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Spiti Valley: A Complete Travel Guide to Explore the Enchanting Land

Spiti Valley

The Spiti Valley is called the “hidden paradise of India”, and the “Land of High Passes”. The word Spiti means the middle land because it lies between two countries, India and Tibet. This lush place is located in a remote region of North India and has awe-inspiring landscapes and a vibrant culture that have captivated visitors for ages. It’s considered one of the must-visit destinations, especially for nature lovers, adventurers, and spiritual seekers. This majestic place is covered with beautiful mountain ranges and ancient monasteries. This article will be the ultimate guide you need before embarking on a journey to this enchanting land.

Where is Spiti Valley?

Location: It is located in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh at an average altitude of over 12,000 feet above sea level. This majestic land is surrounded by peaks covered with snow and barren, desert-like terrain.

How to reach Spiti Valley?

The journey to reach this beautiful place is full of adventures. Visitors get to experience the twisted roads, hairpin turns, and breathtaking views at every turn. However, reaching this remote place is not that easy, as it has a few options. Here are the most common routes for visitors. It is important to note that the roads on the way are not all smooth and are in different conditions. According to travel experts, visitors must check the weather and road conditions before thinking of visiting Spiti Valley.

Spiti Valley by Road

1. By road from Delhi

From Delhi, you can easily hire a taxi to reach the valley, or you may take a bus route to reach there. The whole journey by road takes between 12-14 hours, depending on the traffic load and road conditions.

2. By road from Manali

You can take a bus or hire a taxi from Manali to reach Spiti town. The distance between Manali and Spiti Valley is approximately 200 kilometers, and it takes around 8–10 hours to complete the journey.

Spiti Valley by Air and Road

1. The nearest airport

The nearest domestic airport to Spiti Valley is Bhuntar Airport, also called the Kullu–Manali Airport, located in Bhuntar town, which is 11 km away from Kullu town and 52 km away from Manali resort town in Himachal Pradesh State, India. After the air route, visitors can take the road route to reach the valley.

2. From the airport to the road

From the Bhuntar airport, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the beautiful Spiti Valley. The road journey may take between 8-10 hours, depending on the weather and road conditions.

What is the best time to visit Spiti?

The best time for visitors to plan a tour is from mid-May to mid-October in the summer. It is recommended to check if the pleasant and temperate temperatures are in the range of 0 to 15 degrees Celsius before planning the trip. Summer is the most suitable season for visiting because roads are easily accessible, visitors can travel smoothly, and they can explore the landscapes in the best way. Throughout the year, the temperature stays cold there as the place is located in a high-altitude area; therefore, it is important to carry warm clothes even in the summer.

What is the weather like in Spiti Valley?

The weather is usually cold and dry. During the summer months, from mid-May to mid-June, the temperature ranges from 0 to 15 degrees Celsius. In the summer, the daytime is mild and the nights are chilly. From July to August, occasional rainfall may happen. From October to March, the weather is extremely cold and harsh, and it even drops below the freezing point. During winter, the temperature can sometimes even drop to -30 degrees Celsius, and the valley becomes cut off from the rest of the country.

What are the top tourist attractions?

Its top tourist attractions are breathtaking landscapes and cultural tapestries. Here are some of the most popular tourist attractions:

1. Spectacular Landscapes and High Passes

This place is considered a paradise for nature and adventure enthusiasts, as it is blessed with dramatic landscapes and high mountain passes. The river flows through the valley to the panoramic mountain villages. Every scene in Spiti is a painting waiting to be captured, which makes it a popular destination for tourists. Landscapes are considered the most iconic attraction and have barren, rugged mountains, deep gorges, and vast meadows. Whereas the high mountain passes such as Kunzum La and Rohtang Pass offer fascinating views that demonstrate the region’s natural stark beauty and majesty. Spiti Valley also has dramatic cliffs, snow-capped, barren brown mountains, a clear blue sky, patches of greenery, and crystal-clear rivers. Although it’s a challenge to reach the valley, it’s an experience full of adventures for both drivers and bikers. Here is some information about the places that give spectacular views of landscapes and high passes:

Kunzum Pass

Kunzum Pass, also known as Kunzum La, is situated at an altitude of 4,590 meters and connects the Spiti Valley with the Lahaul Valley via road. This pass is one of India’s highest motorable mountain passes and is known for its breathtaking views. It’s an ideal spot for those who are interested in nature photography or adventures. Kunzum Pass stays frozen the whole year except for the summer, so June to September is the best time to visit. 

Chandratal Lake

Chandratal Lake, which means the moon lake, is situated at an altitude of 4,270 meters. Chandratal Lake is also called Tso Chigma, Chandra Taal, and Chandra Tal. It’s a popular destination for those who are into camping and trekking. This is the perfect place to witness the serene beauty, snow-capped mountains, and breathtaking landscapes. In the summer, the lake is surrounded by beautiful flowers and wildlife. Locals believe that at night the fairies visit this lake.

