Itinerary................................................................................................................................3 Solan................................................................................................................

....................4 Chail.....................................................................................................................................4 Shimla..................................................................................................................................4 Narkanda..............................................................................................................................7 Thanedar and Kotgarh..................................................................................................7 Hatu......................................................................................................................................7 Hatu Peak.....................................................................................................................7 Hatu Mata Temple.......................................................................................................8 Rampur ................................................................................................................................8 Padam Palace...............................................................................................................9 Lavi Fair.......................................................................................................................9 Sarahan...............................................................................................................................10 Wangtu...............................................................................................................................13 Reckong Peo .....................................................................................................................13 Kalpa..................................................................................................................................13 Sangla.................................................................................................................................15 Rakchham..........................................................................................................................15 Chitkul................................................................................................................................16 Ropa Valley.......................................................................................................................16 Giabong......................................................................................................................16 Puh.....................................................................................................................................16 Khab...........................................................................................................................16 Nako...................................................................................................................................16 Leo.............................................................................................................................17 Chango...............................................................................................................................17 Tabo...................................................................................................................................17 Tabo monastery .........................................................................................................19 Kungri .......................................................................................................................19 KUNGRI GOMPA.....................................................................................................20 Dhankar..............................................................................................................................20 Dhankar Monastery....................................................................................................21 Dhankar Lake.............................................................................................................22 LHALUNG........................................................................................................................22 Langza................................................................................................................................23 Kye.....................................................................................................................................23 Kye monastery ..........................................................................................................23 Kibber................................................................................................................................25 Gete ...........................................................................................................................25 Komik................................................................................................................................26 Losar..................................................................................................................................26 Kunzum pass .....................................................................................................................27 Kunzum Jot................................................................................................................27 Batal...................................................................................................................................27 Chander Tal................................................................................................................27 Gramphu............................................................................................................................28

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KHOKSAR................................................................................................................28 Rohtang Pass......................................................................................................................28 Solang................................................................................................................................29 Manali................................................................................................................................29 Raisan.................................................................................................................................30 Kullu..................................................................................................................................30 Mandi.................................................................................................................................32 Bilaspur..............................................................................................................................34 The New Town..........................................................................................................34 Markand.....................................................................................................................35 General information about Lahaul.....................................................................................36 General information about Spiti.........................................................................................37 Not Covering......................................................................................................................38 Kasauli (Near Shimla)................................................................................................38 GURU GHANTAL....................................................................................................39 Lady Of Keylong.......................................................................................................39 SHA-SHUR................................................................................................................40 Shahshur monastery...................................................................................................40 Udaipar.......................................................................................................................40 Godhla Fort .................................................................................................43 Tso Morari Lake .......................................................................................................45 Thang Yug Gompa.....................................................................................................45

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Itinerary
Shimla Narkanda Hatu Rampur Sarahan Kalpa Sangla Chitkul Ropa Valley Chango Tabo Pin Valley Dhankar Kaza Kye/Kibber Losar Batal Rohtang Solang Manali Raisan Kullu Mandi Bilaspur Chandigarh

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Solan
Solan is the district headquarters and is the home to Meakin Brewery. Solan is 48-km from Shimla and is at an altitude of 1,342m. It is also the bifurcation point for Rajgarh with it's orchards and enchanting villages.

Chail
Chail is hiker's paradise. Chail was the summer capital of Maharaja of Patiala, the area is spread over three hills. One has the village of Chail, the other has the Snow View mansion and the third one has the Palace cum hotel of Chail.

Shimla
The Summer Hideout A quaint little hill train chugs up into the Shivalik foothills, over dramatic loops and high arched bridges to the hill resort of Shimla, the capital of the mountain state of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla was one a string of hill stations that the British established to escape from the scorching heat of the plains. The 12-kms, crescent shaped ridge on which it is located was first occupied by the British troops, in the early part of the 19th century, during the Anglo-Gurkha War. The little village of Shymala, a retreat for British officers, soon grew to become the glamorous summer capital of the British, in India. Shimla's salubrious climate, easy accessibility and numerous attractions have made it one of the most popular hill stations in northern India. The splendid views of the snow clad ranges of the Himalayas, fine walks through oak and flowering rhododenron, enchanting resorts within easy reach, golf at naldehra and skiing at kufri and narkanda make shimla an attractive destination throughout the year. Places Of Interest In Shimla The Mall : This is the main shopping centre of Shimla with restaurants. The Gaiety Theatre, which is a reproduction of an old British theatre is a center of cultural activities. A passenger lift of HPTDC can be taken from the Cart Road and the Mall. Lakkar Bazaar adjacent to the Ridge is popular for its wood-crafts and souvenirs. Christ Church & St. Michael's Cathedral: Built in 1846-1857, Christ Church is the second oldest church of Northern India. The Church overlooks the ridge and is one of the landmarks of Shimla. Shimla's other important churches is St. Michael's Cathedral and Roman Catholic Cathedral, which is just off the Mall.

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this temple is at an altitude of 2. The British made Shimla their summer capital in 1864 and it remained so until 1939. Adventure Sports in Kufri Some great Hiking. This region remained obscure from the rest of the world until the British 'discovered' it in 1819.a walk between the Catering Institute at Kufri and Wildflower Hall. It has a Himalayan Nature park and close by is the Indira Tourist Park with HPTDC's Cafe Lalit. Some are . both for the domestic and foreign tourists. The hill is situated at an altitude of 2. and over the town itself. Summer Hill is a picturesque spot on Shimla-Kalka Railway line offering shady walks in quiet surroundings.455m near the highest point of Shimla ridge. Indira Park provides some great views of the nearby places. From Bharari you can walk to the villages that lie to right of the Seismic Recording Centre. some skiing.155m offers a spectacular view of the area. Kufri Kufri is a tiny hill station located 19-kms from Shimla on the National Highway No. Adventure Sports in Shimla Trekking: The Shimla. one can reach these falls by taking about 45minutes (7-km) walk from Summer Hill Chowk. Summer Hill: At an altitude of 1. The Ridge: The large open space in the heart of town presents excellent view of the mountain ranges.283m.Prospect Hill: Crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi 15-minutes walk from Boileauganj on Shimla-Bilaspur road. As Shimla gained importance.Kinnaur region offers some exciting trekking opportunities. Shimla's landmarks . Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Shimla lived in the elegant Georgian House of Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur located here. or to the villages of Pabo and Kamiana. The region around Shimla including Kufri was once a part of the Kingdom of Nepal. Adventureseeking travelers throng Kufri in winters to enjoy skiing and tobogganing along its snow-covered slopes. out to the snowcapped peaks. Here one can enjoy a Pony or a Yak Ride. Skiing: 5 of 45 . some beautiful scenes and a cool environment that's what Kufri is all about. Kufri also began to be recognized as an important place to visit near Shimla. It offers a fine view over the surrounding valleys. The temple is a 45-minute walk from the Mall. but for taking-up these treks you better take a guide along.Tudor Library building is worth seeing. The Father of Nation. Narknda to Banjar (Kullu) over the Jalori and Bashleo Passes and Sarahan to Sangla are some of the popular treks. Longer treks can be made to Kiar Koti and Tattapani. There are quite a good number of trails that can be done in the suburbs.the Neo-Gothic structure of Christ Church and the new . a walk to Mahasu Peak from Kufri through the Himalayan Nature Park and a walk along the Bekhalty road from Mashobra and treks from Mashobra to Sipur. Himachal Pradesh University is also situated over here. Jakhu is a vantage point for witnessing the changing skyline as the sun rises or sets. Jakhu Temple: Dedicated to Lord Hanuman.22. It is famous for its trekking and hiking trails. Chadwick Falls: Surrounded by thick forests.

