The Spiti Valley is in northern India, located at the foothills of the highest mountain range on Earth: the Himalayas. Without a doubt, a territory as beautiful as it is inhospitable. But surprisingly, it is not as well known as other mythical valleys in the area. Perhaps that is why it has a greater power to make each traveler feel that they are living a very special and unique adventure.
The valley of Spiti, between two ports
The administrative situation of the Spiti Valley corresponds to the state of Himachal Pradesh, in a territory that becomes the border between India and Tibet. It is a valley completely surrounded by mountains, with small towns and welcoming Buddhist monasteries in the most unexpected places.
All this is enclosed between two high mountain passes. On the one hand, there is the Kunzam Pass, elevated to 4590 meters of altitude. And on the other, the Rohtang La, at 3978 meters above sea level. Both are ports that are closed for much of the winter, as the snows make them impassable.
A highway for the brave
If the weather is one of the factors to take into account to enjoy this place, another is the road that runs through the valley of Spiti. The word road can be very generous, since you have to forget about the asphalt and get used to landslides, large puddles and potholes.
However, the tour of the Spiti Valley is also ideal for lovers of motorcycles and certainly spectacular roads. In fact, motorcycle itineraries through these Tibetan latitudes are almost as mythical as trekking in Nepal.
The great attractions of the Spiti Valley
Without a doubt, contemplating these incredible rocky landscapes with peaks of perpetual snow is one of the great reasons to do this itinerary. Some places that can compete in beauty with the famous trip to the Ladakh valley, the busiest of this Tibetan plateau.
However, traveling to Spiti is more intimate and allows you to capture much more the essence of life in this region of the world, where the friendliness of its people is the norm.
During the itinerary through the Spiti Valley, several Buddhist monasteries are visited. They are simple, but very welcoming and also shocking because of the relaxed spirituality that surrounds them. We can mention that of Tabo, from the 11th century, or that of Nako, a little older and where its collection of 28 clay figures representing Buddha is striking.
And we also have to mention the Dhankar monastery. Perhaps it is not the most beautiful, nor the most valuable from a tourist or monumental point of view. However, its location atop a rocky spur is spectacular. It is a privileged place to contemplate the valley of Spiti at our feet.
Within the itinerary that goes through the Spiti valley there are several lakes that are a must. One of them is that of Nako, next to the Buddhist monastery that we have already named. It is a place at more than 3600 meters of altitude of the most attractive.
And another common stop lake is Chandratal. It is a large lake of glacial origin, one thousand meters long and completely surrounded by imposing mountains. It is a site where a tent camp has even been set up so that tourists can spend a night here.
Within the Spiti Valley, its capital is the city of Kaza, the largest of all and with services for tourism. But there are other places of interest, for example, the small town of Kibber, the highest in the world at 4300 meters of altitude.
Likewise, we can name the populations of Kalpa, Sangla or Shimla, all of them authentic havens of peace that provide us with a completely different vision from the more hackneyed topics that are had about India. A country that is not only attractive for places like the Taj Mahal or the beautiful city of Jaipur.