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One of the still unexplored and insanely beautiful stretch of the Indian Himalayas, Spiti is a valley of stark landscapes and high snowy peaks stretching to the sky. Gurgling rivers and crystal clear laked dot the highlands of Spiti, while an ancient civilization has survived for nearly a thousand years and has preserved its culture against the onslaught of modernity in Spiti.
Spiti Valley, tucked away in the trans himalayan belt of Himachal Pradesh, at an altitude range of 3500-4300 mts, a peculiar gea-climatic cold desert region borders Tibet in the east and Ladakh in the north. It is known for its scenic mountains, barren splendor, monastries and home to rare himalayan animals like Snow Leopards and Ibex etc. Travelling Spiti valley is as much as journey within as it is without.
The lofty Kunzum Pass will trivialize our place in the world. The stillness of the Chandrataal Lake will talk to you of contentment. The legendary Ki Monastery will speak to you of man’s industry - physical, yet transcendental. And since all life is cyclical, you’ll again be jolted into insignificance as you trek the ragged & Spitian route to some of the highest Himalayan village of the world.
Rise to one of the world’s highest motorable roads enroute Kibber and sway to the sinuous Spiti River below. Indulge the yaks and refresh your palaeontology. Lunch with the rank and file a Demul and bow to Spitian regalia at Dhankar.
The Key Monastery is a famous Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Lahaul and Spiti District of India. Located at an altitude of 4,166 metres above the sea level, the monastery is very close to the Spiti River in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh in India. Also known as the Kye Monastery, it is believed to have been founded by Dromton, who was a student of the famous teacher Atisha in the 11th century.
The Key Monastery is over a thousand years old, and apart from being the oldest, it is also the largest monastery that can be found in the entire Spiti Valley. The magnificent monastery doubles up as a religious training centre for the Lamas, and about 300 lamas receive their education from here.
Kunzum Pass or Kunzum La as it is called by locals is one of the highest motorable mountain passes of India, located at an altitude of 4,551m above mean sea level. It serves as a gateway to the beautiful Spiti valley Via Kullu and Lahaul. It lies on the eastern Kunzum Range of the Himalayas and is at a distance of 122 km from Manali. Kunzum La offers an incredible 360-degree view of Bara- Shigri Glacier (the second longest glacier in the world), a jaw-dropping vista of Chandrabhaga Range and a spectacular view of the Spiti valley. This enthralling view makes the Pass a photographer's dream. The Pass is a beautiful mixture of two different landscapes; rugged mountains and massive glaciers of Lahaul and the dry, barren mountains and the turquoise river of Spiti.
Set amidst semi-frozen rivers in the Pin Valley, the Pin Valley National Park is situated in the Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve situated in the Lahaul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. The elevation of the park ranges from about 3,500 metres near Ka Dogri to more than 6,000 metres at its pinnacle. One of the fascinating facilities of its kind, the Pin Valley National Park is home to the rare species of famous Himalayan snow leopards and their prey, the Ibex. Due to its high altitude, only a limited number of animals and plants thrive here. However, Pin Valley National Park is most famous for its incredible trek which is a delight for all its visitors. Owing to the many rare plant and animal species that it houses, the National Park was established in the year 1987 and has been a major attraction for trekking enthusiasts.
Just below the Baralacha pass, is a lake, one should not moss while here, especially if they are into photography. The Suraj Tal, is one of the most dream-like and photogenic lakes. The sheer beauty of this place is enough to make the drive seem worth the effort. The lake is fed from the glaciers of Baralacha La and the area around makes for a great trek and biking tour. The lake is at a distance of around 65 kms. from Keylong.
This Monastery is situated on a cliff between Kaza and Tabo. An amazing view of the Spiti river can be seen from here. This Monastery has a statue of 'Vairocharan' displaying four statues of Buddha seated in the 4 directions, along with ancient paintings, murals and texts. A true insight into Buddhist religion and culture can be procured by a visit to this Monastery. It can be accessed by a motorable road.
Well-known for its majestic paintings, Tabo Monastery is one of the ancient places to visit in Spiti valley. It has 9 temples of Tara & Buddha Maitreya and multiple Stupas that are the key attractions of the monastery. Other things worth seeing are various stucco sculptures of Bodhisattvas, marvellous wall paintings, and works of Buddha. Photography is not allowed inside the Gompa premises.
Trilokinath Temple holds religious significance amongst both Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus. The temple is situated on a cliff at the end of a street in the Tunde village. The three day Pauri festival during August makes it a good time to visit the temple.