Himachal

Offbeat Himachal:  Explore Lahaul and Spiti

Introduction

Lahaul and Spiti consists of two districts – Lahaul and Spiti. Lahaul is surrounded by Kunzum la at its west with Chandra river flowing through it while Spiti lies in between Kunzum la (pass) and Debsa pass on its west. This place is situated just 4-5 hours away from Shimla, Chandigarh and Manali but it feels like it is still untouched by civilization.    This place can be easily explored on foot or mountain biking as the terrain is flat except for some rocky patches at places which are quite manageable. It is a paradise for trekkers, campers and adventure seekers.

Spiti, the northernmost district of Himachal Pradesh, India, shares its borders with the Chinese territory in Tibet and has some of the highest motorable passes in the world.

Location Of Lahaul And Spiti

Lahaul and Spiti is a district in the northernmost Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Though it’s regarded as a remote destination, it can be reached by road all year round; the only exception being during monsoons when the roads are closed due to inclement weather.

Lahaul is further divided into two sub-divisions:

Lahaul and Spiti

In the heart of Lahaul lies Kaza, which is the district headquarters. It’s located at a height of 11,500 feet and is approached via Manali by road. One can also approach Kaza from Keylong in Kinnaur, which is just 30 kilometers away. The roads are good enough to reach Kaza throughout the year barring heavy rains.

Spiti too lies in an area surrounded by hills on all sides and is connected to Manali via Rohtang Pass. It has a few more settlements which include Kibber, Khab and Kunzum Pass, Pin Valley National Park, Shipki La Pass and Chango, the last of which lies at a height of 14,000 feet above sea level. The climatic conditions are severe here with snowfall capping off at around 4 meters in some places and temperatures staying below freezing

Best time To visit

During winters, heavy snowfall makes it very difficult to travel by road.

In the summer, Lahaul and Spiti come alive. Tourists flock to the region for trekking and camping. The beauty of the region is well known by now. Though it is regarded as a remote destination, it can be reached during winters as well. During winters, heavy snowfall makes it very difficult to travel by road. But however arduous, the journey can be made. 

Connected to Manali via Rohtang Pass, Kaza, the capital of Spiti, is considered to be one of the coldest places in India with temperatures dropping to -20 degrees Celsius.

 The region of Lahaul and Spiti is located in the northwestern part of India, and is connected to Manali via the Rohtang Pass. The area is known for its naturally beautiful surroundings, and the capital of Spiti is a particularly fascinating place.

History Of Spiti

Kaza was once the seat of power for the Spiti kings. The city is believed to have been established by a Tibetan immigrant in the 11th century. After Indian independence, Kaza became an important trading center along the Silk Route, connecting India with Central Asia. However, due to political and economic reasons, this route has since been closed down. In 2000, Kaza was declared as a government holiday resort for tourists. It is considered to be one of the coldest places in India with temperatures dropping to -20°C in winter.[1]

The town’s position on a high altitude makes it popular among trekkers because of its proximity to some beautiful mountains such as Kamet and Nanda Devi. There are also many other notable attractions in Kaza including the Namgyal Monastery; a Buddhist monastery built in 1553 AD by Gyalwa Lhanangpa who was a student of Je Tsongkhapa.

Takeaway

If you are looking for an offbeat destination in India that offers adventure and tranquillity at once, Lahaul and Spiti should be your choice.

Why Spiti is So Famous

Located on the far western end of the country, Lahaul is a land of snow-capped mountains, dense forests, deep gorges and alpine pastures. Spiti is a Tibetan kingdom at the upper reaches of the mighty river Sutlej. The region is known for its natural beauty. Lahaul has lush green pastures, fast flowing rivers and snow capped mountains while Spiti is one of the highest inhabited places in the Indian subcontinent with towering mountains and breathtaking landscape. It is no wonder that this region has been called “The Land of Mystic Lamas”.

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