Tourists can roam in the halls of the monasteries to get a peek into the simplistic life of the monks. You can read the ancient inscriptions, pay homage at the radiant statues of Lord Buddha and sit amongst the monks to have the divine meal prepared at the monastery.
And whichever village you visit, make sure to explore the fascinating carvings and artefacts put on display in the local market to take with you like memoirs. Each hamlet tucked away in this valley offers a one-of-a-kind experience. If you’re traveling to Lahaul Spiti from Manali side then you can have an amazing camping experience between Batal to Gramphuor or Losar.
You can find splendid campsites over here that are quite spacious and offer excellent services. You can also set up little camps and count the stars glowing in the night sky here. The gorgeous passes that lead up to these villages are popular for biking and road trips. The solitude and serene ambience of this Himalayan haven help you escape from the commotion of city life. So scroll below to discover the hidden gems and plan on things to do in Lahaul Spiti.
Places to Visit and Things to Do in Spiti Valley
People Also Ask About Spiti Valley Things To Do
What are the things to do in Spiti Valley?
1. Biking: It is true that wanderlust takes you to unbelievable places. Adventure lovers find the winding roads of Spiti Valley a paradise. Hence, those who love to travel on wheels prefer biking even despite the challenging terrain of the valley. Some travel in groups while some go on solo biking expeditions to explore each hamlet hidden in this magical valley of Spiti. While the roads are well-constructed, many places experience landslides during heavy rainfalls. Nonetheless, biking here is not for the faint-hearted and requires skilled balancing. Kunzum Pass and Baralacha Pass provide angelic vistas but are only visited by professional bikers due to its difficult terrain.
2. Camping at Chandratal Lake: Thousands of meters above the sea level cuddled peacefully amidst the foothills of Himalayas is the sparkling lake of Chandratal. The towering mountains overlooking the turquoise waters of the lake forms a perfect postcard scene. Fresh breezes brush against your cheeks as you sit near the shore of this placid lake. The lake gets its name from its amusing natural shape of a crescent moon. The serene environment encompassing the landscape makes it an ideal location for camping. People enjoy group hiking over here from base camp to the vicinity of the lake where they set up cosy camps.
3. Trek to Dhankar Lake: From the valley of Dhankar village, as you start trekking up the sloppy hills, you will finally reach the ethereal setting of Dhankar Lake. Trekking to Dhankar Lake is one of the favourite things to do in Spiti Valley for adventure lovers. It takes almost an hour to reach the lake. A small stupa, with sacred threads of prayer tied around it, is erected near the green waters of the lake. Due to the steep mountainous terrain, this trek falls in the moderate to difficult range.
4. Rafting: For the brave-hearted adventurers, who like to feel their adrenaline rush, rafting is a perfect sport to engage in. Two tremendous rivers coursing through this valley are ideal for rafting. They are the Spiti River and Pin River. The rapid currents and exquisite mountainous backdrop make river rafting a hit adventure sport amongst travellers over here. However, one should avoid planning this sport in their itinerary if they are visiting Spiti Valley in the monsoon season.
5. Visit 500-Year-Old Mummy in Giu Village: Lovers of historical relics take delight in visiting Giu Village for one sole purpose- to see the preserved mummy. Army personnel stepped upon the remains of this mummy while excavating in the village area. It was then they preserved it inside a glass container at a site near Gompa. The lotus posture derived the theory of it being a lama, a revered monk, who was mummified while he was meditating. Carbon dating by archaeologists revealed it to be almost half a century old. The rusted appearance of this mummy intrigues all history lovers, and visiting this spot is definitely one of the best things to do in Spiti.
