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Lahaul & Spiti

Characterized by the snow-capped peaks and rocky hills, Lahaul & Spiti are two separate Himalayan valleys. They are situated on the Indo-Tibetan borders and known as the gateways to Kullu-Manali hill stations. Keylong is the head-quarter of these cities.

A land of magnificent Buddhist culture and art, Lahaul is marked by the glaciers and mountains. Spiti is popular as Little Tibet due to its landscape, climate and vegetation similar to those of Tibet. Major tourist attractions in Lahaul & Spiti are Gondla, Sissu, Baralacha La, Guru Ghantal Monastery, Shashpur Monastery, Kardang Monastery, Gemur, Tandi, Keylong, Triloknath Temple and Gemur. These valleys are ideal for the activities like mountaineering, trekking and camping. The ideal time to visit Lahaul & Spiti is from June to October.

Keylong, the head-quarters of these valleys, is considered as the oasis of willow trees and green fields, water streams, snow-capped peaks and brown hills. Located at the distance of about 18 km away from Keylong, Gondla is located on the bank of Chandra River at an altitude of about 3160 meters. Every year, a fair is celebrated in July in this village in Lahaul. It attracts a large number of tourists from all over the country. The historical Gompa and Gondla castle are other attractions in the village. Gondla fort is the abode of Thakur of Gondla.

Approximately 8 km away from Keylong, Tandi is located on the confluence of Chandra and Bhaga rivers. It is a very holy place for the Hindus. Baralacha La is another place of interest. It is located at the height of about 4833 meters, about 73 km away from Keylong. The rivers like Yunam, Chandra and Bhaga originate from this point. Guru Ghantal Monastery is considered as the oldest gompa of Lahaul. It is positioned on the bank of Chandra River, about 4 km away from Tandi. It is features a wooden structuare with wood carvings and pyramidal roofs. There are the idols of Brajeshwari and Padmasambhava Devi. It is known for the festival namely 'Ghantal' celebrated by Lamas and Thakurs on full-moon night in mid-June.

About 5 km away from Keylong, Kardang Monastery is located across Bhaga River. It consists of a big library of Tangyur and Kangyur volumes of Buddhist scriptures in Bhoti. Shashur Monastery is another popular monastery founded in the 17th century. Plenty of tourists are attracted to watch the devil dance performed by the Lamas during June/July. Kye Monastery is the biggest and oldest monastery of Spiti valley. It has magnificent paintings and scriptures of Buddha and other goddesses. It consists of books and murals of high aesthetic value.

Triloknath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located on the bank of Chenab River, at the distance of about 4 km from Udaipur. This temple is frequently visited by large number of devotees. Guru Padmasambhava gave a look of Buddhist shrine to this temple. This temple is holy for both Hindus and Buddhists. Temple of Markula Devi is in the Udaipur village, which located in the Lahaul & Spiti valley. It is another holy temple. This unique temple is popular for its beautiful wood carvings on ceiling and roof.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/07