Lahaul Quick Information

Summarise the city : Land of monasteries
Best time to visit (High & peak months) : Mid May to mid October
Experiences : Himalayas, stunning landscape,temples and monasteries.
City calling code : For Keylong is 01900, Udaipur it is 01909
Recommended no. of days for a tourist : 2-3 days
Best buys : Carpets, local pure wool shawls, lois, baby shawls.
Essentials to be carried along : Climate here is very unpredictable so cold and wet weather gear including boots is essential; wet tissues;additional fuel and basic repair tools for your vehicle; food
All about the city :

If you are looking for succor for your harried bodies and souls, you cannot find anyplace better than Lahaul and Spiti. The landscape here is strikingly different from the rest of Himachal Pradesh.The nature is as raw and undisturbed as any inveterate nature savant could demand. Being enveloped by the mysterious swirling mists that rise up from the valley would make you feel heaven. If you wish to enjoy this epitome of natural beauty to the fullest then make sure that while driving through the valley, you take a window seat and watch the landscape unfold like pages of a picture book. Wherever you turn you will find priceless paintings inspiring you to take gorgeous photographs. Just can’t resist the temptation of going on clicking till your camera itself limits you to snap further. Besides the natural scenery, the beautiful Gompas are equally picturesque.

Upper Lahaul has high mountains surrounding deep valleys of Chandra and Bhaga rivers, while lower Lahaul lies below Tandi where the 2 rivers meet and become Chandrabhaga or Chenab. The social fabric of the area is an interesting mix of Hinduism and Buddhism. Accordingly you find numerous temples besides the Gompas.

Logically, you can find nature in most raw and undisturbed form only when an area is scantily populated. So, it goes without saying that in Lahaul and Spiti the density of population is as low as two persons per square kilometer. Accordingly, the choice for private accommodation and eateries is limited at this place. Here, you will have to manage without the usual luxuries of ordinary tourist places. But you will yourself realize that this is not a very big price for the extraordinary experience the valley will offer you to treasure for a life time. Also you cannot help agreeing to Rudyard Kipling’s statement, “Surely the Gods live here, this is no place for men.”

Note : Due to closure of Rohtang Pass the road to Lahaul valley remains closed from November to Mid May every year and due to closure of Kunzam Pass the road from Lahaul valley to Spiti i.e. Koksar-Batal-Kaza remains closed from Nov to June, however the road to Spiti valley from Kinnaur is almost all-weather road.

