Climate : Cold and dry
Season:June to October
Clothing: Heavy woollen
¤ Place Where Gods Lives
Literally meaning the middle country,Spiti is a high altitude cold
desert dotted with numerous monasteries.
Rudyard Kipling in Kim called it a
world within a world
place where the Gods live.
Lying in the rain shadow area of rugged mountain ranges of Zaskar, it
gets very little rain and plenty of snow. Alexander Cunningham in his
book Ladakh writes about Spiti that rainfall here is scarce and rarely
above four inches annually and all of it seems to be falling on the
A Snow Covered Region
The whole valley seems to have been painted in hues of purple, pink
and russet. The deep gorges carved out by the snowfed streams
add charm to Spitis stark splendour.
The valley is locked between the Zaskar and the Great Himalayan
ranges the tallest ranges of Himachal.
The Kunzum La literally, meetingplace for Ibex (a kind
of mountain goat) is the tenuous link between Lahaul and Spiti.
The Manali road traversing through Lahaul enters the valley through
This pass also connects Batal in the upper Chandra valley and the
first village Losar of the Spiti valley. Kunzum La is crossable on
foot from May/ June to October/ November and the snowfall here is also
less than on the Rohtang pass. The Chandra River flows from the west
of this pass and it also has a track that connects it to the
enchanting Chandra Tal (4220m).
¤ The Main Regions
Spiti has four distinct regions and its main valleys are the Spiti
Valley, Lingti Valley and the Pin Valley. Spiti sub division of the
Lahaul Spiti District is rougher in its terrain and is thus more
difficult to traverse. The river valleys of Spiti still add some charm
to the otherwise barren valley like the Spiti River that rises to the
east of the Kunzum La.
¤ The Splendor of The Region
The beauty of the forbidding Spiti is on show for only four months.
For the rest of the year it is hidden under a white veil of snow.
Winters are usually spent in spinning and weaving cloth. Layers of
woollen are worn by locals to trap body heat in fact, even yaks
and mules get their share of designer woollens.
Words about Spiti wouldnt be complete unless the shales of
Spiti are mentioned. The rockfaces found here are information banks on
the geological history of the Himalaya while some of the valleys here
are helpful in the study of creation of this lofty mountain range.
Spiti shales or Ammonites are pretty well known in the field of
geology. These were once living creatures that got extinct almost a
hundred million years ago. They are now in the form of fossils. The
ammonites once lived under the sea and the tectonic thrust that
formed these areas also fossilised them. The best among the lot is
called Shaligram and is considered very rare and lucky.
Unconquered Mountains of Spiti
Most of the mountains of Spiti are still unclaimed by the
mountaineers. Spiti thus invites scores of climbers as well as
trekkers to come and rediscover her unconquered terrain where the
Indian and Tibetan culture has mixed with each other.
¤ Inner Line Permits
(A) Consequent to the shifting of the Inner line in Himachal, foreign
tourists can visit
following areas without a permit.
Kaza Kibber Prangla Pass.
(B) Groups of foreign tourists, consisting of four or more, are
allowed to visit the
following areas within the Protected Areas, in the identified areas
only after obtaining
necessary permits :
Puh Khab Sumdo Dhankar Tabo Gompa
Inner line permit is only necessary if youre travelling between
Tabo and Recong Peo, the capital of Kinnaur. Sevenday permits
are given to both groups and individuals.
¤ Inner line permits for foreign tourist groups are issued by
Special Commissioner (Tourism), Govt. of Himachal Pradesh, New Delhi.
Resident Commissioner, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh, New Delhi.
Director General of Police, Himachal Pradesh, Shimla.
Senior District Magistrate, Shimla, Keylong, Kullu, Chamba, and Kaza.
SubDistrict Magistrate, Rampur and Nichar.
Direct bus service is available from Shimla and Manali. There is a
bus service between Kaza and Shimla on every alternate day. There are
one or two daily buses from/to Manali, but the bus service between
Kaza and Keylong is not dependable. All the smaller places in Spiti
can be toured by jeeps or taxis which can be hired from Kaza.