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The term “Spiti’ refers to “The middle land”, i.e. the land between two countries. The Spiti valley is located between Tibet and India. Spiti valley carries a distinctive Buddhist culture same as that of the nearby Tibet Autonomous Regions and the Ladakh region of India. The valley together with its surrounding area is one amongst the least crowded districts in India and is the doorway to extreme northern most reaches of the nation. Along the northern route from Himachal Pradesh and Manali, or the region Keylong via the Kunzum Pass or the Rohtang Pass respectively, this valley is located in Himachal Pradesh’s north east region while is a region of Lahual Sipti region.
The sub-divisional head office (capital) is Kaza, which is situated sideways the Spiti River at an elevation of about 12,500 feet (approx 3,800 m) from sea level. The Rohtang Pass located at 13,054 feet (approx. 3,979 m), separates Spiti as well as Lahual from Kullu Valley. Sipti and Lahaul are cut off from each other through the upper Kunzum Pass, located at height of 15,059 feet (approximately 4,590 m). A road connects the dual divisions, however is cut off frequently in winter and spring due owing to heavy snow. The valley is likewise cut off from the north up to 8 months of the year by heavy snowfalls. A southern course to India proper is occasionally closed for brief periods in the winter seasons of November through June, but road access is usually restored a few days after storms end via Shimla as well as the Sutlej valley in district of Kinnaur.
Spiti valley is an exploration and cultural center for the Buddhists. Highlights include the Ki Monastery together with Tabo Monastery, one of the eldest monasteries of the world and a favorite of the renowned Dalai Lama. It was the location of the remarkable backdrop and photography in many movies. The Pin Valley in Spitiis home to the few enduring Buchen Lamasof people belonging to the Nyingmapa sect of the Buddhism.
Spiti’s delicate ecology of the mountains and its alteration with the climatic change makes it extremely important for the travelers to leave a positive impact on it. Because of its unique landscape and culture to sustain itself, a social enterprise has been set up in Kaza, “Ecosphere”. This organization assist tourists to leave a beneficiary effect on Spiti by developing mitigation and various adaptation measures to withstand the impacts of the climatic change, thereby helping travelers to attain their missions. Ecosphere takes several measures to ensure the trip within its region to be carbon free and provides tourists with options to cut off the carbon emitted during their course of travel by investing in renewable energy options including passive solar houses, green houses, solar water heating systems and cookers, wind energy alternatives and artificial glaciers. Some of these operations can make the tourists to mark their visit carbon positive.
There are many places to visit in and around Spiti valley including the Chander tal, Kibber, Kaza, Losar, kunzum Pass, Dhankar monastery, Kungri Gompa, Thang Yug Gompa and much more.
The Giu Village is located at a distance of approximately 10 km from Giu Nallah. The village has a naturally preserved mummy of more than 500 years old. The mummy is of a Lama, who died at an age of 45 and was found in a sitting posture. Presently the mummy is placed on an open glass box in a room constructed on a hilltop.
How to Reach
Bhuntar (Kullu District) has got the closest domestic airport for Spiti. From here tourists need to book either a bus or take a taxi for Spiti. The nearest international airport is at Delhi.
Joginder nagar has the nearest railway station but this station has limited connectivity. Shimla and Chandigarh are the nearest broad gauge railway station and are well connected with most of the cities. Direct buses and taxis are available for Spiti from these railway stations.
Buses are available from Chandigarh, Shimla and many other places for Lahaul and Spiti. The charge for the bus transport is between Rs. 4-5 per km.