Lahaul & Spiti Valley

Lahaul and Spiti Valley

History of Lahaul & Spiti Valley

The Buddhist arrival in Lahaul-Spiti took place around the 8th century AD along with the Indian Missionary Padmasambhava. Upper Lahaul, Spiti, and Zanskar have been incorporated into the kingdom of Western Tibet. Rinchen Zangpo founded some of the Buddhist learning centers, which include institutes in Spiti Valley & Tabo. Tabo is considered one of the most prominent monasteries in North India. When the kings of Ladakh were defeated by Mongolian and Tibetan armies around the 18th century, the region was divided into surrounding powers. Lower Lahaul came under the kings of Chamba, Upper Lahaul came under the kings of Kullu, and Spiti became a part of Ladakh due to its isolated location. In 1847, the Dogra kings took over Ladakh and Spiti. British administration took over Kashmir, Kullu along with Lahaul as a subdivision of the Kingdom of Kangra. However, all the regions maintained a healthy relationship with Tibet. Tibetan government in Dharamshala, helped Spiti to retain religious and cultural life. The gompas at Lahaul and Spiti are being maintained and money from the tourism industry and hydroelectricity are used to improve the condition of native people who are affected by heavy snowfall in winters. Lahaul and Spiti district is not only enchanting but quite peculiar. The district is the largest in Himachal Pradesh area-wise but is least densely inhabited thus making it a tranquil location for tourists around the globe. Spiti Valley can also be described as a cold desert in mountains with its location not far from Tibet. The literal meaning of the word ‘Spiti’ means ‘The middle land’ and the land is between India and Tibet. The floor elevation of the valley ranges from 2,950–4,100 m (9,680–13,450 ft) above sea level which is one of the reasons this valley is untainted. Witness some amazing Buddhist monasteries, fluttering flags, serene landscapes, and several Buddhist monks praying with their wheels. The valley has some of the oldest monasteries like Key and Tabo, which are also known to be favorites of the Dalai Lama. A famous local folk song says “Do not go to Kaza, you will find your love here.”, and it seems true because you will fall in love with this enchanting place

Geography of Lahaul & Spiti Valley

  • The Lahaul and Spiti region in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh contains the two previously distinct provinces of Lahaul and Spiti. The existing administrative center is Kyelang in Lahaul. Previously the two provinces were integrated, Kardang was the capital of Lahaul, and Dhankar was the capital of Spiti. The province was established in 1960 and is the fourth slightly populous region in India.
  • The Valley of Lahaul is placed to the south of Ladakh. For this relative purpose, this area originated its phrase LhoYul meaning “Southern Country”. To its south is placed the wonderful Valley of Kullu across the Rohtang Pass and the Bara Bangahal across the Artsakh pass. Its western horizons touch the Pangi and Church regions of District Chamba. In the north placed the valleys of Zanskar and Ladakh across Shinola and Baralacha La respectively. In eastern and southeastern borders coexist with those of Spiti and Western Tibet across the Kunzom Pass.

Plan My Package Recommendations for Lahaul & Spiti Valley

  • Plan My Package recommends you visit Giu Monastery, which is a must to see because of the mummy kept inside it. The nails and hair are still growing and the mummy is naturally preserved which creates a new aspect to the study of mummification.
  • Dhankar Lake Trek will provide you with a breathtaking view of the lake with snow-capped mountains as a backdrop. The Lake is placed straight above the Dhankar monastery in the Lahaul-Spiti region and is on the further side of the Dhankar Village. The path to the trek is difficult, so it is not for the faint-hearted. It’s situated at a height of 4,140 meters above the sea-level.
  • Witness the Highest Post Office in India and send a letter to your loved ones, A wonderful village called Hikkim in the Lahaul-Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh. it is situated at a height of 14,567 ft. The location is referred to being the World's Highest Post Office with the pin code 172114.
  • Visit the Fossil Museum at Langza.
  • Experience the Yak Ride which is exceptional in itself. 
  • Do taste the local bread and tea at Key Gompa Monastery.
  • Spiti Monastery (Key Gompa Monastery) Kaza from an altitude of about 13,500 ft, the Key Monastery is enormous in the valley and clutches influential power over the extensively famous part of the valley around Kaza. The Gompa is an uneven stack of short rooms and lean corridors on a monolithic conical cliff. To an extent, it approximates the Thiksey monastery near Leh in Ladakh. The periodic prayer chambers are interconnected by gloomy passages, tortuous staircases, and tiny doors. Hundreds of lamas obtain their spiritual practice in the monastery.

