Winding roads, picturesque valleys offering glimpses of the beautiful cold desert, and intermittent greenery at places welcome you into Spiti Valley. Calling it a paradise on earth won’t be an exaggeration! Bordered by the mightiest mountain range – the Himalayas, Spiti valley trek has become an attraction for all the adventure travel junkies. Spiti is a highland elevated several thousand feet above the sea level (12,500 feet). The valley is filled with picturesque lakes with their glacial water and monasteries perched on the edge of the hilltops. There are of course some places you cannot afford to miss during a Spiti Valley trip. Here is a list of places to visit in Spiti Valley.
- Best time to visit Spiti Valley: February – April
- Famous Festivals of Spiti Valley: Fagli and Gochi
- Distance from Delhi to Kaza: 740 KM
- Travel Time: 17 hours (approximately)
Driving along NH-22 from Delhi to Kaza, you will pass the Khab confluence or Nako village before reaching the beautiful Kaza. There is a lot of thrill involved in the journey itself as you will be traversing along desolate roads, where there are virtually no traces of human race, with great scenery all around is got to be fun. Even some years back, Kaza served as a stopover for tourists visiting the Spiti Valley. But, today Kaza is an important tourist attraction of Himachal Pradesh. The town is well known for its old world charms, natural beauty and vibrant shades visible in the shops and houses of the area. On the outskirts of Kaza there are many marvellous tourist places such as the Key Monastery and the Kibber village.
Once you have had enough of Kaza, all you have to do is embark on a 14 KM long journey to Key Monastery (or Key Gompa). It takes hardly half an hour to reach this 1000-year-old monastery, situated on a hilltop. The road takes you up to the monastery gate from where you have to climb a long flight of concrete stairs to reach the front hall. Key monastery serves as the residence for a large number of monks and nuns. The monastery contains many ancient Buddhist murals and paintings.
- Must See: There is a vantage point within the monastery from where you can view the entire valley and villages below.
- Tip: Try to visit this monastery in the early hours, to catch a glimpse of praying session.
- Note: The monastery has staying facility that costs INR 250 per day (includes the food too)
Kibber: The world’s highest village
After you have completed your trip to Key Monastery, it is time to embark on another 15-minute long drive from the monastery courtyard to the highest village in the world. The Kibber village is situated at an altitude of 4,270m and is well connected by roads. Surrounded by hills and scenic sights on all sides, Kibber is a delightful place to visit for any explorer. Serenity and pristine beauty of the village will definitely captivate your imagination. Enjoy the community life in this small village by choosing home stays. In the morning, stroll across the village and watch the farmers ploughing their fields. Also enjoy some locally produced dry fruits and fresh fruits. As the day wears out visit the shores of the Spiti River, flowing beside the village. This river turns into molten gold during sunset, offering a sight you cannot miss.
- Trivia: Kibber is not only the highest inhabited village in the world, but also the highest polling station, and home to the highest educational institution (high school) in the world.
Do not miss these hidden gems of Himachal Pradesh, next time you are there.