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World India Himachal Pradesh Spiti and Lahaul
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India Himachal Pradesh Spiti and Lahaul

About Spiti and Lahaul

Lahaul and Spiti are one district with two distinct panorama, each strikingly different from the other. Lahaul is rich in mountainscapes which are laden with snow during winters and that turn a green leaf during the summer season, giving them a verdant green look. Spiti on the other hand is all brown and barren, with bare rocks interspersed with beautiful monasteries. These formerly different districts of Himachal Pradesh were merged in 1960 for administrative purposes. The two are separated by the Kunzum Pass.

Spiti, the name itself meaning “The Middle Land”, lies between Tibet and India and is among the least populated regions in the country. Buddhists make up for its primary population. The culture is a slightly altered and distinctive Buddhist one. Ki and Tabo Monastery are highlighted as important cultural and research centers of Buddhism. Spiti lies quite close to the Indo-China border and is an important ecological conserve. The barren terrain surrounded by high mountain ranges is a mountain-desert with infrequent precipitation.

Lahaul, the very name meaning “Southern Country”, lies to the south of Tibet. Lahaul is characterised by severe weather conditions, allowing very little vegetation. Snow leopards, ibex, foxes and brown bears are commonly found in the valley during winter months.  The Keylong Museum displays tribal artefacts and handicrafts apart from Thanka Paintings, and Bhoti and ankri manuscripts.
Is an ideal haven for nature lovers as well as adventure enthusiasts during the favorable summers. Together Lahaul and Spiti happen to be the most frequented destination for mountain motorcyclists and trekkers. The area also offers ample opportunity for other adventure sports like white water rafting from Udaipur to Koksar or to Darcha, or paragliding at Triloknath or Ispa or even Jeep safari to Leh, Kaza, Udaipur and many more such spots from Keylong.

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Spiti and Lahaul can be reached through Manali or via Shimla and Kinnaur. Buses and taxis are the only option and roads are closed from mid Oct-May.
Limited local transport options of buses and taxis are available so coming in own vehicle is advantageous. Kaza is ideal base for seeing Spiti valley.
Foreigners require Inner Line Permits, issued by SDM offices at Manali, Reckong Peo and Deputy Commissioner's office at Keylong.
There is a good chance you will be affected by altitude sickness if you gain too much height too fast. Take it easy for initial 1-2 days.