Surreal Spiti.

By Mansee Shah.
Mansee travelled to Spiti on a trip organized by India Untravelled in June 2012, and is back to take us on a virtual journey around Spiti.
I travelled to Spiti in June 2012. I had not even heard of the place before I came across this site, fell in love with a snap posted on it, and decided that I wanted to visit there. I checked with a few friends if they wanted to join, but unfortunately they could not, due to work / social engagements and the works. Anyways, the enchanting photograph was still in my mind and I decided to travel solo. Joined a trip organised by India Untravelled and had one of the most awesome experiences ever!
The beauty of Spiti lay in the diversity of the place – hard rocky terrain, gushing water, snow capped moutains, greenery (though in bits and pieces– otherwise it is rocky terrain) and the beautiful monasteries…all of it just awesome :) Surrounded by the Himalayas, you will find yourself seeing the varied beauty of the mountains while doing ordinary things like sipping tea, having lunch or just plain gazing.

Tying prayer flags in Spiti.

Interacting with the locals was so engaging – they are so hard working and yet so simple. I especially fell in love with our guide – Tsering, and this cute couple in a Dhaba.
The cutest couple at Chandra dhaba.
Some of the must visit places in Spiti are:
  • Kaza, a vibrant town which has a petrol pump at highest altitude levels.
  • Tabo, the most charming place in Spiti – be it the charming people, the 1000 year old Tabo monastery, the caves, the souvenir shops, everything is just heart tugging.
  • Dhankar, whose monastery is precariously perched on the mountains, and Dhankar lake.
  • Trip from Demul to Komic — if you are fit, its a moderate 4-5 hours trek. If you are unfit (like me :P ), then opt for a yak.
  • Komic, a charming village and homestay, also do send some postcards from the highest post office in Asia at Hikkim (close to Komic village)
Hiking back from Dhankar Lake.

Locking horns mountain goat.

The secret lives of the lamas (monks) of Spiti!

We missed out on Pin Valley and Chaandrataal lake due to landslides but pictures show they are extremely beautiful locations so definitely “must dos” if in Lahaul - Spiti Valley.
The best and the worst part about the trip was the journey. Worst because the road from Manali to Kaza is quite rocky and is not for the faint hearted who are used to travelling smooth. But if you do manage it, I can promise its the most awesome journey ever. You will always be worried about dozing off because you dont want to miss a single moment of natural exquisite beauty. Cannot describe it in words. Especially loved the Kumzum pass :)  There are some moments when the entire body is smiling and you feel just happiness and quiet joy within. I experienced that there :)

Enchanting times.

Go experience that you!
Author Bio: When she is not slumming it out at work, the author enjoys the good things in life - yummy food, appealing books, interesting movies, vivacious conversations, and of late, she has started to enjoy exploring various locations as well.  She writes sporadically at  and and tweets @ManseeT.
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