Think of Himachal Pradesh
and you’ll immediately picture snow capped peaks nestled in the majestic
Himalayas, with lush valleys and glittering rivers with crystal clear waters
running through the cracks.
of Lahaul and Spiti
The district of
Lahaul and Spiti, which borders Tibet, lies amidst the snow clad mountains,
glaciers, valleys and forests. For centuries, life has not changed much in
these areas, so a trip to the region can give you a glimpse into the glorious
past of the region.
Most people in the Lahaul and Spiti district are Buddhists
and their daily lives revolve around the many monasteries that dot the
countryside. The Lahaul valley lies south of the Ladakh area, and for this
reason, the name literally meaning ‘south country’.
To the north, you will come across the beautiful Kullu
valley and the famous Rohtang Pass with one of the world’s highest motorable
What You Can See and Do
There are no towns in the area and the entire area is rural,
giving you a picturesque environ without any noise or pollution to mar the
tranquility. Lahaul valley can be reached by a bus or jeep from Manali; or you
can even drive to Manali from Kullu, which has the nearest airport. The trip
can take up to six hours depending on the weather conditions. You can also
alternately travel from Shimla or Leh to reach Lahaul.
The weather forces the road through the Rohtang Pass to be
closed from November to mid-May every year, so choose your time of visit
considering the various factors that can impact your vacation. The laidback
lifestyle of the locals will take you back to simpler times.
Spiti valley, named after the river flowing through the
valley, is often termed as the ‘fossil park of the world’ and is on the route
favored by many fossil hunters. Located at about 13,500 to 14,400 feet, the
valley is rich in marine fossils.
You can reach Spiti from Lahaul through Kaza; but the drive
will take you through the Kunzam Pass, which is also closed every year from November
to June. The Spiti valley can also be reached from Shimla by driving down to
Kaza, the district headquarters, which lies at about 400 kilometers. This road
through Kinnaur is an all-weather one and so it is open throughout the year.
Lahaul and Spiti district offers you the chance to enjoy the pristine beauty of
the Himalayas in its majestic splendor, without any commercialization or pollution
that can be frequently noted in many other tourist spots