Get an authentic essence of the Tibetan culture and taste the salty, buttery tea! Pick up your camera and get lost clicking away the gorgeous ravines and emerald waterfalls. Go mountain biking and motorcycling on the serpentine roads and feel your senses come alive as you witness the extraordinary trans Himalayan range.
While lakes like Chandrataal and Dhankan leave you spellbound, the Baralacha and Kunzum passes will take you to the top of the world with its formidable altitude. Here is our curated list of tourist places to visit in Spiti Valley, which will leave you wanting for more!
Here is the list of places to visit in Spiti Valley:
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.
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.
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.
Tabo Monastery is one of the most wondrous places to visit in Spiti Valley. Founded a millennium ago, the temple is a unique amalgamation of history, culture and natural splendor. In the cold barren deserts of Tabo valley, the monastery appears as a sanctum from the brutality of barbarous rocky mountains around.
It houses centuries worth of Buddhist culture, tradition and heritage – a treat for history and cultural buffs. For those of you interested in art and handicraft – witness the amazingly preserved paintings, murals and sculptures. Or just kick back and take in the healing environment as calmness ascends over your being.
Best time to visit: May to October
One of the most mysterious, offbeat places to visit in Spiti Valley, the Kunzum Pass is a gateway to the gorgeous Spiti via Kullu and Lahul. Treat your photography loving soul as you click away the jaw dropping vistas around. Take in the panoramic view featuring majestic Bara Shigri Glacier covered with pristine silvery snow, the barren mountains of Chandrabhange range, the azure waters of Spiti river, and the rugged hills of Spiti Valley.
Pay your respects at the temple of Goddess Kunzum Devi and behold the vibrant prayer flags fluttering against the wind. And if you are a mountain biking enthusiast, the Kunzum offers you a special sense of achievement – being the highest motorable pass in India sitting at a jaw dropping height of 4500 metres!
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.
To call Kibber beautiful would be putting it lightly – arid landscape, rocky mountains, meadows covered in vibrant wildflowers, and all this paired with pristine pollution free environment. Stargazers and photography lovers flock alike to Kibber to gaze at the unsurpassed, exquisite view of the Milky Way. Go to the nearby Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary and witness the amazing fauna of Himachal – ibex, blue sheep, red fox, snow leopards, wolves etc.
You can visit various tiny monasteries around or go hiking on the small trails around the village. The locals are friendly and offer a warm and comfortable stay, if not the most luxurious, with both Indian and Tibetan home cooked food.
Location: Lahul and Spiti Valley
Best time to visit: October to February
The town is approximately 40 kilometers away from the border between India and Tibet, and you are bound to come across it when travelling by road from Kaza to Reckong Peo.The most famous attractions in Tabo include a 1000-year-old monastery, which is considered as one of the holiest by the Dalai Lama himself. The list also includes several temples, and some ancient caves, which were once inhabited by Buddhist monks who wanted to take shelter from the harsh winters.
In 1996, Dalai Lama performed the sacred Kalachakra Initiation here, and thousands of Buddhists from India and around the world attended the ceremony. The town is also known for cultivating apples, and you can find some of the tastiest and crunchiest red apples here.If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a trip to Tabo will surely rejuvenate your mind and body
A tiny isolated
reservoir, Nako Lake has gained extensive popularity for its pristine beauty
and impeccable charm. A spiritual lake cradled in the mystical Himalayas, it is
situated at an elevation of around 3662 meters. The dense willow trees that
surround the lake quadruples the charm if this tourist spot.
The popular spot is bounded by 4 ancient Tibetan temples. In close proximity to these temples, you can also find 4 caves which are said to be saint Padmasambhava’s meditation site. There is one magnificent waterfall near the lake which is known to be the home of fairies. If you happen to visit this place during September, you can relish the experience of boating in this popular lake.
Location: Nako Village, Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: It can be visited at any time.
Entry Fee: No entry charges
One of India’s best-kept secrets, Nako village is situated on the Indo-Tibetan border, 360 m above sea level in the Himalayan range of Kinnaur District in Himachal Pradesh. Nako Village can be considered as the last spot on your way to the famous Nalling Mullah and acts as a halting stop for tourists heading there.
As Nako lies really close to the Tibetan border, visitors need to have an Inner Line permit to visit and stay in any part of this secluded village. Due to the small extent of this beautifully remote village, all the major attractions there can be explored on foot itself.Any tourist crossing this remote village tends to take a stop at least for a while. Many others tend to reach this peaceful place by evening to spend a night here to move to other destinations in Kinnaur or Tabo Village, the next day.
However, if you are amidst those keen travelers who wish to experience the true essence of the Himalayan and Tibetan cultures, this very place is a must visit for you.Exploring this beautiful village and listening to the stories and experiences of the villagers will take you back in time. The hidden gems of Nako Village and its untouched natural beauty will make you fall in love with this place. Experiencing the mind soothing calmness of the village under the village sky full of sparkling stars holds the capability of providing you with a life-changing experience.
Dhankar Monastery is the symbolic salutation to the spiritual beliefs of the Buddhist community. It is located in Lahaul and Spiti valley, and has been listed as one of the hundred most endangered monuments in the entire world. Situated at an altitude of 3,894 meters, it offers a spellbinding view of the Spiti valley and is a melting pot for diverse cultures and religions.
Dhankar Monastery is also known as Dhangkar Gompa or Dhankhar and was built around 1000 years ago. It was also known as Lha-od Gompa after it’s founder and renovator, Lha-od, who was a popular lama. This monastery is the main center of Buddhist culture and houses the collection of centuries-old thanksas.
One of the prime attractions of this monastery is the statue of Vairochana that consists of four figures of Buddha in the state of meditation. You will also find here Buddhist scriptures, Medicine Buddha murals, and protector deities. It also consists of a small museum where murals and scriptures have been stored.
