramphu. Spend the night at Kaza.
Drive to Tabo and visit the old monasteries and monk caves. On the way back to Kaza, visit the Dhankar villages and the famous Dhangkar Monastery. Drive through the less travelled roads of Langza. Visit the statue of Buddha and witness the great view of Chau Chau Kang Neldad peak. Enjoy the pleasing snowscape panorama and come back to Kaza for the night.
Visit the Ki- Kibber villages and the renowned Ki monastery. Enjoy the enthralling drive between Losar and Kaza. You can either camp at Chandratal or spend the night at a PWD rest house in Battal, which is without electricity. It is advisable to not ride back to Losar to save time and energy.
Drive through Battal - Chattru and Gramphu to Manali, back via Rohtang Pass. On your way back visit the beautiful Kunzun la Pass and end your trip on a high. Lastly, you can visit local sights in Manali and head back accordingly.
If you have additional days to spare, you can visit the Spiti river and indulge in river rafting or other adventure activities. Also, you can also visit Pin Valley National Park for a glimpse of Snow Leopards. It is a 1-hour drive to Pin Valley from Kaza and it will be worth your time.
Spiti literally means 'the Middle Land', situated between the region of India and the adjoining borders of the Tibet region of China, in the eastern part of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Strictly for trekkers and hikers, this is an adventurer's paradise. The terrain of this place is quite high and difficult. The Lahaul and Spiti district comprises of both the valleys which are separated by Kunzum pass.
The name "Spiti" means the middle land. Therefore, Spiti Valley is the middle land between India and Tibet. It has mixed culture and traditions of both the nations. It is a research centre for Buddhist due to its innumerable monasteries and temples. Tabo Monastery is the favourite of Dalai Lama and one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in the world. It is home to the few surviving Buchen Lamas of the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism. The life at Spiti often leads to monastic forms of living for most of its inhabitants. People of Spiti are superstitious- they talk of healing trees, spirits and monks possessing magical powers. People celebrate the local festivals and fairs. Tribal fair Keylong coincides with the Indian Independence day, falling between 14th to 16th of August; in which cultural troupes are invited to perform the state arts from Chandigarh, Dharamshala etc. There is also Ladarcha fair held annually in July. Traders from Ladakh, Rampur Busher and Spiti, meet to barter their produce.
Spiti's cuisine has an interesting mix of delicacies which one must indulge in. Though the Tibetan food dominates the platters here, one finds satisfying North-Indian food as well as a dash of Israeli food. The village sways with barley fields which is the biggest source of food. The grain is used to produce arrack (barley whisky), chang (barley beer); and roasted flour is made into laddoos or breakfast cereal called thungpa. The local food items that one should not miss include Momos, Thukpa, Butter tea, Chang (a locally made beer), Arkah (a locally made whiskey) and more. Other than these, flavoured and aromatic teas such as those with garnishes of lemon, mint, ginger, honey are quite popular.
One of the most surreal places in Himachal. The trek to the lake is quite easy and even first timers can make it there without any hassle. The terrain is to die for and the locals are hospitable. Make sure you dress yourself up in warm clothing because it gets pretty cold. In case you feel like, reading a first hand travel experience to Chandratal Lake , feel free to visit http://www.budgetwayfarers.com/chandratal-lake-spiti-himachal-pradesh/
- The highways are a bit dangerous as most buses run at above normal speeds. Driving here should be done very carefully. Also during trekking one must ensure that the guide is well-informed of the terrain there and the food and water should be sufficient in quantity.
5 out of 5 .like ladakh valley .best thing is road from kaza to rohtang pass.road conditions r not good .u can see monasteries lake .still remember that fresh air.road via shimla is longer n boring.no road signs via shimla .its a long drive so better to take manali rohtang pass road.
By Ayan Samanta
Can I go there from Manali..??if possible then tell me the cab fear from there