Lahaul - Spiti Tourism, India 2020 (50 Tours & Activities)

Tucked away in an inviting blanket of earthly glory, Spiti is a heavenly gateway for those seeking solitude in the bliss of nature. Lahaul Spiti tourism attracts thousands of people every year towards its fascinating beauty and unadulterated environment. Spiti is bordered in the northern side by Ladakh, Tibet in the East, Kinnaur in the South-East and Kullu valley in the North.

This majestic cold desert valley in Himachal Pradesh is replete with pine forests, green meadows, beautiful monasteries and inhabited villages that will leave you totally awe-stuck. Situated at an altitude of around 12,500 ft above the sea level the barren mountains over here change their hues every second and it is definitely a sight to behold. The tiny villages over here under the shadow of huge mountains have a population of around 35 to 200 people. This sparsely inhabited land is a slice of paradise for all those who’re yearning to cut off from the intoxicating city life.

Wherever you go, you’ll witness beautiful Buddhist monasteries, prayer flags fluttering in the air and a large number of monks praying with their prayer wheels. You can also have fascinating glimpse of Dhadkan and Chandratal lake here. The awe inspiring passes like Kunzum and Barchala Pass will further take you at the top of the world with its immense altitude.

The visitors can choose to go on a nature trail over here to encounter rare avian species and jaw-dropping beauty of nature. Take part in adventurous activities like hiking, rappelling and camping here. Step out of the confines of your mundane life and hop on to enjoy some shutter shooting in the arms of nature at the wonderland of Spiti.

Spiti is a cold desert valley and hence it experiences extreme cold temperature during all seasons. But summer is definitely a bit pleasant than the other seasons as the temperature gradually rises up to 0-15 degrees Celsius during Summer. Winters in Spiti is extremely spine-chilling and people avoid visiting this wonderland during this season. Monsoon too is frequented by heavy rainfall and landslides and hence the people refrain from visiting Spiti during monsoon.

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18 July 2015
Excellent
Beautiful, unexplored place and the best part away from all the cobwebs of city.This place is heaven on earth. It is hard to believe that such beauty even exists. But yes, beauty comes at a price. Its hard to reach. Weather is extreme. I went there via Kinnaur. And Kinnaur is not for the light hearted. Its a long, tiring and dangerous journey with a treasure at the end.
10 January 2020
Excellent
I went to Spiti Valley with my family from Chandigarh and we booked our trip from Thrillophilia. The place is so beautiful, the view is so captivating. the trip was really wonderful we had a very nice ti me on the trip. Thanks, Thrillophilia for the great experience!!!
10 January 2020
Excellent
We went to Spiti from Shimla. We booked the trip from Thrillophilia and must say they have arranged everything so nicely, the stays, meals everything was so nice. We had an amazing time on the entire trip.
10 January 2020
Excellent
The Spiti Valley trip from Delhi was so amazing, The entire trip was so nicely planned, the meals and stays everything was so good. we had a great time on the trip. The place is so beautiful.
10 January 2020
Excellent
we went to Spiti valley from Delhi and it was one of the best trips ever, The beautiful hills and mountains are so alluring, Key Monastery, Lhalung Monastery, Dhankar Lake, Pin Valley National Park, and Kunzum Pass all are so beautiful. We had an amazing time at the trip. Thanks Thrillophilia for the wonderful experience!!!
10 January 2020
Excellent
Spiti Valley is so beautiful and mesmerizing. The trip to Spiti valley was an amazing experience, I booked the trip from Thrillophilia and they have arranged things so well. The guide provided to us with the tour was so helpful. We had a very good time on the entire trip

Frequently Asked Questions About Lahaul - Spiti

  1. What does Spiti mean?

    Spiti basically means ‘middle land,’ and it is called so because it is situated in the land between India and Tibet. It is a treasure trove of scenic beauty lushed with splendors of nature, and the beauty of this place is sure to bind your soul. This Tibetian wonderland with an Indian soul represents the blend of both Tibetian and Indian culture in the lifestyle as well as the traditions of the inhabitants living over here.
  2. What is the best time to visit Lahaul Spiti valley?

