5 Places to Visit in Lahaul and Spiti
Towering mountain ranges, rare and majestic species of animals, numerous monasteries and beautiful passes and glaciers, such is the magnificence of the districts of Lahaul and Spiti that makes it one of the best tourist places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.
How to get there?
Traveling to Lahaul and Spiti might appear to be tedious journey because of the distance but the picturesque beauty on the commute makes the journey far less tiring and more mesmerizing.
- By air: One can take a flight to Bhuntar airport and then about 40km to Manali and then about a 115km through the Rohtang pass to Keylong.
- By train: The nearest station is Jogindernagar in addition to Chandigarh and Shimla, the two railheads for Lahaul and Spiti.
- By road: There are many buses, cars and jeeps that connect Lahaul and Spiti to the rest of Himachal Pradesh.
When to Visit?
The best time to visit would be in the summer months (June to October). The weather is moderate and it is apt for trekking and sightseeing.
1. Suraj Tal
Suraj Tal, also known as the Lake of the Sun God is the third highest lake in India. It lies below the Bara-lacha-la pass in the Lahaul and Spiti valley. Crystal clear waters, flanked by arid mountain ranges and the gorgeous Bhaga valley that ensconces this lake is a salve to a quavering mind. Although the rough, sloppy roads and the temperature might come across as arduous, the sight of the scenic beauty is worth it. Trekkers and adventure enthusiasts will have the time of their life exploring this pristine beauty. The best time to visit would be from mid-May to October.
2. Pin National Park
Located within the Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve in the Himalayas, the Pin National Park demarcates the border between the formerly separate Lahaul and Spiti districts. One can spot rare species of snow leopard, Himalayan Ibex and Blue Sheep and a vista of the overlooking the beautiful Kungri glacier. There are huge alpine trees and towering cedar groves which makes it a stupendous backdrop for photography. Cool, trickling waters are a treat to the senses. One must make it a top priority to visit this place to experience true nature.
3. Tayul Monastery
Tayul Gompa or Tayul Monastery is a tailor-made name for this Buddhist Monastery in the Bhaga Valley of Lahaul and Spiti for it is the ‘chosen one’. It is located at a distance of 6 km from Keylong, above the village of Sitangri. It houses thankas depicting the life of Buddha and a 5 m tall image of Guru Padmasambhava along with his two manifestations.
The major attraction is the hundred million Mani wheel which rotates on its own on auspicious occasions. The best time to visit would be in the months of June to November and Tayul is at a walking distance from Keylong.
At an elevation of 3360 m on the Bhaga river is the secluded and sparsely populated village of Darcha. One enters this picturesque village leaving all worries and troubling thoughts behind, for such is the power of this intricately scripted natural beauty. There is breath taking landscape and dry snowy desert and it serves as the beginning point for many treks.
The Murkila Mountain is proximal and is a favored mountaineering destination and the awe-inspiring sight of the Chandra and Bhaga River is a rendezvous of sorts. One must make it a point to visit this welcoming little village when in Himachal Pradesh.
5. Chandra Taal
Well known amongst trekking and adventure enthusiasts is the Chandra Taal or the Moon Lake. Aptly named following the crescent shape of this barren yet mesmerizing lake located at a height of 14100 feet, this sweet water lake is the source of Chandra River.
The smooth transition of the color of the lake in accordance with the color of the sky is a testimony to the generosity of nature. This lake is famous as a camping site and the sight of the splashes of mountain white, lake blue and the greenery around is enough to send the traveler into a trance. There is the Kunzum pass at a distance of 6 km from there which is another wonderful destination.
There can be no conclusion to the appreciation Lahaul and Spiti deserve. But if one must describe this wonderful place in a few words then I would say that this place was formed when the heavens kissed the earth with auspice, beauty and enrapturing blend of colorful, serene natural beauty.