The ancient Nag Temple dedicated to the serpent God is placed in the region of Naldera. It serves as a good base for exploring the nearby countryside which is flooded with orchards and forests. Above Kufri. a longish village strung out on to the hillside like a necklace. Fagu Fagu is a vantage point with a panoramic view of ranges and valleys. The region is also popular for the nine hole golf course that lies in this region. Nearby are the temples of the local god. Chini Bunglow Naldera Naldera is situated at a distance of 23 kilometers from the city of Shimla. The salubrious climate and the innate natural beauty of Naldera makes it one of the chief places to see around Manali. Banthia devta. Other private hotels also provide comfortable accommodation to the tourist.Kufri.the highest peak in Kufri. nine hole golf course at Naldera was first proposed and designed by the Viceroy. which shows some brilliant exercises in woodcarving. There is a range of slopes. Mahasu Peak One can hike through thick forest around Kufri to the Mahasu Peak. Situated at an altitude of 2044 meters. the Viceroy named his daughter Alexandra. the region offers a splendid and commanding view of the mountain ranges. About 10km away is the bustling market town of Theog. it is one of the oldest and the most challenging golf courses of the country. an advanced slope and slalom run. Lord Curzon himself. The Skiing season spreads between November to February and the tourist inflow is at its peak during winters. the Mahasu ridge also has some good slopes. Indira Tourist Park The Indira Tourist Park is near the Himalayan Nature Park and provides panoramic view of the locations around. With a natural turf topography. Maintenance and supervision of the turf falls under the jurisdiction of the Himachal Tourism department. Lord Curzon who frequently visited this region. The region of Naldera lies by the Simla Tattapani Road that is traversed by regular plying private cars and jeeps. near Shimla is one of the oldest places in India to be associated with skiing and the slopes are still in use during winter. The region is easily accessible from the city of Simla. including a beginner's run. Naldehra. Journey through the road is thrilling and cuts in through the densely covered hillsides. Enchanted by the beauty of the place. The par 68. The tourism department has also made provisions to provide for accommodation in the Hotel Golf Glade for the visiting tourist. The stark elemental beauty of the region captivated the the British Viceroy of India. Himachal Tourism offers ski courses. The meandering roads lay a mesmerizing effect on the tourists before he arrives at his destination. Those who enjoy camping can stop at Katir (13km from Fagu) which has a camping site. 6 of 45 . instruction and has equipment on hire at Kufri.

Famous for 'Nag Devta' temple built along Hatu Hatu Peak An uphill trek through Deodar woods leads to Hatu Peak (8 Km). the Srikhand and the Kullu ranges. What gives Narkanda its awe-inspiring view of the snowy peaks is the fact that it is located on the ridge of the last watershed before the Himalayan range. The sleepy town of Narkanda sits astride the watershed between the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. Hatu's flank hold stretches of apple orchards and acres of wild flowers. Kotgarh is 16 km from Narkanda and famous for apple orchards. snow peaks and valleys. Below Narkanda.beautiful in spring. The region is the abode to enormous groves of hilly cherries and apple trees. It is at an attitude of 2708 meters on the Hindustan Tibet road (NH 22) in Himachal Pradesh. It is about 65 km from Shimla and surrounded by the Shivalik Ranges that span a large part of Himachal Pradesh.000-feet higher than Narkanda. Hatu Peak stands at a mere 3400m.Narkanda Narkanda is a town and a nagar panchayat in Shimla district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. India. Although it is smaller in stature. It has an average elevation of 2621 metres (8599 feet).the Kinner Kailash. it is easily within the reach of any solo adventurer. Hatu Peak which is at 11000ft is 5 km from Narkanda. 7 of 45 .are not far away from Narkanda. Crowning a ridge in the northeast Shimla Hills. Khadrala and Baghi with their dense forests and Kumarsain with an interesting wooden palace are also within easy reach of Narkanda. A better view of Narkanda is obtained from the nearby Hattu peak. to the north is the Sutlej Valley and beyond it is the snowy massif. which is nearly 2. It is a skiing resort in winter. and with a 7km road from the nearest town to nearly the top of the peak. Thanedar and Kotgarh Motorable. A wooded trek route takes you to Hatu Peak unfolding a magnificent vista of undulating meadows. TaniJubbar Lake the lake that is small but very pretty. The area has forests of fir and spruce. Ahead lie the Greater Himalaya and a number of peaks . The ridge on which Narkanda stands is the watershed between the Sutlej on the north and the Giri river. with a smattering of maple. bifurcation from Narkanda (18 Km) Land of apples and apricots. aspen and cedar trees. the prime apple belt of Himachal Pradesh where Satyananda Stokes started the apple culture. and just over an hour's trekking distance from it. the nearly 700m of elevation gain ensure that ascending to the summit by foot will still leave you feeling a sense of accomplishment. It connects Shimla with Rampur and a detour also goes to Thanedhar. The pretty orchard country of Thanedar and Kotgarh.

It is one of the most important market and business centers of Shimla. China and Tibet. approximately 250km. etc. Located near Shimla. shawls. on the banks of the Sutlej river is on the N. which is supposed to be one of the biggest fairs of North India. goats. the white capped mountains of the Himalaya are visible. sell and exchange articles like dry fruits. is still an important event for the inhabitants of the region. The annual Lavi fair. with the largest being Shimla. The fair is commercial in nature as tradesmen and craftsmen come from all over Shimla to buy. The main attraction of Rampur is the Lavi Fair. fruits.approximately 100km east near Karcham). The most popular items are the handspun woolen shawls and rugs that are warm even in the coldest weather. The place is one of the best shopping hubs and one can get just about any exotic item over here. The tradition of Rampur is still pulsating as ever and one feels completely rejuvenated on visiting this place. 22 .H. 71km to the southwest. held in the second week of November.and to celebrate the event with music and dance. Ladakh.the old Hindustan.approximately 120km north near Chatru) and Kinnaur Kailash (6050m -. crop produce. handicraft items. Rampur falls along the ancient trade route to Afghanistan. Rampur town is located at a distance of around 135 kilometers from Shimla. A truly intrepid climber could turn approaching the summit into a multi-thousand meter bushwack through dense pine forests that are predominant on the usually fairly gentle hill sides. shawls. Numerous small hill stations clutter the sides of the mountain ridges in this region. 8 of 45 . blankets. wool and dry fruits.From the top of the peak. Rampur. Hatu Mata Temple Ancient temple of Hatu Mata is alive with skiers. You can pick up handicraft items like wooden carvings and clay sculptures. Some people even trade in livestock like sheep. This fair is held every year during the second week of November.Tibet road that goes from Shimla into Kinnaur. The scenic village of Sarahan with its fascinating Bhimkali temple is on this road beyond Rampur. cows and horses. The fair is abuzz with life and activities as it is a major crowd puller. The blankets are known for their softness and durability and tourists make it a point to buy atleast one from here. Rampur Rampur was once the capital of the princely state of bushair and a major centre on the old trade route into tibet. the deep furrows of the valleys make for interesting views. The Nandi Devi region is to the southeast. It is located on the banks of the mighty river Sutlej. even on an overcast day. To the north and to the east. Temple at hatu peak This is to a local god. They gahter to buy. Rampur is famous for its handspun blankets that are popularly known "Rampuri Chaddar" (Chaddar is Hindi for blanket). The nearby highest peaks (both within Himachal Pradesh) are Deo Tibba (6001m -. (140-km) One of the biggest commercial centers of Shimla. The fair is quite popular among the people in Shimla and is held for three days. sell and barter their producehomespun blankets. Rampur used to be the capital city of the Bushahr Empire during the 18th century in India. Many hindu gods have local interpretations but I think this god was a local god similar to shiva.

