Spiti is a remote Himalayan valley in the northeastern part of Himachal Pradesh. Spiti means “the middle land”, owing to its location between Tibet and India. The place is situated at a very high altitude and is popular for its scenic beauty. The region of Spiti is famous for its Buddhist culture and monasteries. Spiti and its surrounding areas are considered to be one of the least populated regions in India. Bhoti is the regional language of Spiti.
Volunteer tourism is a popular and talked about concept around the world. Spiti Valley has a flavour of volunteer tourism. It is also a developing geotourism site with volunteers building a solar bath for the monks and aiding to build a greenhouse.
There are some non-profit organisations that play an important role in venturing to transform Spiti into an environmentally sustainable destination. The organisations not only acknowledge volunteers, conduct treks, promote handicrafts made by the inhabitants, but also organise homestays.
The most interesting part of staying in these homestays is that travellers get to take part in the daily lives of the hosts.
Tourist Places In And Around Spiti
The Kye Monastery is a prominent tourist attraction of Spiti. It is the oldest monastery present in India. Adventures like Mountain Biking and Yak Safari are popular attractions of the region. Owing to the natural beauty of the place, a few Bollywood movies have been shot in the region namely Paap and Milarepa. The two most important towns in the region are Kaza and Keylong. Some of the rare species of flora and fauna are found in the region, which add up to the significance of the place. Wheat, barley and peas are some of the crops grown in the region.
How To Reach Spiti
Bhuntar is the nearest airport to Spiti, which is connected to the major cities like New Delhi and Shimla. International tourists can avail connecting flights to Bhuntar airbase from Delhi. Nearest railhead from Spiti is Jogindernagar, which is a narrow gauge railway station. Moreover, Chandigarh and Shimla are the nearest major railway stations from Spiti, connected to which are major cities of India. Travellers can easily avail taxis and cabs to Spiti from the railway station. By road Spiti can be reached via National Highway 21. Spiti is accessible from both Rohtang Pass and Kunzam Pass.
It must be noted that both these passes remain closed from November to June, owing to heavy snowfall. Kinnaur is the best-suited route for reaching Spiti, which is located at a distance of 412 km.
Best Time To Visit Spiti
The weather of Spiti remains pleasant throughout the year except during winters. The summer season extends between the months of May and October. Summers are best for visiting this place as the temperature of the place doesn’t go beyond 15° C. Spiti lies in the rain shadow area, therefore, does not receive much rainfall. During winters, this place receives heavy snowfall and the temperatures drop below zero degree.