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Attractions

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Key Monastery

While Himachal Pradesh is home to a dozen different monasteries, this spectacular place is not just the biggest, but also the oldest one around. A must visit tourist place in Spiti Valleythe Key Gompa is encircled by picturesque mountains and soothing valleys.

A wonderful example of monastic architecture and decorated with beautiful paintings, murals, manuscripts, and wind instruments – the Kye attracts history and cultural buffs round the year. If you are seeking spiritual enlightenment, the monastery is home to a large number of nuns, monks, and lamas who receive their religious education here.

If you plan to visit during June-July, you’ll also get to witness the beautiful festival involving Chaam dancers, lamas and a devil made out of butter!

Location: Spiti Valley, Lahul.

Best time to visit: May to October.

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Chandrataal

Perched at a staggering altitude of 4200 meters above sea level, you have to witness the unparalleled beauty of Chandratal to believe it. A sanctuary from the lightning fast city life, this lake is slowly becoming one of the most attractive tourist places in Spiti valley. With the spellbinding backdrop of majestic mountains and meadows covered with gorgeous wildflowers, the lake is the perfect place to click some Instagram worthy pictures for photography enthusiasts.

Besides, if you have an adventurous spirit, take the scenic trekking route from Batal to the lake and camp under the stars on the banks of the lake. Experience nature in its most glorious splendor at Chandrataal.

Location: Spiti part of Lahul, Keylong.

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM round the week.

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Lahaul Valley

One of the most spellbinding places to visit in Spiti Valley, the Lahaul Valley is a staple for adrenaline junkies and solitude seekers alike. Bare mountains covered with null vegetation, clear blue skies, pollutions free environment, green meadows – Lahaul is a paradise for nature lovers. Pick up your camera and go crazy as Lahaul enchants you with its rare and diversified vistas.

Capture spectacular views of the Bhaga river and admire the snow-covered mountain passes. Filled with a number of hiking trails, every year tourists throng the place to satisfy their thirst for adventure.

Location: Keylong, Himachal Pradesh.

Best time to visit: May to mid-October.

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Suraj Tal

Third highest lake in India and 21st highest in the world, the Suraj Tal is a divine water body surrounded by barbaric bare mountains and soothing valleys. It is a common belief that anyone who takes a dip in the pristine emerald waters of the lake is cleaned off their sins.

Whether you want to visit the Suraj Tal for spiritual reasons or to simply revel in the unsurpassed natural charm – you won’t regret it. An absolute haven for avid trekkers, the lake offers an asylum to refresh and recharge during the hectic Manali-Leh trek. Adrenaline junkie motorcyclists and mountain bikers will find this place a wonderful stopover on their journey.

Location: 
Lahul Valley, Keylong.

Timings:
 No timing restrictions.

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Dhankar Lake

Tucked atop a small hill at an impressive altitude of 4100 meters above sea level, the Dhankar, with its dazzling blue waters, is one of the most popular places to visit in Spiti Valley. The lake sits at the end of the famous Dhankar Lake trek known for its treacherous paths, rocky snow-capped mountains, and incomparable vistas. Adventure enthusiasts and photography lovers are enchanted alike by the magical realism of the trek.

The Dhankar Fort Monastery sandwiched between Spiti and Pin rivers offers a special spiritual touch as it plays hide and seek on the trail. And once you reach the lake, the rare and diversified views will make your jaw drop!

Location: 
Near Rohtang Pass connecting Kullu and Lahul. 

Timings:
No timing restrictions.

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Pin Valley National Park

India's highest cold valley National Park, this place was constructed to preserve the unique natural flora and fauna of Himachal Pradesh and is named after the gorgeous Pin River and acts as an interface between the Lahul and Spiti Valley. Against a backdrop of barbarous, rugged snow-covered mountain peaks of the Spiti Valley, the national park is home to Himachal's ferocious predators, the snow leopards, and their prey, the ibex.

The terrain is rough and precarious, so train hard and get into those fitness programs before you undertake this captivating journey. The sanctuary also witnesses a strong spiritual influence due to the presence of Buddhist monasteries around the area.

Location:
Near Kaza.

Timings:
6 AM to 6 PM throughout the week.