The fair that takes place there also finds a mention in the records of the erstwhile state of Bushair. a trade treaty was signed between Bushair and Tibet. Tibet. It is since that time that International Lavi Fair is being celebrated in the town. Chief engineer who supervised its construction was known as Bir Chand Shukla. efforts are being made to revive the pristine glory of the fair. Its old Hindu and Buddhist shrines include the Ragunath Temple. Macchkandi. the traders from Tibet and Kinnaur used to put up their stalls at the fair. a temple and a museum situated nearby. 'Chaumkhi' horses that are surefooted and abound in the surrounding tribal areas and a variety of native handicrafts. such as jackets. Raja Padam Singh laid the foundation the palace on the left bank of River Satluj in the year 1919. Last but not the least. It once served as the Winter Capital of the former princely state of Bushair. during the reign of Raja Kesar Singh. However. the Narsingh Temple and the 9 of 45 . Apartments and residences of the royal family members are located inside as well as outside this building. Padam palace has a sprawling lawn that serves as the venue for all the festivities and public functions held in the royal palace. Padam palace of Himachal Pradesh is exemplary in its own right due to its architectural style and craftsmanship. Amongst the things one can buy at the fair. the seating area for the royalty during celebrations. tracksuits and crockery. The double-storied building is made up of wood that came from the forests of Munish and Dhamreda and stone that was quarried at Khaneri. It is said that. woollen pattoos and kala zira here. Gurjit Singh Fishta was the designer of the Macchkandi. utensils and other consumer goods. Lavi once served as a major trading center and the stopover point on the old trade routes that led to Kinnaur. dry fruits. but people inside are not visible to the outsiders. as a sign of friendliness Horses and swords were also exchanged between them.Padam Palace Situated at a distance of approximately 125 km from Shimla is Padam Palace. Ladakh and Afghanistan. Tribals trade agricultural produce. Traders come to the Lavi Fair to sell quilts. dry fruits. It is held in the month of November and has already attained international fame and renown. The tin roof has beautiful spiral projections. the most popular ones are 'Pashmina' wool. RAMPUR TOWN (924m): There are many places for sight-seeing. one of the major attractions of Rampur. on the banks of River Satluj.a Lavi Fair Lavi Fair of Himachal Pradesh is organized annually in Rampur. Earlier. Now. The father-son duo that transformed his designs into reality is that of Gurmail Singh and Gurdev Singh. is situated at one end of the lawn and is definitely a masterpiece in woodwork. The walls of the palace are adorned with portraits of the royalty and its ceilings display some of the most stunning wooden work of art. this practice stopped with the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Near the palace one can see a nunnery. Woodwork has been done so cleverly that sunlight is let in. you can also buy Chinese products at the International Lavi Fair. The contrast of stone arches on the lower floor. Black gram was used as the cement between the stone blocks. the Ayodhya Temple. Even the halls of the Padam Palace are used to host royal functions. exquisitely carved woodwork on the upper floor and the wooden screen with intricate floral designs and figurines is quite interesting. The construction of Padam Palace took six years and it was completed in 1925.

The road to Sangla is narrow. which is regarded to be the present day Sarahan. Lord Krishna married his son to Usha and as dowry gave back the defeated Banasura his kingdom of Shonitpur. Chitralekha. In an interesting colonial and traditional styles. The rather peculiar thing about this peak is that it is only one whose tip remains uncovered with snow. Partially consoled. Sarahan is flanked on the banks of the meandering Sutlej River. This was where Banasura of the leg-end ruled.. In the evening. Usha kept that picture close to her. about him. Across lies Shrikhand and the other 10 of 45 . The sheer force with which it gushes down makes it awesome. The way to Sarahan through Fagu. apple orchards. Here was the prince of Usha’s dream! As Aniruddha slept. Far below in the valley. he marched with his army against Usha’ s father. Usha pined for that prince and told her friend. the architecture of which is very akin to a monastery. The Sutlej River that meanders below now emerges in all its frenzied ferocity. had a dream. and miles out of its source in Mansarovar. And when she woke. one beholds a range of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks and one of them is the Shrikhand Peak. But the moment Lord Krishna heard of his son’s abduction. plums. Sarahan Soaked in nature's beauty. dense emerald pine forests. and peach orchards laden with luscious fruits transport one to Eden. Chitralekha wandered till one day she saw Aniruddha. And then the story of the dream was told. Usha. Banasura could not have chosen a more beautiful place to rule. Magnanimous as ever. Lots of almonds. Then Chitralekha vowed she would search the world over for that prince and bring him to Usha. rough. One night his beautiful daughter. DUTT NAGAR (970m): 12 km ancient village on the left bank of Sutlej which derived its name from the ancient temple of god Dattreya. Chitralekha picked up the bed and brought him to Usha. and hazardous. Banasura who hadn’t a clue what the battle was all about was defeated. Once in Sarahan. She saw a prince more handsome and far stronger than any man. About 54 km from Sarahan lies in the Sangla valley. the Padam Palace is one of Rampur's major attractions. Narkanda. The road to Sangla is crudely carved out of rocks and runs parallel to the river that is deep down in the forge. Lord Krishna’s son. In the heart of Sarahan is the temple of Goddess Bhima Kaali. For a long time. Rampur. At some places. famous for ancient and unique Sun Temple built in nagara style is one of the two temples in India dedicated to Lord Suryanarayan. terraced farms. and Jeori is extremely scenictraversing through mountains flanked by steep cliffs on one side and deep ravines on the other. Of Stones Soaked In History This small village in the western Himalayas has a setting that only the Gods could have created. This small village in the western Himalayas has a setting that only the Gods could have created. taking one through Wangtu and Karchham. Chitralekha made his portrait. there is barely enough space for the bus to wriggle through the rough road and the rock above.Dumgir Budh Temple which has a large prayer wheel and holds important scriptures. sunrays adorn the peaks and the sight is simply stupendous. Based on Usha’s vivid description. NIRATH (950m): 18 km. tumbles the river Sutlej. Theog.

