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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 Valley, the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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