Well known for its majestic and untouched natural beauty, monasteries and cultural influences of the Tibetan refugees, Spiti is a destination for those who love to trek and hike. It is one of the most unexplored destinations in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Spiti or Spiti Valley is located at a high altitude in the eastern part of Himachal.
Spiti in translation means "The Middle Land" and the name holds apt as the land is between India and Tibet. The region is a desert mountain valley and is much famed for its ancient monasteries and virgin natural beauty. The terrain of the valley is considered to be a highly difficult one and the entire region is completely isolated during the winter season.
A visit to Spiti is considered incomplete without visiting the monasteries here. The Key Monastery and the Dhankar Monastery are must visits. If you are looking for adventure, there are quite a number of trekking trails and mountain biking routes that one can take.
Without any doubt, it is one of the best road destinations in the country. A journey to the Valley of Spiti is equally breathtaking and magnificent. Like any other place, the valley too has several hidden treasures which is a must visit. Here we bring you some of these places in the Valley for your wanderlust expedition.
1. Dhankar Lake
About an hour and half from the Dhankar Monastery, to reach the Dhankar Lake one has to cross the Spiti river. The entire journey takes you through the serene and picturesque beauty of the place along with calm and peaceful surroundings.
As soon as you trek up the hill from the monastery, you would be spellbound at the marvellous views of the village at the bottom which is surrounded by the snow covered mountains and the lake has quite a number of fishes that create ripples in the gushing water.
PC: Sumita Roy Dutta
The village of Langza is considered as one of the highest villages in the world and is probably the only accessible high altitude village in the world. Due to its position, you can spot a wide range of endangered species from Tibet in the village of Langza such as, the snow leopard, Himalayan griffon, Tibetan wolf and many more.
PC: Sumita Roy Dutta
3. Spiti River
A perfect place to forget all worries and relax, the Spiti river allows you to be covered in a blanket of stars and hear the melody of the water gushing along the shores. The shore of the river is filled with pebbles and rocks, which allows you to walk along which would provide you an unforgettable experience.
4. Nako Village
While travelling through the Kinnaur route, one surely cannot miss the beauty of the village of Nako. The village has beautiful surroundings which comprises of the tall mountains and the breathtaking Nako lake. The village gives you the feel of being stuck in a maze with it many lanes and by lanes. As you walk through the lanes the place offers an impressive view of the houses which are made of only stones and mud.
5. Tabo Caves
One amongst the calm and serene places in the Spiti Valley is the Tabo Caves. The caves are one of the most preferred spots for meditation by the monks who live in the nearby area. The cave is dug into the hillside of a towering mountain and also has the oldest monastery in India which was established in 996 AD. The caves have an opening in the middle which opens up to the vast sky which would give you a sense of composure and happiness.
Losar has a gem which goes away unnoticed, the Mani carvings. Similar to the lock bridge in Paris, there is a practice of carving the Buddhist chant of 'Om Mani Padme Hum' along the roadsides and rivers as an offering to the spirits.
The practice has evolved into a tradition and the people of Losar ensure that this tradition is passed over generations and these carvings stand tall as an example of the tradition.
7. Pin Valley
Pin Valley is located at an altitude which ranges from 11,500 ft to 20,000 ft. The valley is well known for its rich flora and fauna and is also home to the Pin Valley National Park. The valley is home to 17 villages which has a population of around 1600 and is well known for the Chhumurti horses, which is an indigenous breed found here.
PC: Sukanya Ray