the beautiful spot of Sarahan became the capital of the princely state of Bushair. small villages and thick forests. Around Sarahan itself are fields and orchards. where the Devi or Goddess appeared. some distance from the present complex. many are recorded in the ancient texts of the “Markandey Purana” and the “Durgaq Shaptshatti”. the Bhimadwar that is visible from Sarahan and is said to have been built by that mountain of a man. She appeared to him and said that this was her true home and here she would live. He carried just a staff and the image of the devi tucked in his matted locks. Varun gave her clothes and water. As time passed and the mists of myth gave way to verifiable history. After a somewhat tortuous sequence of events.which is what Sarahan is all about. when one brother woke up. set out from Bengal to tour all the places sacred to Shiva and the Devi in the Himalayas. The other one woke later and found his brother gone. The ruler of Bushair laid three conditions before he would return the head . the raja of Kullu declared war on Bushair. his brother took a high road and began walking. the temple was then built on the present site. the devotee. The obvious message received. When he reached Sarahan. his staff sank deep in the ground and there lay buried the image of Bhimakali.snow covered peaks. as they slept. Legend Of Bhimakali Between the legend of Banasura and the present day. led by Lord Vishnu. It is a land closely connected with the epic Mahabharata and the exile of the Pandavas. the Gods breathed fire and poured their strength to a focus. While it was the local Pundits who spent hours with us narrating the legends. he moved to the banks of the Sutlej and made Rampur. In the morning. his capital. In the 18th century. Alongside Shrikhand is a huge Shivalinga. the Chakra and other powerful Devi. The defeated people of Kullu and the raja’s family asked for the return of the head so that they could perform the final rites. was chosen but every night the pile of construction material would mysteriously shift. Bhimagiri lodged himself in a cave on the hillside and after his death. She was the first Shakti . After a bloody battle. As Bhimakali.the place is one of the major Shaktipeeths or Shaktipeethas or ‘Places of Strength’. The Raja (king) moved here from Karmu. their original seat in the Baspa Valley. Hemkunt gave her a white tiger to ride on. One night. another legend goes. Bhimagiri. some so sacred that none may climb them. a boulder grew between them. Ladakh. Thinking that he had left. Kuber gave her a crown. was to repeatedly take birth and destroy the demons. A spot. Again in legend. there was a time when demons lorded over the Himalayas and harassed the Gods and the Rishis (saints). they saw that a young girl had taken birth. Kashmir and Khazakstan. he was defeated and the dismembered head of its ruler was brought to Sarahan and placed on this stone platform.“Adhishakti”. he couldn’t see the other. Bushair was regarded as one of the wealthiest states of the region and was a major entrepot for trade with Tibet.the land seized across the 11 of 45 . on the lower boundaries of the state. Garlands. But here legend creeps in again and the story is told of two brothers who set out from home. he became the ruler of the area. she appeared at Sarahan . Tales Woven Around Sarahan Centuries ago. He took the lower path and in time became the Rajpurohit (the head priest of the kingdom). After a long sequence. comes the presence of Bhimakali . The other Gods gave her the Lotus. Another Legend Connected To The Devi Ages back. a Conch. it was decided to build a temple. Bhima. A huge flame rose and as the clouds of smoke dispersed.

Bhimkali Temple The Temple Features With interlocked wooden beams encasing Ashlar worked stone. The image of Lord Raghunath was ceremoniously installed alongside that of Bhimakali. There is a temple dedicated to Bhairon and then the main focus of the complex. This was taken as a sign of both sacrilege and revolt and an army detachment was sent to crush him. As one climbs the stairs from the first courtyard. Through this underground passage. is the one dedicated to Lord Narasingh (also spelt as Narasimha or Narusimha). the outer walls of the Sarahan temple complex encase roughly an acre of buildings and courtyards. This was accepted and Dussehra is now a major local festival. Kullu must promise to never again challenge its neighbour and the captured image of Lord Raghunath (the pattern Devta of Kullu) would not be returned. smooth light grey Kota stone was laid. Now locked and used as a repository. Rebuilding Of A New Structure 12 of 45 . Sarahan's stunning beauty offsets extravagant backdrops of snowy peaks and undulating valleys. In the village or Rohru. in the classical shikhara style of temples. Till its recent ‘straightening out’. a kilometre away. Sarahan also has a Buddhist monastery with a lot of artwork in texture done by the young lamas. On an edge. A tradition that still continues to an extent is that no individual should build a house similar in design or as grand as the temple or the ruler’s palace. [citation needed] The Sarahan village is famous for the ancient Bhimakali temple and as a starting point for a trek up mountain Shrikhand Mahadev. The treks are however open only between April and June and September-October. this pointed towards the peaks of Shrikhand and the state of Kullu . Sarahan also has a bird pheasentry (zoo or bird breeding station) where you can find a bird named Jajurana' (scientifically known western tagopharant) that is only available in India in Sarahan. it tilted towards a side but the inherent elasticity of the wood-beam structure prevented major damage. the older temple has a weathered and distinguished look. The defeated kingdom accepted all these conditions and in return only asked that Bushair celebrate the festival of Dussehra. Sangla and Shrikhand Peak. the pundits would enter and leave the temple. After this sanguinary story comes another. Then about a century ago. The foundations of this remarkable building are said to rest three-storeys deep.Sutlej would be retained. scion of Bushair’s princely family who superintends the temple complex told the story. a new temple was built and here it presently rests. And in the centre of the courtyard is a raised stone platform. passes the magnificent bras plate doors and enters a short hallway. Masoi’s house was razed to the ground and this stone from his roof was brought and symbolically placed here. a man named Masoi decided that this unwritten code did not apply to his and built for himself a house inspired by the design of the Sarahan complex. A later earthquake straightened the plumb to an extent. and now a disused tunnel connects it to the village of Ranwin. comes the second courtyard and the right hand side is lined with rooms of the erstwhile rulers. After a hard stride over Masoi’s stone. Adventure Sports Trekking In Sarahan : Sarahan is the base for some of Himachal's finest treks and is also the doorway to Kinnaur's untrammeled beauty. the temple of Bhimakali. And every person entering the complex now walked over that stone and let everyone know that those who tried to rise above their appointed station would be crushed and trod upon for all times to come. A few years back. During the devastating earthquake of 1905.a one time enemy of Bushair. But his hunk of rough quartzite still dominates the middle. there is a large flagstone on the floor. Kanwar Gopal Singh. all around this. The more popular ones are those going to Badahal.

offers the best panoramic view of the 6. towering above the clouds. The village deity is goddess Ukha. In the thick forests and rocky glen from this place downward goral and thar antelopes abound in. At a height of 10. Reckong Peo has many hotels and rest houses. For Sarahan. BHABA VALLEY: 50 km from Sarahan. 60 kms from Sangla. Every dawn brings lifting voices of the say’s first Aarti at the temple and the sound pours over the little villages. 13 of 45 . It is reached after crossing the quaint town of Recong Peo. encircling the area around. Till Chitkul. There is a Buddhist Monasteries in the Reckong Peo. located 235 km from Shimla.000m high Kinner Kailash range and Shiva Ling peaks. Kalpa Kalpa has all the makings of an Indian Fairyland. it is fairly populous and heavily cultivated. the Sangla Valley .Completed in 1943. if one were to use the phrase that the stones are soaked with history. This Sivalinga changes the colour as the day passes. with a host of other deities. at a height of 200 mts and 184-km from Shimla. 26 kms from Karcham along the Baspa river Rajesh and Ajay offer 'tented accommodation Kalpa. by old temples side is the newer temple with a similar architectural pattern but with heavier carving on the woodwork and a fascinating roofline.is about 95 kms long. apple plantations and the holy deodhars. It has a beautiful landscape. reservoir lake. which has a hundred-year-old monastery. Link road to valley originates at Wangtu.900 feet in Himachal Pradesh. The first portrays her as an unmarried maiden and the second as a mature woman. here is a 79 feet high rock formation that resembles Sivalinga. carries to the high mountains and its strength churns in the tumbling waters of the icy Sutlej. roughly halfway up the valley. a beautiful valley along Bhaba river. Kinner Kailash mountain is regarded as one of the mythical homes of Lord Shiva.along the Baspa river . Here. it would hold perfectly true. From the turn off at Karcham to the lofty Chung Sakhago pass. 265 kms ahead of Shimla on the NH22 in Kinnaur District is this hideaway town. It is the District Headquarter having a panoramic view of Kinner Kailash. Kalpa is also famous for its apple and chilgoza plantations. Reckong Peo is situated at an altitude of 2670 m from the sea level. Black and red bears are also seen in the higher and colder portions of the range.The scenery is enchanting and the climate is noted for its mildness. kissing the heavens. Kalpa itself is spread amidst chilgoza forests. alpine meadows and is best famous for trek route to Pin Valley in Spiti. From the time when Goddess Sati scattered her body over the land and her ear fell in Sarahan there are also flecks of blood and washes of legend. Also visible on the stretch is the peak of Raldang (5499 m).000 feet. Wangtu Nichar(3150m) : This village is situated between Taranda and Wangtu on the left bank of Satluj about 5 kms above Wangtu. are two images of Bhimakali. It is located at the base of the imposing Kinner Kailash ranges and Shivling peaks which rise upto 20.

