Spiti, meaning ‘the middle land’, is a desert mountain valley that connects the Tibetan region with India. Located in the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh, this region offers wonderful views of the towering Himalayas. It is a haven for those looking to disconnect from the world while on a vacation. Whether it’s for its breathtaking views or for the exciting adventure activities here, Spiti is a must-visit destination in India. Not convinced yet? Well, we have put together five reasons for why you should start planning a Spiti Valley trip.
1. Unparalleled natural beauty
Surrounded by the lofty, serene Himalayan mountains, Spiti Valley is one of the most naturally beautiful places to visit. The high mountain passes, still blue lakes and gushing waterfalls add to the charm of the place. While here, you can visit the Chandrataal Lake, known for its crescent shape. Another lake that should be on your list would be the serene and breathtaking Mantalai Lake. Formed by the melting of snow and glaciers, the lake is a historical landmark and is part of many trekking trails in the region. Showcasing the best of the region’s flora and fauna, the Pin Valley National Park is another scenic spot that deserves to be part of your Spiti Valley trip.
2. Lofty passes
The journey to Spiti Valley is an experience in itself! The road to the desert mountain valley involves a particularly treacherous journey, perfect for adrenaline junkies. The abrupt change in landscape, from lush greenery to rocky and desert terrain, is truly spectacular. If you take the route through Manali, you can experience a remarkable drive through the meadows and rocky terrain of the Kunzum and Rohtang passes. Other exciting passes you can check out include Hamta Pass, Bhabha Pass and Baralacha La Pass. Whether you choose to ride, drive or trek through these spots, you’re bound to be spellbound by the stunning beauty all around.
3. A unique culinary experience
Connecting Tibet with the Indian subcontinent, Spiti Valley is home to a blend of various cultures. This is reflected in their cuisine as well. You will find wholesome Tibetan flavours, as well as distinct Indian ones. Along with Indian staples like roti, dal and biryani, you have meaty momos and Tibetan delicacies to tuck into while on your Spiti Valley trip. A steaming bowl of thukpa (noodle soup with meat and veggies) is the perfect comfort food while here. Thenthuk, a similar noodle soup prepared with hand-pulled noodles, is another common Tibetan dish which makes for a filling meal. Or pick a flavourful meat dish and pair it up with Tingmo (Tibetan bread). Ask around and you might get to sip on a mug of Chhang, a Nepalese and Tibetan alcoholic beverage that’s somewhat akin to beer.
4. Ancient monasteries
The quiet and calm Spiti Valley is home to several ancient monasteries. Exuding serene vibes, these places are known just as much for their spiritual significance as for the beautiful views around. Dhankar Monastery, for example, is one of the spots to visit while on your Spiti Valley trip. Situated at an elevation of 3,894 metres, it features Tibetan architecture. Key Monastery or Key gompa is touted to be the biggest monastery in Spiti Valley and is a popular tourist attraction here. Displaying a distinct Chinese influence, its walls are covered with paintings and murals. Tabo Monastery, another must-visit monastery, is often referred to as the Ajanta of the Himalayas and is famous for its architectural and natural beauty. The Lhalung Monastery, one of the earliest monasteries in Spiti, is another beautiful and sacred complex. It is often referred to as the Golden Temple.
5. Adventure activities aplenty
With its rocky landscape, gushing rivers and streams, narrow passes and snowy peaks, Spiti is a hub for adventure activities. Whether it is skiing down the hills or trekking through the passes, there’s plenty here for adrenaline junkies. Mountain biking and camping under the stars are other options you can opt for. Want something more exciting? Go on and try your hand at rafting on the Chandrabhaga River, known for the high velocity at which the river flows. You can also sign up for activities like angling and zip lining.
Whether you’re looking for a laidback getaway, a dose of adventure, great food or splendid sights, this quaint place has it all. So, why not plan your Spiti Valley trip right away?