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Baralacha Pass

Tucked next to the Leh Manali highway and connecting Lahul to Ladakh is the striking and stupendous Baralacha Pass. A mecca for adrenaline junkies, the pass is a starting point for many famous treks including Suraj Tal lake trek and Chandratal trek. Because it is perched at a 16000 feet high plateau, Baralacha offers an exquisite view of three different mountain ranges - Pir Panjal, Zanskar and the Great Himalayas.

So, pick up your camera and go crazy capturing the indescribable natural beauty around. Whether you cover the pass on foot or go mountain biking – the outstanding journey will stay with you your entire life!

Location:
Leh Manali highway.

Best time to visit:
April to October.

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Dhankar Monastery

At a cursory glance, you might miss the Dhankar sitting between spurs of rocky cliffs and barren mountains, overlooking the confluence of Spiti and Pin valley. A truly curious landmark, the monastery is perched so precariously amongst rocks that it appears as if it is seconds away from falling all over.

The unique and inconvenient position inspires wonder and astonishment. The location is also a photograph’s dream – offering perfect shots of the cold valley, tiny mud houses and the rough terrain around. Just 2 kilometres from the famous Dhankar Lake, the monastery is one of the most impressive places to visit in Spiti Valley.

Location: Lahul and Spiti Valley

Timings: 6:30 AM to 5 PM throughout the week.

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Traveller Tales from Lahaul - Spiti

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Menka Butt

18 July 2015

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...

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Akshainie Kaniyar

20 June 2018

The lake is so out of the world, never thought I would be visiting something as magical as this. All thanks to the platform Thrillophilia.

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Agneya Chaturvedi

20 June 2018

The moon lake is a wonder, so beautiful, so still and captivating. I am glad I took this deal, it is totally worth paying such a minimal amount of having a jeep safari on the bumpy roads and the deadly...

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Karan Iyengar

20 June 2018

This deal was my dream ride to Spiti valley and I am so happy that it met my expectation. The Spiti jeep safari showed me high mountain pass, ravishing river and river beds, gorgeous waterfalls on almo...

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Kartik Khanna

20 June 2018

I loved my trip to the beautiful Chandratal and I am planning to come back here with my friends again. I started solo from Delhi and got bored in Manali, just wanted to do something adventurous and sea...

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Sarisha Chaturvedi

20 June 2018

Like most of the bikers and travelers, I also wanted to do the Spiti and Chandratal tour on a bike but I kept waiting and my friends made the bookings to this deal. I was not very convinced that I want...

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Smriti Bandopadhyay

20 June 2018

We arrived at Manali around 6 or 7 in the morning and after we had chai and bun maska in a tiny stall at the bus stand, we called the representative who was supposed to attend us. When we called he see...

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Shreya Menon

07 December 2015

The snow-covered mountains were so refreshing, the green valleys were so beautiful and the trip was so good. Me with my family enjoyed alot. Thanks a lot thrillophilia for such an amazing experience.

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Devadatt Dhawan

07 December 2015

i felt that i am in heaven. snowy mountains, green valley and chilling cold. everything is just unforgettable....loved the trip a lot....would try again soon and recommend everyone to go for this trip

What You Should Know More About Lahaul - Spiti

  • Q. Travel advice:

    • Keep touts at bay.

    • Whenever you eat street food, always double check the quality.

    • Make sure the water bottle that you buy from the stalls has its seal intact.

    • Don’t let anyone mislead you.

    • Book prepaid taxis to avoid overpaying. In case you are unable to find prepaid taxis, you can hire a metered taxi or auto. In case there is no option, you must negotiate the fare before you get in the taxi.

    • Never leave your valuables, cash or jewelry behind.

    • Enquire about the availability of the room safe before buying.

    • Do not book a hotel in a shady place.

    • Never indulge in drugs of any form.

    • Never entertain the beggars.

    • Don’t trust anyone with your valuables.  

    • Always carry with you a copy of all your necessary documents and licenses. You may require to show them in some cases.

    • Do no photograph at the places where photography is prohibited.

    • You cannot shoot videos or films without the legal permissions. So, make sure you do that.

    • Do not litter around and spoil the beauty of the place.

  • Q. Drinking laws

    The legal age for drinking in Lahaul Spiti is 18 years.

  • Q. Our Recommendations: What You Can’t Afford To Miss?