6. Shopping in Kaza Market: The ultimate destination for shopaholics in Spiti is the traditional Kaza market. Always bustling with tourists collecting handcrafted memoirs, Kaza market is the largest and most popular market in the entire valley. Authentic handicrafts depicting Buddhist and Tibetan culture are put for sale here. From bowls and utensils to small statues of Lord Buddha and multicoloured prayer flags, a myriad of intricate artefacts are available here. You can also try out the savoury sweets prepared at the local shops or buy personalised t-shirts as gifts. Uniquely designed artwork made from silver and golden coated human bones are also sold at some shops.
7. Fossil Hunting: If you want to get the vibes of being an archaeologist like Indiana Jones, then the hamlets of Hikkim and Langza form the perfect setting for your wish. These remote villages have been noted for being abundant in fossils belonging to all eras. It is believed that the tourists come across at least one intriguing fossil within ten minutes over here.
8. Eat at World's Highest Restaurant: Spiti's Organic Kitchen: Lying in the middle of the glorious monasteries of Komick village is the world's highest restaurant called Spiti's Organic Kitchen. With a view of snow-capped mountains sparkling with the shining sun, and cold breezes swaying gently in the air, this restaurant offers delicious local cuisine. Despite a limited menu, you will find all delectable Tibetan dishes and refreshing beverages served in a homely environment.
9. Send a Postcard from World's Highest Post Office: In the rural area of Hikkim lies the highest post office in the world. Said to be situated at an altitude of 4400 meters, this hamlet lies somewhere between the villages of Komik and Langza. Locals give travellers a walk through history by proudly narrating the origin of this post office. Tourists of the valley make sure to travel to this small post office and send a postcard or a letter to their loved ones as a special memento. It is one of the most sought after things to do in Lahaul Spiti.
10. Night Stay at Tabo Monastery: The picturesque valley of Spiti is equally renowned for its charming vistas and religious influence. It is the abode of many eminent monasteries. Thousands of lamas and Buddhist monks meditate in the prayer halls and study ancient preaching in the schools of these hilltop monasteries. Dating back to its formation in 99 AD, Tabo monastery is the second oldest Tibetan monastery. Its interiors are constructed purely of stone and mud. The mild fragrance of sandalwood fills the air inside the rooms. Tourists can have a night stay in the lodgings inside the monastery complex to experience the pristine way of living like the monks.
11. Indulge in Stargazing: Snuggling in a blanket outside your little tent, you can sip your hot coffee and quietly enjoy the view of the starlight night sky. Scattered in the valleys of the Himalayas, the high altitude villages of Losar, Kibber, Tabo, Dhankar and Komik provide clear skies during the night, making stargazing one of the most enchanting things to do in Spiti. Amidst the tranquility of your surroundings, you can look up to the sky and spot countless stars glowing in the sky. You can try finding the famous amusing constellations. You can even spot some shooting stars and wish upon them.
12. Refuel at the Highest Fuel Station at Kaza: A sign proclaiming 'World's Highest Retail Outlet' welcomes passengers on the fuel station at Kaza. Situated at an altitude of 3740 meters, this Indian Oil fuel station is not only the highest commercial fuel station in the world but also the only station to refuel your vehicles in the entire valley. Hence, anyone travelling to Lahaul and Spiti Valley has to make a mandatory stopover here. Hence, refuelling in the rural hamlet of Kaza is always a check on the list of things to do in Lahaul Spiti.
13. Visit Asia's Highest Bridge: Chicham Bridge : One of the recent things to do in Spiti is getting on top of the world's highest bridge and capturing the bird's eye view of the entire valley. Inaugurated in 2017, the Chicham Bridge took about 15 years for its construction and has strategic importance as the world's highest bridge at 13596 meters above sea level. It connects the village of Chicham to Kibber. The sturdy construction of this bridge overlooks the deep gorge of Samba Lamba Nallah. The bridge is a popular site amongst tourists to click panoramas of the valley.