The Kinner-Kailash range is silhouetted against the lovely town of Kalpa. This is a spectacular sight early in the morning as the rising sun touches the snowy peaks with crimson and gold light.Kalpa is dramatically located close to the foot of 6050 meter high Kinner Kailash. high altitude deserts and stunning gorges. Kalpa is situated at an altitude of 2759 m from the sea level. blend harmoniously in this land. to meet the quiet Baspa at Karcham. jeep safaris. The rugged mountains rise up dramatically from the riverbanks. Kalpa was the headquarters of the Kinnaur region till the town of Rekong Peo donned the mantle. hiking. It has all the characteristics of a heritage village. star-gazing. mountain-cycling. The road is literally carved through the rock face with a sheer drop down to the turbulent Sutlej Once you reach the town of Kalpa. on the old Hindustan Tibet Road at a distance of 260 km from Shimla. little below the Kalpa and nearby Reckong Peo. to cater to the audacious. of the 70 m Shivling that juts out of the peak and the striking sunrises and sunsets that light up the mountains. making it impossible to tell where one stops and the other begins. Kothi is also called Koshtampi is an ancient large village in tehsil Kalpa. a realm as strikingly varied as the landscape you will encounter on the way. chilgoza-pine and bhojpatra trees. The villages nearby are abuzz with friendly folk who won't let you pass their homes without an invitation for a cup of tea and a chat. Hindu temples. In ancient Hindu mythology. trout fishing in the Baspa. the ancient capital of the Kinners of Kinnaur. The Narayan-Nagani temple is an exemplary of local craftmanship. The architectural style is a happy fusion and you are left marveling at how two cultures. to the starkness of the mountains. camping. Buddhist monasteries and gompas stick out like Christmas decorations on the mountain slopes. and half an hour's drive from District Headquarter Reckong Peo. This is the legendary winter home of Shiva. Kinnaur is a land like no other. The Sutlej carves a deep chasm through the Great Himalayas as it rages through Kinnaur. trekking and river rafting adventures. the Kinners were birdlike men akin to Gods midway between man and God. green orchards and forests of cedar. you are rewarded by the most fantastic views of the KinnerKailash. Kalpa came into prominence in the wake of British Governor General Lord Dalhousie's visit in th 19th century. It is over 14 of 45 . Privately organized adventure camps are mushrooming around Kinnaur's valleys. There are couple of Buddhist monasteries at Kalpa including the Hu-Bu-Ian-Car Gompa. Earlier it was the District Headquarter of Kinnaur. Much of the excitement of visiting Kalpa lies in the adventurous journey to get here. This is one of the most breathtakingly vertiginous drives you will face. Hindu and Buddhist. The scenery changes dramatically from gorgeous valleys. The village is environed by the fields and fruit trees punctuated by vineyards. said to be founded it by Rinchensang-Po (950-1055AD). Besides the fantastic scenery and drives. set aside some energetic moments for mountain-biking. It is 14 kms.

on the bank of which there is an old fort believed to be built by Pandavas. The village with its attractive temple. The goddess Shuwang Chandika temple is in the village. The fort has a square structure situated on a knoll overlooking the Satluj. There are three Buddhist temples dedicated to Galdang Chhoikar. It is danced up and down by four persons at the time of worship. Its name is derived from "Rak" a stone and "Cham" a bridge. situated on the right bank of the Baspa river. is famous for its high fertile soil. The 18 mukh represents the 18 days of the great epic Mahabharat. Moorang(3591m): Situated above the left bank of Satluj at some distance from the confluence of the Tirang and 39 kms away from the Kalpa. Lippa(2438m): Situated near the left bank of Taiti stream. Its surroundings are full of the trees of edible pine.a populous village. Generally these are empty as the ark of the deity remains in the fort. The dell is encircled by the lofty mountains on every side. at an elevation of 2621 m above the sea level and falls at a distance of 17 km from Karcham. Ribba(3745m): Ribba or Rirang is another large populous village at a distance of 14 kms from Moorang. Rakchham Rakchham(3115m): Rakchham is situated on the right bank of the river Baspa. The natural scenery all arround and the eternal snow view are picturesque and charming. Apart from the Buddhist temples there is yet another old sanctuary dedicated to Tangtashu. Garmang and Shilling. The local people hold the goddess in great reverence and consider her to be one of the most powerful goddess. It is built on a slope with the house rising one above the other. which rises abruptly in numerous black spires above the village. 15 of 45 . In the local dialect ri stands for Chilgoza and rang means a peak of mountain. It is located in the famous Baspa valley. the tehsil hqrs. It has a flat roof. gold and brass.This village is situated on the northern flank of the lofty Kinner Kailash group.shadowed by Kinner Kailash peak which forms a magnificent backdrops. Dunguir and Kangyur. The local deity is Urming and there are three structures dedicated to the deity each existing in Thwaring.This as well as another village Rispa are known for their grapes orchards and the alcohol famous grape distilled from the vineyards of Ribba. made of silver.The site of the village is striking at the western exremity of a glen. There is a game sanctuary. and at the base a huge mass of bare rock. situated between the villages of Purbani and Rispa. the scene being closed by the gigantic Raldang peaks towering behind. Journey from Karcham onwards is enjoyable and adventurous throughout the valley.There is an image of gold seated in an ark. Ibex are said to be found in the nearby forest. tanks and gracious willows makes an altogether lovely landscape.There is yet another temple dedicated to Bhairon. The whole of the Baspa valley is one of the prettiest valleys mainly due to its flat terrain and green vegetation on the slopes which are not very steep. except westward open to the Satluj. Sangla Sangla . a local deity. It is said that in the earlier time there was a natural stone bridge over the Baspa river hence the name of the village. On a sacred day the ark is taken to the above named places. Its main gate is approachable by a detached ladder. The forest scenery all-arround and the eternal snow peaks are picturesque. The ark has got 18 'mukh'. The location is very beautiful and approach to this picturesque village is through apricot orchard. The grass of this village is said to be found to be very nourishing to cattle and horses.