    The best time to gasp into the magical beauty of Spiti is from March to June when the temperature ranges between 0-15 degrees Celsius.

    - During winters: Spiti Valley offers a splendid view of the snow capped mountains surrounding it during winters, from December to February. It receives snowfall from mid December, which makes it possible to convene sports like snowboarding, trekking and even ice skating.

    Most of the days are cloudy, and the sight of the sun melting into the white horizon appealing! Temperatures may be sub-zero so do carry heavy and warm clothing. Although you should be aware of the fact that route from Manali remains closed for the entire year while giving you a window from the second week of June to 15th of October.

    - During monsoon: Being a desert area, Spiti doesn’t experience heavy rainfall but an extremely chilled environment during monsoon. It is, therefore, best to avoid visiting Spiti in the month of August as the routes to Spiti experience dangerous landslides during the monsoon season along with slippery routes on the Himalayas. The weather in monsoon ideally ranges between 13-27 degrees Celsius in Spiti.

    - During Summer: The best time to visit Spiti is between March and June when the sunshine greets Spiti leading to a pleasant climate. The temperature in Summer ranges from 0-15 degrees Celcius that is favorable for an ideal trip to Spiti. You should also note that you can use the route via Shimla at any time of the year but the Manali route lets you use it between the second week of June to the 15th of October.

  3. Which are the best places to visit in Lahaul Spiti?

    Here are some of the best places that you must visit in Spiti.

    1. Chandratal Lake: This is a beautiful lake perched at around 4200 meters above sea level and is a paradise for trekking and camping enthusiasts. It is located on the Samudra Tapu plateau, and the water of this lake keeps on changing every day from emerald green to blue to orange and hues of red. The vast stretches of the green meadows over here also make it the best camping site in Spiti. It also has some tedious trails that attract trekkers from all around the world.

    2. Baralacha Pass: This is the most challenging mountain pass for all the adventurous freaks. It is known for connecting three diverse mountain ranges of Himalaya- Zanskar, Pir Panjal, and the Great Himalayas. This pass remains thronged with the trekking enthusiasts who can also camp at their chosen sites.

    3. Pin Valley National Park: Lahaul Spiti Tourism has increased in recent times due to the surreal beauty of Pin Valley National Parkwhere you can witness the most amazing animals and birds. Experience the flora and fauna of Spiti up, close and personal by visiting Pin Valley National Park.

    It is home to the rarest species of animals such as snowcocks, chukar and Siberian ibex that can’t be found in any other part of the world.  It also houses some of the rarest medicinal plants like cedar, alpine vegetation, and deodar trees. This cold desert national park is an ideal spot for the bird watchers, photographers and animal lovers.

    4. Kibber: This is one of the most picture-perfect hamlets of Lahaul Spiti Tourism frequented by trekking enthusiasts and adventure freaks. It holds the distinction of being the highest motorable villages in the entire world This small village is also flushed with Buddhist monasteries and picturesque landscapes waiting to serenade you.

  4. Which route is best for Spiti Valley?

    You can enter Spiti valley through two different:

    Route 1: Delhi – Shimla – Narkanda – Kinnaur Valley – Tabo – Kaza

    Route 2: Delhi – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Losar – Kaza.

    But Shimla Spiti Valley route is considered to be the best because:

    Spiti is an extremely cold desert valley situated at the height of 12,500 feet above the sea level. It is therefore important to acclimate your body properly before entering this Himalayan beauty. Going via the route of Shimla, the altitudes increase gradually, and this helps your body in getting acclimated properly for this adventurous trip. This also ensures that you don’t get hit by the problem of acute mountain sickness. 

    The second reason to enter Spiti valley via the Shimla route is that it transverse through the Hindustan – Tibet Highway often touted as the most treacherous roads in the entire world for the adventure junkies. 

    You can take this route at any time of the year as it doesn’t get closed unlike the Manali route which remains closed for the entire year expect from the second week of June to 15th of October.

