Lahaul & Spiti Holidays
Lahaul and Spiti are two contiguous districts found within the northern Indian province of Himachal Pradesh. As these locations are found close to nearby mountains, they are generally associated with a warm and dry climate. They rarely experience monsoonal conditions that often serve to define the southern cities of India. In essence, these two districts can be considered to be two separate valleys. Spiti is a bit harder to negotiate, as it is defined by steep slopes. Lahaul is more of a river basin, so the majority of residents choose to live here. Tourism has taken off in recent times due in no small part to the wealth of natural beauty as well as a handful of stunning monasteries. Let’s take a more in-depth look at this region.
What to See and Do
Always make it a point to include visits to local monasteries within your itinerary. Some of the sites worth remembering are Kye, Dhankar, Guru Ghantal and Shashur. The monastery of Sherkang Ghompa is actually thought to be the oldest structure in the district and it also contains the only known mummy of a Buddhist monk. In addition, Tabo Monastery recently celebrated its 1000th anniversary and an interior museum will offer up some truly amazing relics that have to be seen to be believed. The fact that this building resides on the side of a large mountain is further evidence of the hidden beauty associated with the region.
Chandra Taal lake is another option if you have had your fill of monasteries for the time being. This natural freshwater lake is crescent in shape and it is found within Spiti. This is one of the most popular destinations for hikers and campers due to its relatively low terrain. You will be able to obtain magnificent views of the mountains to the north and the lake is normally accessible between the months of May and October. It may still be wise to visit in the early spring, as the nearby valleys are coated with a colourful chorus of wild flowers.
Skiing is another activity which has grown in popularity over the past 50 years. Although admittedly not as developed as other regions such as the Julian Alps, the massive mountain peaks allow the snow here to be present throughout the year. There are a handful of ski resorts and it is wise to check in advance to see which ones are open during your intended holiday. However, keep in mind that many of the pistes here are not maintained on a regular basis and this excursion might be better for those who already possess a significant amount of experience.
Tips and Suggestions
This region of India is rather remote and it is best not to go off exploring without the help of a tour guide. Additionally, the winters here can be quite harsh. This is why it is normally better to visit when there are less chances of massive snowfalls. Regardless of your desires, the simple fact of the matter is that the district of Lahaul and Spiti are amazing locations to personally behold.