Ropa Valley The Ropa Valley is in Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh. Ropa valley is famous for its wildlife including rare reptiles.The lake is fringed with willows and populars. It is surrounded by frightful barrenness and desolation. almond and grape orchards enhance its beauty. who neither has any dwelling nor possesses an ark. This is the highest village in the valley and the existence of lake formed out of the masses of the ice and snow above adds beauty to the village. where an image is said to grow hair. The square ark of the goddess. A portion of the Ropa Valley has been developed as the Golf Club and horse riding club. The valley covers an area of 10. vineyards. The valley is connected to the Spiti valley by the Manirang Pass.There is a staying hut for visitors. Yaks. The local god is called Dabla. The goddess has a mouthpiece. 16 of 45 . Nako Situated above 3 kms above the Hangrang valley road and is 119 kms from Kalpa on the western direction of the huge mountains of Pargial. though close to the habitation on the opposite bank of a rivulet can be seen field of barley.000 acres. is made of walnut wood and is covered with clothes and surmounted by a tuft of yak tail. Bushahru. Two poles called bayanga are inserted into it by means of which it is carried. birds. Local village deity is Deodum and another Lagang temple with several idols exist here.The Ropa Valley is connected to the Pin Valley by Manirang La Pass. Each of them has a separate labdak (mouthpiece). It is 71 kms from Reckong Peo. Khab Namgya(3048m): Namgya is situated on the left bank of the Satluj river about two kms above the confluence of the Spiti river with the Satluj. horses and asses are reared here in abundance. This is the base for the trek to pargial peak and is en-route to the Thashigang monastery. It is above 183m and 313m above the bed of the Saltuj river. Giabong Puh Puh is locally pronounced Spuwa and is tehsil hqrs. but significant Buddhist temples and a rock is regarded to have the imprints of the saint Padmasambhava.There is a Buddhist temple named Lagang and four local goddess namely Chola. apricots. It is situated on the right bank of the Baspa river. The only manifestation of the deity is a pole with a small idol set on its upper portion and adorned with yak tail hair and long pieces of coloured cloth.Chitkul Chhitkul(3450m):This is the last and highest village in the Baspa valley. amphibians and fishes. it is occasion brought to the Santhang.There are small. the main one said to have been constructed about 500 years ago by a resident of Garhwal. kine. Dabla and Kuldeo Narain. turnips and a few vines and apricots. It is situated above the national highway-22 having all modern amenities as well as green fields. There are three temples of local goddess Mathi. There is a road along the left bank from Karchham. The whole being called Fobrang. buckweat.

all other extant paintings are attributable to periods following the Gelugpa ascendancy. for that matter of the whole valley. Tabo Situated at the height of 3050 meters and On the left bank of river Spiti not far from Sumdo. (Main Temple). on the right bank of Spiti river. Tabo holds the distinction of being the largest monastic complex in Spiti. Except for the main Temple and the painted interior of the stupas. is a collection of 4 hamlets in Pargna Shuwa. Constructed in 996 AD. Rinchensang Po. Tabo is famous for its exquisite murals and stucco sculptures which bear a striking resemblance with the paintings and sculpture in the Ajanta caves. "The most important is Tabo. noted for its exquisite quality of paintings and stucco images that adorn its walls.At the east of it is an insulated rock once surmounted by a fort. Faint traces of the paintings that once embellished the rock face can be discerned. According to His Holiness Dalai Lama. TABO-The Ajanta of the Himalayas Tabo an ancient village is about 46 Kms from Kaza. and 15-20th c. that was established by the painted stucco. This is why Tabo has acquired the tide of 'Himalayan Ajanta'. Even today. (Stupas). a monks' chamber and an extension that houses the nuns chamber. 13th-14th c. The biggest attraction of this village. Tabo monastery contains the largest number and the best preserved group of Buddhist monuments in Himachal Pradesh. (all other chapels). is the Tabo monastery.Leo About 105 kms from Reckong Peo pearched on small rocky eminence. and at the confluence of the Lipak torrent flowing from the west is the hqrs. on the left bank of the Piti river at an altitude of 10004 feet. From such a situation the climate has acquired a delicious softness. four decorated stupas. The thousand year old Tabo Gompa. Dablaand Yulsa. On the sheer cliff-face above the enclave are a series of caves which were used as dwellings by the monks and includes an 'assembly hall'. Tabo was the brainchild of the great translator and teacher. Tabo is the oldest continuously functioning Buddhist monastery in India and the Himalayas with its original decoration and iconographic program intact. now in ruins considerable It occupies a slip of soil embosomed by sterile masses of the earth glowing under the ardour of a tropical sun. It is encircled on every side by high hills which is witness to the presence of a former lake. 23 chortens. the monastery has priceless collections of manuscripts and thankas. called Chogs-hkhor ('doctrinal circle' or 'doctrinal enclave') is a complex that holds nine temples. of sub-tehsil Hangrang in Puh sub-division. Tabo monastery is one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries regarded by a large number of followers as only next to the Tholing gompa of Tibet. Chango Chango (3058m) : At a distance of 122 km from Kalpa. Buddhism is generally practiced here but there are some local Hindu deities too namely Gyalbo. 17 of 45 . The nine chapels. Tabo is surrounded by high mountains. These works of art delightfully express the vigour of the transmission of Buddhism from india to Tibet and the dynamic mingling of cultures". and cave shrines contain paintings datable to the 1011th c. sub-tehsil Hangrang on the left bank of the river Spiti.

The Chamber of Picture Treasures (Z'al-ma) . These images number thirty three in all.The second largest temple in the complex. In Vajrayana Buddhism.This is also known as the Assembly Hall (du-khang) and forms the core of the complex.This shrine houses the image of the Bodhisattva Maitreya that is more than six meters high. also depict the monastery of Tashi-Chunpo and Lhasa's Potala palace. 18 of 45 . The walls around the stuccoes are elaborately adorned with wall paintings that depict the life of the Buddha. which is graphically represented in the art. the sanctum is immediately behind the assembly hall. Tabo was a royal monastery. vestibule and sanctum. It houses a vestibule.A thousand years ago Tabo served as a meeting place between two cultures. This interaction germinated the seeds of a new art statement best defined as Indo-Tibetan. But tradition attributes Tabo's founding to the Great Translator Rinchen Zangpo. and are the other deities of the pantheon. The wooden planks of the ceiling are also painted. this has a floor area of over seventy square meters. that the initiation to monkhood takes place. The Mystic Mandala Temple or Initiation Temple (dKyil-hKhor-khang) . The front wall sports the figure of the Sakyamuni.The temple lies on the northern edge of the complex and is said to have been founded by Dromton (1008-1064 AD). this shrine was exhaustively renovated in the 16th century by Senge Namgyal. The Golden Temple (gSer -Khang) . he is regarded as one of the five spiritual sons of the Adibuddha. who is surrounded by the eight Bodhisattvas. The walls and ceiling are covered with murals. The doorway is intricately carved and the inner walls are covered by murals. ruler of Ladakh. The other walls depict the eight Medicine Buddhas and Guardian Kings. It is here. He is portrayed here in a posture "turning the wheel of law". According to an inscription on one of the walls. On brackets arrayed along the walls and with stylised flaming circles around them. The temples of the complex are : The Temple of the Enlightened Gods (gTsug Lha-khang) . The temple has a hall. The above shrines are said to be the earliest in the Tabo complex and the following are later additions. while the portico and niche add another forty two square meters. founded and renovated by two of the most famous royal lamas of the distinguished line of kings of Purang-Guge in Tibet. are life size stucco images of what are commonly known as the Vajradhatu Mandala. With five Bodhisattvas of the Good Age placed within.The wall facing the door is embellished by a massive painting of Vairocana. Indian pundits and Tibetan scholars came to Tabo to learn Tibetan and Indian Buddhist works respectively.This is an ante room of sorts attached to 'the temple of enlightened gods'.Once believed to hav been layered with gold. Mystic mandalas cover the other areas. The Bodhisattva Maitreya Temple (Byams-Pa Chen-po Lha-khang) . The Temple of Dromton (Brom-ston Lha-khang) . an important disciple of Atisha. flanked by Sariputra and Maha Maugdalayana. It too is covered with paintings which are in the Tibetan style. the monastery was founded in AD 996. The Renovation Inscription of the monastery tells the temple was founded by the Bodhisattva (the royal Ye-she-O) and renovated 46 years later by his grandnephew. The array of murals within. an assembly hall and a sanctum. who was the selfcreative primordial Buddha. The Large Temple of Drom ton (Brom-ston Lha-khang) . The central figure in the assembly hall is the four fold Vairocana.