Lahaul Tourist attractions

Name (Suggested Time Required To See The Place) Description Entrance Charges (If Any) For Foreigner Close Day (If Any) Open / Close Time
Keylong On the Bhaga river this is the district headquarter of Lahaul and accordingly is the regions principal town. Although it does not has any specific attraction but with its many basic facilities it is widely used as a stopover by travelers enroute to Leh or as a base for treks.
Khardong Gompa(15-20 minutes) The 900-year-old gompa at Khardong, formerly a capital of Lahaul, lies directly across the Bhaga Valley, at a distance of 4 km from Keylong. It is a steep 2 hrs walk from Keylong. This Drukpa Kagyud monastery has the distinction of being the largest in the area with about 30 Lamas and Chomos (nuns). There are excellent frescoes but for getting a glimpse of it you will have to persuade a nun to open the doors for you. It also has a fine collection of thangkas (a painted or embroidered Buddhist banner), musical instruments and old weapons. Do not miss the prayer wheel here that is renowned for having one million strips of paper bearing the mantra (chant) 'Om mani padme hum'. No entrance charge No close days
Shashur Gompa(15-20 minutes) 3 km form Keylong; this gompa of 16th century was founded by Deva Gyatsho, a Zanskari lama and is famous for devil dance (Chaam festival) held annually during June/July. Monks dressed in colorful costumes and masks amuse the village folks by their dance performances. This monastery is renowned for its 4.5 m (15 ft) long Thangka. No entrance charge No close days
Guru Ghantal Gompa(15-20 minutes) This monastery is situated on a hill above the confluence of Chandra and Bhaga rivers. Located in a small village of Tandi, 11 km southwest of Keylong, this Gompa is believed to have been established by Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. The wooden images of Buddha are what set this monastery apart from others as all other monasteries have clay idols. The presence of a black stone statue of a Goddess identified as Kali strengthens the theory that this was once a Hindu temple. No entrance charge No close days
Gondhala On the road to Manali, about 16 km south of Keylong is the hamlet of Gondhla.The most attractive feature of this place, besides the natural beauty is 8 storeyed timber and stone residence of Gondhala chiefs. Though in a dilapidated condition this structure is visited by many.
Udaipur Udaipur in Upper Lahaul is an interesting excursion. It is also the base for treks to the Zanskar valley. At a distance of 53 km from Keylong this is an extremely quiet and serene place. It has good forests and is dominated by Kail and blue pine. The visitors to this place have compared it to Swiss countryside. The main attraction here is the Mrikula Devi temple whose exterior is quite ordinary but its rich interior would surely compel you to appreciate the skill and craftsmanship of the artisans.  
Trilokinath(15-20 minutes) Trilokinath, 15 km from Udaipur, is one of the most ancient temples in Lahaul. It was originally a Hindu temple and later converted to Buddhism. This Shiva temple was given a look of Buddhist shrine by Guru Padma Sambhava by installing the 6-armed image of Avalokiteshvar. In the centre of the compound is a stone image of Bull - Nandi (vehicle of Lord Shiva). It is now sacred both to Hindus and Bhudhists alike and attracts many pilgrims from both these communities. In August, a big festival named Pauri is held for three days when people including the Sadhus and followers of various religious sects gather to receive the blessings of Lord Trilokinath. No entrance charge No close days
Suraj Tal (Depending upon his/her nature one can spend any amount of time at this place) About 65 km from Keylong, at an altitude of 4950 m below the summit of the Baralacha La pass lies the serene and spectacular Suraj Tal, a lake that attracts the tourists like a magnet. It is the source of river Bhaga, one of the two important rivers in the valley. While you drive your way to Baralacha La do stop at this place to watch the sun go down as if proclaiming the end of yet another day. August to November is the best time to visit this place.
Chandra Tal (Depending upon his/her nature one can spend any amount of time at this place) Chandra Tal or the Moon Lake, at a height of 4270m lies at a distance of 6 kms from Kunzum Pass, which connects Lahaul and Spiti. With a circumference of 2.5 km, this deep blue lake is the source of the Chandra River. The overlooking hanging glaciers, craggy peaks and acres of snow and scree make it a nature lover's delight. The legend says that this lake is the place from where God Indra's chariot picked up Yudhishthir to be transported to heaven in his mortal form. This makes it a revered location for the devotees. A number of temples exist on the periphery of the lake. Thus it draws domestic and International tourists alike. Water here is crystal clear and you will be simply amazed to see the reflection of mountains in it.

Getting There

Air Rail Road
The nearest airport is Bhuntar Airport (Kullu), which is at a distance of 167 km from Keylong. Nearest railheads are Jogindernagar (250 km from Keylong), Shimla (375 km) & Chandigarh (425 km from Keylong). The only approach to this exotic region is by road. Manali in Kullu district is the ideal base for visits to this area. One can easily reach Keylong through Rohtang Pass by Bus/ Jeep. Its a 115 Km (6 hrs) drive. Although one can opt for other approaches such as Shimla- Reckong Peo- Kaza - Kunzum - Keylong. Leh- Tanglangla - Baralacha la - Keylong. Keylong is 989 km north of Delhi, 375 km north of Shimla (via Manali), 435 km north east of Chandigarh.

Lahaul Festivals

Name Of Festival Dates / Month / Year Festival Details With Link For More Information
Pauri fair (Udaipur) August

Other FAQ's / General Information

Question Answer
» Yudhishthir was the eldest of the 5 five brothers in the great Indian Epic The Mahabharata. » Thangka : is a painted or embroidered Buddhist banner that was hung in a monastery or a family altar and carried by lamas in ceremonial processions. » Zanskari Lama : is a Buddhist monk of Zanskar region of Ladakh.

Lahaul Climate Chart

Month Morning Afternoon Rainfall
January 22 0 14
February -18 0 111
March -4 3 96
April 3 6 26
May 8 55 2
June 12 0 0
July 14 6 0
August 15 34 0
September 10 11 0
October 6 0 0
November 0 0 19
December -5 0 10

Suggested Holidays Including Lahaul

Holiday Name No. Of Days Destinations Covered & Highlights
Lahaul and Spiti Valley Tour 8 days Manali - Keylong - Kaza - Tabo - Manali

Dalhousie

Shimla

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