    You also don’t need to take Rohtang Pass permit if you travel to Spiti from Manali side. You need to take this pass only when you decide to travel to Rohtang Pass via Manali route. 

    People don’t prefer entering Spiti through Manali route because it is more prone to landslides as compared to Shimla route. Also if you come through this route then you reach high altitude terrains quickly that paces up the chance of having acute mountain sickness.

  5. How to reach Lahaul Spiti?

    Spiti doesn’t have its own airport or railway station, but you can still get to Spiti via:

    - By Train: Shimla Railway station and Joginder Nagar railway station are the nearest railway station to Spiti. You can easily rent a taxi from here, or you can even board a bus from the railway station to reach Spiti.

    - By Air: Kullu Airport is the nearest airport to Spiti valley. This airport is connected quite well to all the other parts of the country. Once you reach this airport, you can rent a taxi outside to reach Spiti.

    - By Road: On a rented taxi, car or bike, Spiti Valley can be reached in two ways: via Shimla or Manali. Kaza, a town situated in Spiti Valley is the most popular destination when traveling via road due to its connectivity. Shimla is at a distance of 410 km, while Manali is at a distance of 200 km. However, the routes from Manali stay closed from mid-October to the beginning of June.

    The route from Shimla lies along steep valleys and hills as well as roads surrounded by vast plains surmounted with mountains.  Another option to travel via road is buses. HRTC buses run from Shimla to Reckong Peo via Suni at 5:00 AM every day. Via Manali, the buses run at 5:00 AM and 5:30 AM. The fare lies between INR 200 - INR 500. 

  6. What are the different things to do in Lahaul Spiti?

    There are various things which you can do in Lahaul-Spiti but here is a list of some things you shouldn’t miss at any chance:

    - MonastriesYou can visit various monasteries like Tabo, Dhankar, Kibber and many more. These monasteries are the best way to discover the history and culture of Buddhist people residing in the valley.

    - You can relish on the Tibetan and Spitian cuisines which are way too different from what you eat and get at other parts of India. Although they mostly eat meat to keep themselves warm but vegetarians will also have some choices.

    - Being settled in mountainous terrains, Spiti gives you numerous opportunities to trek through its less traveled trails. You can hike up to various spots to get a great view of the entire desert valley.

    - As the valley is settled along the river Spiti, summers gives you a great chance to enjoy river rafting in the spine chilling cold water amidst the cold deserts of India.

    - You can also visit to various lakes like ChandraTal Lake, SurajTal Lake and many more to witness the crystal clear water amidst the remote and cleanest atmosphere.

    - Besides just visiting a monastery you can also stay in them for a period of time which would be a great idea to get closer to the Buddhist culture and rituals.

    - Spiti is a totally different from the rest of the world and so is it flora and fauna. You can visit various National Parks in Spiti like Pin Valley National Park and more to witness the distinct flora and wildlife of the region.

    - You must be aware of the most adventurously dangerous road in the world. If not then please note that the route from Shimla to Kaza is known to be the most treacherous road in the world and if you are a rider from heart then there is no way you are going to miss this opportunity.

  7. Which are the famous monasteries in Lahaul Spiti Valley?

    Walk along the trails that Lord Buddha made divine with his footprints in Spiti. Yes, we’re talking about some of the most beautiful monasteries in Spiti that should be in the bucket-list of every traveler.

    1. Key Monastery: This is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Spiti situated at an altitude of around 4112 m above sea level. Its beautiful fort-like structure resembles the Chinese theme, and it is visited by tourists from all across the globe to seek inner tranquillity. This is also a religious training centre where around 300 Lamas receive education and training. It’s quite known for its magnificent Buddhist shrines, murals and manuscripts. 

    2. Tabo Monastery: This is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Spiti that was established in 996 CE. This is also popularly referred to as the Ajanta of the mighty Himalayas. The entire complex consists of many stupas and nine temples made with mud. The monks pray together in the main temple, which also functions as an assembly hall. The most alluring thing about this monastery is the splendid wall paintings and stucco sculptures of Bodhisattvas.

