Trekking Mecca and Virgin Paradise
Long winding roads and valleys that present unforgettable glimpses of cold desert and snow-crowned mountains welcome you when you set foot into Spiti Valley. Bordered on all sides by the Himalayas, Spiti Valley, located in Himachal Pradesh, has an altitude of 12,500 feet above sea level, and gets just around 250 days of sunshine in the year, making it one of the coldest places in the country.
The term Spiti means ‘The Middle Land’, as Spiti Valley separates India from Tibet. True to its name, Spiti is home to several monasteries. Notably the stunning Key Monastery that is over a thousand years old and is also the largest monastery to be found in the entire Spiti Valley.
Scantily populated, Spiti is an adventure lover’s paradise, with a number of trekking trails and mountain passes that tourists can choose from. Kunzum La offers an incredible 360-degree view of Bara- Shigri Glacier (the second longest glacier in the world). All of these treks start from Kaza (Spiti’s capital from where you make your base camp) to various peaks from where you can get panoramic views of the Himalayan mountains.
An easy 1.5-kilometre trek along the Spiti River from Dhankar Monastery to Dhankar Lake promises gorgeous views of the villages below. The Dhankar Lake itself is a place where you can sit back and relax amidst the cool mountain air. Another mytical site to visit is the Chandratal lake, where the water keeps changing from reddish to orange to blue to emerald green as the day ends. With the thick Himalayan snow cutting Spiti off from the rest of the country for around 6 months a year, the summer months are the only time Spiti is directly accessible via motorway.