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Lahaul & Spiti - land of lamas OR little Tibet OR Country of the gods OR The Land of haunting and unforgettable beauty

The entrance to the Lahaul Plateau, Lahaul-Spiti is picturesquely located in the extreme north eastern section of Himachal Pradesh. Bordering the highlands of Tibet, and fed by the Chandra & Bhaga Rivers, Lahaul-Spiti is the largest district of the state and includes the two sub-divisions of Lahaul and Spiti. The name Lahaul is derived from Rahul who was the son of the Lord Buddha.

The landscape of Lahaul-Spiti is in utter contrast to the other mountainous areas of the state. As once crosses the Rohtang Pass in the north, the terrain changes dramatically - from verdant green slopes and pine forests into a barren desert expanse. However, the barren landscape and thin vegetation of the region sort of lends a splendid charm to this otherwise drab area.

The people of Lahaul and Spiti live a hard life and survive against all odds to eke out a living in this high dry region. During the winters, the area receives heavy snowfall and much of it gets cut-off from the rest of the country. During such times, the people here survive on their stocks hoarded during the summer months.

Lahaul & Spiti Attractions

Lahaul & Spiti boasts of several attractions which make the region one of the most visited tourist places of Himachal and an ideal place to spend one’s holidays in.

Baralacha La: The point from where the rivers Chandra, Bhaga and Yunam originate, Baralacha La is located at a distance of 73 kms. from Keylong, on the Manali Leh road.

Darcha: This is a starting point for the trekkers to Padem, via Shingola as well as Baralacha/Phirtsela. Here, one comes across a lovely camping ground as well.

Gondla: This nice place is located 18 kms away from Keylong, on the right bank of the Chandra River. The location of the royal houses of Gondla is pretty interesting. During the month of July a vibrant fair is held here which sees the Lamas of the place dancing and having a great time.

Guru Ghantal Monastery: Believed to be the oldest Gompa of Lahaul, Guru Ghantal Monastery is picturesquely situated on the right bank of Chandra River, close to four kms. above Tandi. This place is the venue of a vibrant festival, Ghantal, which is celebrated on the full moon night sometime during the month of June.

Keylong: The district headquarters of Lahaul Spiti, Keylong is on the main road to Leh over Rohtang. It is a heaven of sorts of verdant green fields and willow trees, gurgling water streams surrounded with brown hills and snow-clad mountain peaks.

Kardang Monastery: Believed to be built during the12th century, the monastery has a large library of Kangyur and Tangyur volumes of the Budhist scriptures in Bhoti.

Shashpur Monastery: Situated on a hill about 3 kms. from Keylong, towards north on the same slope, this lovely monastery inspires the visitors when Lamas perform the famed devil dance. It belongs to red hat sect and is prettily located among the blue pines.

Tandi: Situated at the confluence of Chandra & Bhaga Rivers, Tandi is another interesting draw located eight kms. away from Keylong. It is linked to a legend which says that here the two lovers -- Chandra, the daughter of the Moon and Bhaga, the son of the Sun god – had got married.

Tayul Gompa: It is one of the oldest monasteries of the valley with a huge statue of Guru Padmasamhava. It also houses the library of Kangyur.

Triloknath Temple: A well-known temple of the region, Triloknath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in a village which is 4 kms. away from Udaipur. Several spiritually inclined visitors from far off areas go on a pilgrimage to this holy spot.

Udaipur: Earlier called Markul, it has a famous temple which houses the local goddess Markula Devi. Udaipur is situated near the confluence of Chenab and Mayar Nallah.

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