Good Living

Happy Holidays – Spiti

Written by Editor LU

Spiti in Himachal Pradesh is one of the frontier districts of India.  Lose yourself in the serenity of Monasteries, enjoy the barren mountain-scape, take long walks by river Spiti, or give yourself the dose of adventure skiing or trekking,  Spiti promises it all.  Kunzum

Pass is the gateway to Spiti from Kullu and Lahaul and a stretch borrowed from another world. The landscapes, valleys and views that one witnesses here are unmatched and unseen. One can get a spectacular panoramic view of the Bara-Sigri Glacier, the second largest glacier in the world. Key Monastery is one of the biggest and oldest Monasteries in Spiti and hence is the most important tourist destination in this region. It enshrines idols of Buddha in Dhyana position and also has a collection of ancient books and murals. Chandratal Lake, literally translating into Moon Lake, gets its name from its crescent shape. Located at a distance of 7-8 kms from Kunzum Pass, the lake is a major attraction for photographers and adventure seekers. The view of the crystal blue lake in the middle of a grassland, encircled by mountains and valleys is mesmerizing. Tabo Monastery is the oldest Monastery in the region. Situated at a height of 3050 metres, it houses some rare murals and paintings and a number of temples, Gompas and has a Monk’s Chamber. Dhankar Monastery is situated on a cliff between Kaza and Tabo. An amazing view of the Spiti river can be seen from here. This Monastery has a statue of ‘Vairocharan’ displaying four statues of Buddha seated in the four directions, along with ancient paintings, murals and texts. The Suraj Tal, is one of the most dream-like and photogenic lakes. The lake is fed from the glaciers of Baralacha La and the area around makes for a great trek and biking tour. The lake is at a distance of around 65 kms. from Keylong. Pin Valley National Park. set amidst semi-frozen rivers in the Pin Valley, is home to the rare species of famous Himalayan snow leopards and their prey, the Ibex. At a distance of 5 kms from the Dhankar monastery that sits dangerously on a cliff, lies the Dhankar lake on the other side of the mountain. If you spend enough time at the lake, you can see the sky change colors and reflect on the crystal-like lake. Kardang Monastery is located in the scenic landscape among the greenery, mountains and across the Bhaga river. Shashur Monastery, derives its name from the blue pines that surround it. It is a three-storied structure located at a distance of 35-40 kms from Manali. Tayul Monastery houses the biggest statue of Padma Sambhava, about 12 ft. tall, in his two manifestations as Singhmukha and Vajravarahi. The Gompa also has a hundred million mani wheels, which are supposed to open the minds of visitors to the compassion of Lord. Locally known as Khyipur, Kibber, at an altitude of 4205 metres above sea level, is one of the highest villages in the world. One can spend a day at the rest houses here, with the mountains watching over. Baralacha La or Baralacha pass, serves as a connecting point between Lahaul and Ladakh and looks over three valleys which meet at a height of over 16,000 ft. Gandhola Monastery is famous for its wooden idols, which stand pout from the clay idols found in all other monasteries. The monastery is founded by Padma Sambhava and is over 800 years old. Trilokinath Temple holds religious significance amongst both Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus. The temple is situated on a cliff at the end of a street in the Tunde village. The three day Pauri festival during August makes it a good time to visit the temple. Tangyud Monastery is a fortified castle with enormous and overlooking mud walls and battlements. Built on the edge of a deep canyon, Tangyud is one of the only two monasteries belonging to the Sakya sect in Spiti. Yak and Horse Safaris are the best and some of the most popular and loved ways to explore this region. being in the trans-Himalayan Region, the terrain of Spiti is the most favorable for Mountain Biking and features toward the top on the list of any Mountain Biker. The local food items that one should not miss include Momos, Thukpa, Butter tea, flavoured and aromatic teas such as those with garnishes of lemon, mint, ginger and honey.

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