Beautifully situated in the serene Himalayan mountains in the north-eastern part of Himachal Pradesh, the name Spiti means the Middle Land. It is the land between Tibet and India. The Valley lies almost 12,500 ft above the sea level. Just like a maze, the roads in and out of this valley are quite confusing. The backdrop and culture of this valley are quite similar to that of Ladakh and Tibet. Picturesque monasteries, fluttering prayer flags and monks in their orange robes add up to the mystic charm of Spiti.
Spiti has a number of alluring places in store that one should visit during their Himalayan Holiday Tour.
Dhankar Monastery: Beautifully erected at one of the most scenic locations in Spiti Valley, Dhankar Monastery was once the capital of Spiti in the 17th century. This monastery is one of the main Buddhist centers in the Spiti region.
The Dhankar Fort was the traditional home for the Nonos (royals of Spiti). Isolated and cut off from the rest of the country, modernization has bypassed Dhankar. It is positioned at the confluence of the Spiti and Pin River.
Pin Valley National Park: The Pin Valley National Park is nestled in the cold desert of Lahaul and Spiti districts in Himachal Pradesh. This National Park houses more than 20 species of animals and birds including the endangered Snow Leopard. Acknowledged as a National Park in the year 1987, Pin Valley is situated at an elevation ranging from 11,500ft to 20,000 ft. The park’s central zone is stretched over 675 sq km and the buffer zones spread out to 1150 sq km.
Foreign nationals are not allowed inside the park while Indians have to take a permit to enter the park. The snow leopard is the most important resident of the park and there are about 12 of them. Besides them, the P are the other animals also seen in the park. Known for its floral wealth, the park houses over 400 plant species including medicinal herbs. The Pin National Park is famous for two rare species of plants called Juniper and Birch. The park is also popular with trekkers who come to see the natural beauty and the wildlife around.
Tabo Monastery: The Tabo Monastery is positioned beautifully at the height of 10,007 ft. It is one of the oldest Buddhist pilgrimage centers in the world. Spread over an area of 6,300 sq m, the monastery encompasses nine temples and gompas.
Tabo monastery is recognized for its paintings and stucco sculptures carved on the walls. The monastery has several Thangkas paintings and statues. Most of the paintings found in the monastery basically illustrate the culture and history of the Himalayan Region. One can easily learn the convergence of the Tibetan and the Indian cultures from those paintings.
Key Monastery: One of the major centers of the Buddhist learning in Spiti Valley, Key Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in the world. Situated at an elevation of over 13,668 ft above the sea level, the monastery houses about 350 lamas at one time. Key Monastery is very popular for its architecture called the Pasada style. The monastery is spread over three floors – underground, ground and first floor. It is recognized for its ancient paintings, rare Thangkas paintings and ancient weapons. This monastery is a must visit during your holiday in the Himalayas.
Komic: During this beautiful journey, make sure that you save one day from your Himalayan Holiday Tour and visit the alluring beauty of the highest village in Asia, Komic. This small village has a population counting 114. The picturesque setting of the village makes it worth visiting. Komic is well-known for the Lundup Tsemo Gompa Buddhist Monastery and it is said that the monastery has Matrey Buddha or the future Buddha. Different festivals are an integral part of Komic which attracts tourists from all the walks of life.
Finally, do not forget to add trekking on your Himalayan Holiday Tour package. Trekking in Spiti Valley is yet another extraordinary experience one cannot afford to miss. Trekking, mountaineering and camping are the activities performed on the mountains in Spiti. So this season before packing your bags, plan the entire itinerary in such a way that it becomes a journey of a lifetime.
Linking to NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month – July – My post no 7 for this month.