13 places you must visit in Spiti Valley
Updated: Sep 30, 2021
The picturesque valley of Spiti is a haven for all who seek tranquility away from the hectic modern life. The quaint villages, beautiful monasteries and crystal clear lakes lure tourists from around the globe. From offbeat villages to popular monasteries, here's a list of places that you must visit on your trip to Spiti Valley :
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Located in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, Chandratal Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes that you will come across. The mesmerizing view of the lake at sunset lures tourists from around the globe, especially during summers. The crescent shape of the lake is the origin of its name. The trek from Batal to Chandratal is not an easy one, but the breathtaking view of the lake is worth the journey. The majestic mountains and the crystal clear water of the lake make it an ideal spot for camping.
A millennium-old, Key Monastery is a popular Tibetan Buddhist monastery close to the Spiti River. According to the folklore, the majestic Key Monastery was established by Dromton, a disciple of Atisha. The monastery has collections of peculiar wind instruments, manuscripts, murals and, paintings, making it a historian's paradise. Thousands of travellers seeking tranquillity make their way to the monastery every year. The serene location of the Key Gompa, with the beautiful villages and mountains surrounding it, makes it a must-visit tourist spot.
Kibber is a quaint little village in Himachal Pradesh that attracts trekkers and nature lovers. It is renowned for being the highest motorable village in the world. The Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary situated here shelters some rare species of flora and fauna like the snow leopard. The weather is cold throughout the year but considerably pleasant in summers. Kibber also receives an ample amount of rainfall with nearly 518 mm of average precipitation. Even if you don't find a place to stay, the villagers are hospitable enough to let you spend the night. This picturesque little village does not have well-developed roads, so walking can always be an alternative.
Situated at an elevation of 10,760 feet above sea level, Tabo is a cold desert town on the banks of the Spiti River. Well-known for its pristine beauty, the major attraction of this town is the Tabo Monastery, which houses beautiful wall paintings and stucco statues. There are a few more temples and caves that add to the charm of Tabo. If you are seeking quiet away from the hustle and bustle of city life, a trip to Tabo is just what you need.
Nako is a small village on the Hindustan-Tibet Highway that offers the most spectacular view of snow-capped mountains. The Nako Lake borders the little village and is an insanely peaceful place to be. The lake is surrounded by Tibetan temples and caves and also has a beautiful waterfall nearby. The Nako Monastery, housing numerable murals and paintings, is another notable feature of this village. There are quite a few eateries that serve local delicacies; make sure to try it out. You will also find small shops selling items you can take back as souvenirs.
Originating from the Kunzum range, the Spiti River separates Lahaul from Spiti. Most human settlements in Spiti Valley like Tabo, Dhankar and Kaza are located on the banks of this river. The Spiti River reaches its peak of glory between Kaza and Rangrik and is a beautiful sight to behold. The river freezes in the winters and looks heavenly as it gets covered in snow.
Komik is an idyllic village in Spiti Valley that is a perfect getaway from your hectic city life. The Komik Monastery offers its visitors the opportunity to stay the night with the monks. Eco Kitchen is the only eatery in the vicinity and is a great place to indulge in a conversation with the locals. You can also go on hikes to the neighboring villages or star gazing as darkness engulfs the sky. Despite being a small village, Komik has a lot of exciting things to offer.
Langza is a remote village in the heart of Spiti Valley that has numerous historical buildings and ancient monasteries. As you approach Langza, you will see a gigantic statue of Lord Buddha from a mile away. Apart from the Langza Buddha Statue, you should visit the Langza Gompa, which is of great significance to the locals. Langza is also renowned as a fossil-hunting site. Here, you can find numerous marine fossils dating back to the Jurassic era. If you seek tranquility in this fast-moving world, you should camp out here under the starry sky.
Surrounded by the snow-clad mountains and green pastures, Dhankar Lake is a blissful treat to the eyes. The trek to the lake is a challenging one, which is why many people do not opt for it. But once you reach the glacial lake after the steep climb, you get to witness nature in its glory. When viewed from different angles, the lake appears to change colors, which amplifies its beauty. Here you can sit by the lake and admire the beauty of nature as you unwind in peace.
At a distance of 122 km from Manali, Kunzum Pass serves as the gateway to Spiti Valley. The numerous hairpin turns attract many adventure seekers who visit this pass for the thrill of it. The snow-covered peaks and beautiful glaciers offer a sight so mesmerizing that it is worth a visit. The 15 km trek to Chandratal from here encompasses the famous temple devoted to Goddess Kunzum Devi, which brings in many tourists from far and beyond. The pass does not have any eateries, so it's best to carry your snacks. The Kunzum Pass also offers an enthralling view of the Bara-Shigri glacier (the second-longest glacier) and an equally amazing view of the Spiti Valley.
Situated in the Udaipur subdivision of Lahaul and Spiti district, the Trilokinath Temple is a place of worship for both Hindus and Buddhists. The marble idol is revered as Lord Shiva by Hindus, and as Avalokiteshwara by Buddhists. The temple is renowned for its annual three-day Pauri festival, in which a district-level fair is organized in August. The temple is also famous for its astounding architecture, stone carvings and pillars. It was constructed in the 10th century and is considered one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages. The scenic beauty also brings in tourists seeking peace from their monotonous lives. Besides, the temple is also a trekking and camping site during summers.
Situated in Spiti Valley, Suraj Tal originated from the Bhaga tributary of Chandrabhaga river. It is also revered as the Lake of Sun God, as the name suggests. A dip in this sacred lake can cleanse you of all your sins. The Suraj Tal is a paradise for shutterbugs and nature lovers, as the scenic view of the lake mesmerizes one and all. During winters, the lake looks heavenly when it freezes, entirely covered in snow. The lake has gained much popularity as it lies on the Manali-Leh path.
Pin Valley National Park
Located in the cold desert valley of Spiti, Pin Valley National Park harbors a wide assortment of flora and fauna. The national park is home to many endangered species, but the snow leopard steals the show. Tourists are also drawn by other species like Siberian fox, Tibetan gazelle, Blue sheep, Red fox, Himalayan brown bear and bird species like Snow pigeon, raven, Blue Rock pigeon. Flora species include alpine pastures, juniper and birch trees. The surrounding mountains add to the beauty of the valley, making it look surreal.
And there you go - A list of 13 places that you must visit on your trip to Spiti Valley for a memorable experience! So, pick up your camera and embark upon this journey of a lifetime.