Long winding roads and picturesque valleys presenting glimpses of cold deserts and snow-crowned mountains, with intermittent greenery and picture-perfect villages welcome you when you set foot into Spiti Valley. Bordered on all sides by the Himalayas, Spiti Valley, located in Himachal Pradesh, has an altitude of 12,500 feet above sea level, and gets around 250 days of sunshine in the year, making it one of the coldest places in the country. With the thick Himalayan snow cutting Spiti off from the rest of the country for around 6 months a year, the summer months are the only time Spiti is directly accessible via motorway.
The term Spiti means 'The Middle Land', and the place is very appropriately named, as Spiti Valley separates India from Tibet. Scantily populated, Spiti is an adventure lover’s paradise, with the famed Spiti trek attracting thousands of adventure enthusiasts every year. There are many trekking trails in Spiti that tourists can choose from. All of these treks start from Kaza (Spiti’s capital, where you make your base camp), to various peaks from where you can get panoramic views of the Himalayan mountains. An easy 1.5-kilometre trek along the Spiti River from Dhankar Monastery to Dhankar Lake promises gorgeous views of the villages below, and the Dhankar Lake itself is a place where you can sit back and relax amidst the cool mountain air.
The mountain ropeway from Kibber to Chichum is a popular tourist attraction. Built entirely by the locals to avoid walking the long uphill path between the two villages, this ropeway is operated manually, and offers spectacular views of the gorge below, as well a bird’s eye view of the surrounding peaks.