Lahaul and Spiti Valley
The paradisiacal land of Lahaul & Spiti greets tourists with its unadulterated charm and jaw-dropping sights of the majestic Himalayan deserts and meadows. Situated on the Tibetan Plateau, the Lahaul and Spiti region, with its remote locales, sparkling rivers, alpine lakes, and unmatched natural beauty, is one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh for an adventurous and surreal vacation. Lahaul Valley and Spiti Valley were merged in 1960 to form Lahaul & Spiti district, it is the 4th least populated districts in India. The two valleys are connected through the famous Kunzum La (mountain pass) that sits at an altitude of 4551 m. While the two regions are equally stunning, they vary slightly in appearance. The Spiti Valley is an endless barren land of nothingness, whereas, the Lahaul Valley shows some form of vegetation. However, the two regions find commonalities in terms of being remote and utterly spectacular and peaceful.
Lahaul & Spiti can leave you breathless with its stunning vistas, but it can also make you feel fuzzy with its cultural richness and hospitality. It is so amazing to witness handful of people who survive in the harshest of climate smiling and receiving you with incredible warmth. The rich culture preserved by this small population living in remote villages and small towns is one thing you cannot miss to witness.
Keylong is the district headquarters of the Lahaul and Spiti Valley and this is the perfect base to start your journey through the verdant lands of Lahaul. The various villages of Lahaul like Koksar, Sissu, Gondhla, Tandi, Jahalman and Thirot allure with their vibrant and luxuriant landscapes adorned with rich alpine flowers, thick willows and beautiful fields of potatoes, peas, barley and buckwheat. The potatoes grown in Lahaul are famous all over the world for their excellent taste and will definitely make your tummy and tongue develop a lifelong friendship with this scenic abode. The sub-divisional headquarters of Udaipur delights tourists with its apples, apricots, walnuts and thick pine forests. With its unique temples of Trilokinath and Markula Devi, Udaipur is also a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus. Lahaul is also a haven for thrill seekers with many trekking routes and mountaineering expeditions originating from Darcha to Baralacha la.
Travellers can halt during their trek to the Baralacha la and soak in the spectacular reflections of the mountains and the snowy peaks in the sparkling waters of the Suraj Taal, the lake of the Sun God. Kaza, the sub-divisional headquarters of the Spiti Valley welcomes you with its rich Tibetan culture and traditions. Explore the cafes and restaurants here and satiate your taste buds with the simple yet lip-smacking dishes.
Boasting a rich Tibetan Buddhism influence, the Lahaul & Spiti Valley is home to numerous marvelous monasteries and gompas such as the Guru Ghantal Gompa, Dzong Gompa, Shashur Gompa, Tayul, Yardong, Kardang and Gemur Monasteries in Lahaul and the Tabo, Dhankar, Komic and the famous attraction, Ki Monastery in Spiti. Among these, the most famous monastery is the Tabo Monastery in Spiti, also a renowned World Heritage Site. With their wonderful statues of Bodhisattvas, enchanting meditation caves and exquisitely made wood carvings, the various Monasteries of Lahaul and Spiti promise to leave behind a mesmerizing imprint of the life and culture of these Himalayan highlands in your memories.
Spiti Valley is also home to many high altitude and remote villages. Experience solitude in Kibber, the highest motorable village in the world, write letters to your loved ones from the highest post office in the world in Hikkim, meditate at the highest motorable monastery in the world in Komic, treat yourself to the majestic views of the highland meadows in Langza and Losar and witness the remarkably well preserved mummy in Gue. Visit the tranquil Chandratal lake and fill your heart with unbridled joy under the blanket of the dazzling stars and galaxies. This one of the most famous tourist destinations of Spiti Valley, ‘Moon Lake’ or Chandratal is situated at a height of 4270 meters. With such splendid options, these hidden civilizations of Spiti will surely satiate your wanderlust.
The Spiti region is home to a variety of exotic wildlife with animals like the Tibetan Wild Fox, Ibex and Snow Leopards. Explore the rich fauna of this Himalayan hinterland in the Pin Parvati National Park in the Pin Valley. Complete your excursion to this stronghold of Nyingmapa Buddhists by visiting the picturesque villages of Mudh and Sagnam.
Top Things to Do and Best Places to See in Lahaul and Spiti
The twin valleys of Lahaul and Spiti are a haven for nature lovers, adventurers, photographers and backpackers. With being home to some of the most breathtaking sceneries of the high Himalayan landscape, remote villages, gleaming alpine lakes, sacred monasteries and temples, exotic cultures, rich wildlife and sumptuous cuisines, Lahaul & Spiti offer a number of places to see and things to do despite being a remote destination in Himachal Pradesh.