Spiti Valley is often termed as the little brother of Ladakh. True to its big brother, Spiti Valley has the cold and rugged terrain that might remind you of Ladakh. It is a popular tourist attraction because it offers the other side of nature. There is not a speck of greenery around you and other than the hills around the place it has some fascinating freshwater lakes. If you are lucky, you can come across the rare snow leopard that is found in this part of the country.
The life around the Spiti valley was always centered around the monasteries. They have been ruled by the hereditary waziers and often, there would be invasions from outside rulers. Later, it became a part of independent India.
Things to do and Major attractions:
There are numerous places to visit in Spiti Valley but one of the prime attractions is the Key and Tabo Monastery. The latter is known to be among the most ancient places here and has a collection of spectacular paintings. There are many other monasteries around Spiti Valley and the prominent ones among them are Lhalung Monastery and Gandhola Monastery.
If you love the beautiful and scenic places then you must visit Chandratal near the Kunzum Pass. It is a favorite among campers and trekkers and happens to be a photographer’s paradise. There are picturesque lakes like Dhankar Lake and Suraj Tal that will make you believe that Spiti Valley is truly a heaven on Earth. Another popular part of Spiti Valley Sightseeing is the Pin Valley National Park that is home to some endangered and rare flora and fauna. Some other places of tourist interest in Spiti Valley are Losar, Kibber Hamlet, and Komak which is the world’s highest village. It is a paradise for those who love trekking.
People and Culture:
The people here are warm and welcoming and lead a simple life. The local culture is no different than the neighboring mountainous villages and valleys and for some of the finest instances of local culture, you must visit Darcha that has about 300 local dwellers who have preserved their traditions.
Local Food and Popular Shopping Items:
Since the weather is extremely cold, the cuisine is majorly non-vegetarian and you will find lamb, mutton, chicken, and yak meat delicacies. You will also find some delicious Tibetan cuisine on offers such as Momos and Thukpas. Some of the dishes to try out are Trout curry, Chhaa Gosht, Dhaam, Madra, etc.
If you are a fan of handicrafts and artwork then Spiti Valley is a delightful place for you to shop from. You will find a great wealth of Tibetan handicrafts and artifacts, woodwork, jewelry, and other such items. People are also known to carry home some of the finest dry fruits from this region.
Best Time to Visit:
The winters here are harsh and bitterly cold. So, it is recommended to plan your travel between June and September when the temperatures are comfortable.
Availability of Accommodation Type:
From homestay arrangements to hotels, the choices are plenty for the tourists in Spiti Valley. Some popular choices are Lara Home Stay, Hotel Spiti Sarai, Miklam Homestay, etc.