Lahaul and Spiti valley is a district in the state of Himachal Pradesh and is a famous tourist destination for its picturesque mountain views. The area is covered by cold deserts, beautiful green valleys, and strong current rocky rivers. This is situated 4,270m or 14,009 ft. above sea level. Incredible India here outlines every detail which you need to know about the place like- bounds, ways to reach, history, places of interest, facilities, etc.
Lahaul and Spiti Valley are surrounded by icy mountains. In the north, it is bordered by Jammu & Kashmir state and on the eastern side is surrounded by Tibet (part of the People’s Republic of China). Apart from these, the Chamba district comes in the western part, and the south and south-eastern part of the Kullu and Kinnaur is situated. The best part of this place is there are so many hill stations nearby that you can easily stretch the visit and cover those destinations as well.
How to Reach Lahaul and Spiti Valley:
Being a favorite travel destinations, Spiti Valley and Lahaul valley are well-connected by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is Shimla (distance 169km) and Bhuntar (distance 84.3 km) airport. You can get flights from Delhi (distance 436km) or Chandigarh (distance 217km) to reach this place. Chandigarh and Kalka (distance 203km) are the nearest big train stations and Shimla and Joginder Nagar (distance 89km) are the local railway stations to reach this place. From the airport and rail station, you can hire a car to reach. Apart from rail and air, you can take a bus service from Manali (distance 45.4 km), Kaza (distance 78.2 km), Shimla, and Kinnaur (distance 149 km)-to reach here. The ideal itinerary to visit this place ranges from 8-13 days.
History of Lahaul and Spiti Valley:
Apart from tourism, this place has a glorious history also. The Lahaul valley was formerly a part of the kingdom of Ladakh. In the latter half of the 17th century with the decay of Ladakh, it was passed on to Kulu Chief and later on to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. After that in the initial days of the British Raj, it was ruled by the local Thakur and Jagirdars.
The Spiti was a part of Ladakh before Anglo-Sikh War. Due to having less population and extreme temperature conditions, Spiti was not considered before as a separate administrative center.
In 1941, separate sub tehsil namely Lahaul and Spiti Valley introduced both territories together. Later in 1960, after independence, it was constituted as a separate district of Himachal Pradesh for the first time.
Best Places to Visit in Lahaul and Spiti Valley:
Here Incredible India outlined the never miss places near Lauhal and Spiti Valley:
Kalpa: It is a beautiful village in the lap of the Sutlej river valley. Apart from the scenic beauty, you can visit the famous Kothi Temple and Chaka Meadows here. The best time to visit this place is from April to June (during Summers).
Kinnaur: Alike Kalpa, you can visit Kinnaur also during summer. It is a very popular destination for hiking and trekking. There are various temples, palaces, and forts in the must-visit place list of Kinnaur.
Chitkul: This village of Kinnaur district is situated on the India-China border- thus it is referred to as the last village of India. This place is famous for trekking. Besides that, you can visit Mathi Devi Temple, Charang Pass, etc. The best time to visit this place is in September.
Hikkim: It is a village situated in Spiti famous for having the world’s highest post office. This post office is 4400m above sea level. Travelers visit this to send letters to their home address to keep as a memory.
Kee Monastery: This monastery is the largest in Spiti valley. Other than this there are many other monasteries here. Some of them are old around 1000 years.
Sarahan: This is a beautiful place situated in the Shimla district near Spiti. The place is famous for the Bhimakali temple which is one of the 51 shakti peeth. The specialty of the temple is you can witness both Hindu and Buddhist statues and decorations here. It is an ancient village that is mentioned in the Puranas also.
In addition to these places, there are a lot more to add to your itinerary. Like-Trilokinath Temple, SwachtaPakhwara, Shashur Gompa, Rohtang, Koksar, Suraj Taal, Chandra Taal, Udaipur, Pin Valley National Park, etc.
Facilities, Culture & Food:
There are many hotels in Lahaul and Spiti Valley, rest houses, and homestays available to serve the tourists. The price of accommodation ranges between INR. 1,200/- to INR. 4,500/- per day. Besides celebrating the Hindu festivals, here Tibetian culture and festivals are also celebrated with equal enthusiasm. Maybe it is because of the influence of Buddhist culture geographically located so close to the Tibet border. Here locals take 3 meals a day- Ken in the morning, Shod in the noon, and Yangskin at night. Lugri is a famous mild alcoholic drink here. Don’t forget to try these local delicacies.
In addition to these details, Incredible India wants to suggest to opt the route through Shimla- as then you don’t need the permit to enter Rohtang Pass. This is one of the cleanest and most beautiful travel routes of India, the paradise for mountain lovers.