A world apart, Lahual is a dream destination for any adventure travel lover. With the opening of Atal Tunnel, this remote region which could only be accessed during summer months after a bumpy ride across Rohtang Pass is now open throughout the year.
There are many places to see in Lahaul and you can make a beginning from the Rohtang Pass itself.
At an altitude of 13050 feet, Rohtang Pass gives you a sense of accomplishment as you stand across the milestone. Pristine views of raw Himalayas before your eyes will definitely provide you a sense of satisfaction, something which can only be felt when you stand atop Rohtang which can be accessed both via Manali- Marhi route and the newly opened Atal tunnel- Koksar route.
When you are in Lahaul, make it a point to travel to Koksar which happens to be the first village if you begin the journey from Manali-Marhi route. At an altitude of 3140 meters, Koksar lies on the banks of Chandrabagha River and you can perhaps watch glaciers here from close quarter which makes their way to the riverbed at times. This is a sleepy village otherwise and is also considered to be the coldest place of Lahual region in winters. 5 Km ahead of Koksar, you will get a turn towards Gramphu and can turn towards Kaza, headquarters of Spiti region which lies 150 Km from here.
At an altitude of 3130 meters, Sissu looks fairly plain as it lies almost at base of Chandrabagha River. Now days, Sissu is in news as the Atal Tunnel opens at Sissu and tourists from across the country are making it with relative ease to this otherwise difficult to access region.
The village also has a temple of Lord Ghepan who is considered to be the holy God of Lahaul. Autumn is perhaps the best time to visit Sissu as you can see the fall beautifully decked before your eyes. The ambiance transforms magically during winters and the entire region turns misty white.
At an altitude of 3160 meters, Gondhla is a small village some 18 km from district headquarters of Keylong. Thick cover of willow and popular line the village bed and give it a unique look. Gondhla castle or fort is the prominent place in the village and will definitely catch your eye.
The seven story high castle will give you an exact idea of the life and times of people who used to live in this remote land centuries ago when travelling to Manali meant crossing Rohtang on feet or horseback. It is said that Raja Man Singh from Kullu also stayed in this castle when he was on his way to Trilokinath temple in 1720.
Keylong, District Headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh (India)
Tandi is the confluence point of Chandra and Bagha and you can watch both rivers merging before your eyes here. Its original name was Chandi which got changed to Tandi over time. It lies 7-8 Km before Keylong and you can make a stop over here for a cup of tea as you admire the magical essence of nature and watch Chandra and Bhaga merge into one.
The small town of Keylong is the district headquarters of Lahaul valley and is a stopover for travellers to Leh. Lady of Keylong, the most admired peak in the region casts a shadow over the town and makes it more beautiful indeed. You can also plan to visit Shashur and Kardang gompas when in Keylong. The town has a number of rest houses and hotels and you can spend some quality time here, exploring the region.
This is a small village some 22 Km ahead of Keylong. The village is popular for its trout fish as also for the adventure sport activities which are held on the river back in the village. The village offers good opportunity to travellers to stay and explore the region while being in close contact with Mother Nature.
Udaipur is around 53 Km from Keylong and also offers travellers an opportunity to visit the remote region of Pangi in Chamba. You can also visit the Trilokinath and Markula Devi temple in Udaipur. Both these temples have a historic perspective and are visited by Hindus and Buddhists alike.
Lahaul is a traveller’s paradise indeed. With easy access to the region, large number of people visit the region now. If Lahaul is on your travel itinerary, make a plan to visit the region and experience heaven firsthand.