14. Wildlife Spotting at Pin Valley National Park: While the entire valley of Spiti is encompassed by a cold desert, the Pin Valley has scattered greenery thriving with a variety of flora and fauna in its terrain. With the Himalayas fringing the plains, this valley can be reached by travelling towards south from Dhankar village. The gushing sound of Pin River can be heard as you travel through the valley in search of the fascinating creatures resting in it. You can spot the Siberian ibex, Tibetan gazelle, and Himalayan snow cocks. Lucky ones can also sight and capture photographs of the endangered species of snow leopards hunting their prey.
15. Try Local Food: Authentic luscious dishes from Tibetan gourmet are served in popular cafes to those who wish to satiate their taste buds by trying the local cuisine. Be it the tea, or the Spitian bread, or a simple dal and rice, each flavour is piquant and unique. You can stop and eat at the luxurious cafes or sit at the local food joints to get a cultural touch. However, the most memorable experience one can get is by having divine meals with the lamas at their monastery. At the monasteries of Komik, Kungri and Key, one can taste the delectable Tibetan dishes by having lunch inside the monastery.
What is the must-try local food of Spiti?Foodies should make a point to try out the real tastes of savoury dishes from Tibetan gourmet at the restaurants of Spiti valley:1. Channa Madra: It is a traditional Himalayan recipe where chickpeas are cooked in a thick yoghurt gravy.2. Thenktuk and Thukpa: The traditional Ladakhi soups of Thenktuk and Thukpa are served hot with chopped vegetables and noodles. While Thenktuk can be for vegetarians as well, Thukpa is only prepared with chicken.3. Dhaam: Served on leaf plates, Dhaam is a savoury dish prepared from different dals immersed in dahi and piquant species.4. Chha Gosht: Aromatic spices are sprinkled along with buttermilk and gram flour to make the delicious gravy of this mutton curry dish. It is best enjoyed with rice.
What can you buy in Spiti Valley as a souvenir?Local craftsmen of the valley make ravishing handicrafts and apparels which catch the eye of tourists visiting the markets. From wooden carvings to hand embroidery, from traditional jewellery to metal works, you have a variety of artifacts to take home as souvenirs.1. Choktse: Intricate carvings are chiselled with precision over designer wooden tables. These wooden tables are coated with rich colours and varnished for sale.2. Buddha statues: Gold and silver coated statues of Lord Buddha, and Guru Padmasambhava is the shopped souvenirs in Spiti.3. Singing bowls: These traditional brass and copper bowls are said to have therapeutic and spiritual powers if they are struck to produce music.4. Shawls: Fine quality woolen shawls are designed in Kashmiri and Kullu styles that make a perfect gift.
How do I get to Spiti Valley?The remote location of Spiti Valley makes it difficult to be accessed directly by air or train. It is well-connected by roads to the adjoining cities. However, the connectivity of these is subject to weather conditions. Given below are some possible routes and transport options you can take to reach Spiti Valley.By Air: The well-developed airport of Bhuntar, called Kullu-Manali airport, is the nearest terminal to the valley. All major airlines like Air India, IndiGo and SpiceJet operate on this airport. However, you will have to hire a cab or book a taxi from a tour operator present outside the airport. It will then take you about 5 to 6 hours more to reach Spiti Valley.By Rail: The railway stations of Joginder Nagar and Shimla are closest to Spiti Valley. Local trains operate on the route from all the major cities. You can take a bus or hire a private cab to travel further.By Road: Most travelers visiting the valley plan road trips to enjoy the picturesque beauty of the journey. However, as said before, the connectivity and condition of these roads are subject to the weather. Local buses and private Volvos operate from cities of Shimla and Manali. If you are traveling on your bike, you can take any route as per your convenience. One route goes from Manali and requires you to cross Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass to finally reach the hamlet of Kaza. Another route starts from the beautiful Kinnaur Valley of Shimla and crosses Tabo and Kaza to reach Spiti valley.
How many days are enough for Spiti valley?Eight days are enough for travelling the entire Spiti Valley. Although your itinerary totally depends upon your bucket list of things you plan to do in the alluring Spiti valley. No matter how many days you decide, they will always seem insufficient.
