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Lahaul and Spiti

Lahaul-Spiti is a district of Indian state Himachal Pradesh. Keylong is the administrative headquarter of the district. Lahaul-Spiti valley covers an area of 13833 sq km on middle Himalayans and it maintains an average height of 4280 meters. Lahaul and Spiti are two separate valleys and quite different in character. Kunzum Pass is the entry point to the Spiti Valley from Lahaul valley. Spiti valley is more barren and difficult to cross due to its typical mountain desert regions.

HLahaul Valley, Himachal Pradesh

(Lahaul Valley, Himachal Pradesh)

Hinduism and Buddhism are two main religions in Lahaul-Spiti. Usually, the inhabitants of Lahaul Valley are Tibetan and Indo-Aryan descent, while the inhabitants of Spiti valley are more familiar to the Tibetans, as the valley closer to Tibet. According to the census report of India 2011 about 31530 people reside in the District. The languages of both the Lahaul and Spiti are Ladakhi or Tibetans, Manchad Dialects, Bhoti, and Sanskrit. Agriculture is the main source of income by the resident. Houses are constructed in the Tibetan style, as Lahul and Spiti are quite prone to earthquakes.

Places to see in and around Lahaul and Spiti District

Lahaul and Spiti district receive a very cold temperature in winter. Snow fall is very common from December to February when the temperature may fall below -10 °C. Summer season from May to end October is the best time to visit these valleys when temperature is pleasant. There have lots of tourist spots and attraction in Lahul-Spiti. Several tourist activities like Spiti Valley Trekking, joining to Thangka painting workshop, climbing to Kanamo Peak and touring at several villages like Langcha, Komic, Dhemul and Lalung are very enjoyable. You will find here several Buddhist monasteries like Kye, Dhankar, Shashur, Guru Ghantal, Khungri, Tnagyud, etc.

Rohtang pass (altitude 3980 meters) separates Kullu, from the exotic charm of the Lahaul valley. It is the gateway to Lahaul Spiti valley. There is a beautiful sight of glaciers, peaks and Chandra River flows down in the Lahaul valley. During summer season from June to October this place is open for tourists. Rest time of a year it is closed due to heavy snow fall.

Kye Monastery is an ancient 11 century Buddhist religious center located about 11 km away from Kaza Town in Spiti Valley. Near about 301 Buddhist monks receive their religious training from this monastery. You will discover here several rare painting and beautiful scriptures of Buddha and other gods and goddess.

Tabo Monastery is another Buddhist religious center located on a height of 3051 meter above see level about 49 km away from Kaza Town in Spiti Valley. It was constructed by Richen Zangpo in 996 AD. The monastery contains the rare collection of scriptures, pieces of art, wall paintings.

Dhankar Buddhist Monastery is a construction of 10th century AD located about 34 km away from Kaza Town. Now some parts of this monastery are in ruin due to landslide from mountain and seeping rainwater in mud-walls. Statue of Vairochana (Dhayan Buddha) is the main attraction in the Gompa.

Khoksar village is the entrance point for Lahul situated on an altitude of 3141 meter by the right side bank of the Chandra River. Khoksar is the first village and gate way to Lahaul. It is surrounded by high mountains. During winters the river of Khoksar freezes during winters and is covered with snow.

Sissu is another small village of Lahaul valley located at an altitude of 3131 meters, on the right side of the Chandra River. This village is locates on a flat ground. The temple of Lord Ghepan (the lord of Gyephang peak) is in this village. Sissu waterfall is the main attraction in the village.

Gondhla village is situated just 17 km away from Keylong by the right side of the Chandra River at a height of 3161 meters. This village is surrounded by thick forests of poplars and willows. Gondhla castle or fort is the main tourist attraction in the village which was constructed 17th century by Raja Man Singh of Kullu.

Tandi village is situated at the meeting place of two rivers Chandra and Bhaga about 8 km away from Keylong Town in the Lahaul Valley. This village was founded by Raja Rana Chand Ram. This village is about 153 km away from state capital shimla.

