10 Panoramic Places to Visit in Spiti
The best time to visit the cold yet stunning desert of Spiti is between June to September when the weather temperature remains a comfortable 25 degree celsius on an average. While we cannot really emphasize more on the enthralling experience you could have, we have managed to contain our excitement for this place to the absolute ten places that you would not want to miss:
Key Monastery: One of the biggest gompas, the Key Monastery is located at a height of 4,166 metres known for its spectacular Buddha shrine, ancient murals and manuscripts etc. Towering over the Spiti river, the monastery is among the most revered and visited places of the region for its Chinese theme and architecture. The monastery is also known as Kye Gompa or Ki and Kee Monastery dating back to 1100 CE and being the largest in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Being over a thousand years old, the monastery serves as a religious training ground for Lamas and a center for peace and tranquility.
Chandratal Lake: The name ‘Chandra Taal’ or Lake of the Moon is derived from the shape of the lake, which is crescent shaped. Situated at a height of 4300 metres in the Samudra Tapu overlooking the Chandra River. This stunning lake is one of the two high-altitude wetlands of India, recognized as Ramsar sites.
Apart from attracting folks with wanderlust for its spectacular views, the lake is a revered site for many Hindus. It is believed that the Chandratal Lake is not very far from where Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas from the Mahabharata, was picked up by God Indra’s chariot when he was on the way to heaven.
Pin Valley National Park: If you are a nature lover or an wildlife enthusiast, trust us when we say this, you must visit the Pin Valley National Park. Surrounded by brown, bare mountains which are adorned by the fluffy snow in winter, the park is located by the semi-frozen streams and rich in biodiversity, specific to the Himalayan region. With many endangered flora and fauna, surrounded by the mighty mountains, it is a favourite spot for camping and trekking.
Dhankar Monastery: Built about 1000 years ago, the Dhankar Monastery or the Dhangkar Gampa is one of the listed endangered monuments of the world. Set against the stunning views of the Spiti and the Pin rivers, this monastery houses the collection of centuries old thanksas. Apart from the spellbounding architecture, the Dhankar Monastery, at a height of 12,774 feet is home to the statue of Vairochana that consists of the four figures of Buddha in the state of meditation.
Suraj Tal: Fun fact: Suraj Tal literally means, ‘the Lake of the Sun God’ is the third largest lake in India, situated at a height of 4,950 m. The most convenient part? It is enroute the Manali-Leh highway which makes it a sought out pitstop if you are on a road trip. This photogenic lake does not just enchant nature lovers but is quite revered as well. It is a common belief that a dip in the Suraj Taal cleanses a person of all their sins.
The best time to visit this lake is during summer, from June to September.
Kunzum Pass: Kunzum Pass is the one of the highest motorable mountain passes of India, at an altitude of 4,551 metres. Quite a paradise for photographers, the ride to the pass is something every adventurer looks forward to, due to the fifteen hairpin turns one has to drive through. Moreover, one gets a chance to the breathtaking view of the Bara-Shigri Glacier, which is the second longest glacier in the world along with a mesmerizing view of the Spiti Valley.
Baralacha Pass: The 8 km long pass of Baralacha is a nexus for a multitude of hilly roads between Lahaul and Ladakh. One remarkable sight of this pass is the intersection of the Pir Panjal, the Great Himalayan Ranges and the Zanskar Valley. What makes it even more adventurous is the Bhaga and Yunam rivers on both the sides, to give it a captivating look. Additionally, Barchala pass is one of the favourite spots for trekking and camping.
Dhankar Lake: The Dhankar Lake is a true marvel of nature, hidden in Spiti. The winsome lake with crystal clear water reflects the sun rays to create a surreal and picturesque environment. Perched on a cliff at a height of 4270 m, Dhankar or the Sar Kund Lake lies on the backdrop of breathtaking and sky-toucking mountain peaks. The trek to the lake can be a bit challenging but it is truly worth what lies ahead.
Kaza: Kaza in Spiti Valley is quite dreamy in its own charm. With picturesque landscapes, rolling hills and meandering streams, Kaza is a beauty to in. relish in
The town is divided into two parts: Old Town which houses all the government offices while the New Town which houses the king’s palace.
While the winters are freezing cold, summers enjoy the much awaited merriment not just from the natives but also travellers alike. Being a spot blended perfectly in culture, spirituality and modernity, Kaza is sought out by both adventurers and people in search of faith.
Kibber: Kibber or Kyiber is the highest motorable village in the world at a height of 4,270 metres. With only 80 houses and 366 residents, the village is a tiny recluse in the laps of the wonderous mountains. You may be surprised to know that barter is still prevalent in this remote village, where transportation remains an everyday struggle. With identical houses made of adobe bricks and a strongly knit community, Kibber is worth every challenge to visit.