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<< Indian Himalayas << Himalayan Destinations >> << Himachal Pradesh >> << Lahaul & Spiti >>

Tourist Places in Himachal Pradesh

About Lahaul & Spiti-

Lahaul and Spiti are two remote Himalayan Valleys of H.P. lying on the Indo-Tibet border. Lahaul is part of Lahaul & Spiti district.  In fact both Lahaul and Spiti are two distinct geographical regions separated by high rising Kunzum pass. Not only this, these two regions are entirely different units socially and culturally also.  Lahaul offers a few very rewarding high altitude trekking trails along the Chandra and Bhaga rivers and over high passes full of ice and snow.  Lahaul and Spiti are two remote Himalayan Valleys of H.P. lying on the Indo-Tibet border. Strange, exciting, primitive, these valleys are unsurpassed in mountain scape, in the rugged beauty of their rocky escapements and the splendor of their snow covered peaks.

There are little monsoon in both these valleys and this enables climbers & trekkers to enjoy a long and unbroken season in perpetual sunshine to explore the wilderness and grandeur of the inner Himalaya. This unique feature makes Lahul-Spiti as an ideal destination for tourists and trekkers in the month of July, August and September. Keylong is 115 km. from Manali and is the District Headquarters of Lahul-Spiti District.

Tourist Attraction Lahaul & Spiti -

The beautiful valley along Bhaba River is an important tourist spot. It is a link road to the valley, which originates at Wangtu. It has a reservoir lake and alpine meadows and is famous for the trek route to Pin Valley in Spiti. Karchham (1,899 m), located at the confluence of the Sutlej and Baspar rivers, is the start of the picturesque Baspar Valley of which Sangla is the largest settlement.

Sangla is 18 km from Karchham and is perched at a height of 2880 meters. A link road that goes off the National Highway into the Baspar valley offers an enchanting spot at every curve. There are saffron fields, orchards, and higher up, as the road climbs the steep, there are lush green alpine meadows.

Rakchham is situated on the bank of Baspa River, at an altitude of 2900 meters, and is famous for its scenic beauty. It is about 13 km from Sangla on the way to Chitkul. The last and the highest village in this valley, Chitkul, 28 km from Sangla, is noted for its alpine meadows and snowscapes. It has a rest house and is placed at an altitude of 3450 meters above sea level. Powari, 70 km from Rampur, is the last major stop, on the Hindustan-Tibet Road.

Located 240 km from Shimla and 7 km from Powari, Rechong Peo is the headquarters of the Kinnaur district. It is placed at an altitude of 2670 meters, has a rest house and hotels, and offers a fine view of the Kinner Kailash. At a distance of 3 km from Rechong Peo, Kothi has a temple dedicated to the Goddess Chandika Devi. Set against a backdrop of mountains and groves of deodar, the temple has a special architectural style and fine sculpture. At a distance of 14 km from Powari is Kalpa, the main village of the district. It is at an altitude of 2768 meters. Across the river, facing Kalpa, is the majestic spectacle of the Kinner Kailash range.

Riba is at a distance of 18 km from Powari and is known for its vineyards and local wine "Angoori' made from grapes. It is at an altitude of 2745 meters above sea level. About 26 km from Powari is Jhangi, where the inner border is located. From this point the famous Kinner Kailash Parikrama Trek starts via Morang, Thangi and Kunocharang villages and entering Chitkul village in Sangla Valley. Perched at a height of 2837 meters is Puh, which has a rest house and hotel facilities. One can see lush green fields, orchards of apricot vineyards and groves of almond trees, en route Puh. Namgya is the closest village from the Indo-China border, and the Shipki La Pass is just 13 km from this village.

The fine Buddhist Monastery of Tashigang Gompa is at the confluence of the Sutlej and Spiti rivers. It is accessible from Nangya, after a little diversion from Khob, on the National Highway 22. Another monastery, Tilasang, is close to Koa, 12 km short of Yangthang and has facilities for visitors to stay. At a height of 3662 meters is Nako, a little off the National Highway 22 along a link road just short of Yangthang. It is a scenic village and the largest in the desolate Hangrang valley.

A lovely, brightly coloured gompa, the Kinnaur Kalchakra Celestial Palace, or Maha-bodhi Gompa, is a 20 minute steep walk above the village, just behind the radio station. There is a huge outdoor Buddha Statue nearby, facing Kinnaur Kailash.  The setting alone is probably worth the trip to Kinnaur.

Oldest Gompha
Based at Keylong, visit Buddhist gompas and savour nature's spectacular sights. Some suggestions are Guru Ghantal (8km) regarded the oldest gompa in Lahaul and said to have been founded by the religious leader Padmasambhava in the 8th century.

Kardang (5km) has a library of Buddhist scriptures and houses exquisite thangka paintings, Shashur (3km) is surrounded by a rare patch of woodland and its 17th century gompa hosts Shashur Tseshe festival in June. Tayul (6km) means the 'place that is chosen' and has a huge statue of Padmasambhave.

Baralacha La (4,890 m 75 km) is an 8-km long pass where the paths from Zanskar, Ladakh, Spiti and Lahaul meet; Suraj Tal (4,800m) is a lake just below the summit of the pass and is the source of the river Bhaga. Sarchu, on the route to Leh, is the last point in Himachal and has a tented colony for tourists. Trilokinath (53 km) has fine stone carvings and Udeypur (53 km) has an ancient temple.

Keylong

(3340 m) 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.

Kardang Monastery

(3500 m): It is about 5kms. from Keylong across Bhaga river. It is believed to be built in 12th century. The Monastery has a large library of Kangyur and Tangyur volumes of Budhist scriptures in Bhoti. Kardang village was once the capital of Lahaul.

Shashur Monastery:

Situated on a hill about 3 kms. far from Keylong towards north on the same slope. During June/July this monastery attracts lot of visitors when Lamas perform devil dance. It was founded in the 17th century a.d. It belongs to red hat sect and is located among the blue pines. The paintings are represent the history of 84 Buddha's.

Tayul Gompa

(3900 m): Tayul Gompa is 6 kms. from Keylong and is one of the oldest monasteries of the valley having a big statue of Guru Padmasamhava about 5 m high and houses library of Kangyur having 101 volumes. In Tibetan language Ta-Yul means the chosen place. There is an interesting story behind this.

Sissu

(3120 m): It is on Keylong-Koksar road over 30 kms. from Keylong. There is a big waterfall here. This is the seat of God Geypan, who is worshipped in the entire valley.

Koksar

(3140 m): It is 21kms. beyond Rohtang pass in Lahaul and is the coldest place in Lahaul. HRTC workshop, Rest House, police assistance and eating places are available during the season.

Jispa:

It is 20kms from Keylong on the bank of Bhaga river having a rest house and mountaineer hut. There is a big camping ground. Sufficient trout fish is available in the river.

Festival Kinnaur

There are many local fairs and festivals like the Ladarcha fair (July-August) in Kaza, Tribal Fair (August) in Keylong, Tribal Festival (October-November) in Rekongpeo, Phulaich Festival (August-October) in Kastiar.

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