    3. Lhalung Monastery: Lhalung Monastery is also popularly touted as the “Golden Temple” of Himachal Pradesh. It was founded by a Buddhist Mahaguru Rinchen Zangpo who laid the foundation of this monastery. The monastery is adorned by nine shrines and gold leaf deities that makes the visitors completely spellbound with their grandeur.

    4. Gandhola Monastery: Also known as Guru Ghantal monastery, this 800-year-old monastery is famous for its shrines and wooden idols. Surrounded by rolling sand dunes and mountains, this monastery spells magic from every corner of it. It is maintained by Drukpa monks and houses some famous religious treasures with a magnificent architectural specimen.
  8. Is Spiti valley dangerous?

    No, Spiti Valley is not a dangerous destination. It is the most resorted destination for adrenaline junkies, trekkers and honeymoon sweethearts. There are various sports convened at the valley like snowboarding, skiing and ice skating. While choosing to opt for any adventurous sport here you need to follow the safety protocols strictly.
  9. How many days is enough for Spiti valley?

    You’ll require at least eight days to explore Spiti to its greatest potential. This is because of the fact that it will take five days just to reach Spiti from Kinnaur side and to return back from Manali side. In the remaining three days you can explore the scenic beauty, guzzling lakes, beautiful monasteries and other major spots in Spiti.

  10. What are the things to carry for Spiti & Lahaul Valley?

    If you’re visiting Spiti then you must carry these essentials with you:

    - Photo ID that has been issued by the state or central government.
    - Woollen cap, shoes with comfortable sole and lots of socks.
    - Small blanket and shawl
    - A camera with an extra battery to capture the picturesque beauty of Spiti\
    - Two passport size photographs
    - Leather glove
    - Being situated at an elevation, the ATMs at Spiti Valley may not be working efficiently 24/7. So do carry enough cash for you to go by for at least a week.
    - You need a permit to visit Rohtang Pass, especially when commuting via bikes. It costs INR 550, and is necessary for vehicles crossing the Gulaba Bridge. This permit is valid only for a day.
    - Foreign visitors must carry the Inner Line Permit, or ILP for traveling into the restricted areas of the country. This can be obtained from the DM’s offices in Shimla and Reckong Peo.
    - Carry medicines for cold and flu with you, as the temperatures  may go sub-zero and you may experience mild fever.

  11. Is Lahaul and Spiti Same?

    No, Lahaul and Spiti are not the same, in fact they are part of the same valley which are separated by Kunzum Pass under the name of Lahaul and Spiti Valleys.

  12. Which are the best treks in Spiti?

    Some of the most sought after treks in Spiti are:

    1. Parang La Trek: This is the most popular trek in Spiti which earlier facilitated trade between Ladakh and Spiti. This trek takes you at around 18000 feet altitude and is clearly meant for the daredevils. The trek begins in the altitude of Kibber which is known to be the breeding house for famous Spiti horses. You’re greeted by amazing scenery while traversing through these treks that will truly amaze your senses.

    2. Pin Parvati Pass Trek: This is touted as one of the most strenuous hiking treks in Spiti that require good stamina to conquer the high altitude passes. What makes trekking through this pass even more difficult is that it experiences continuous snowfall and extremely low temperature. The trek ideally begins from scenic Pulga village, from where the travellers can venture into a splendid world of beautiful valleys, high altitude mountain peaks, enthralling lakes and gushing rivers.

    3. Pin Bhaba Pass Trek: This trekking pass is located at around 16000 feet above sea level and is flushed with some of the easiest trails that can even be conquered by the inexperienced trekkers. Another thing that makes this trek extremely enthralling is that it offers a splendid panorama of nature from the top of this pass. The trek takes you through thick forests, alpine grasslands and quaint villages where you can stop by to know more about the culture of the people living here.
  13. Is Spiti open in October?