    Tabo Monastery

    Tabo Monastery was built in 996 CE and is still a must see attraction of Lahaul Spiti. It is an ancient monastery and is believed to be one important monastery of this region. Often regarded as the Ajanta of the Himalayas, the complex has several stupas and 9 temples that are all made in mud. These have been standing intact for over 1000 years now. 

    Tabo Caves

    On the hill that faces the Tabo village, you can find a number of caves that have multi hued Buddhist flags fluttering outside. There is a small temple on the top that attracts a number of visitors. You’ll also find a hall like chamber where most rituals and prayers are carried out. Annexed to this is a small kitchen where the monks cook their food. Besides this, the other caves are difficult to reach since the walk up the hill is very tedious.  You can get a fascinating view of the mud monastery and the Tabo village from top of the cave. This indeed is the most important place to see in Lahaul Spiti


    Giu Mummy

    On the drive from Tabo to Nako, you’ll have to cross a bridge that will lead you to the River Spiti after Sumdo. From there, you’ll have to take a detour of some 7 km to reach a tiny hamlet known as Giu. It is almost a secluded habitation with no village around. What really makes this place a great sightseeing attraction is the renowned 500 years old mummy of a Buddhist monk. On the outskirts of the village on the small hill, there is a tiny room in the glass cabin. Inside the cabin lies the mummy of an old monk. Teeth, hair and the nails of the mummy appear more so as a living person.


    Kibber

    One of the most beautiful villages of Spiti is Kibber. It is located about 16 km from the Kaza town. Situated at an elevation of 4270 meters above the sea level, the village is believed to be the highest village in the world to have been connected by the motorable road. The road that leads you to the village passes through one of the most prominent monasteries of this region – Key Monastery. There are a number of boards that will welcome you to the village. You can see some 60 to 70 houses here. Every house is painted in blue and white with a black outline on the windows and the doors. Like every village of the Lahaul Spiti, Kibber too has its own monastery however unlike many others, it also has a wildlife sanctuary that is housed by some animals. The sanctuary is also famous for its rare medicinal plants.


    Key Monastery

    The key monastery also known as the Kye Gompa is the main monastery in the Kaza region. It lies on the edge of the hills and towers the River Spiti. This indeed is a landmark attraction of Lahaul Spiti and is a great place to see.


    Dhankar lake

    Situated just a little above the Dhankar monastery lies the Dhankar lake. You’ll have to undertake a hike of an hour and a half to reach the beautiful lake. Catch a glimpse of the reflection of the snow caped peaks of the Spiti in the still waters of the lake. For some of you lucky people, there is also a chance to spot few exotic animals of the Spitian wildlife near the lake. It is so peaceful and tranquil hear, that you can actually hear the grass growing here. This is impeccable experience.


  • Q. What you will like here?

    Following are the places in one must visit on their Lahaul-Spiti Tour:

    Spectacular high mountains

    The beautiful and majestic mountains of Spiti are a sight to behold. For past many centuries, the snow has indeed eroded these mountains and as a result several rock structures have been formed that look as if they have been crafted by some master craftsman to give them this beautiful shape.   

    Photographing

    Entire Lahaul Spiti is a delight for the nature and photography lovers. The crisp sunlight, light and the altitude makes this barren landscape a delight to photograph. Lush tracts of the agricultural land, clear blue skies and the white patches of the clouds, beautify the place. Every now and then, you’ll chance upon something really spectacular that you’ll be left agape.

    People

    People of Lahaul Spiti are extremely friendly. Both the locals and the red robed monks are helpful and always greet the tourists with a smile.

    Quaint Villages

    Some of the villages of the Lahaul Spiti have a population of just 35 people. Others are fairly bigger but the maximum population that you’ll find in a village here is 200 to 250 people.


    Village Homestays

    Even though the villages are tiny and the resources are few, the people are very welcoming. They’ll be more than happy to put you up for the night and provide you with sumptuous meals of tasty local food.


    Monasteries

    Lahaul Spiti has 5 prominent monasteries that are situated at Komic, Tabo, Kungri, Dhankar and Kye. All of these monasteries are culturally and historically important to Lahaul Spiti.   


  • Q. Recommended Reads For The Destination
  • Q. When is the best time to visit Lahaul Spiti?

