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Spiti Valley Travel Guide

Spiti Valley Travel Guide

Spiti valley–A trekking Mecca you should not Miss in Himachal

About Spiti Valley Travel Guide

Extended winding roads, as well as valleys presenting glimpses of chilly desert and snow-clad mountains, greet you when you are in Spiti Valley. Engulfed in all directions by the Himalayas, Spiti Valley, set in Himachal Pradesh, has an elevation of 12,500 feet above sea level. The place has sunshine for 250 days of the year, transforming it among the coldest places in India. With the dense Himalayan snow cutting, Spiti is cut off from other parts of the country for 6 months a year. The summer months are peak time and Spiti has access by a motor vehicle during this climate. Spiti means 'The Middle Land', as Spiti Valley divides India from Tibet. Less populated, Spiti is a paradise for an adventure lover, with many trekking trails that tourists can select from. All of these treks commence from Kaza to various peaks from where you can see exotic glimpses of the Himalayan mountains. A hassle-free 1.5-kilometer trek by the side of Spiti River from Dhankar Monastery to Dhankar Lake displays breathtaking sights of the villages below. Dhankar Lake is a place to relax in the cool mountain air. Spiti valley is among the sought-after adventure tourist places of Himachal Pradesh.

How to reach Spiti valley?

By train:- The nearest railway station is Joginder Nagar Railway station. It is 160 km from Manali.

By road:-You can travel by road to Spiti valley from Manali. The travel time is approx 4 hours by car or jeep.

By air:-The nearest airport to Spiti Valley is the Kullu Airport. You can hire a taxi from Kullu airport.

Things to do at Spiti Valley

If you are an environmental buff and tremendously passionate for nature and its multiple aspects, this area is the right choice for you. If you have the zest to admire flora and fauna, you are at the right place. If you love camping and have an inclination towards monasticism, this place is for you. You can visit the  Buddhist monasteries and go on long treks. You can have amazing lake views and interact with people. 

Best time to visit Spiti Valley

For a summer experience, the best time to visit Spiti valley is from March to June. If you want an exotic winter vacation and experience adventure in the snow, the best time is October to February. 

 

Best places to visit in Spiti Valley :

Chandratal lake

Chandratal Lake is among the pristine lakes situated at an elevation of 4300 m in the Himalayas. The exotic lake falls on the Samudra Tapu plateau in the Lahaul area located in Lahaul and Spiti district and is the origin of the Chandra River. The name "Chandra Taal" sprouts from the shape of its crescent. This lake is also on the list of Ramsar sites. Once a resting spot for Tibetan traders who traveled from Spiti and the Kullu valley, it magnetizes thousands of adventure enthusiasts. It is among the exotic places of Himachal Pradesh.

Chandratal lake

As per the legend, Chandratal Lake is a spot where God Indra's chariot took up Yudhishthira, the eldest brother of Pandavas in Mahabharata. This makes it sacred and is flocked by many Hindu devotees. The water of this holy lake changes color from red to orange to blue to emerald green by the end of the day. Big stretches of meadows display camping sites and various wildflowers during springtime. The trek from Batal to Chandratal is a tedious trail, but the fascinating views and special charm of the place is worth it. The light of the sun reflecting from the surface of the Chandratal Lake renders it crystal clear.

 

Key Monastery

The Key Monastery is a well-known Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Lahaul and Spiti District. Situated at an elevation of 4,166 meters above sea level, the monastery is near the Spiti River in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Also called Kye Monastery and Ki Monastery, it was founded by Dromton, a student of well-known teacher Atisha in the 11th century. It has Buddha idols in the meditative pose apart from many ancient books as well as murals. It is among the heritage sights of Himachal Pradesh.

Key Monastery

The beautiful Key Monastery is more than 1000 years old and is also the biggest monastery in Spiti Valley. The splendid is also a religious center for the Lamas. Kye Monastery survived various attacks in the past but accomplished its thousand years in AD 2000. The Dalai Lama was present at the ceremony.

 

Kunzum Pass

Kunzum Pass also called Kunzum La, as it is called by locals, is among the highly elevated mountain passes of India. Situated at a height of 4,551m above sea level, it is the gateway to the very beautiful Spiti valley accessible from Kullu and Lahaul. It falls on the east side of the Kunzum Range of the Himalayas at a distance of 122 km from Manali. Kunzum La provides a 360-degree  glimpse of Bara- Shigri Glacier, an exclusive vista of Chandrabhaga Range, and a grand view of the Spiti valley.

Kunzum Pass

This eye-catching view transforms Kunzum La into a dream of an environmental photographer. You have a 15km trek to the well-known Chandratal Lake from Kunzum Pass. Visitors halt at the temple of Goddess Kunzum Devi as per belief, on their path to the pass, paying respect and seeking the blessing for safe travel through the tough terrain. The tradition is to make a circumambulation of the temple. It is among the must-see places of Himachal Pradesh.

 

Pin Valley National Park

 Pin Valley National Park is located in the Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve in the Lahaul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. The altitude of the park is about 3,500 meters near Ka Dogri and exceeds 6,000 meters at its pinnacle. One of the splendid views of its kind, the Pin Valley National Park nurtures rare species of  Himalayan snow leopards and their targets. The National  Park is known for its incredible trek, a delight for adventurers.  It snows for a major chunk of the year making the trek thrilling as well as challenging. Foreigners need permission from authorities.

Pin Valley National Park

The Pin Valley park’s core zone is a huge area of 675 sq km while its buffer zone extends almost 1150 sq km. The park has more than 20 species of flora and fauna that include the endangered snow leopard, a much sought-after inhabitant of Pin Valley Park. You also have Siberian Ibex, Bharal, red fox, weasel, and marten in this environmental hub. Multiple bird species inhabit the region like pika, snow cock, bearded vulture, chukor, golden eagle, griffon, Himalayan chough, and raven. It is among the famous national parks of India.

 

Suraj Tal

Located at a height of 4950 m above sea level, Suraj Tal Lake is the 3rd biggest lake in India. Set in Spiti Valley, Suraj Tale means, ‘The Lake of Sun God’. Just beneath the Baralacha pass, the fabulous lake is a must-visit, especially if you love photography. The Suraj Tal is among the photogenic lakes.

Suraj Tal

 

Dhankar Monastery

Dhankar Monastery, also called Drangkhar or Dhangkar Gompa is located in Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh, India. At a height of 12,774 feet, the monastery is on the edge of a cliff and provides a splendorous view of Spiti valley. Built 1000 years ago on a 1000 ft tall mountain overlooking the Spiti and Pin rivers, Dhankar Monastery is in the category of endangered monuments. It is among the heritage structures of India.

Dhankar Monastery

Writer:- David Bamzai (HV Team)