    Yes, Spiti is open in October for the tourists to explore its magnificent beauty. You can travel to this place during early October by planning to reach Kaza via Shimla and returning the same way. You should not plan to go to Spiti through Manali to Kaza route during October as the route from Manali closes on 15th of October.
  14. Is there snow in Spiti in June?

    If you’re travelling to Spiti in June, then you can find snow only at Kunzum Pass or Rohtang Pass including some higher spots and mountains.
  15. Which car is best for Spiti valley?

    SUV is considered to be the best car to reach Spiti Valley as it offers good ground clearance that can make your trip easy breezy to this destination. The SUV cars are also more sturdy that would make your travelling comfortable and safer.

  16. What should I wear to Lahaul Spiti Valley?

    Since Lahaul Spiti valley experiences extremely low temperatures, it is recommended to wear woollen clothes that can keep you warm even in the higher altitude. Here is a breakdown of the most essential things that you should wear while travelling to Spiti valley.

    - Woolen caps
    - Leather jackets
    - Leather gloves
    - Woolen socks
    - High boots
    - Warm coats

  17. How far is Lahaul Spiti from Manali?

    Lahaul Spiti is at a distance of 200 km from Manali. This distance can be covered using bike rentals, taxis or buses. There are two buses that commute from Manali to Spiti Valley that leave at 5:00 AM and 5:30 AM, and cost INR 200. These buses will drop you at your destination on the same day.

  18. Is there network in Spiti valley?

    The availability of network in Spiti Valley mostly depends on where you are at. In Kinnaur, both prepaid and postpaid services work at a reliable pace. However, only BSNL and MTNL networks work at Spiti Valley. There are several routes in and around the valley with poor connectivity too. During winters, the connectivity may be a bit problematic throughout due to the weather changes. So, inform your family and friends about the issue before going en route Spiti valley.
  19. How far is Spiti from Shimla?

    Spiti Valley is at a distance of 428 km from Shimla. This distance takes a minimum of two days to cover, either via rentals or buses. The buses from Shimla leave at 6:30 PM and reach the Reckong Peo at 4:30 AM, after traveling all night long. After a change of the bus conductor and driver as well as onboarding of various other passengers, the bus reaches Kaza at 5:00 PM.

  20. How can I go to Spiti from Delhi?

    There are two most prominent routes that you can follow to reach Spiti from Delhi. These two routes are Delhi – Shimla – Narkanda – Kinnaur Valley – Tabo – Kaza and Delhi – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Losar – Kaza. People mostly prefer the Shimla route to enter Spiti valley as you don’t require to take Rohtang Pass permit if you travel Spiti via Shimla route.
  21. How do I get to Spiti valley by air?

    Spiti doesn’t have its own airport, but you can still reach Spiti by air from Kullu Airport. Once you reach Kullu airport from there, you can take a bus, car/cab that will take you to Spiti.
  22. How do I get to Kaza?

    You can get to Kaza by these particular means:

    - By Bus: There  are two ways to reach Kaza: from Shimla and Manali. If you are traveling from Shimla, then you can take the bus that leaves at 6:30 PM. The buses halt at Reckong Pass at 4:30 AM, and travel further to reach Kaza by 5:30 PM. Via Manali, the buses travel at 5:00 AM and 5:30 AM and reach Kaza on the same day by 4:00 PM.

    - By Air: There is no direct flight for Kaza but around 250 km from Kaza you can find Bhuntar airport situated near Kullu that is the nearest airport to Kaza. From here you can board a bus or taxi to reach Kaza.

    - By Rail: There is no direct rail connectivity for Kaza. Joginder Nagar railway station in Kasol is the nearest railway station from Kaza. From here you can take a bus or taxi to reach Kaza.

  23. Can kids go to Spiti Valley?

    Your kids can only go to Spiti Valley if they are above one year and 17 months. If your kid was born premature or has lung or heart condition, he/she can’t visit Spiti at all.

  24. How far is Kinnaur from Shimla?

    Kinnaur is about 257.5 km from Shimla. It takes around 8 hour and 16 mins to reach Kinnaur from Shimla if you take the route via MDR22 and NH5.