Places around the Lahaul & Spiti Valley

Chandratal Lake (approx 47.3 Km from Spiti Valley)

 Located in the Lahaul part of the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, this crescent-shaped lake is named after its shape, which resembles the moon. Placed near the source of Chandra River, this lake is on the Samudra Tapu plateau and overlooks the river. The lake is home to a few rare species and some migratory species. The turquoise blue watered lake with its placement amidst serene mountains and enchanting surroundings will surely take your breath away. 

Dhankar village (approx 38.7 Km from Spiti Valley)

 Located at an elevation of 3894m above sea level, this little village once used to be the capital of Spiti. Dhankar village is situated on a ridge and falls between the towns of Tabo and Kaza. There is a gompa or monastery which dates back to 1000 years and the quaintness of the village is evident. You can also visit Dhankar Lake which can be reached through a small trek from this monastery. 

Baralacha-la Pass( approx 225.3 Km from Spiti Valley)

It is a high mountain pass in the Zanskar range and connects the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh to Leh district of Ladakh. The distinctiveness of both the regions is visible as both have distinguished physical characteristics which are evident. This pass has black-colored mountains and the Surya Taal Lake, which is said to be the origin of the Bhaga River(a tributary of Chenab) is just a few kilometers away from here. 

Kunzum Pass (approx 69.5 Km from Spiti Valley)

This pass is a significant place of the Lahaul and Spiti district as it connects the 2 valleys, Lahaul Valley and Spiti Valley. The famous Chandra Taal trek starts from this pass and is about 15kms away. Located at a height of 4551m above sea level, this pass is open from the first week of June and remains open till mid or late September. Heavy snowfall in winters keeps the pass closed for the rest of the year. It is also not advisable to travel in the monsoon as the road is slippery. 

Pin Valley National Park (approx 30.9 Km from Spiti Valley)

 Spread in an area of 675km2, National Park  Pin Valley was established in 1958. The peak is located in the Spiti Valley of the Lahaul & Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. You can reach here after a 10kms trek from Mikkim which is around 32 km from Kaza. Home to several endangered animals like snow leopards& Siberian ibex, the park is also a shelter to many migrated birds. If you want to indulge in nature and witness the wild beauty of Spiti Valley, Pin Parvati National Park should be on the top of your travel list

Best Time To Visit in Lahaul & Spiti Valley

  • The best time to visit this solitary yet impressive region of Himachal Pradesh is during the summers from May to October. It is the barely time when the roads reside clear of ice. In the winter season, Lahaul & Spiti fluff under the heavy sheet of snow.

      Spiti Valley Weather & Temperature

  • Lahaul & Spiti in Summer Season (May-June)
  • Temperature varying between 8°C and 15°C, this is the favorable time to visit Lahaul and Spiti Valley. The temperature resides cool and relatively cold during this period approving many outdoor and trekking activities. With the roads bringing cleared off snow and clear atmospheres, this is an excellent period to explore the cold deserts of Spiti and the lush vegetation of Lahaul.
  • Lahaul & Spiti in Monsoon Season (July-September)
  • Lahaul and Spiti decline in the rain shadow area of the Himalayas and thus, experience little to no rain during these months. Lahaul and Spiti are some of the favorite destinations to visit during the monsoons, the streets directing to these regions, mainly through Kinnaur and Manali, serve extremely apt to landslides.
  • Lahaul & Spiti in Winter Season (November-April)
  • This area experiences exceedingly cold and intense winters, with the temperature plunging to as low as -17°C and even downward in some villages of Spiti. However, for winter enthusiasts and snow enthusiasts, Lahaul and Spiti is an impressive destination during this period of the year.

How To Reach Lahaul & Spiti Valley

Lahaul & Spiti Valley By Air

  • Chandigarh(IXC) is the nearest airport to Spiti and there is also an option to go by helicopter, you can find helipads at different destinations like Rampur, Kaza, Nako, and many other places.

