Beautiful Hill Stations In India - Spiti Valley

Spiti Valley is a major tourist destination located at an altitude of 12,500 feet above sea level in the state of Himachal Pradesh, where it is sunny for only 250 days a year. Long winding roads and valleys offer you an unforgettable glimpse of the cold desert and snow-capped mountains as you step onto the Spiti valley. Spiti Valley is one of the coldest and beautiful places in the country. About 6 months of the year i.e. the summer season is such that when Spiti can be reached directly through the motorway.


The word Spiti means 'the middle land', as the Spiti Valley separates India from Tibet. Spiti is a sparsely populated area that is a haven for people who like adventure. There are several trekking trails where tourists can enjoy trekking. All these treks lead to various peaks ranging from Kaza (the capital of Spiti from where you make your base camp) to the panoramic views of the Himalayan Mountains. The hill ropeway from Kibber to Chichum is also a major attraction that offers spectacular views of the ghat below.


Here in the small village of Langza you can see different kinds of birds. Here you can just sit on different slopes of the village and see the glimpse of birds like Garuda, eagle and vulture in the sky. Apart from this, there are many places in Spiti where you can get a glimpse of these elusive birds. The Spiti Valley is also known for being home to the oldest monasteries in India, such as the Kai Monastery, which is a fort-like structure. And resembles traditional Chinese architecture, has a magnificent Buddha shrine. You can also include Tabu Math, Lahlang Math and Gandhola Math in the visit to the monasteries here.


TOURIST PLACES IN SPITI VALLEY


CHANDRATAL LAKE

Chandratal lake is a tourist and trekker's paradise. This lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the mighty Himalayas at an altitude of about 4300 meters. The name "Chandra Taal" (lake of the moon) is derived from its crescent. The lake is one of the two high altitude wetlands of India that have been designated as Ramsar sites. The lake serves as a temporary residence for Tibetan traders during their journey to Spiti and the Kullu Valley. This lake attracts people who love adventure from all over the world. The color of the water of this holy lake varies from red to orange and blue to green as the day progresses.


KEY MONASTERY

Key Monastery is a famous Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Lahaul and Spiti districts of India. Kai Monastery is situated at an altitude of 4,166 meters above sea level and is very close to the Spiti River in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Also known as Kai Mutt and Ki Mutt, it is believed to have been founded by Dromton, who was a student of the famous teacher Atisha in the 11th century.


KUNZUM PASS

Kunzum Pass is also known as Kunzum La by the locals. It is one of the highest motorable mountain passes in India, located at an altitude of 4,551 meters above sea level. This scenic pass serves as the gateway to the Spiti valley from Kullu and Lahaul and is about 122 km from Manali. There is a 15 km trek from Kunzum Pass to the famous Chandratal Lake (Chand Lake). It is believed that tourists have to stop near the temple of Goddess Kunzum Devi to seek the blessings of traveling safely through the rugged terrain as their honor. The belief here is that travelers have to take a full tour of the temple in their own vehicles.


PIN VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

Pin Valley National Park is located in the Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve located in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh state. The height of this national park ranges from about 3,500 meters to its summit of over 6,000 meters. Pin Valley National Park is home to the famous Himalayan snow leopards and their rare species of prey, ibex. Pin Valley National Park is most famous for its incredible trek which is the main attraction of all its tourists. There is snow on this trek most of the year. The core zone of Pin Valley Park is spread over a vast area of 675 sq km and its buffer zone extends over about 1150 sq km. Today it is home to over 20 species of flora and fauna including the endangered snow leopard.


RAJA TAL

Raja Tal is the third largest lake in India situated at an altitude of 4950 meters above sea level. Suraj Taal in the Spiti Valley literally means 'lake of the Sun God'. Just below the Baralacha Pass, the stunning lake must be visited to visit this area. Suraj Tal Lake is one of the dream-like and photogenic lakes.


DHANKAR LAKE

Dhankar Lake is situated on the other side of the mountain near dangerous rocks, 5 km from Dhankar Math. It takes about an hour to go from Dhankar Math to the lake. You can spend a peaceful time on the banks of this lake and see the changing colors of the sky.


TRILOKINATH TEMPLE

Trilokinath Temple is also known as Sri Trilokinathji Temple, which is located in the village of Trilokinath in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The Udaipur located here is located about 9 km from the village. This temple is the only temple in the world where both Hindus and Buddhists worship. 'Lord Shiva' is worshiped in this temple by Hindus and Buddhists see it as Arya Avalokiteshvara. However, it is believed that the Trilokinath temple was originally a Buddhist monastery.


SHASHUR MATH

Shashur Math is a Buddhist monastery of the Drugpa sect located in the Lahaul Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. The monastery is a three-storey structure located at a distance of 35-40 km from Manali. In the local language, "Shashur" literally means blue pine, because blue cedar trees can be found around the Shashur Math. Shashur Math is situated at a height of 600 meters from the valley, from which one gets a panoramic view of the mountains and Keylong city. Shashur Math was built in the 7th century. Anyone who comes to see this monastery, praises its interiors and architecture. The best time to visit here is in July, during the annual Chham dance festival.


KIBBER

Kibber, also known as Kibber, is a small village in the Spiti Valley at an elevation of 4270 meters in Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by picturesque mountains and barren landscapes, Kibber claims to be the highest village with a motorable road. Kibber is known for its local monastery and the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary. Its height and pollution-free environment make it a perfect place for photographers.


TABO MONASTERY

The strong Tabo monastery standing at an altitude of 10,000 feet in Himachal Pradesh is one of the oldest monasteries in Tebo village in the Spiti valley. It is the oldest monastery in India and the Himalayas which has been functioning continuously since its inception. This charming monastery is famous as the 'Ajanta of the Himalayas'. It is said that the walls of this monastery have attractive murals and ancient paintings like the caves of Ajanta. Being one of the most historically significant sites in Buddhist culture, the Archaeological Survey of India has assumed responsibility for its maintenance and preservation. The monastery is spread over an area of 6300 square km and is a precious treasure for the Buddhist community.


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR
There is no direct flight to Spiti Valley. The nearest airport is at Bhuntar, which is located near Kullu and 245 km from the valley. However, Bhuntar Airport is small with limited flights. Chandigarh Airport is the nearest international airport located at a distance of 522 km as another option.

BY TRAIN
The nearest broad gauge railway station from Spiti is located in Chandigarh, which has good connectivity to all major cities of the country. There is also a railway station at Jogindernagar which is closest to Spiti, but the connectivity of this railway station is very poor.

BY ROAD
Himachal State Transport operates buses from both the routes in summer. Direct buses are available from Chandigarh, Shimla, Kullu, Manali and some places in North India.

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