>> << Lahaul & Spiti
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
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
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
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.
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
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
(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.
(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.
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 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.
(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.
(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.
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.
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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