and Spiti are two remote Himalayan valleys of Himachal
Pradesh lying on the Indo-Tibet border. Strange,
exciting, primitive, these valleys are incomparable in
mountain scape, in the rugged beauty of their rocky
escapements and the splendor of their snow covered
is marked by a central mass of uniformly high
mountains, massive glaciers, passes, lakes and gushing
rivers. The two rivers, Chandra and Bhaga, which rise
on either side of the Baralacha La, flow through the
narrow Chandra and Bhaga valleys. Lahaul is a land of
fascinating Buddhist art and culture. Often called as
the 'middle country', Spiti is a cold desert regarded
as a "World within a world" and "Palace
where the gods live". The monasteries of
Lahaul-Spiti are rich repositories of ancient murals,
thankas, woodcarving and golden images of
Gondhla and Keylong is Tandi, where Chandrabagha or
Chenab river meets the road. A legend says that there
were two lovers, Chandra being the daughter of the
Moon and Bhaga the son of the Sun god. To perform
there eternal marriage, they decided to climb to the
Baralacha La & from there they ran in opposite
directions. Chandra being active and smart easily
found her way & reached Tandi after covering the
distance of 115-km. Soon Bhaga was found coming with
great struggle through the narrow gorges to Tandi
where consequently both met and the celestial marriage
was performed. Bhaga covered about 60-km distance,
which was very difficult.
the Shiva. A Temple is situated in the village, which
is about 4 kms short of Udaipur on the left bank of
Chenab river. Devotees from far off places come to pay
their respects at this unique temple. This Shiva
temple was given a look of Buddhist shrine by Guru
Padmasambhava by installing the 6 armed image of
Avalokiteshvar. In August, a big festival named Pauri
is held for three days when people including the
sadhus and followers of various religious sects gather
to receive the blessings of Lord Trilokinath.
(3340m): Keylong is the
district Headquarters of Lahaul Spiti on the main road
to Leh over Rohtang. It is an oasis of green fields
and willow trees, water streams surrounded with brown
hills and snow capped peaks. There are hotels, tourist
bungalows and rest houses to stay.
Monastery (3500m): It is
about 5-km from Keylong across Bhaga river, believed
to be built in 12th century. The Monastery has a large
library of Kangyur and Tangyur volumes of Buddhist
scriptures in Bhoti. Kardang village was once the
capital of Lahaul.
Monastery: Situated on a
hill about 3-km far from Keylong, towards north on the
same slope. During June/July months, this monastery
attracts lot of visitors when Lamas perform devil
dance. It was founded in the 17th century A.D. and
belongs to Red-Hat sect, located among the blue pines.
The paintings over here represent the history of 84
Monastery: It is
situated 12-km north of Kaza and serves the western
population of Spiti. Known as the oldest and biggest
monastery of the valley, Kye Monastery is located at
4116m. above Kye village. It houses beautiful
scriptures and paintings of Buddha and other
goddesses. Many Lamas get religious training here such
as dancing, singing and playing on pipes and horns. It
has murals and books of high aesthetic value.
Yug Gompa: It is located 13-km above Kaza, serving the
western part of central Spiti. Situated in a secluded
place in the narrow gauge of Kaza Nallah, it generally
has a Lama from Tibet. Above this there is a long
plateau which leads to Shilla peak.
It is situated in the
Pin valley about 10-km from Attargo where Spiti river
has to be crossed to enter Pin valley. It is serves
the population of Pin valley.
Monastery: It is
situated about 25-km east of Kaza and serves eastern
part of central Spiti. Dhankar is a big village and
erstwhile capital of Spiti Kingdom. On top of a hill
there is a fort, which use to be the prison in olden
times. The Monastery has about 100 Lamas and is in
position of Buddhist scriptures in Bhoti language.
Principal figure is a Statue of "Vairochana"
or Dhayan Buddha, consisting of 4 complete figures
seated back to back. It has relics in the shape of
paintings and sculptures.
Monastery: This is
another big gompa for serving the population of
eastern side. It belongs to the 10th century and is
located 50-kms from Kaza. It is a famous gompa next to
Tholing Gompa in Tibet, comprising of about 60 Lamas
and a large collection of Scriptures and wall
paintings. Murals of this gompa have a great
similarity to that of the Ajanta paintings.
is 18-km from Keylong in Bhaga valley where devil
dance is held during July in the Local Gompa. The
place is situated on Manali-Leh highway.
is the last border point between Himachal and Ladakh,
where HPTDC put up a tented colony for the convenience
of the tourists during summer season. It is situated
at a distance of 116-km from Keylong.
A picturesque collection of Tibetan style buildings
set on a small hill, is the largest in Spiti. Along
the road, it is 14-km from Kaza, but the best way to
get here is on foot, a 10-km hike along the path.
northwest of Kaza is Kibar or Kyipur, which at 4,205m.
is reputed to be the highest village in the world. It
is 200 km from Manali, and there's a bus to Kaza via
Keylong and the bus trip takes 8 hours.
(4590m): As Rohtang pass
is a gateway to Lahaul so Kunzum pass is the gateway
to Spiti from Kulu & Lahaul. After crossing
Rohtang pass and driving 20-km, one has to turn right
from Gramphoo. While going to this pass, the panoramic
view of Bara-Sigri glacier, known as the second
longest glacier in the world, is enthralling and
inspiring. There is a temple at the top of this pass
dedicated to goddess Durga.
(4080m): Situated near
the confluence of Losar and Peeno streams, this
village is worth a visit being the first big village
of the Spiti valley and because of its Location. Yak
and horse riding are other charms to add to its beauty
and unique experience.
224-km from Manali,
197-km from Keylong and 425-km from Shimla, Kaza is a
Sub Divisional Headquarter of Spiti Valley. It is
situated at the foot of the step ridges on the left
bank of Spiti river. Once it was the headquarter of
Nono, the chief of Spiti. It has all modern facilities
and is connected by road with Manali & Shimla
except in the winter months.
(4205m): It is locally
known as Khyipur, one of the highest villages in the
world at an altitude of 4205 m above sea level in a
narrow valley surrounded by mountains from all sides.
Gette village, at a short distance away from kaza, is
the highest in the world with a height of 4270m