Attractions in Lahaul
Chandratal Lake - A beautiful glacial lake located at the source of the Chandra River in the Lahaul Valley. It is fed by melted-waters from the Chandra glacier. The lake is situated at an altitude of 15,500 ft above sea level. Frozen during winters, its waters
are pretty clear. To its north is a grassy plain where shepherds from Kangra and Kullu bring herds.
Suraj Tal Lake - Literally atop the main Himalayan massif in the catchment area of the Bhaga River, this lake is a major destination of trekkers in the region.
Pin Valley - It lies off the beaten track. The Pin Valley has been declared a national park and is supposed to be home to the ibex and snow leopard. At the head of the valley lies the famous Pin-Parbati Pass which leads into the Parvati Valley. This remote uninhabited region
is the location for the Pin River National Park, which lies at the head of the Pin River. A favorite with trekkers, the area is known for its peaceful and beautiful surroundings.
Tabo Monastery - One of the most important monasteries for the Buddhists, thus is where the Kalachakra ceremony was performed by the Dalai Lama. This is also the place the Dalai Lama will settle after retirement.
Ki Gompa - Ki, 14 kms from Kaza, the administrative center of Spiti, has the famous monastery built by the Tibetan translator, Ringchen Zangpo. The oldest and largest Gompa has a priceless collection of paintings. Kibber, 11 kms from Ki is perhaps the highest
village of the world at 4205 mts.
Dhankar Gompa - A little further away from Kaza, is the 1000-year old Dhankar monastery with ancient frescoes and sculptures.
Activities in Lahaul
Besides trekking and camping for which there is plenty of opportunity, there are numerous monasteries that will provide you with wonderful samples of Indo-Tibetan art frescos and sometimes, priceless collections of historical/ religious artifacts.
Events in Lahaul
Bumkhor - This festival follows the belief that if religious books are taken to the agricultural fields, harvest is bound to be good after the blessings from God. Farmers carry religious books around their fields with lamas leading the way and chanting
religious scriptures. After the ceremony, the group assembles in the village, where prayers are chanted. It ends with food and chhang (locally brewed barley beer).
Halda or Losar - A popular festival of Lahaul that heralds the new year celebrated in the month of January or February. Shiskar Apa, the goddess of wealth in the lamaistic pantheon, is worshipped during this festival just as Lakshmi,
the Hindu goddess of wealth, is worshipped during Diwali. Apa refers to grandmother. Drinking, eating and dancing follows into the early hours of the morning.
Getting There & Away to Lahaul
Kullu, the district headquarters of the Kullu Valley is the nearest airhead to Lahaul with its airport at Bhuntar, 10 km from Kullu. The latter is well connected to Chandigarh and Shimla by bus and there is also a daily flight from Delhi to Kullu with a stopover at Shimla. Once in
Kullu, it's fairly easy to get to Keylong on any of the 6 daily buses from Manali (Kullu and Manali are just 40 kms apart and are very well linked by road). There are also buses linking Keylong to the Spiti Valley. Though there are no official taxi stands, there are some mini buses plying on this route
with considerably high fares. Kaza is connected to Manali by buses that leave daily at 7 am and reach Kullu by one at 4 am. It is also possible to get to Keylong directly from Kaza (8 hours). A Manali-bound bus could also get you to Keylong if you alight at Gramphu and change.
Getting Around in Lahaul
There are dozens of gompas dotted all over the district though the ones at Ki (built by the famous Tibetan translator, Ringchen Zangpo) and Rekong Peo, (this has a large statue of the Buddha) are accessible by bus form Kaza. The Dhankar gompa is 1000 years old and has a spectacular setting. One of the
most important monasteries in the Buddhist world is at Tabo and this is where the Dalai Lama will eventually retire. The 900-year-old Khardong gompa and Shashur Gompa are close to Keylong and accessible by bus or taxi.