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Spiti Overview

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Summarise the city :
Land of monasteries

Best time to visit (High & peak months) : 
July to mid October

Experiences :
Himalayas, stunning landscape,temples and monasteries.

City calling code :
01906

Recommended no. of days for a tourist :
2 days

Best buys :
Carpets, local pure wool shawls, lois, baby shawls

Essentials to be carried along : 
Climate and temperature is very unpredictable so cold and wet gear with boots is essential, also carry some food, wet tissues, essential medicines, additional fuel and basic tools for your vehicle.

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 here 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."
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Spiti Tourist attractions

Name (suggested time required to see the place)DescriptionEntrance charges (if any) for Foreigner Close Day (if any) Open / Close time
KazaThis is the sub-divisional Head Quarter of the Spiti region where the touristic facilities like currency exchange, accommodation, guides, and petrol etc. can be obtained. Although it has nothing much to offer apart from the scenic beauty, but it is an important base for many treks and the place to obtain permits to go on these treks.    
Kunzum pass (height of 4590 m)Kunzum pass is the gateway to Spiti from Kullu & Lahaul.The lofty Bara Shigri Glacier (the second longest in the world) with all its grandeur is a feast for the eyes. The crest of the pass has been marked by a chorten of stones erected ages ago. The Panorama as viewed from the top of the Pass is enthralling. There is a temple dedicated to Kali, known as Kunzum Devi to bless you for the success of your journey onwards.   
Ki Monastery (at a height of 4116 m) (30 minutes) The most visited monastery of the region, Ki is one of the oldest and biggest in the valley. Set against a backdrop of brown hills, its white box like building is sure to catch attention. Its importance is evident from the fact that here a room is reserved for Dalai Lama. Overlooking Kaza from its mammoth heights the monastery is just a collection of rooms, which are connected to each other by dark passages and wooden staircases. Probably, the monastery that served as a fort as well is so unplanned because it had to suffer repeated attacks and much of the construction was done keeping in mind the exigencies of time. Serving as an institution for more than 300 lamas it is a treasure trove of beautiful Thangkas, rare manuscripts, stucco images, peculiar instruments that play their role in the devil dance performances made here. Do not miss to spot the collection of weapons used during the wars.No entrance chargeNo close days 
Kibber and Gete villageThese two are remote villages in the Spiti. For most part of the year they are cut off by snow. Gete is the highest village accessible by motorable road in the world.   
Tabo Monastery (in Tabo an ancient village about 46 km from Kaza) (30 minutes) Perched at an altitude of 3050 m, Tabo monastery is the largest monastic complex in Spiti embracing in its complex 9 temples, 23 chortens besides chambers for monks and nuns. An interesting story runs behind its establishment. After an era of great setback to Buddhism in Tibet, when it resurged in the reign of Ye-she-od (a lama king) this monastery was established. Constructed in 996 AD, Tabo was the brainchild of the great translator and teacher; Rinchensang Po. It was meant to serve as an institution for advanced learning. When here, do not forget to bow before the 4 faced magnificent Buddha idol, Amitay Buddha and stucco ideal of Bodhisattva, Maitreya (the future Buddha).It has distinction of being the oldest continuously functioning Buddhist monastery in India and the Himalayas with its original decoration. It also contains the largest number and the best-preserved group of Buddhist monuments in Himachal Pradesh. The mud structures in the complex look quite unimpressive but once you enter in, the visual delights will astound you like anything. The exquisite murals and frescos here are of the order of the Ajanta painting in Maharashtra and appropriately elicit admiration from one and all. No entrance chargeNo close days 
Dhankar Gompa (15-20 minutes)At a distance of 31 km from Kaza, this fortress-like gompa belongs to the sixteenth century. Today it provides shelter to about 160 lamas and the main temple houses a four-in-one Dhyani Buddha facing all directions i.e. sitting back to back.No entrance chargeNo close days 
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Getting there

AirRailRoad
Nearest airport is at a distance of 250 km in Bhuntar (Kullu)Nearest railhead is at a distance of 412 km in Shimla, a narrow gauge line. Delhi to Kaza via Shimla and Tabo is 801 km; Shimla to Kaza via Tabo 412 km; Manali to Kaza via Rohtang and Kunzum pass is 200 km; Keylong to Kaza 105 km (about 6 hrs. journey)
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Spiti Festivals

Name of festivalDates / MonthsFestival details with link for more information
Ladarcha fairJulyThe Kaza's Ladarcha Fair indicates the termination of the Summer season .It is an occasion for the association of various people irrespective of their class, creed and religion. The traders barter and sell their goods and produce. At this fair the spectacular Buffalo Fight stimulates the audience.
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Suggested Holidays with Spiti

Holiday NameNo. Of days Destinations Covered & Highlights
Lahaul and Spiti Valley Tour 8 days
Manali - Keylong - Kaza - Tabo - Manali
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