  25. Can we visit Spiti valley in December?

    You can visit Spiti Valley during December only via Shimla route. The way from Manali to Kaza is closed during December. As the temperature falls down several degrees below zero during this time, it is not recommended to visit Spiti during December.

  26. Do we need a permit for Spiti valley?

    No, you don’t need to take any permit to visit Spiti valley if you’re an Indian. But you will need a vehicle permit for Rohtang Pass if you are going to Spiti via Manali side. Also, foreigners need to submit a photocopy of an entry permit called the Inner Line Permit, or ILP which lets them enter into the restricted areas. This can be obtained at the DM offices situated in Shimla, Reckong Peo, Manali, Rampur and Keylong.

  27. Which village is known as the gateway of Lahaul?

    Khoksar village located in Lahaul Mandal of Ladakh district is the gateway of Lahaul. This is the coldest place in Lahaul where you can witness heavy snowfall in the winter. It is located at Leh-Manali highway and is flushed with Isolated mountain areas, picturesque views and trails for hiking.

  28. Who said about Spiti that this place is no place for men?

    The famous English poet and journalist Rudyard Kipling said that Spiti is no place for men and Gods must have lived here due to its bewitching beauty and unadulterated environment.

  29. How many Tehsil are there in Lahaul Spiti?

    There are majorly two tehsils in Spiti valley namely Spiti at Kaza and Lahaul at Keylong. One sub-Tehsil is also there in Spiti named as Udaipur.

  30. Which mountain pass connects Spiti to Ladakh?

    Spiti Valley is connected to Ladakh by Takling La, or Parana Pass. It is a renowned trade route laid out on a height of a 5575 meters high mountain.

  31. Which is the last village of Spiti valley?

    Chitkul is the last inhabited village of Spiti valley. It is located close to the Indo-China border and is known to offer the most picture-perfect view of the Himalayas. During winters, this place gets completely covered with snow, and the people move down to the other lower regions of Himachal.

  32. What are the drinking laws in Spiti?

    Drinking Law of Spiti says that you can legally drink if you are 18 years old. However, you should be aware that higher altitudes already have less oxygen in the air and consumption of alcohol further interferes with hemoglobin's absorption of oxygen. Although you can enjoy local drink like Chhang and Arak which are served in the region at festive occasions and social gatherings.

  33. Which are the best resorts to stay in Lahaul Spiti?

    Due to its vastness, it may seem difficult to make one of these hotels as your base. However, make sure to choose your hotel wisely as that will cut down major time taken to travel. Here are a few that take care of your comfort and provide you luxurious experience amongst the mountains:

    1. Hotel Ibex: If you’re lucky, you can get a room facing the river. What’s better is that you can access the river as and when you like!

    2. Hotel Dekyid
    : Spacious and warm, Hotel Dekyid is best known for its clean rooms, delicious food and courteous staff.

    3. Span Resort & spa:
    In case luxury is what you’re seeking, Span Resort & Spa is equipped with contemporary amenities such as a jogging track, indoor games, spa and swimming pool.
  34. What are the best public transport modes to commute around Lahaul Spiti?

    You may not find notable public transport around Lahaul and Spiti. However, travelling is cheap and easy within these regions thanks to the state transport buses. Swift and on time, these buses can whiz you to your destination in no time. Apart from this, you may even rent a car or bike throughout the span of your stay.

  35. Which are the best places for shopping in Lahaul Spiti?

    As the villages here are not well developed, looking for shops that sell souvenirs can get rather difficult to spot. However, the local shops there sell a special variety of tea that claims to slow down ageing. Apart from this, you can even travel to Kaza (5 kilometres away) for quality wool carpets, ceramic and local jewellery and some knick-knacks.

  36. Which are the best destinations for adventure activities in Lahaul Spiti?

    The sprawling mass of land between Lahaul and Spiti is famous for adventure sports. You can set off on a biking trip to some of the highest motorable roads in this region or paraglide off high peaks. However, the most recommended activity around this region is hiking and trekking.