Snuggled in the mighty Himalayan ranges in Himachal Pradesh of India, Lahaul and Spiti are ideal locations for trekkers and nature lovers. Positioned at a height of almost 3340 m from sea level, Lahaul and Spiti are two isolated villages in Himachal Pradesh which are highly appealing and attractive. The place is accessible only in the summer. Spiti is very remote village and also have been removed from the tourists map due to its remoteness but still, Spiti and its twin valley, Lahaul, has maintained its pristine charm and are able to attract tourists to it. It is surrounded by glorious glaciers and snow-clad mountains, quaint ancient monasteries, habitants perched on mountain tops, verdure forests, crystal clear streams and rivers, tranquil climate, prayer flags swaying in the wind and old monks in their robes makes this place more alluring and surreal and leaves visitors spellbound. The breath-taking vistas and the intact natural beauty of this place will surely make your trip a once-in-a-lifetime memory.
Spiti which literally means “The Middle Land” got its name since it is surrounded by Ladakh in the north, Kullu and Lahaul at the south, Tibet on the east. Since, it is a land between India and Tibet, it is also called as”Middle Land” and “Little Tibet” and ” cold desert mountain”. Spiti and Lahaul are two remote Himalayan valleys in Himachal Pradesh and resides on the border of India and Tibet. The astounding snow clad mountains and the rough beauty of these terrain attract the travellers in a large scale. It offers variety of opportunities to the trekkers, adventure lovers and tourists such as trekking, hiking, camping, mountain climbing, cycling and bike rides, etc. Not only adventure lovers, but those who are in search of peace and tranquillity, Spiti valley welcomes them too with its unpolluted and vibrant climate. This dry yet stunningly beautiful area remains under the snow for almost 8 months during a year.
Things To Do in Spiti and Lahaul valley :
Visit Kunzum Pass :
Located at a height of around 4,551 m from the mean sea level, Kunzum Pass or Kunzum La in the Indian state, Himachal Pradesh, is one of the uppermost motorable mountain pass in India. Placed at an altitude higher than Rohtang Pass, around 3,978 m from the sea level, Kunzum pass Separates stunning Lahaul and Spiti valleys via Kullu. Kunzum Pass undoubtedly offers an inconceivable 360 degree panoramic view of the world’s second highest glacier i.e. Bara – Shigri Glacier along with a majestic landscape of Chandrabhaga Range as well as a stunning and spectacular vista of the Spiti valley. Kunzum Pass is located on the east side of Kunzum Ranges of the great Himalayas at around 120 km from Manali.
The place is also very famous for the holy temple of Goddess Kunjum which is situated at the peak of Kunzum and every vehicle stops here to seek blessings from the goddess and pays respect to it. It is believed that the goddess keeps watch all over the pass and also of the evil power. As per the local tradition, the one who is visiting the temple is supposed to take a full circle of the devi temple with your vehicle. The place is surrounded by Chortans, Buddhist style Gompas and number of multi-coloured and vibrant prayer flags just the ones like on monasteries. So, one can see the influence of Buddhist and Buddhism in and around the place. These vibrant colourful prayer flags swaying with the snow-white wind definitely makes a whole surrounding as an amazing view and a view to behold.
Read more about Kunzum Pass here.
Go To Chandra Tal :
Situated at a height of around 4300 metres in the grand Himalayas, Chandratal Lake is also known as one of the most stunning and impressive lakes in India. Because of its alluring and untouched beauty, it is also known as a paradise of a trekker and camper. The name “Chandra Tal” which also means as the Lake of the Moon is derived from its semi-circular shape. The place which was once a temporary residence for traders of Tibetan who used to travel to the Spiti valley and the Kullu valley, it now attracts thousands of tourists and adventure enthusiasts every year from all over the globe. An array of diverse wildflowers especially during springtime and huge patches of green meadows makes this place as the best camping location. The Chandra lake is also part of the Samudra Tapu hills by overlooking the gorgeous river Chandra. Though the trek starting from Batal to Chandra tal is quite tiresome, the charismatic vistas and lure of the place will make you forget everything and simply worth of your efforts.