Keylong Town is the headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti District. It is located at an altitude of 3157 meters above the Bhaga River. Most of the government offices and tourist hotels are located in this town. Several monasteries like Tayul, Kardang, Sha-Shur and the temple of the local deity Kelang Wazir are the major attractions in the town.

Surajtaal Lake is placed just bellow the Bara-lacha-la Pass, at a height of 4881 meters. This lake is the source of Bhaga River. During summer lots of tourists come to this lake to take a holy dip. This lake is about 63 km away from Keylong and its access way remains close in winter due to snow fall.

Chandrataal Lake is situated at about 4301 meters above mean see level about 9 km away from the Kunzom pass. Chandra Taal is about a km in length and half of it in breadth. There is a brownish patch in the middle of the lake. This lake freezes during winter. Several temples are placed along the edge of the lake.

Pin Valley National Park is located in the Pin valley of Spiti Region at height of 3501 meters. It declared as a National Park in 1987. The Park forms a natural habitat for a number of endangered animals including the Snow Leopard and Siberian Ibex.

Some other important tourist spots in and around Lahaul and Spiti District are Saskyagongmig Gompa (Tangyud Monastery), Gungri Monastery, Darcha Village, Chandra Taal lake, Trilokinath temple, Jispa Village, Markula Devi temple and Udaipur.

How to reach Lahaul-Spiti

For make a best travel in Lahaul and Spiti District you have reach to its headquarter, Keylong first. This town is well connected to other major tourist destination of the district. You can easily access Keylong town through the Manali-Leh National Highway.

Travel by Roadways
Keylong is well connected with Manali (123 km) by roadways through Rohtang Pass. After reaching Keylong you can travel to Spiti Valley through Kumzum Pass. Keylong maintain a distance of 189 km from Kaza, 372 km from Leh, 436 km from Chandigarh and 692 km from Delhi.

Travel by Railways
Jogindernagar is the nearest railway station from Keylong located about 252 km away. Jogindernagar is connected to Chandigarh with a narrow gauge line. Shimla railway station is connected to Chandigarh with broad gauge railway line.

Travel by Airways
The domestic airport of Bhunter is closer to Keylong located about 173 km away. All major airlines operate regular flights to Bhuntar Airport. You will get frequent pre-paid taxis from Bhuntar airport to the city.

Hotels in Lahaul and Spiti

PWD Rest Houses
At 12 different places in Lahaul
One Common No: 01900-222276
PWD Rest Houses
At 6 different places in Spiti
One Common No: 01906-222572
Three Forest Houses in Lahaul
At Keylong, Jahalman and Udaipur
One Common No: 01900-222235
Two Electricity Rest Houses, 
In Lahaul Valley at Karga and Thirot
One Common No: 01900-222291
Government Circuit House
Lahaul Valley at Keylong 
Phone No: 01900-222501
Government Circuit Houses
Udaipur (Ph: 01909-222224)
Kaza (Ph: 01906-222202)
Hotel Gyespa, Keylong
Phone: 01900-222207
Hotel Valley View, Keylong
Phone: 01900-222666
Hotel Dekyid, Keylong
Phone: 01900-222217
Hotel Snow land, Keylong
Phone: 01900-222219
Tourist Complex Keylong
Phone: 01900-222393
Hotel Tashi Deleg, Keylong
Phone: 01900-22450

General Info of Lahaul and Spiti District

Country India
State Himachal Pradesh
District Lahaul and Spiti
Area 13833
Altitude 4280 meters (Average)
STD Code 01900 (Keylong)
Temp. Summer 17°C (Average)
Temp. Winter -10°C to 0°C
Best Seasons to Visit Summer season from May to October
Languages Manchad Dialects, Bhoti, Sanskrit
Population 31530 (according to census of 2011)
Clothing Light woolen and heavy woolen
Main Religion Hinduism and Buddhism
Currency Indian Rupee (Indian rupee)