Lahaul & Spiti Valley By Train

  • Kalka(KLK) & Chandigarh(CDG) are the nearest broad gauge railway stations and Shimla(SML) is also the nearest toy train station. (narrow gauge) 

Lahaul & Spiti Valley By Road

  • The road trip to Lahaul and Spiti is remarkable when it comes to an adventurous trip. A bike trip is a must to do and also the best way to explore Lahaul and Spiti. You can also have an option to take a state tourism bus but for that, you need to be on time.
  • Planning to visit in April, May, June there is one route open.
    There are two routes to reach Spiti Valley.
  • Via Manali and Rohtang Pass(First route, which is close during winter)
  • Via Shimal-Reckong Peo-Nako- Tabo via Kinnaur(it is open throughout the year)
  • Delhi to Spiti distance approx 710 KMs it will take 16Hrs 40minutes to reach Spiti Valley.

Popular Places to Eat in Lahaul & Spiti Valley 

Sol Cafe

A must-visit cafe in Kaza, this place offers a lounge with a magical ambiance and a terrace area. The menu has a wide range of delicacies to offer like numerous types of coffees, teas, rum-balls, waffles, handmade chocolates, and much more. You can grab breakfast, lunch brunch and it opens from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. 

Himalayan Cafe

This vibing cafe is located in the main market of Kaza and offers Chinese, Indian & Asian cousins including snacks and beverages. You can even hire a bicycle for rent from this cafe. The charisma of this cafe attracts most tourists and you will certainly not regret visiting here. 

Hotel Deyzor

This old restaurant is located behind BSNL Office in Kaza. Besides Indian, European, and Tibetan cuisines, this restaurant also offers special diet meals. If you are in Kaza and desperate for Indian non-veg food, this place is the best to relish your cravings. 

Taste of Spiti

A haven for vegetarians, this cafe/restaurant is one of the best places to eat while in Spiti valley. Try Thenthuk, Spiti Thali, Pizza, Burgers and you also have the option to buy souvenirs from this fantastic place. This place has a lot of veg options and you will surely fall in love with the taste of Spiti. 


This eatery has a diversity of food items to offer. Be it Chinese, Tibetan, or Italian cuisine, or be it butter tea, Mahaboudha has it all. If you like pasta, this cafe in Kaza is recommended by many. This cozy restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Spiti. 

Places to Stay in Lahaul & Spiti Valley

Hotel Spiti Sarai

Offering some bewitching 360-degree views of the surrounding snow-clad mountains, this is one of the best-located hotels in Spiti. The staff is great and friendly and the hotel has an in-house restaurant and free parking facility. 

Hotel Zangchuk

Located in the main bazaar of Kaza, this hotel boasts of its 24hrs front desk service. They offer family rooms which include a balcony with a city view. There is also an in-house restaurant and a terrace with a perfect ambiance.

The Traveler's Shed

Offering family as well as bunk beds, this hotel is pet-friendly. Facilities like free wifi, parking, and breakfast are provided here. You can stay here and share your travel stories with other travelers sitting in front of a bonfire. 

Nyigma House

With free car parking, this hotel is one of the most pocket-friendly hotels in Kaza. The rooms have heating systems and the property is pet friendly. You can also get skiing and trekking gear on rent from here. 

Hotel Deyzor

It is probably the only hotel in Kaza that provides free wifi access, solar water heater, power backup, 24 hrs solar electricity, garden cafe, organic kitchen garden, bathroom amenities, and a full-length mirror. Apart from a meditation room, the guests have the option to choose from standard, superior and deluxe rooms.   

Do’s & Don’t in Lahaul & Spiti Valley


  • Do prefer to visit Spiti via Shimla-Nako, as you will acclimatize better.
  • Do carry cash as there is only one ATM in Kaza and online payment options do not work there.
  • Do carry the Government ID proofs.
  • Do carry appropriate clothes.
  • Do the exploration and interact with locals and know more about Spiti


  • Do not perform any hardcore activity which makes you tired.
  • Do not take a heavy diet when you are in Lahaul and Spiti
  • Do not disrespect the local authority and do not spoil their heritage.
  • Do not take photos of locals without permission.
  • Do not forget to bring BSNL sim because there might be some network issue.
  • Do not visit Spiti on peak season


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