The assembly hall itself is a vivid representation of the "Vajradhatu Mandala". meaning `doctrinal circle`. Geographically. snow leopard and pika roam. stucco images and wall paintings. The monastery was originally built as a 'mandala' centering around the assembly hall of the temple of the Enlightened Gods. from Attargo where Spiti river has to be crossed to enter Pin valley. Often it is also called known as 'the temple of horror'. A 675 sq km valley at 3600 to 6000 m in Spiti. The change of mount from peacock to lion is significant and deliberate as it signified the elevation of Pratyeka Buddha to Bodhisattva by meditation on the Vajradhatu mandala. situated in Tabo Village. resembling the Ajanta-Ellora paintings in Maharashtra. a monk`s chamber and an annex that houses a nun`s bedchamber. approximately 46km southeast of Kaza in Lahul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh. with the four-fold Vairacana in dharmachakra pravartana pose sitting at the far end and flanked by 33 vajrayana deities. The sanctum sanctorum houses Amitaprabha on a lion. Fierce deities people the room and it is only entered after protective meditation. The climate and the rich grass of the valley produce extremely sure footed horses able to negotiate great heights without much difficulty. at Attargu. The Pin valley is famous for its internationally recognised Chaumurti horses that are bred and sold for considerable sums in Rampur-Bushahar during Lavi fair and in Ladakh. Built in 996. 19 of 45 . One of the four local units of Spiti is the Pin valley which lies on either side of the Pin river. A tourist in the Pin valley may see scores of horses. it is the leading monastic complex in Spiti Valley. Kungri It is situated in the Pin valley about 10 kms. Tabo monastery Tabo monastery is a prehistoric monastery. Also known as Tabo-Chos-Khor. where the Siberian Ibex. Horse racing and arrow shooting are very popular in the valley. The White Temple (dKar-abyum Lha-khang) .The Mahakala Vajra-bhairava Temple (Gon-Khang) .The walls of this shrine are also intricately adorned leaving a low dado for the monks and nuns to lean against. colts and fillies grazing on the river banks and some youths galloping away on these horses singing wildly in joyous abandon. the Pin valley is shut off from the rest of Spiti by high mountains. The only opening has been provided by the Pin river that forces its way through a deep narrow gorge to join the main river Spiti. It is serves the population of Pin valley. 23 chortens. Pin Valley Pin Valley National Park: 30 km from Tabo. with Ramapani on the right and Mahasthanaprata on the left. the gompa houses 9 temples. Tabo monastery houses delicate sculptures. A tourist may frequently come across arrow shooting competitions called Dhuvor.This temple enshrines the protective deity of the Geluk-pa sect.

Whenever the Spitians were attacked. 20 of 45 . Kungri provides unmistakable evidence of tantric cult as practised in Buddhism.e.. i. The location of this fort is strategic as Spiti always had to suffer innumerable aggressions by its neighbors. Founded between 7th and the 9th centuries. they built huge fires to signal meeting in the safe sanctuary of rocks. Behind the village around 2kms. Now new monastery has already constructed below the Castle. It is a chance encounter with buzhens as these lamas are wandering friars. There is a PWD rest house at Sagnam. It was traditional Capital of Spiti valley date back to 17the century.500 feet. Must carry own tents and camping gear. In the meeting all men and women decided the course of action to be taken against the aggressors. The citadel is built on a spur which projects into the main valley and ends in a precipice. Some more accommodation is also being added. near Shichling at an altitude of 3870 m. but still is a place worthy of visit. On the left bank of the Spiti river at a distance of 32 kms downstream from Kaza. "(The fort) became notorious for housing a cavernous dungeon which the Nono used as prison. The Kungri gompa built around 1330 AD. Some of the buzhens live in Mud village on the right bank of the Pin river. nestles the citadel of Dhankar. The curious looking buzhens perform a sword dance and are perhaps the only branch of Buddhism in which use of weapons is practised." The fort of Dhankar now lies in ruins. Dhankar's old temple complex occupies the southern part of the steep mountain slope of the village.774 feet above the sea level. It is known by the name of Lha-O-pa Gompa (monastery of the followers of Lha-O). Dhankar is also of art historical importance. The gompa consists of three detatched rectangular blocks facing east. The Dhankar Castle is sets picturesquely on a clay hill above Shichilling village. There is a natural Lake at about 13. the official capital of Spiti.KUNGRI GOMPA Spiti’s second oldest monastery is located in the Pin valley. Tracks from this valley lead to Kullu over Pin Parbati pass and Kinnaur over Bhaba pass. According to the State Gazetteer. Dhankars. It contained a cell without doors having only a small opening at the top through which the condemned person was lowered and received his meals. The location allowed the Spitian to keep vigil on the approaches and to submit messages to surrounding inhabitations in case of danger. south of Kaza around 24 kms. Most of the Pin valley has been demarcated as the Pin Valley National Park which is the natural habitat of the snow leopard and Himalayan ibex. From the remnants of the fort one can see vast expanses of the Spiti valley. The Dhankar monastery belongs to Gelugspa School of order. Kungri gompa is the main centre of the Nyingma-pa sect in Spiti. Dhankar Dhankar situated on the altitude of 12.

was built as a fort monastery on the Central Tibetan pattern. Dhankar Monastery The Gompa has over 150 monks. that branches off for Dhankar from the main Kaza . is placed in a glass altar embellished with scarves and flowers.894 metres (12." He is apparently the founder or renovator of the monastery which now belongs to the Gelugpa order. Principal figure is a Statue of " Vairochana" (Dhayan Budha) consisting of 4 complete figures seated back to back. like Key Monastery and Tangyud Monastery in Spiti. home to about 150 monks belonging to the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism. notable sights at Dhankar Gompa include a statue of Vairochana (Dhayan Buddha) consisting of 4 figures seated back to back in addition to various crumbling thangkas. The monastery is also referred to as Lha-'od-pai-dgon-pa: "Lha-'od seems to be the local pronunciation of Zla-'od. There are five different halls including Kanjur.5 km from the village at a height of 13500 ft. Under the Desert Development Project of Spiti the common carp variety of fish has been introduced in this lake. Some of the Gompas were destroyed during a particularly harsh winter in 1989. the Diamond Being. There is no rest house in the village. Lhakhang.. 21 of 45 . The building is decorated with depictions of Shakyamuni. and Thiktse. the name of a famous lama who was born in 1121. Likir and Rangdum monasteries in Ladakh. Below the Gompa lies the small village of Shichilling which contains the new Dhankar Monastery. Dhankar was the traditional capital of the Spiti Valley Kingdom during the 17th century and has some features dating back to the 12th century. but also earlier than Srong-btsan-sgam-po.The monastery consists of a number of multi-storeyed buildings perched together. according to the Reu-mig. good for small vehicles only.Lhakhang Gongma. Dhankar Gompa (also Drangkhar or Dhangkar Gompa) is a Gompa. a Buddhist temple in the district of Lahul and Spiti in India. lastly during the Dōgrā war…. Dhang or dang means cliff. The branch road is 8 kms in length upto Dhankar. Dhankar. giving a fortress like impression. nothing to show of any really ancient relics. The complex is built on a 1000-foot (300metre) high spur overlooking the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers . lunar landscape. It is situated at an elevation of 3. is a fresh water lake about 2. however.Samdu road at a point around 24 kms from Kaza. Some boating facilities are proposed to be introduced in the near future.774 feet) in the Spiti Valley between the towns of Kaza and Tabo. No angling is. do carry tents. the lake offers a perfect idyllic camping site. Most interesting at the Lha-O-pa gompa is the small chapel on the uppermost peak above the main monastery . sleeping bags and other provisions. They explain this fact by stating that the monastery was plundered many times. It was reported to have had 90 monks in 1855. Hence Dhangkar means fort on a cliff. and kar or khar means fort. however. If you plan to halt for night. The monks assert that it was not only of earlier origin than the Tabo monastery.one of the world's most spectacular settings for a gompa. There is a small museum in the gompa. Beyond the surrounding harsh. Set amidst lush green pastures. and Dukhang where a life size silver statue of Vajradhara. Dhankar is approachable by a motorable road. They have. allowed in the lake. Tsongkhapa and Lama Chodrag on the central wall Dhankar's main attraction. some fascinating 'thangka' sculptures and a statue of the 'Dhyan Buddha'. Zla-'od-pa would then mean "a follower of Zla-'od. although least publicised. It has relics in the shape of paintings and sculptures.

