14 Fascinating Places To Visit In Spiti Valley For A Magical Holiday
Prayer flags flutter in the breeze, the mantras inscribed on them perhaps producing a soothing effect on the surroundings, which seem as serene as ever. The rugged scenery comprising of jagged mountains and intimidating passes, wears an aura of timelessness, as do the pristine lakes whose waters are as pure as the sky above. All the places to visit in the Spiti Valley appear as heavenly as the other, producing a magical charm on one’s senses.
A holiday at this place leaves you with precious memories. Whether it’s a visit to the small villages, where life flows at an unfettered pace, or the ancient monasteries which are treasure-houses of Buddhist teachings, every experience is as unique as the other. A place cut away from the lures and crudeness of modernity, rejoicing in the simplicity it finds itself in, this is the best way to describe a place such as this. If you have long yearned for a conversation with nature, this is where you should be. Through this blog, we tell you the 14 fascinating places to visit in Spiti Valley for a magical holiday.
Visit These Incredible Places To Visit In Spiti Valley
To explore a treasure of ancient Buddhist literature, manuscripts and murals, besides a magnificent Buddha Shrine, visit the Key Monastery, or the Kye Gompa. Located in the Kaza region, it’s one of the most popular places to visit in the Spiti Valley. Perched at an altitude of almost 4,112m, it overlooks the Spiti River, thereby providing great opportunities for sightseeing.
Its fort bears a strong resemblance to the Chinese theme, and comprises of a beautiful assembly hall, along with the Tengyur room, which is richly adorned with murals. Here, you can watch the incredible dance of the Lamas, accompanied with pipes, horns and other musical instruments. Besides, this is where the Lamas receive their religious training.
Tabo Monastery is one of the most ancient places you will come across in the town of Tabo in the Spiti Valley, and is also one of the foremost tourist attractions in Spiti. Renowned for its spectacular paintings, it consists of 9 temples of Tara and Buddha Maitreya along with several stupas.
Some of the other attractions worth checking out are various stucco sculptures of Bodhisattvas, beautiful wall paintings and works of Buddha. It traces its origins to the 10th century AD and houses around 60 Lamas. Besides this, it boasts a large collection of scriptures and wall paintings. The murals adorning this Gompa are similar to those at the Ajanta paintings.
Lhalung Monastery is one of the earliest monasteries in the Spiti Valley. It was founded by Rinchen Zangpo, considered to be a Buddhist “Mahaguru” – an extremely enlightened teacher. It houses a complex consisting of 9 shrines, each of which is a hub of Buddhist teachings. A particular attraction here is the various gold leaf deities kept in its shrine.
Suraj Tal, which literally means the Sun Lake, is one of the best destinations in Himachla Pradesh for backpackers. When it comes to photogenic places, there is none beating it. Located in close proximity to the Baralacha Pass, this wonderful lake is a favorite hangout of nature lovers, enthusiastic trekkers and photographers. Its best visited during the months of May to October, and attracts devotees apart from the tourists.
Chandra Tal Lake
One of the things to do in Spiti Valley is visit the Chandra Tal Lake, one of the many beautiful lakes in Spiti. Located at a height of 4,270m and about 6km from the Kunzam Pass, it’s enveloped by acres and acres of snow, while its deep azure waters extend to almost 2.5km in length. Its spectacular beauty makes it a photographer’s paradise, and a highly sought after destination for camping and trekking. The lake has been so named due to this crescent moon-line shape.
Tabo is a quaint village which lies on the banks of the Spiti River in Himachal Pradesh. Its famous for the Tabo Monastery which is believed to be over a thousand years old. Those looking to be in the company of perfect solitude would do well to visit this place. Besides, it also offers wonderful sightseeing opportunities.
Dhankar Lake is one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh and also considered among the foremost attractions in the Spiti Valley. Dhankar, also known as Sar Kund Lake, seated on a cliff at a height of 4,270m, is a picture of perfect beauty.
Reaching this lake requires one to undergo a challenging trek. However, the view which greets your eyes upon reaching there is worth all the effort. In local lingo, the word “Dhankar” denotes a fort, and its believed that this monastery was once a fort.
Kaza, the capital of Spiti, is seated on the eroded flood plains of the Spiti River. Surrounded by jagged mountains on either side, it is the most populated area you will ever come across. This place comes across as a quaint town, which moves at its own leisurely pace. It consists of a marketplace, medical facilities, rest houses and hotels, among other facilities. The views provided by this place are breathtaking.
Langza Village, located 16km northwards of Kaza, is one of the most beautiful valleys in the Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh and is renowned for its incredible scenery, pre-historic buildings and ancient monasteries. An enormous statue of Lord Buddha guards the village, while a temple behind the statue is believed to be over 500yrs old. Besides these, this village also contains a large amount of fossils of plants and marine animals, and is regularly visited by historians and anthropologists.
One of the best offbeat places to visit in Himachal Pradesh is Komic Village, famous as the world’s highest village with a road. Located about 20km from Kaza, this beautiful village is located at 18,000ft above sea level. This place allures visitors through its pristine beauty and magnificent surroundings.
One of the main attractions here is the Komic Monastery. This gompa houses certain treasures which are made public once in every 90 years. Some of these are the egg of a dragon, the horn of a unicorn, the upper tooth of a sheep, the ribcage of a giant “demon” and the tail of a prehistoric man.
Dhankar Monastery, one of the five main Buddhist centers in the Spiti region, is located quite incredibly at an altitude of 12,774ft. The monastery offers panoramic views of the Spiti Valley and overlooks the confluence of the Spiti and Pin rivers. Built over a thousand years back, it belongs to the Gelugspa School of Order. One of the major attractions here is the statue of Vairochana (Dhayan Buddha), which consists of four figures seated back to back, along with a collection of various centuries of old thankas.
Pin Valley National Park
Among the various beautiful places to visit in Spiti, one is the Pin Valley National Park. Situated in the cold desert Ibex of Spiti Valley, it houses an interesting collection of flora and fauna. One can witness a variety of wild animals like woolly hare, Tibetan gazelle and snow leopard, among others. The weather conditions here are generally cold and dry, and receives heavy snowfall in winters.
The topography of Lahaul Valley consists primarily of high mountains and massive glaciers. It’s a hub of Buddhist art and culture, and lies at a height of 2,745m above sea level. The summers in this valley are very pleasant. This place is also home to various monasteries, lakes and passes. One finds adventure and spirituality in a perfect package here. The rugged landscape provides some of the most magnificent views you will ever come across.
Kunzum Pass, located at an altitude of 4,590m, is the gateway to Spiti from Kullu and Lahaul. After crossing Rohtang Pass and driving almost 20km, one has to take a right turn from Gramphoo. The views provided by this pass are simply enthralling. While on the one side is the Spiti Valley, on the other side are numerous C.B. (Chandra-Bhaga) range peaks.
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