The history of the Chandra lake dates back to the era of Pandavas from the Hindu epic Mahabharat. It is believed that, this is a location from where lord Indra’s chariot picked up the eldest sibling of Pandavas, Yudhishthira and thus, makes this place one of the holy place as per Hindu mythology. Every year, thousands of Hindu devotees visit this sacred lake. As per the time of the day, colour of the holy lake water also changes from rosy to shades of orange to azure blue to bright green. The light of the sun shimmering on the lake surface makes it crystal clear.
Chandra Tal lake is a perfect place to break your monotonous routine and take a break from hustle bustle of the city life. The stunning lake nestled amongst the mighty hills and snow-clad mountains makes lake a sight to behold.
Visit Key Monastery :
Key Monastery is one of the largest and oldest Monasteries in the area of Spiti. Positioned at an elevation of around 4112 m, this Monastery was constructed during 14th century and is the main and important tourist location in this expanse. The architectural style of the monastery is highly inspired by the Chinese architectural style and it preserves an idol of Buddha in “Dhyan” position. The monastery also has huge collection of several ancient murals and books and is a must visit during a trip to Spiti.
Check out Dhankar Monastery :
Easily accessed by motorable roads, Dhankar Monastery gives a truthful insight into Buddhist culture and religion. Located on a cliff in between Tabo and, the monastery gives a stunning view of the river Spiti river. Statue of ‘Vairocharan’ which displays 4 statues of Lord Buddha in 4 different directions are placed here along with some beautiful ancient paintings, texts and murals.
Get Some Stunning photos at Suraj Tal Lake :
Suraj Tal is the most photogenic and picturesque place, located just under the Baralacha pass. To get a perfect click it is one of the place which one should not miss. This dream like place formed from the nearby Baralacha La glaciers. It is also a great and perfect spot for trekking or bike tour.
Trek to Pin Valley National Park :
National Park of Pin Valley is located in the Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve in the Spiti and Lahaul Districts of Himachal Pradesh. The park is at an elevation of about 3,500 m to more than 6,000 m at its peak. Because of this high altitude, merely very less number of plants and animals survive here. However, the National Park is very popular for its amazing trek which indeed is an enchantment for all the visitors. The National Park which is house to several extraordinary species of plant and animal, was established during the year of 1987 and since then, it has become a main attraction for trekking and nature lovers. A picture-perfect background of snow-clad Himalayan mountain ranges makes the trek every nature lover’s paradise. The National Park of Pin Valley is a key joint between 2 separate districts of Spiti and Lahaul and the Dhankar Gompa lying on the border of Tibet can be consider as its correct starting point.
The Pin Valley National Park is abode to the uncommon species of poular Himalayan snow leopards along with Tibetan gazzle, fox, ibex, wolf, bharal, Indian porcupine, Himalayan marmot, blue sheep, snow Patridge, red-billed chough, blue rock pigeon, Patridge, Tibetan wild ass and many others. If interested, you can also learn about the extent several vegetation and plants. So, visit the national park to observe rare species and some amazing vistas of nature you definitely don’t want to miss.
Fairs and Festivals :
Spiti and Lahaul celebrates number of festivals and fairs like Ladarcha fair, Pauri fair, Tsheshu fair, Fagli festival, Tribal fair, Gochi festival, Festival of light and many more. The places also houses number of dignified and must see temples such as Mrikula Devi temple and Trilokinath temple. Along with temple, the region has plenty of Monasteries such as Dhankar Monastery, Tabo Monastery, Guru Ghantal Gompa, Kungri Gompa, Sashur Gompa, Yang Yud Gompa, Gemur Monastery and Kardang Gompa, etc.
Enjoy other Exciting Activities :
Spiti and Lahaul is definitely a captivating and enchanting place for adventure enthusiasts. Apart from stunning treks and jaw-dropping beauties, adventure activities carried out here are also very engaging and exciting. The region houses ski areas and best treks in the world. One can also go for hiking, trekking, skiing, river-rafting , camping activities at this place.
Best Time to Visit Spiti and Lahaul Valleys :
Summer days are the best days to visit Spiti and Lahaul, starting from May month to last of October month.
This region was made available to tourists during 1992 year.