The district is most popular for its ancient monasteries, trekking routes, wildlife and adventure sports.
The Tabo Monastery is one of the most interesting places to visit and is often referred to as the ‘Ajanta of the Himalayas’. It is located Tabo village in the Spiti region. It is located at an altitude of 10,000 feet and is currently 1010 years old. It rose to prominence when it celebrated its thousandth year of existence in 1996. It was renovated in 1975 following an earthquake and now house 9 temples with 45 monks. It was founded by the great scholar, Richen Zangpo, and has been declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The monastery houses a rare collection of Buddhist scriptures, statues and Thangkas [wall paintings].
The very popular Chakhar festival is celebrated here. The monastery also has a modern guest house with all necessary facilities.
Key Monastery/ Kye Gompa
The Key Monastery is the biggest monastery in the region and is one of the main learning centers for all the Lamas in Spiti. The monastery is house to some 100 odd monks who receive an education here. It was established in the 11th century and is located at an altitude of 13,668 feet.
The walls of the ancient monastery are covered with rare paintings and murals, reflecting the 14th-century architecture. It also houses some rare books, paintings and musical instruments and also images of Buddha. The monastery has three floors and the ground floor is beautifully decorated into an Assembly Hall and also has cells for monks. The monastery now belongs to the Gelugpa sect, along with Tabo Monastery and Drangtse Monastery.
Flora and Fauna
The valley is also very popular for its vibrant colors and lush greenery. It has a huge population of exotic Snow Leopards, Himalayan Brown Bears, and Himalayan Blue Sheep, making it a paradise for wildlife lovers. Two protected areas have been set up near the homes of Snow Leopards, including the Pin Valley National Park and Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary. Interestingly though, people of Spiti do not hunt these wild animals due to religious beliefs.
The Valley of is also known for its massive wealth of flora and the abundance of wildflowers. Some of the most common species found here include Crepis flexuosa, Seseli trilobum and Causinia thomsonii. Over 62 species of medicinal plants are said to be found here.
The valley is also very famous for its adventure sports such as mountaineering and skiing. Rohtang Pass is a rage among visitors, where people flock to see snow and ski. Other interesting activities include Yak and Horse safaris.
Also, check out:
Lahaul & Spiti Valley:
Treks and Trek maps: