Lahaul-Spiti is a district in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Essentially, they are two valleys that are located on the border of India and Tibet. Formerly known separately as Lahaul and Spiti, the districts merged in 1960 with Keylong as an administrative center. Situated on the Indo-Tibetan border in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, Lahaul valley is as remote as it gets making it seem like time has come to a standstill. Lahaul boasts of scenic mountain villages, pristine mountain rivers, and medieval monasteries.
The Lahaul Valley region is called as the Barren Splendor of Himachal Pradesh. The word ‘Lahaul’ is derived from the Tibetan word Lho-Yul meaning country in the south or of Lhahi-Yul meaning country of the gods. Dotted with snow-covered mountains, lush green fields, milky white rivers and streams, placid lakes and mountain passes, make for a picture-perfect location. Its simple rustic charm, festivals, folk dances and culture attracts tourists from all over the world.
Spiti and Lahaul are quite contrasting in personality. Spiti is a cold mountain-desert, barren and difficult to cross. Lahaul is greener and a tad more developed than Spiti. Lahaul Valley is perfect for hiking, trekking and adventure drives. Spiti is also known as "Little Tibet", owing to the similarities in vegetation, landscape, and climate between Spiti and Tibet.
Lahaul-Spiti celebrates and follows Buddhism and Hinduism equally. Colorful Buddhist prayer flags dancing to the tunes of the wind indicate the culture of this land. Lahaul-Spiti is home to beautiful monasteries, rich flora and fauna, high mountain passes and sweeping rivers.
Baralacha La: Baralacha La Pass is a high mountain pass situated at the height of 16,040 feet above the sea level. This pass is surrounded by several enchanting sights that leave the tourists spellbound and yearning for more.
Kardang Monastery: Since 900 years, this place has remained an important center for Buddhist principles and culture. This monastery is popular worldwide for its religious significance, alluring architecture, and phenomenal collection of thangkas, murals, instruments, and paintings.
Trilokinath Temple: The Hindus are considered this deity as “Lord Shiva” while the Buddhists see it as “Arya Avalokiteshwar”. It is the only place in the world where both Buddhists and Hindus worship.
Shashur Monastery: It is a Buddhist Monastery and is situated at an elevation of 600 meters above sea level. From this monastery, the tourists see the panoramic view of the mountains, river, and Keylong town.
Tangyud Monastery: It is one of the highest altitude Gompas in India and is perched at an elevation of 4520 meters. This monastery serves as an amazing place where people learn about Buddhism.
Gandhola Monastery: This monastery is also called as Guru Ghantal Gompa and is famous for its wooden idols.