Spiti Valley is a scenic wonderland evoking peace and spirituality, with various Buddhist monasteries and stunning natural attractions, most of which are unknown and so unspoiled. The valley, which is nestle in Himachal Pradesh, has a rugged terrain carved by the pure and fast-flowing Spiti river, which gushes through steep gorges and valleys. Water sports enthusiasts flock to the river, particularly for river rafting. The valley’s lush and verdant nature, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, is great for adventure-sports enthusiasts such as walking, paragliding, and camping.
Spiti is known as Little Tibet because of its geography, vegetation, and climate, which are all extremely similar to Tibet’s. It is situate at a height of 2,745 meters above sea level Lahaul, Ladakh, Kinnaur, and Kullu are some of the most beautiful places in the world. The Kumzum La or Kunzum Pass, which is located at a height of 14,931 feet, is the gateway into Spiti Valley from Lahaul.
Ki (kye, kee) Monastery
The picturesque Ki Monastery, one of the largest monasteries in the Spiti Valley and perched at a height of 4,166 meters above sea level, is an interesting addition to any spiritual traveler’s bucket list.
This tranquil Buddhist temple is home to a plethora of exquisite murals, paintings, and stucco pictures that are stunning specimens of 14th-century monastic architecture that leave tourists speechless.
When the chham (masked and costume dance) dance is done, there are peculiar wind instruments that are employed as part of the orchestra. A fine collection of weapons may also seen, which may have been use when the monastery was attack by marauders. In August of 2000, His Holiness the Dalai Lama performed the Kalchakra ritual here.
This seemingly dull village of mud huts holds beautiful attractions. It is situated in a bowl-shaped flat valley with the Tabo Monastery lying at the bottom of the valley, unlike other monasteries which are usually perched atop hills. One will find galleries of wall paintings and stucco statues here, earning it the title of ‘Ajanta of the Himalaya’, inspired by the Maharashtrian destination which has caves full of art.
Founded in 996 AD, Tabo is the largest monastic complex in Spiti Valley. Also called Taboo Chos-Kor Monastery, it is said to have been founded by the Tibetan Buddhist Iotsawa (translator) Rinchen Zangpo on behalf of Yeshe-O, the king of Guge in the western Himalayas.
Dhankar is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in Spiti. The Dhankar Gompa or Dhankar Monastery, which is approximately 1,000 years old and sits at a height of roughly 3,370 metres, is the main attraction here. In local dialect, the name ‘dhankar’ means fort, and the location was formerly the castle of Nono, the monarch of Spiti. During the construction of the fort monastery, it was also used as a prison. A life-size silver statue of Vajradhara (supreme essence of all male Buddhas) lies atop a glass altar embellished with scarves and flowers, along with many Buddhist scriptures written in Bhoti script. Another attraction is the Vairochana or Dhayan Buddha statue, which leaves one speechless.
Where to Go and How to Get There
By plane. The nearest airport is Kullu Airport in Kullu. To get to the destination, take a cab or rickshaw from the airport.
Taking the train. The nearest railway station is Shimla…
By car. Because there are no airports or railways in Spiti, the only way to get there is by car.
Things to Remember When Visiting Spiti Valley:
1. Because you’ll need at least 9 days to really see Spiti, it’s a good idea to combine both weekends and take the week off. However, if you can add another 2-3 days to your vacation, you will not be sorry.
2. How to get to Spiti Valley: Since I live in Gurgaon, the best option for me was to drive. I drove my own car, but you may also take a taxi. Please do not hire anything less than an Innova for the difficult roads ahead. If at all possible, choose a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
3. If you’re coming from another part of the country, a flight to Chandigarh or Delhi Where would be the best option.
4. As you drive into the Spiti valley, keep an eye on your gasoline levels, as there is only one gas station in the valley, at Kaza. However, petrol stations can found in Rampur Bushahr and Reckong Peo. It’s critical to fill up your tank at these locations.
5. Even in the summer, Spiti is mainly frigid. As a result, don’t forget to bring your winter gear. 6. In the Spiti valley, BSNL is the only network, and it is not available everywhere. So while you’re here, you can say goodbye to the network for a good 5 days. You can, however, use the local BSNL network to phone home if necessary at one of those house stays.