While Himachal Pradesh is home to a dozen different monasteries, this spectacular place is not just the biggest, but also the oldest one around. A must visit tourist place in Spiti Valley, the Key Gompa is encircled by picturesque mountains and soothing valleys. A wonderful example of monastic architecture and decorated with beautiful paintings, murals, manuscripts, and wind instruments.
Perched at a staggering altitude of 4200 meters above sea level, you have to witness the unparalleled beauty of Chandratal to believe it. A sanctuary from the lightning fast city life, this lake is slowly becoming one of the most attractive tourist places in Spiti valley. With the spellbinding backdrop of majestic mountains and meadows covered with gorgeous wildflowers, the lake is the perfect place to click Instagram worthy pictures.
India's highest cold valley National Park, this place was constructed to preserve the unique natural flora and fauna of Himachal Pradesh and is named after the gorgeous Pin River and acts as an interface between the Lahul and Spiti Valley. Against a backdrop of barbarous, rugged snow-covered mountain peaks of the Spiti Valley, the national park is home to Himachal's ferocious predators, the snow leopards, and their prey, the ibex.
The terrain is rough and precarious, so train hard and get into those fitness programs before you undertake this captivating journey. The sanctuary also witnesses a strong spiritual influence due to the presence of Buddhist monasteries around the area.
Location: Near Kaza.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM throughout the week.
Third highest lake in India and 21st highest in the world, the Suraj Tal is a divine water body surrounded by barbaric bare mountains and soothing valleys. It is a common belief that anyone who takes a dip in the pristine emerald waters of the lake is cleaned off their sins.
Whether you want to visit the Suraj Tal for spiritual reasons or to simply revel in the unsurpassed natural charm – you won’t regret it. An absolute haven for avid trekkers, the lake offers an asylum to refresh and recharge during the hectic Manali-Leh trek. Adrenaline junkie motorcyclists and mountain bikers will find this place a wonderful stopover on their journey.
Location: Lahul Valley, Keylong.
Timings: No timing restrictions.
Tabo Monastery is one of the most wondrous places to visit in Spiti Valley. Founded a millennium ago, the temple is a unique amalgamation of history, culture and natural splendor. In the cold barren deserts of Tabo valley, the monastery appears as a sanctum from the brutality of barbarous rocky mountains around.
It houses centuries worth of Buddhist culture, tradition and heritage – a treat for history and cultural buffs. For those of you interested in art and handicraft – witness the amazingly preserved paintings, murals and sculptures. Or just kick back and take in the healing environment as calmness ascends over your being.
Best time to visit: May to October
One of the most mysterious, offbeat places to visit in Spiti Valley, the Kunzum Pass is a gateway to the gorgeous Spiti via Kullu and Lahul. Treat your photography loving soul as you click away the jaw dropping vistas around. Take in the panoramic view featuring majestic Bara Shigri Glacier covered with pristine silvery snow, the barren mountains of Chandrabhange range, the azure waters of Spiti river, and the rugged hills of Spiti Valley.
Pay your respects at the temple of Goddess Kunzum Devi and behold the vibrant prayer flags fluttering against the wind. And if you are a mountain biking enthusiast, the Kunzum offers you a special sense of achievement – being the highest motorable pass in India sitting at a jaw dropping height of 4500 metres!
Timings: No timing restrictions.
Tucked atop a small hill at an impressive altitude of 4100 meters above sea level, the Dhankar, with its dazzling blue waters, is one of the most popular places to visit in Spiti Valley. The lake sits at the end of the famous Dhankar Lake trek known for its treacherous paths, rocky snow-capped mountains, and incomparable vistas. Adventure enthusiasts and photography lovers are enchanted alike by the magical realism of the trek.
The Dhankar Fort Monastery sandwiched between Spiti and Pin rivers offers a special spiritual touch as it plays hide and seek on the trail. And once you reach the lake, the rare and diversified views will make your jaw drop!
Location: Near Rohtang Pass connecting Kullu and Lahul.
Timings: No timing restrictions.
To call Kibber beautiful would be putting it lightly – arid landscape, rocky mountains, meadows covered in vibrant wildflowers, and all this paired with pristine pollution free environment. Stargazers and photography lovers flock alike to Kibber to gaze at the unsurpassed, exquisite view of the Milky Way. Go to the nearby Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary and witness the amazing fauna of Himachal – ibex, blue sheep, red fox, snow leopards, wolves etc.
You can visit various tiny monasteries around or go hiking on the small trails around the village. The locals are friendly and offer a warm and comfortable stay, if not the most luxurious, with both Indian and Tibetan home cooked food.
Location: Lahul and Spiti Valley
Best time to visit: October to February
A tiny isolated
reservoir, Nako Lake has gained extensive popularity for its pristine beauty
and impeccable charm. A spiritual lake cradled in the mystical Himalayas, it is
situated at an elevation of around 3662 meters. The dense willow trees that
surround the lake quadruples the charm if this tourist spot.
The popular spot
is bounded by 4 ancient Tibetan temples. In close proximity to these temples,
you can also find 4 caves which are said to be saint Padmasambhava’s meditation
site. There is one magnificent waterfall near the lake which is known to be the
home of fairies. If you happen to visit this place during September, you can
relish the experience of boating in this popular lake.
Village, Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: It can be
visited at any time.
Entry Fee: No entry
The temple complex is located on the top of a small hill, at the divine junction of Chandra and Bhaga rivers to form Chenab. The area is famous for its spiritual connection, colourful flags waving in the wind, pristine environs and delightful locals.
Every year tourists flock to the monastery to view its 7-storey forts, wooden idols of Buddha and black stone images of various goddesses against the backdrop of icy mountains. Home to Buddhist paintings, murals, scrolls and relics dating back to 2nd century BC – the temple complex attracts cultural and historical enthusiasts alike.
Location: 18 km from Keylong, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM everyday.
Boasting of being the world’s highest village connected with motorable road, the Komik is a quaint, idyllic hamlet ideal for a rejuvenating vacation away from metropolitan city life. Just 18 kilometres from Kaza, calling this village road surreal would be an understatement. Winding pathways, treacherous cliffs, steep uphill climb and bumpy roads may be a rookie’s nightmare – but if you’ve got the guts and grit, there are plenty of scenic views to be enjoyed.
The villagers are friendly, so cheap accommodation can be found in the small houses if you are up for an offbeat experience. Enjoy the small treks and trails along the hills and go running with yaks! Find fossils and drink the local buttery tea. Find a refuge away from modern hectic lifestyle at Komik.
Best time to visit: May to September