Is there network in Spiti valley?Up to the Kinnaur valley, the signals of all major networks like Idea, Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Jio can be received in the phones. However, as you travel further to the more remote villages of the valley, only the networks of BSNL and MTNL can be accessed.
What are the things to Carry for Spiti trip?If you want your trip to Spiti to be a cherished affair then don’t forget to carry these essentials with you:- First aid kit and important medicines.- Woolen coats, jackets, and caps.- Hiking boots or trekking shoes- Munching items such as energy bars, chocolates, and dry fruits- Torchlight to find your way when it gets late or dark- Hand sanitizer- Sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn
What range of temperature will we experience from day to night?The hilly location at such an elevated altitude blesses Spiti Valley with a pleasant climate throughout the year. Summer months from March to June experience sunny weather over 20-degree Celsius during the daytime. Monsoon witnesses mild showers with temperature averaging between 10 to 30 degrees throughout the entire day. However, during winters, temperatures can dip as low as -5 degrees at night
What is there to see in Spiti Valley?
1. Key Monastery: This is a famous Buddhist monastery in Spiti valley located at 4166 meters above the sea level. The monastery holds the title of being the biggest and the oldest training centre for the lamas in Lahaul Spiti of Himachal Pradesh. Around 300 lamas receive their education here, and the entire monastery looks like a defensive fort rather than a religious spot. This monastery is a splendid example of monastic architecture which came into prominence in the 14th century due to Chinese influence. The walls of this monastery have been adorned with beautiful paintings, stucco images and valuable manuscripts.
2. Chandratal lake: This moon-shaped lake is surrounded by the mighty Himalayas from all four sides and is a paradise for nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts. Earlier this lake served as a resting point for the voyagers and traders who came to Ladakh or Tibet but now it has become a popular tourist spot. The best thing about this lake is that its colour keeps on changing gradually with the colour of the sky. It serves as the starting point of Lake-Baralacha Pass trek which takes you to undiscovered monasteries and lush green forests.
3. Pin Valley National Park: This is only the wildlife national park situated in the cold desert of Lahaul and Spiti. Set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of icy mountains it is known for its sub-frozen rivers and sub-zero temperature. It was set up to preserve and protect the unique and rarest species of flora and fauna. This national park serves as the home to grey ghost of the Himalayas, snow leopard and ibex. Some of the famous gompas and Buddhist monasteries are also located over here.
4. Suraj Tal: It is the third-highest lake across India and twenty-first highest across the world known for its enthralling beauty and splendid grandeur. It is surrounded by gigantic mountain ranges from all the sides that get completely covered in snow during winters. This is also known as the lake of the sun god and a holy dip in this river can absolve you from all your sins.
5. Tabo Monastery: This is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Spiti valley that stands on the rocky and cold desert of Tabo valley. Spread across an area of 6300sq m it comprises of nine gompas and temples. The monastery has several statues, murals and thangkas that depict the history and culture of the Himalayan region. The main temple at this monastery has a huge entrance hall called Go Khang, and towards the western side of this hall, you can find a recess area with an ambulatory passage.
6. Kunzum Pass: This is a high mountain pass located on the eastern Kunzum Range of Himalayas. It connects the Lahaul valley and Kullu valley with Spiti valley. A huge number of bikers visit this pass to have the most exciting ride through the treacherous entryway of Kunjum Pass. The entire mountain pass is so beautiful that the visitors stop over here to have the view of the Bara-Sigri glacier, which is the second biggest glacier in the entire world.
7. Kaza: This is a small town in Spiti valley surrounded by gigantic mountain peaks, crystal clear streams, green meadows and landscapes. It houses beautiful palaces, gompas, monasteries and other marvellous spots. Tourists from across the globe visit Kaza to have a glimpse of the breathtaking mountain terrains and scenic trails. The popular trails from Kaza connect the local villages plunged in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Spiti valley.
