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Zanskar, Lahaul Spiti, Travel Zanskar Lahaul & Spiti in Trans Himalayan Region, Trekking in Himalaya
Travel to Zanskar, Lahaul & Spiti in India trans Himalayas region which is full of amazing sights, blessed with all the natural bounties, surrounded by towering peaks, trekking and hiking trails, a popular destination known for its immense natural beauty and buddhist monasteries all over the world.

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Home >> Himalaya Travel Attractions >> Zanskar Lahaul Spiti
Zanskar, Lahaul & Spiti - Trans Himalayan Regions
Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir
2,500 To 4,500m
Trekking, Mountaineering, Camping, Water Rafting, And Buddhist Monasteries
June To End September
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Adventure in Zanskar, Lahaul & Spiti

The Zanskar valley is noted for its high ranges, fine Gompas and gentle people. The most isolated of all Himalayan valleys inaccessible for 8 months in a year, it is now a popular destination with trekkers.

Set in a wide plain where two swift flowing tributaries join to form the Zanskar River, is Padum the main habitation and the sub divisional headquarters. Close to the town are a set of ancient rock carvings and two picturesque monasteries, the Stagrimo and Pibiting Gompas. A two-hour trek from Padum takes one to Karsha with the largest and most wealthy Gompa in the region. It dates back tot he 16th century. Other interesting monasteries include the castle like Gompa at Sani, the splendid Stongdey perched on a rocky outcrop, Bardan and the spectacularly located Phugthal just off the Padum-Manali trail.

LahaulLahaul Spiti & The Great Himalayan Safari
The Lahaul plateau nourished by the Chandra and Bhaga rivers and the Spiti valley linked to it by a high pass the Kunzam la, are together a district in Himachal Pradesh - another region where nature can be seen at its wildest. Lahaul is glacier country and some of its most dramatic glaciers include the Bara Shigri, Chota Shigri, Samundari and Sonapani glaciers.

The narrow Spiti valley carved out by the swift flowing Spiti River rising from the slopes of the Kunzam la is an area of weathered gorges and dramatic mountain scapes. In summer the valleys are green, the meadows carpeted with flowers and a patchwork of fields ornaments the villages. The people are charming, friendly and hospitable.

Approaching Lahaul
The only approach to this exotic region is by road. The rugged Manali-Leh highway (N.H.21) one of the highest mountain roads in the world is open for 3 months in the year from early June to September. It traverses the subdivision of Lahaul and crosses the Great Himalayan range into Ladakh. Manali in Kullu district is the ideal base for visits to this area. It is in turn linked by road and air to Chandigarh, Shimla and Delhi.

Attractions In Lahaul
Manali with its forested slopes and beautiful scenery is the start of an arduous journey across some of the most fascinating landscapes in the country. The Rohtang pass is not far from Manali and takes one abruptly from the lush meadows of the Kullu valley into the barer hills and rocky landscape of Lahaul. At Gramphu the road from Spiti coming over the Kunzam pass meets the highway. Just 18-km from Keylong, the sub divisional headquarters, an imposing 7 storeyed structure, the fort of Gondla seems to guard the road.

Bhaga RiverAt the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga Rivers, just short of Keylong is Tandi. From here one can visit the monastery of Guru Ghantal believed to have been established by the guru Padmasambhava himself about 800 years ago. Keylong, located on the Bhaga River makes a splash of emerald in the browns and greys of the surrounding hills with its fields, trees and watercourses.

Close to Keylong is the Shashur monastery. It is perched almost 600m above the valley and a steep and difficult track leads up to it. Khardong the largest Gompa in the area is located across the valley from Shashur. Udaipur in Upper Lahaul is an interesting excursion. It is also the base for treks to the Zanskar valley.

Beyond Keylong the road follows the river Bhaga winding upwards to the Baralacha-la, the pass across the Great Himalayan Range. The Zanskar range and two more high passes the Lungalacha-la and the Taglang-la have to be crossed before the road descends to the Indus plain and on to Leh. The 473-km drive is fairly arduous and the journey can be broken with stops at sarchu the last post at the Himachal border or pang where there are tented camps.

Approaching Spiti
Spiti is accessible during the brief summer months from Manali via the Manali - Leh highway. The road branches off from Gramphu in Lahaul to cross the high Kunzam la. The longer but popular route into the valley is along the old Hindustan - Tibet road from Shimla across the scenic district of Kinnaur.