    Without sounding biased, it is safely said that any season in this glorious valley is vibrant and breathtaking for those seeking a Himalayan holiday. But, keep in mind that winters can get extremely frosty for those with low tolerance for cold. Here is how you can decide which season suits you the best:

    March to June

    Summers in Lahaul-Spiti are colder than most summers around the country. While daytime can get hot, the temperature rarely exceeds above 15 to 20 degrees here. Considered as the peak season, Lahaul-Spiti draws most of its tourists in the form of enthusiastic campers during this time of the year.

    July to September

    Monsoons in this region are erratic and untimely. Lahaul and Spiti experience almost moderate to little, thus living by its title of a desert valley. However, since it experiences a few heavy showers, the season is not recommended for inexperienced campers due to the risk of landslides.

    October to February

    Winter season in Lahaul and Spiti is avoided by most for the inhospitable climatic conditions and bad roadways. The temperature can go down to as much as -4 degree Celsius and can even cause the village to be isolated from rest of the country during these months. Be prepared for extreme adventures if you plan a trip during this time. However, you may get to experience the beauty of fall season in Lahaul Spiti, which is a phenomenon on its own.

  • Q. How to reach Lahaul Spiti?

    Lahaul and Spiti may seem inaccessible, but the break journey to these twin valleys is worth the effort taken. Here are a couple of ways you can get here:

    By Road

    Most people prefer hiring a vehicle from Delhi to travel to Lahaul or Spiti. However, keep in mind that this travel is a long and tiresome affair. Make sure to break your journey with a halt at Manali. Spiti is connected via Rohtang pass in Manali, so plan your trip in a way that can get some of your sightseeing done here as well. There are also regular bus services and the Himachal Pradesh State transport is known for its excellent connectivity throughout this region.

    By Train

    Unfortunately, there is no direct rail connectivity to either Lahaul or Spiti. But you can choose to get down at Pathankot, which is the nearest railway station to the twin valleys. From there, the journey is an approximate 500 kilometre drive.

    By Air

    Although there are no direct flights to Spiti or Lahaul, you can check for flights from Delhi to Bhuntar airport near Kullu. This is a relatively easier way to arrive at Spiti, since Bhuntar is merely 240 kilometres. Hiring a cab or opt for the economic state transport buses from the airport is the fastest way to reach your destination.

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

    Whether you’re someone who enjoys a host of adventures or someone who is seeking a peaceful respite, there’s a lot to do in the vast expansiveness of Lahaul and Spiti. Here are a few activities to do in Lahaul-Spiti:

    • Pay a visit to the eerie Mummy of Gue in Kaza
    • Trek within the verdant landscapes of Pin Valley National Park
    • Visit the celestial Dhankar and Chandra Taal lake
    • Plan an excursion to the iconic Kye Monastery
    • Visit the highest motorable Komik village

  • Q. 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:

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

  • Q. 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.

  • Q. 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.

  • Q. Which are the most exciting locations trekking in Lahaul Spiti?

    The Himalayas are a trekker’s paradise. And, Lahaul and Spiti makes it to this list courtesy its rugged topography, meandering roads and mountainous terrain which is a great challenge for those willing to trek it out. And of course, you are also rewarded with spectacular views after a trekking in these places in Lahaul-Spiti:

    • Chandra Taal Lake from Spiti (47 kilometres)
    • Hampta mountain pass from Lahaul (38 kilometres)
    • Mount Kanamo trek
    • Pin Parvati trek

  • Q. Which are the famous Monasteries in Lahaul spiti?

    The ardent flutter of prayer flags will remind of you of the Tibetan roots in Spiti and Lahaul throughout your visit. Don’t miss out on monasteries and ancient shrines that give you glimpse into the lives of the locals. Here are a couple you should add on your list:

    • Guru Ghantal Monastery: Situated on a tranquil hill, this beautiful monastery is more than 800 years old!
    • Kibber Monastery: The magnificent Kibber Monastery is peculiarly made using stone, and not mud or brick. At a height of 14,000 feet above sea level, the monastery offers panoramic views unlike any other in Spiti or Lahaul.
    • Kye Monastery: Known for its aesthetic murals, rare manuscripts and enchanting architecture, the Kye Monastery is the largest in the valley and a popular tourist attraction.

  • Q. 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.