8. Kibber: This is the highest village in Spiti valley located at an altitude of 4270 meters above the sea level. It houses a wildlife sanctuary and a monastery. It is surrounded from all sides by limestone rock mountains that offer a panoramic view. The houses in Kibbar are unique as they’re made of mud instead of stones. You can find here the dominance of Tibetan Buddhism as Serkong Rinponche who was the teacher of the current Dalai Lama died here.
9. Dhankar Monastery: This is a famous Buddhist monastery located at around 24 km from Kaza. The monastery is so beautifully perched amongst the rocks that it seems as if it is just a few seconds away from falling down. Around one fifty lamas reside over here and it is an important pilgrimage site for the Buddhists. On the southern side of this monastery, you can spot a national park that is home to faunal species like snow leopard.
10. Nako Village: This beautiful lakeside village is a treat for nature lovers as it is fringed with willows and oak trees. Located on the bank of Nako Lake this village offers several sightseeing options to the visitors like Rakham and Buddhist temples. It also has a rock that is said to have the footprints of saint Padmasambhava.
What is the best time to visit Spiti Valley?The best time to explore all the tourist attractions and try adventure sports in Spiti valley is from March to July. Sun shines, and cool breezes blow throughout the summer months. Travelling to Spiti during the monsoon months from the end of July to September is very risky. Not only do the showers spoil your outdoor activities, but the roads also witness frequent landslides. And while most tourists fascinate the heavy snow that blankets the entire valley during winters, the road connectivity decreases due to the snow, making driving a very hard task. The chilly weather becomes unbearable at night when the temperatures dip to -5 degrees.
What adventure activities can I do in Spiti Valley?
If you are wondering what to do in Spiti Valley, there are many great activities that await you.
- River Rafting
Where can I stay in Spiti Valley?
If you are looking for some of the best options on stays in Spiti, here are some options you must definitely consider for the wide variety of facilities and amenities available:
- Hotel Sakya Abode
- Hotel Spiti Heritage
- Grand Dewachen
- Spiti Valley Hotel
- Hotel Deyzor
- Hotel Kunphen
- Hotel Snow Lion
Where can I eat in Spiti Valley?
Food is what powers a traveler, and one of the best things to do in Spiti Valley is to get the chance to taste their local cuisine. Here are a few restaurants that you must hit up in Spiti for the Hunger Pangs:
- Sol Cafe
- Hotel Deyzor
- The Himalayan Cafe
- Taste of Spiti
- Cafe Zomsa
- Tara Travellers Cafe in Pin valley
Is Spiti Valley safe?
With the locals’ intervention, support, and maintenance, Spiti Valley, though remote, is perfectly a safe place to travel to.
How do I get to Spiti Valley from Manali?
Although it is advised that you halt at the Solang Valley instead of Manali for better acclimatization, the way to Spiti from here will take you through Rohtang Pass, Gramphu, Khoksar, and Kunzum Pass before bringing you into Kaza in Spiti Valley. Since the two places are connected only via road, you can either take your own vehicle (car or bike), hire a taxi or rent a bike. There are also buses by HRTC that start from Manali and take the Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Kaza route.
Is there snow in Spiti in June?
The chances of finding snow in Spiti in June are highly rare. However, there are chances that it can snow anytime in the after mid-September which makes traveling to Spiti in these months a little tricky. So plan your trip wisely,
Can we visit Spiti Valley in December?
The short answer is yes, but prepare for the cold. The descriptive answer would be that while the place is accessible throughout the year, the only route open in winters is from Shimla, which has a lot of troubles on its own. The cold is so harsh that water in taps and pipes freezes, leaving no room for running water. Also, because of snowing and other factors, you will have to leave out a number of places from your plan. So yes, it can be visited in December, but you will have to leave some room for glitches along the route.