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Lahaul, Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul (7 NIGHTS / 8 DAYS)
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KINNAUR:

Legends has it that Kinnaur with all its beauty fell from the heavens as a gift from the gods and once one is there, it is not hard to see why this belief has been taken. The Satluj enters India from Tibet near the village of Namgia at a height of 3,000 mtrs and devides Kinnaur into two equal parts. The other major river is the Spiti that purs its flow into the Satluj at Khab. With a chain of snow covered mountains height ranging from 5180 to 670 mtrs holds two of the world’s great mountain ranges the Zanskar and the Greater Himalaya.

This area is also home to some of the India’s oldest traditions and legends. The Pandava brothers are said to have spent several years while in exile attributing several gateways and water tanks. Given the proximity to Tibet it is not surprising that there are strong cultural and religious links with that distinctive land. Which you can easily recognize them in their dressing, language, architecture, customs, and most visibly in religion-the main body of Hinduism has been embellished with several Buddhist Practices.

 

Kalpa: Once called Chini the village came into prominence when it was visited by the British Governor-General Lord Dalhousie. Within the village visit the Narayan-Nagini temple which is a remarkable example of local craftsmanship and the Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar Monastery said to have been founded by the great translator Rinchensang (950-1055 AD)

 

The Sangla (Baspa) Valley 51 kms: The 95 m long valley gets off to a fairly unimpressive start at Karcham (1899 m) and the road chases a narrow defile. These places produced the tasty kernel, the rare ‘dry fruit’ the Chilgoza

 

Attractions in Sangla Valley: (2680 m): Set above the right bank of the Baspa, the village of Sangla has the main market essentials are available.

 

Kamru: A Km above stands the tower-like fort of Kamru. This wood and stone structure was the original seat of the rulers of the erstwhile princely state of Bushahir. With a population of about 1000 people is dense cluster of houses and is surrounded by fields and Orchards. It produces some of the best apples of Himachal Pradesh.

 

Other important places around are Raksham (3115 m), Chitkul (3450 m).  There are many activities one can do like trekking, Fishing etc.

 

SPITI:

Spiti means the ‘Middle Country’ a name obviously given as a result of its lies with both India and Tibet. Spiti is cold desert where the monsoon rain never comes. It is characterized by stark beauty, narrow valleys and high mountains.

A century ago Rudyard Kiping in Kim called Spiti “a world within a world” and a “place where the gods live”-a description that holds true to the present day.

The river Spiti that flows with cold snow melt through the region is formed at the base of the Kunzam range.

Spiti Mountains form a part of the middle and the greater Himalaya and several peaks cross 6000 m, while the mean elevation of the area is 4570 m. The local people have divided it into four units ‘sham’ the lower region.’pin’ which lies by the Pin river, ‘bhar’ the middle tract and ‘tud’ the high territories.

The people largely are Buddhist and are followers of the Geluk-pa Sect.

 

Kaza: Kaza is spiti administrative headquarters it has a marketplace and is perfectly suited for exploring the area. The HPTDC lodge is located here.

 

Ki (Key,Kye)Gompa  is located at a distance of 12 kms from the tourist lodge 4116 m. It is bult on a spur that extends from a high hill. This is regarded as the largest in the sub-division and is a collection of rooms ans a labyrinth of corridors that do not follow any defined plan, but seem to have grown over the years. No definite date can be ascribed but by and large most concur that it was built before 15th cen. This is repository of rare thangka paintings and several musical instrument-trumpets, cymbals ans drums. Its library holds the manuscripts of the sacred Tangyur texts. The village of Ki lies just close to this monastery.

 

Kibber: (Ki village to Kibber-8 kms 4205 m). This is the highest permanently inhabited village of the region connected by a motorable road. It also acts as the base of several high altitude treks.

 

Tabo: (47 kms from Kaza 3050 m) Founded in 996 AD the Tabo Gompa has exquisite wall paintings ans stucco statues and is often called the ‘Ajanta’ of the Himalaya after the almost legendary art-treasure site in Maharastra. In terms of area it is the largest monastic complex in Spiti. In Trans Himalaya Buddhism, Tabos sanctity is next only to Tibet’s Thaling Monastery.

 

Dhankar: (24 km from kaza, 7 km from turn-off Schichling on the Tabo-Kaza highway 3370 m). The ‘Dhankar’ is a fort and that is what this monastery once was. Perched on the hill high over the valley this is a superb example of the ruler of Spiti, the Nano.