You can also spot many beautiful Thangka paintings on the wall of this monastery. Presently, some of the sections of this gompa have been totally abandoned due to the deterioration of the building, and a new gompa has been built in place of it to lure the visitors.
The monastery is still standing in a fragile condition, and more than twenty people are not allowed to enter this monastery at one time. From the Dhankar monastery, you can indulge in a thrilling trekking experience to Dhankar Lake.
The mummy looks so real –nails, hair and teeth that it gives an impression of a living being. This place is no less than a wonder to witness how a human body has been preserved for so many years without any sign of decay or use of chemicals.
Entry fee: No entry fee
The postmen have to undertake a 46 km journey everyday along the mountain passes and the verdant meadows for delivering letters to Kaza. For the tourists, it offers a unique experience as they get to mail their letters to their loved ones from the highest post office on Earth.
This post office is located at an elevation of 4440 metres and connected through roads to the other towns of Himachal Pradesh. The place also offers one of the most scenic routes for the postal activity which consists of snow-clad peaks and mesmerising Spiti Valley.
Timings:6 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday
Entry fee: N/A
The frescoes here depict different stories from the Buddhist scriptures and have a collection of thangkas (scroll paintings), manuscripts, well-preserved statues, frescos and extensive murals which cover almost every wall. The place now has a monastery called the Tabo Monastery which was founded in 996 CE and protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. This place is a national treasure and a marvellous sight to witness to get an insight of the prehistoric era.
Timings: 8 am to 5 pm
Entry fee: N/A
The Spiti river is integral for most of the human habitation near the river forming places like Tabo, Dhankar, Kaza and Rangrik which have now been existing for more than 1000 years. One of the most eye-catching stretches of the river is between Kaza and Rangrik which can be seen from the Key Monastery.
The river freezes during the winter season but some hotels in Spiti Valley are known to organize mud baths around the river if the weather is permissible.
Entry fee: N/A
The temple complex is located on the top of a small hill, at the divine junction of Chandra and Bhaga rivers to form Chenab. The area is famous for its spiritual connection, colourful flags waving in the wind, pristine environs and delightful locals.
Every year tourists flock to the monastery to view its 7-storey forts, wooden idols of Buddha and black stone images of various goddesses against the backdrop of icy mountains. Home to Buddhist paintings, murals, scrolls and relics dating back to 2nd century BC – the temple complex attracts cultural and historical enthusiasts alike.
Location: 18 km from Keylong, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM everyday.
Boasting of being the world’s highest village connected with motorable road, the Komik is a quaint, idyllic hamlet ideal for a rejuvenating vacation away from metropolitan city life. Just 18 kilometres from Kaza, calling this village road surreal would be an understatement. Winding pathways, treacherous cliffs, steep uphill climb and bumpy roads may be a rookie’s nightmare – but if you’ve got the guts and grit, there are plenty of scenic views to be enjoyed.
The villagers are friendly, so cheap accommodation can be found in the small houses if you are up for an offbeat experience. Enjoy the small treks and trails along the hills and go running with yaks! Find fossils and drink the local buttery tea. Find a refuge away from modern hectic lifestyle at Komik.
Best time to visit: May to September
One of the popular tourist activities here is trekking to Manirang Pass which is situated at an altitude of 6593 metres. The difficulty level of the trek is moderate and takes one to some of the most gorgeous locales in Spiti Valley.
One can complete the trek in 3 to 3.5 hours and soak in the panoramic views of Dhangkar Valley. A great way to enjoy the trek is to be accompanied by a local village from Mane who charge around 800-1000 and give you an entertaining tour around the lake.
Entry fee: N/A
The monastery is located on the outskirts of the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary and offers some of the most scintillating views of the valley. The monastery is one of the must see places in Spiti Valley and boasts of features like fortified features decorated with red ochre and mud walls. This is one of the only two monasteries belonging to the Sakya sect which can be found in Spiti Valley.
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm
Entry fee: No entry fees
Located in Pin Valley, the monastery was built in the 14th century and renowned for having a collection of silk paintings of a number of Buddhist deities along with other characteristic features like sacred Tibetan texts and huge statues reflecting the Tantric cult of the time gone by.
One of the major attractions of Kungri Monastery is the traditional performance of ‘Devil Dance’ which takes place in the month of July every year and the sword dance which forms an important highlight of Nyingmapa tradition. A delight for culture lovers, Kungri Monastery is visited by a flock of people for tourism, pilgrimage and to seek knowledge about Buddhism.
Timings: 6 am to 5:30 pm
Entry fee: N/A
Legend says that the Tangmar mountain beyond the village changes colours according to the mood of the deity that resides in the monastery.
Location: Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM, everyday
Langza Village forms an immensely gorgeous backdrop which comprises of green pastures, snow clad mountains and awe-inspiring man-made buildings. The majestic village in Himachal Pradesh has a population of just 137 people and the tough way of life they lead in this part of barren land as they sometimes have to face sub-zero temperatures and be disconnected from the world.
Langza is known for production of vessels of all shapes and sizes and crafts such as shawls, carpets, etc. It also has an ancient temple which is surrounded by a scenic view of the valley amidst the mud houses and snow-clad peaks among which Chau Chau Kang Nilda can be seen.
Entry fee: N/A
Visiting the village is like taking a step back in time where you can witness thatch roof houses, a small lake and people practising agriculture. The postcard perfect village is an escape for solitude seekers who keep seeking for places where the mobile network doesn’t exist.
The beautiful village is located near the India China border and faces many climate wise obstacles in the form of chilling winds and heavy snowfall. However, for the six families, Tashigang Village is their only retreat despite all the difficulties that they have to face while staying here.
Entry fee: N/A