Are you an avid traveler? Are you sure you haven’t missed the taste of some authentic Indian enigma?
Have you been ‘called’ to the valley of Spiti yet?
Well, it’s time you think this through one more time!
Basking in the glory of Buddhist culture, Spiti or ‘The Middle Land’, is a valley between India and Tibet. Due to its remoteness, much of India is clueless about its very existence. It’s time to change this scenario a bit. Here are eight major reasons why the traveler in you must not be missing out on the magnificent Spiti Valley, of Himachal Pradesh, from our very own Incredible India!
If you are a nature enthusiast, there is no way you will ever get over the sheer splendor of this rugged paradise.
Snow-capped Himalayan tops peeking through a varied range of mountains, meandering rivers, shooting stones, treacherous roads, their rich culture and simple lifestyle, all of it would temper you into a more contented and surely, a loyal student of Nature.
2. Buddhist Potpourri
Spiti is home to ancient monasteries, like the Ki monastery, Tabo monastery and the spectacular Dhankar monastery. Not only are they hubs of Buddhist research work, but have also been sites for Bollywood films like ‘Paap’.
Local legends say that Spiti is the land of Buddhist spirits who have attained enlightenment but have not transcended to the other world in order to aid lost souls and point them towards their right direction. It is thus said that one just doesn’t go to Spiti, they are called, by their Fate, by souls who seek to help them… Spooky much?
Spiti has something special for every kind of person, even for stamp collectors!
Located at an altitude of 14,567 ft-this post office in the small town of Hikkim, Spiti district is the highest post office in the world. The main post office for this branch lies in Kaza.
Well, sorry Jungfraujoch (11333 feet), the crown belongs someplace else!
4. “Born to Be Wild”
“Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway, looking for adventure, in whatever comes our way…”
Mars Bonfire and his gang were definitely not writing about high school adventure in this song!
A Royal Enfield, a tent, green tea sachets and shades- and you are set for one of the most enlivening rides of the Himalayan terrain! The route which starts with Shimla, crossing Kalpa, Tabo and finally reaches the crescendo with the Chandratal Lake is haunted by adventure bicyclers and bikers from all over world.
If the altitude and the deserted roads aren’t enough to peak your adrenaline, let’s top it with some scrumptious icing! On the route to Chandra Taal, one must pass through NH05, which is also known as the World’s Most Treacherous Road…!
5. Bottoms Up!
Remember Bunny and Naina, from YJHD, warming themselves with sips of local ‘daaru’ Lugri? Well, it’s not only in Manali that you get all the cool stuff.
Made from fermented rice or barley, Lugri, also known as Chang is a pastoral, simple form of beer which is also famous in Himachal valleys. Barley based Tibetan delights such as sing sing, buza, shull shull etc are equally famed.
6. Fauna Trails
The magic of this valley is not restricted to the landscapes or the clear blue sky… the birds and the animals that swagger through the weather of a cold desert make Spiti equally intriguing for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
If you are lucky, you can catch a glimpse of the Blue Sheep, a mountainous breed of deer, in the post summer months. Yak rides are a fun sport to look forward to. Spiti is particularly renowned for the lightening fast Snow Leopards in the snow covered winter months.
7. Chandra Taal
As the name suggests, Chandra Taal literally means ‘Moon Lake’.
This is one of the two high altitude wetlands in the Indian Subcontinent and has also been officially designated as a Ramsar Site.
The trek to Chandra Taal is the highlight of a Spiti Valley trip.
A night of food and music, in the chilling zephyr from the mountains which protect this source of river Chandra, in the camping site- along with the recital of the mermaid’s legend by a local, can be one of the best nights of your life! Make sure you hear the story of the Mermaid and her Samundari Tapu! And if you ever lose you way in Chandra Taal, don’t try to be a smarty-pants. Just stick to the trail!
P.S- Don’t forget to try the free fish spa in the freezing, green waters of the lake!
8. The Mummified Lama…
And the moment you think that a trip can’t be better than this, the deepest, darkest mysteries of an ancient civilization unfold before you in Spiti!
Folks, that is the Gue monastery!
This monastery, which is at present under construction, shall be safeguarding the mummy of Sangha Tenzin– the monk who gave up his life while meditating! Yes, you heard it right! The MUMMY of a LAMA.
If you still haven’t been blown to bits with an insurmountable urge of visiting this paradise in Himachal Pradesh… wait! If you are meant to be there, thou shall be called!