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Lahaul Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
Manali If you are looking for a holiday, which is little different from the run of the mill holiday experiences, a visit to Lahul and Spiti is the right choice for a traveller. The district of Lahaul and Spiti is amongst the remotest areas of Himachal Pradesh. Lahul and Spiti were two separate districts of Lahaul and Spiti before they were merged into one. The present administrative centre is Keylong in Lahaul. Before the two districts were merged, Kardang was the capital of Lahaul, and Dhankar the capital of Spiti.

The entry to the Spiti Valley is through Kunzum la or the Kunzum Pass, which is located at an altitude of 4,551 meters above sea level. It is 21 km from Chandra Tal and is connected to Manali through the Rohtang Pass. To the south, Spiti ends 24 km from Tabo, at the Pare chu gorge where the road enters Kinnaur and joins with National Highway No. 22.

A visit to these two valleys is an experience of a lifetime. Quite different in character, Spiti is more barren and difficult to cross, with the Spiti River rushing out of a gorge in the southeast to meet the Sutlej River. It is a typical mountain desert area with an average annual rainfall of only 170 mm.

The landscape of Lahul and Spiti is in stark contrast to the other mountain areas of Himachal. Once you cross the Rohtang Pass, the terrain suddenly transforms from lush green slopes and pine forests into a barren desert expanse. Rugged brown mountains and snowfields spread out for miles on end with some vegetation struggling to survive along the river beds. The local population of Lahaul and Spiti has struggled against odds to eke out a living in this high arid land. During winters there is heavy snowfall and much of this area is blocked off from the rest of the country.

The barren region of Lahul and Spiti is so beautiful that one hardly finds time and energy to visit typical places of tourist attractions. One can visit the Museum of Lahaul and Spiti, which is located in Upper Keylong in a large building. At present only two rooms of the museum are open for the general public. The first is a room full of photographs of tourist sites in Lahaul and Spiti, and the second showcases an interesting collection of traditional attire, votive implements, instruments and prayer lamps, and a bible translated into Bhoti and other local languages.

General Information

Altitude : 2,050m.
Best Time : May To October.
Location : Himachal Pradesh.


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