 

Pin Valley: At Atrangoo, 10 km from Schichling village, a side road leads to this valley formed by the Pin river, a tributary of the Spiti. The valley lies below the Kungri glacier ans has several monasteries-the most important one is at Gungri an has three blocks. This houses old relics and paintings and is the main centre of the Nyingma-Pa Sect in Spiti. The Pin valley is a national park and is home to a variety of rare animals like the snow leopard, the ibex, the bharal and the thar. It has good treks-the main route connects the Kullu valley over the Pin Parbati pass and the other is through the Bhaba Valley.

 

Lingti Valley: Through a deep gorge, the Lingti stream, another one of the Spiti’s tributaries, flows down from the north. It offers some strenuous treks.

 

LAHAUL:

Miles of high flatlands, several glaciers and high peaks, sudden surprises in patches of verdant green, eighteen Buddhist monasteries, a few secluded Hindu temples, mountain passes that carry on for miles, some high lakes and two large rivers the Chandra and the Bhaga, that combine to form the Chandrabhaga (Chenab) and a touch of mystery over the origins of the place-name and you have Lahaul.

Some call Lahaul the “Himalayan Scotland” and the locals says that Lahaul is a derivative of the word Lho-Yul, the Tibetan for ‘Country of the south ‘ or word ‘La’or mountain pass and this may mean the ‘Land with many passes’.

 

One of the highest highways in the world passes through Lahaul and connects Manali to Leh. This crosses four high passes the rohthang La (3980 m), The Baralacha La (4982 m), the Lachlang La (5066m) and the Tanglang La (5360 m) the 2nd highest pass of the world. Named in honour of the patron deity of the area, the Gyephang (Ghepan) peak is one of the most visible ones of Lahaul. Many of Lahaul’s peak are still unclimbed and unnamed.

 

Lahaul has three primary valleys the Chardra Valley, the Bhaga Valley and that of the Chandrabhaga, when both rivers combine into one. The last is commonly called the Pattan valley and is well cultivated and inhabited. Chandra and Bhaga rise on opposites sides of the Baralacha Passs.

 

Keylong: The little town of Keylong is the headquarters of the administrative district of Lahaul-Spiti. It has a marketplace, filling stations and basic medical facilities.

 

Hotel Chandrabhaga Keylong of HPTDC has been both a haven and a lifeline for travelers in Lahaul. With considerably expanded facilities and named after the two rivers that flow through Lahaul, it continues to be the hub for the experiencing the area.

 

Attractions near to Keylong:

Guru Ghantal Monastery: (8 kms 3020m) this lies high over the confluence of the rivers Chandra and Bhaga and is regarded as the oldest monastery in Lahaul. Two great figures of Trans Himalayan Buddhism were associated with it-Padmasambhava and Rinchenssang-po. This enshrines an image of the goddess Vajreshwari Devi, a wooden image of Buddha and a marble head of Avalokitesvara

 

Kardang (5 km) this is one of the most revered places of the Drug-po (red Hat) sect.  It has a large library and is also the repository of some exquisite thangka paintings, musical instrument and old weapons.

 

Shashur: (3 kms) this monastery is surrounded by rare patch of woodland and was founded in the 17th cen by Deva Gyatso.

 

Tayul: (6 km); ‘Toyul’ means the ‘the place that is shosen’ asd so it must be for local legend maintains that the main prayer wheel rotates on its own accord on certain occasions. It has a huge statue of Padmasambhava and its library houses the one hundred and one volumes of the sacred Knagyur Text.

 

Sarchu: One the way to Leh this is the last point in Himachal.

 

Tandi: (6 kms 2673 m) this has the confluence if rivers Chandra and Bhaga.

 

Trilokinath: (53 km 2760m). Its shrine is revered by both Hindus and Buddhist. It is the site of an important fair called ‘pori’ held in August.

 

Udaipur: (53 km, 2650 m). It has an ancient temple dedicated to Durga ans has some fine carvings.

 

Baralacha La: (75 kms 4890 m) this means the pass with the crossroads on the summit. And here meet the paths from Zanskar, Ladakh, Spiti and Lahaul. It is 8 kms long and is on the Manali-Leh route. This is also the watershed for the Chandra Bhaga and Yunam rivers.

 

Kunzam La: (4550 m) this pass connects Lahaul with Spiti.

 

Chandra Tal: (66 kms 4270m) 6 kms from the Kunzam La or Pass that connects spiti and Lahaul this lake is surrounded by snows and acres of spree and its deep-blue-waters have a circumference of 2.5 kms.

 

On Request. Call +919891857585

On Request. Call +919891857585

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