Is a deserted mountain valley located high in the Indian Himalaya mountains. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”, the land between Tibet and Ladakh.The valley lies in the North East of the Indian hill state of Himachal Pradesh, and forms part of the Lahul and Spiti district ( province). The sub divisional headquarters (capital) is at Kaza, which is situated along the Spiti River at an elevation of about 3,800 metres (12,500 feet )above sea level. The main Spiti valley is split into eastern and western valleys. They are connected with Ladakh & Tibet on eastern side & Kinnaur and Kullu valleys on western side through high passes. Spiti valley is also know as the Cold Desert of The Himalayas, as the valley remains cut off from the rest of the world for the six months due to heavy snow. The valley is similar to valleys in Tibet and Ladakh, and it is more beautiful than those.
Spiti’s mountains form a part of the Central and Greater Himalayas and several peaks are over 6,000 metres providing unparalleled panoramic views from the valley. The valley and surrounding region is one of the least populated and isolated regions in India and is famous as the off beat tourism destination in Himalayas.The valley is also known as the tribal valley of Himachal- the Tribal People (hardworking mountain tribes) follow the same Buddhist culture as that of Tibet and Ladakh. For centuries people in these remote valleys lived largely isolated from one another, holding and preserving the treasures and secrets of ancient civilizations untainted by modernity unmatched outside these mountains. Spiti Valley has only been opened to tourists since 1992, and tourists have to obtain an inner line permit to visit some of the areas which are close to the Tibetian border.
Religion plays a major role in everyday life as piles of “mani” stones, colourful prayer flags inscribed with holy chants, and Chortens testify. The repetition of the holy mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”, is said to bring good fortune and wash away all sins. Traditionally the eldest son inherits everything and the other sons enter the monastery, this is still somewhat true today.
The fields are irrigated by snow melt that is channeled into ditches, a few crops of potatoes, peas and barley can be grown before the heavy winter snows. Many villagers keep yaks and horses. Yaks can be seen in the villages working in the fields or grazing in the past pastures.
Spiti valley is a research and cultural centre for Buddhism. There are about 30 big and small monasteries spread over the Spiti valley. The most famous of all are the mystical Kee monastery at Kaza (which is the biggest monastery), precariously perched atop a craggy cliff- Dhankar monastery, the frescoes and stucco statues of Tabo monastery (which is the oldest monastery in the whole Himalayas – 1012 years old), Kungri monastery (in the Pin valley). Most common wild animals found here are – Yak , the largest animal found in Himalayas, Bharal – known as the Himalayan blue sheep, snow ibex, Himalayan golden eagle and the Snow leopard which is found at a height of above 5,000 metres.
The Buddhist rich cultural heritage with old monasteries, high passes, remote valleys, clear blue water lakes, warm hearted people having the faces and physique more like those from Tibet than of India act as a draw to artists and explorers from all over the world. The valley is like a goldmine for the student of art and history, to a devotee and a seeker-the shrine is full of divine bliss and spiritual vibrations and to the explorer- the views of the high altitude desert, precipitous valleys, beautiful mountain treks , the Himalayan wildlife, the glaciers, high passes, beautiful lakes, rich traditions, beautiful is an experience one will never forget after a visit to the Spiti valley.
High altitude desert, precipitous valleys, mountain treks challenge even the most experienced walkers, and you can suddently come across a snow leopard – hunting the elusive Himalayan blue sheep.
The Spiti Valley is a very memorable and stunning place. We will take you there!