2. Monasteries and Spiritual Sanctuaries

The Spiti Valley has a few ancient Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries. For those interested in the Buddhist way of life, the Ki Monastery, Tabo Monastery, and Dhankar Monastery are must-visit places, as these places are famous for solace, cultural immersion, and tranquility. Here is some information about them:

Key Monastery

Key Monastery is located at an altitude of 4,166 meters and is considered one of the largest and oldest Buddhist monasteries in Spiti town. The Monastery has stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and a large collection of ancient scriptures, murals, and artifacts of Buddhism.

Dhankar Monastery

Dhankar Monastery, also called Dhangkar Gompa, Lha-od Gompa, and Dhankhar, is situated at an altitude of 3,894 meters in the Spiti Valley and was built more than 1000 years ago. Dhankar Monastery is considered one of the main centers of Buddhism and has murals and ancient scriptures that are centuries old. This monastery is right above Dhankar village and offers beautiful views of the Spiti Valley.

Tabo Monastery

Tabo Monastery is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is famous for its ancient murals, scriptures, and sculptures. Tabo Monastery is also called the Ajanta of the Himalayas and was founded in 996 CE. The monastery is considered one of the oldest functioning Buddhist monastic complexes in the world and has a large number of frescoes exhibited on its walls depicting tales of Buddhism.

3. Cultural Tapestry

The local residents of Spiti are welcoming and warm-hearted. They have well preserved their old traditions and cultural practices. The valley’s rich cultural tapestry can be witnessed in their way of life, colorful attire, vibrant festivals, and ancient rituals. The locals live a simple life and have resilience. Interacting with the locals is an amazing experience, and it helps give insight into the minimalist ways of traditional village life. Here is some information about the villages in this place:

Dhankar Village

Dhankar is a small village located at an altitude of about 3,894 meters and is famous for its stunning landscapes. This village is famous for its ancient Dhankar Monastery and is a popular tourist destination that attracts history enthusiasts, Buddhist pilgrims, and those seeking tranquility and natural beauty. Dhankar village also provides breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, peaks, and deep panoramic valleys. It’s the perfect place for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Kibber Village

Kibber Village is one of the most inhabited villages in the world. The village is located at an altitude of 4,270 meters and gives a taste of the authentic and traditional Spitian way of life. This village is a great place for those interested in trekking and wildlife spotting.

Chham Dance Festival

Spiti Valley’s 600-year-old Kungri monastery hosts the Chham Dance Festival each year in the month of June. It is a three-day, vibrant, and colorful festival that showcases the rich cultural heritage. Chham is a dance form performed by the Spitian monks, and it is accompanied by rituals and traditional music. For the performance, monks wear decorated masks and costumes, representing various gods, demons, and animals. The Chham dance festival is one of the tourist attractions and includes other side performances too, such as folk dances, music concerts, and exhibitions of local arts and crafts. For those seeking a glimpse into the rich history and traditions of the Spiti Valley, this festival is a must, as it offers captivating experiences. 

Adventure Haven

For adventure enthusiasts, this place is full of adventurous opportunities, from trekking through untouched trails to mountain biking on tough terrain. If anyone wants to experience an adrenaline rush like no other, Spiti Valley is the place. For adventures, The Chandratal Lake trek, Pin Parvati Pass trek, and Hampta Pass trek are at the top of the list of places to visit. Visitors also often book Jeep safaris to explore and have an adventurous ride.

5. Wildlife and Nature Conservation

This place is home to rare Himalayan wildlife species like snow leopards, ibex, blue sheep, Tibetan wolves, goldfinches, Himalayan griffons, yellow-headed wagtails, and yellow-billed choughs, to name a few. It is a home like no other for flora and fauna that are able to survive in extreme weather conditions. For visitors who are wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts, this place is the best choice. The valley also has a national park, which offers views of rare species.

Pin Valley National Park

It is a designated wildlife sanctuary for exclusive wild animals and birds, and visitors can spot them in their natural habitat. The most popular activities in Pin Valley National Park are spotting and trekking, which usually take 7 to 9 days. Rare wild animals and flowers are a subject of great fascination for wildlife and nature lovers. It was created in 1987 and is surrounded by the Great Himalayan National Park on its southwest and the Rupi Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary on its south. 


This beautiful tourist place is a hidden paradise in the Himalayan region and offers breathtaking views and adventures. For those who want a break from chaotic urban life and are looking for a place that truly captures the essence of untouched beauty, the valley has it all. It is also a perfect place for those who are into nature photography, or spirituality. 

Book local experiences and start packing your bags to embark on an unforgettable journey to find solace, inspiration, and a deep connection to the wonders of nature.

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