The unparalleled beauty of Spiti Valley makes this destination a paradise on Earth. The valley’s name loosely translates to ‘The Middle Land’ and is popular for its untouched geographical features.
Surrounded by snowy mountains, glittering lakes, breathtaking glaciers, green meadows, and colorful monasteries, the valley is stunning. Spiti Valley is one of the best places to explore in Northern India.
This cold desert in Himachal Pradesh is barren and rugged, yet it satisfies all your wanderlust needs. The valley is picturesque with its natural beauty and lively culture.
People also call Spiti Valley ‘Little Tibet’ due to the significant influence of Buddhism in the valley. There are stark similarities between the Buddhist culture and the region around the valley. Thus, aside from quaint villages, serene landscapes, and fascinating valleys, you are also in for a treat when you experience the beautiful culture of Spiti.
And if its pristine beauty wasn’t enough to impress you, there are several adventurous activities such as biking, mountaineering, and trekking available.
If you are planning a trip to Spiti Valley anytime soon, here are some magnificent places to see in the region:
1. Key monastery
The most popular places to visit in the Spiti Valley are the iconic monasteries. In Kaza, Kye Gompa, also called the Key Monastery, rests on a volcanic-shaped hillock and the grandeur of majestic glaciers surrounds it. Settled at such a high altitude, the scenery of Spiti Valley is breathtaking from the monastery.
The religious house has faintly lit rooms and corridors that exhibit holy Buddhist shrines, ancient musical instruments, manuscripts, murals, and more.
The Key monastery also resembles Chinese architecture and has a beautiful assembly hall as well as a charming Tengyur room. If you want to experience peace and tranquillity, Key Monastery is the place to go.
2. Pin Valley national park
Pin Valley National Park is a high-altitude park located near semi-frozen streams. With extreme temperatures being a constant here, Pin Valley National Park is a fascinating destination to visit in Spiti Valley.
The Park is a rich bioreserve that encompasses endangered flora and fauna. It is home to animals such as the snow leopard, Siberian ibex, snowcocks, chukar partridges, and more. Birds like the Bearded Vulture and Golden Eagle can also be spotted.
There are several tough trekking routes in Pin Valley that lead to various other valleys like Kullu and Kinnaur. With the beautiful backdrop of the Himalayan mountains, this reserve boasts heavenly vistas and wilderness.
Located near Kunzum Pass, Chandratal is one of the most mesmerising lakes in the Spiti Valley. Chandratal’s name translates to ‘Lake of the Moon’ due to its crescent moon-line shape.
The sparkling water and the scenic landscapes around the lake are a sight to behold. In this serene location, you can hear the gushing of the crystal-clear water distinctly. Chandratal is also a photographer’s paradise with its photogenic views.
The lush surroundings, snowy peaks, and pristine environment in Chandratal make it an ideal destination for trekking and camping. Trekkers can hike through the glaciers of Rohtang and Kunzum Pass on the way to Chandratal.
Kibber is situated at an altitude of 4205 metres and is one of the highest inhabited villages in the Spiti Valley. It is one of the many picture-perfect hamlets in Spiti that you can visit.
An epitome of serenity and endless beauty, the small village of Kibber is surrounded by a relaxing atmosphere. The picturesque destination is often frequented by hardcore adventure travelers and trekkers. Against the backdrop of the lofty hills lie vivid green fields and small houses.
Located at such a massive height, trekkers, campers, and mountaineers alike visit this challenging place to capture the breathtaking views of the Himalayas. Kibber acts as a base for many high-altitude treks as well.
5. Kunzum Pass
The Kunzum Mountain Pass is set in the Kunzum Range. It connects the Kullu and Lahaul Valleys with the Spiti Valley.
The Kunzum Pass is a popular attraction and offers awe-inspiring landscapes of the Chandrabhaga range. It is also one of the highest motorable passes in India, as it is situated at the height of 4551 metres above sea level.
The majestic Kunzum gateways provide the best views of the Bara-Shigri Glacier, the second-largest glacier in the world.
Aside from the colourful Buddhist flags in Kunzum Pass, the ancient Devi temple dedicated to Goddess Kunzum is also found here.
6. Suraj Tal
Suraj Tal, or Sun Lake, is the third-largest lake in India. This divine lake is nestled between the magnificent valleys and mountains of Spiti. It observes a large number of tourists, such as photographers and trekkers.
During winter, the lake undergoes a dramatic transformation as layers of snow cover the surrounding mountains, giving the crystal-clear lake the appearance of a heavenly abode.
While there are several reasons to visit Suraj Tal, one of them involves a sacred ritual. The Sun God is widely believed to cleanse all your sins and purify your soul when you take a dip in the lake.
7. Nako Village
Nako village is a hidden gem in Spiti Valley, positioned on the Indo-Tibet border. This remote village offers some of the best views of the Himalayas and the surrounding region. For those seeking a secluded vacation, Nako is the ideal destination.
The calm ambiance and unspoiled landscapes cover the entire Nako village. This is the best place to experience Tibetan culture as well.
One of the mesmerising spots to visit in the village is Nako Lake, a pleasant reservoir covered by greenery. Furthermore, their history has made several temples in the village widely renowned. The best way to enjoy your trip to Nako is to opt for a homestay.
Remember, you need to acquire an Inner Line Permit to visit or stay in Nako Village.
How to reach the Spiti Valley
Spiti Valley is a remote destination that is not easily accessible. The best way to reach the valley is by road. You can drive from Shimla, Kalka, Manali, Chandigarh, or Kullu to reach the valley.
The gorgeous Spiti Valley boasts nothing but captivating views, a unique culture, and adventurous ventures. For an ideal vacation in the Himalayas, the Spiti Valley is an attractive place to visit. Mark all the places mentioned above to not miss out on these spots while travelling through the scenic valley.
If you loved reading this story, then subscribe to our blog here (it will ask to verify your email) to get inspiring travel stories and trivia delivered to your email. Stories about wildlife trivia, cultural experiences, curated luxury hotel lists, underrated places to travel, polar journeys and much more.
Founder and CEO at Wild Voyager. Alankar is an international award-winning nature photographer and an explorer at heart. He is an Ivy League MBA and ex-banker.