There are interesting little towns along this route. Sarahan is picturesque and is noted for the Bhimakali temple with its impressive architecture. Further into Kinnaur the beautiful Baspa valley and the village of Sangla provide a breathtaking excursion. Kalpa with its fine view of the Kinner Kailash Peak and Nako with a little lake make fascinating breaks in the journey.

Attractions In Spiti
SpitiSpiti which means 'Middle Country' is a vast highland basin for swift flowing glacial streams that have cut deep gorges into the mountain terrain. Among them pin and Lingti are the main streams that feed the Spiti River. The Lingti valley is a living geological museum noted for its shales and fossils, dating back 250 million years. The pin valley, a protected area with its National Park is the habitat of the ibex and snow leopard.

Spiti valley is barely 3-km wide and most of the villages are located along its wider bank. The terraced fields, groves of juniper and flat roofed houses are set against the backdrop of rocky mountain - sides that seem painted in shades of purple and pink. Some of the hills are eroded through the reveal its undulating strata.

Isolated in the deep valleys the culture of Spiti has developed undisturbed, in a little world that centres around its many Buddhist Gompas. Dhankar, Ki or Kye, Tabo, Mud, Kungri, Lidang, Hikim, Sangnam are the more prominent of the 30 or more monasteries in Spiti.

Spiti's most sacred Gompa, the 1,000-year-old Tabo monastery, is a treasure house of art. Over the centuries succeeding generations contributed to its expansion and embellishment and today tabo has nine temples with a wealth of fine murals and painted stucco work that unfolds the iconography of the region. In the temple of enlightened gods, which is the du-khang or assembly hall of the complex, there are beautiful murals painted in an Indian style. This is why tabo is known as the 'Ajanta of the Himalayas'. Tabo is located not far from sumdo on the kinnaur-spiti border.

Just 25-km from Tabo is the Dhankar monastery. Dhankar was once the capital of Spiti. The hilltop Gompa, which doubled as a jail in the old days, dominates the village. The main attraction at dhankar is a natural lake at 13,500 ft., a perfect camping site, a walk of 2.5-km from the village.

Proceeding along the state highway towards Kaza, the sub divisional headquarters of Spiti, one gets to Attergu. This is the point of access to the pin valley where there is an interesting gompa at kungri. Close by too, is the lingti valley.

Kaza is located 76-km south east of Kunzam la and 74-km from Sumdo. Ki Gompa the largest in the valley is 11 km away, located above Kaza at the height of 4116 m. fine murals and a valuable collection of Kangyur - ancient Buddhist texts are its attractions. Among its other treasures are two horns almost three metres long. Brought out on festive occasions they resound across the valley.

Travel Facts - Lahaul And Spiti
Altitude:The height of the valleys in this region are between 3,000m to 4,800m.
Climate : Cold and dry. Temperatures very much like ladakh.
Summer: Upto 270C
Winter : -200C and below in the higher reaches.
Best Season: June to October
Summer: Light woollens
Winter: Heavy woollens

How to Get There
Lahaul - Nearest airport is at Kullu in the Kullu valley.
Keylong - Accessible by road from Manali on the Manali-Leh highway. Bus services link Keylong to Manali and to the Spiti valley. Daily deluxe bus services run by HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation) ply daily on the Manali-Leh route with an overnight halt at the tented camp at Sarchu.

High Altitude Travel

  • All visitors must ensure they are physically fit before visiting Ladakh or Lahaul and Spiti. The high altitude environment is demanding. People with heart or lung ailments must consult their doctor before planning a trip.
  • Acclimatisation is mandatory for visitors travelling by air. It is important to take complete rest for the first 24 hours after arrival and as much rest as possible for the next 12 hours. People travelling to altitudes above 10,000 ft. are likely to suffer from acute mountain sickness. The most common symptoms are, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, breathlessness, lassitude and lack of concentration. In its more serious form acute mountain sickness can be life threatening and so needs immediate medical attention.

Travel Packages of Lahaul Spiti

Duration : 20 Nights - 21 Days
Places Covered : : Shimla-Sarahan-Chitkul-Kalpa-Khab-Nako-Spiti-Tabo-Dhankar-Ki Gompa-Kaza-Keylong-Khardong-Manali-Palampur-Kullu-Shoja-Dharamasala - Dalhousie- Khajjiar- Amritsar-Delhi