Spiti is a world apart. For a moment, you could confuse it with Ladakh. The ambiance is same, the culture is similar but the people are different. While Ladakh is now a union territory, Spiti lies in the remote Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.
There are numerous places to see and things to do in Spiti for an avid traveller and explorer.
Visiting the Monasteries
You can make a beginning by visiting the Ki monastery that lies at an elevation of 13,668 feet. Built in Pasada style of architecture, Ki overlooks the Spiti River. Murals, Thangkas and weapons used in ancient days adorn the walls of Ki monastery and make it a sight to behold for the travellers who come from far and wide.
July is the best time to visit the Ki monastery as the traditional Chaam festival is held during this time. You can also plan a visit to Tabo monastery that dates back to 996 AD and offers a historic perspective that is hard to find in today’s time. The Tibetan artwork in this monastery will definitely leave you spellbound.
Camping at Lakesides
Those with an adventure bug can also plan to camp on the lakesides. Chandartal is the most popular option in Spiti and if you are a nature lover, camping on the lake backwaters will definitely excite you. It is an altogether different feeling to cut from the outside world in today’s time when thinking about life without cell phone is a distinct possibility.
The lake changes colours several times a day and watching it firsthand is a breathtaking experience.
Spiti is a trekker’s paradise. You name it and you will have it. Tough trekkers can opt for Pin Parvati trek that takes over ten days and provides one the opportunity to be one with nature. The Pin Bhabha and Prangla Trek are equally exciting and adventurous to the core.
Kanamo Peak trek is also popular among trekkers and adventure seekers and takes you on a seven day trail that will definitely offer a new perspective to your life.
Watching a Mummy Firsthand
This is a unique experience that should be a part of your wish list, when in Spiti. Village Giu at a height of 10,449 feet has a 500 year old mummy that has been preserved so well that its hair and teeth are intact. It remained buried in an avalanche for many years and is considered to be of a monk who was in meditating position at the time of death. The mummy has a religious affection and people of Spiti consider the mummy an incarnation of God.
Exploring nature from close quarters
A visit to Spiti gives one the opportunity to explore nature from close quarters and you can either plan a visit to the Pin Valley National Park or try River Rafting in the Spiti River. The experience you will carry back with you will definitely be the inclination for coming to this unique land again.
Experiencing the Local Life
To experience the local culture and cuisine, you should venture beyond Kaza and plan to visit villages of Kibber, Komic and Langza. All these villages offer some homestay options and you can experience the challenges of life that locals in Spiti come face to face on a daily basis. This travel beyond the normal tourist circuit will definitely give you a better understanding of the region and the humbleness of people of Himachal in general and Spiti in particular.
Still thinking, it is time to pack your bags off and head to Spiti to explore and experience life in a way, you never thought it existed. Do share your thoughts and experience with us!