Lahaul and Spiti

Lahaul & Spiti


An Overview

The remote valley of Lahaul & Spiti is Himachal's frontier district whose rich heritage is hidden for half the year by snow on the hidden passes. Common Attractions are Tabo, Keylong, Kaza, Ki, Udaipur, Chandertal, etc. There are many treks in Lahaul and Spiti and the highest peak in Lahaul and Spiti is Menthosa. The district of Lahaul-Spiti in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh consists of the two formerly separate districts of Lahaul and Spiti. The present administrative center is Keylong in Lahaul. Before the two districts were merged, Kardang was the capital of Lahaul, and Dhankar the capital of Spiti. The district was formed in 1960 and is the fourth least populous district in India. Kunzum la or the Kunzum Pass (altitude 4,551 m (14,931 ft)) is the entry pass to the Spiti Valley from Lahaul. It is 21 km from Chandratal. This district is connected to Manali through the Rohtang Pass. To the south, Spiti ends 24 km from Tabo, at the Sumdo where the road enters Kinnaur and joins with National Highway No. 22. The two valleys are quite different in character. Spiti is more barren and difficult to cross, with an average elevation of the valley floor of 4,270 m (14,010 ft). It is enclosed between lofty ranges, with the Spiti river rushing out of a gorge in the southeast to meet the Sutlej River. It is a typical mountain desert area with an average annual rainfall of only 170 mm.

The language, culture, and populations of Lahaul and Spiti are closely related. Generally, the Lahaulis are of Tibetan and Indo-Aryan, while the Spiti Bhot are more similar to the Tibetans, owing to their proximity to Tibet. The village of Spiti is also known as 'little Tibet'. The beautiful snow-capped peaks and the rugged beauty entices the tourists. The natural scenery and Buddhist monasteries, such as Kye, Dhankar, Shashur, Guru Ghantal, Khungri Monastery in Pin Valley, Tnagyud Gompa of the Sakya Sect in Komic, Sherkhang Gompa in Lahlung (believed to be older than Tabo Monastery), the only Buddhist Mummy of a Monk in Gue around 550 years old and Chandratal Lake are the main tourist attractions of the region. For trekkers, the Spiti Valley is a paradise, offering challenging treks to explore the new heights of the Himalayas. The treks take you to the most remote areas including the rugged villages and old Gompas followed by the exotic wildlife trails. Some of the popular trekking routes in the area include Kaza-Langza-Hikkim-Komic village-Kaza, Kaza-Ki-Kibber-Gete-Kaza, Kaza-Losar-Kunzum La and Kaza-Tabo-Sumdo-Nako. There are some very high altitude treks also where you have to cross passes- like Parangla Pass (connecting Ladakh with Spiti Valley), Pin Parvati Pass, Bhaba Pass, Hampta Pass treks, Spiti Left Bank Trek are few to name. Adventure lovers can have a gala time exploring the innumerable trekking and camping options. Trekatribe offers Trekking and sightseeing in all parts of Lahaul & Spiti district including Road trip to Spiti, Chandertal Lake, Baralacha La, Trilokinath temple, Neelkanth Mahadev trek, Pin Valley National Park, Suraj Taal, Lady of Keylong and Spiti homestay treks.

Quick Facts-

Latitude- 32.62087,Longitude- 77.419052

Altitude varying between 2500 - 6794 m

Highest Peak in Lahaul Spiti -Gya 6794 m

Population- 31564 (2011)

Area- 13835 sq. km

Rivers- Chandrabhaga, Spiti, Tsarab

Literacy- 76.81%

Sex Ratio- 903