World Monuments Fund selected Dhankar gompa as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world. together with the rich interior of the main chapel and the fact the building is also attributed to Rinchen Zangpo. that branches off for Dhankar from the main Kaza-Samdu road at a point around 24 km from Kaza. Dhankar Lake A 45 minute walk on a short trail from the monastery will take you to Dhankar lake. After an hour-long drive the valley opens up a little for the rich pastures of Lhalung town. The road into the Lingti valley leads along the slopes of the Lingti's right bank in serpentine curves from which one has a giddy view of the few medieval settlements along the river. The Monastery has about 100 Lamas and is in position of Budhist scriptures in Bhoti language. 22 of 45 . consisting of barley and the yellow rape that adds another beautiful colour to the reduced palette of Spiti. LHALUNG From the small hamlet of Attargu the track leads through deserted and rugged terrain over heights of around 3800 metres into the Lingti valley. The small chapel has a total of 51 deities. The paintings on the walls are of recent date. Enjoy a boat ride. of which the most are painted in gold. is attempting to organize its conservation. Serkhang. At some spots fragmentary remains of a wall encircling all the buildings are to be found. The branch road is 8 km in length up to Dhankar Dhankar is a big village and erstwhile capital of Spiti Kingdom. may suggest that the temple like that of Tabo was designed as a Chokhor site. either mounted against the walls or placed on the central altar. Dhangkar Initiative. The local tradition that the site once consisted of nine temples. the golden hall is completely overwhelmed by the number of deities present. a place of learning and debate as opposed to a simple chapel for worship by local people. On top of a hill there is a fort which use to be the prison in olden times.In 2006. after the Pin which pours its great waters out into the spiti. A nonprofit group. good for small vehicles only. The compound consists of five buildings. Lingti is the third biggest river. A few of the chhortens lead up to the monastic site from the outskirts of the village. Dhankar is approachable by a motorable road.

The Electricity Board rest house is at Rangrik just 4 km away. Lamas practice dance. of Nono. current exchange. Many Lamas get religious training here. it again suffered three brutal attacks. which developed during the 14th century in the wake of the Chinese influence. Besides. The village is overlooked by steep ridges. the chief of Spiti. from Keylong and 425kms. It is the best in the valley. is situated on the left bank of the Spiti river at an altitude of about 12. It houses beautiful scriptures and paintings of Budha and other goddesses. of Spiti Valley. the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti. Rani Damyanti. and the 23 of 45 . It has all modern facilities and is connected by road with Manali & Shimla except in the winter months. The otherwise soporific place hums with activity of tourists during summer. who converge here for permits. Once it was the hqtr. north of Kaza and serves the western population of Spiti. Opposite Kaza on the right bank of the Spiti river is Kyuling from where the nono of Spiti ruled over his subjects. The other monastery is at Hikkim. This monastery is an outstanding example of the monastic architecture. petrol and to witness the annual trade fair which a number of visitors compare with the fairs in some of the gompa towns of Ladakh. information. Kaza. above msl. Many Lamas get religious training here. accommodation. sing and play on pipes and horns. Langza Langza has around 20 houses in all.Kaza 224 kms. It has murals and books of high aesthetic value.pa sect monasteries. There is a beautiful Buddha status on top of the mountain here. Guides. It houses beautiful scriptures and paintings of Buddha and other goddesses. There are PWD rest houses and a private hotels for the staying. from Shimla. The Mongols plundered the monastery in the middle of the 17th century. It has murals and books of high aesthetic value. porters. 197kms. It is situated at the foot of the step ridges on the left bank of Spiti river. Kye Monastery is situated 12 kms north of Kaza and serves the western population of Spiti in the Lahaul & Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. Kaza (3800 m) is a Sub Divisional Hqtr. pack animals and most importantly permits for treks can be obtained in Kaza. Kaza has one of the two Sa. It is the oldest and biggest monastery of the valley and located at (4116 m) above Kye village. Kaza makes a ideal base camp for all treks and tours within the valley. now resides in Kaza preserving all the stately charm of the yester years. from Manali. Lamas practice dance. Langza is framed by the mountain range Chocho Khang Nilda and the village is beautiful. The successive trails of destruction and patch-up jobs have resulted in a haphazard growth of box-like structures. sing and play on pipes and horns. In the 19th century. family.kya. It is the oldest and biggest monastery of the valley and located at (4116 m) above Kye village. a descendent of this ruling. There are two rest houses in Kaza proper. Very highly recommended. Kye Kye monastery It is situated 12 kms.500 ft.

So much so that the structure now gives an appearance of fort rather than a monastery. This continuous onslaught on the monastery resulted in frequent renovation and reconstruction work. Buddhist regards 1000 years as Kalachakra or the `Wheel of Time`. The monastery looks like a fort. From a distance is resembles the Thiksey monastery near Leh in Ladakh. The construction of this monastery does not look very orderly.000 Buddhist devotees from all parts of the globe. and suffered 3 more attacks in 19th century. The successive trails of destruction and patch-up jobs have resulted in a haphazard growth of box-like structures. In the 17th century. rare manuscripts. Site & Architecture The design of Monastery is not symmetrical one. Paintings and Murals cover the walls of monastery. The irregular prayer chambers are interconnected by dark passages. thankas. the monastery is renowned religious training center for the Lamas who can be seen dancing. It is also known for its beautiful murals. The structure is so huge. there have been several attacks on it. It has been a major center of Buddhist learning and pilgrimage. Hundreds of lamas receive their religious training in the monastery. Kye Monastery in Spiti valley is another magnificent monument in Himachal Pradesh. Overlooking Kaza from a height of about 13. Kye monastery was attacked by the Mongols during 17th century. On a monastery`s millennium year. and thus complex now resembles a defensive fort.500 ft. which in turn has given rise to irregular box like structure. The monastery is also a center for religious teachings to Lamas (the Tibetan Monks). the Kye monastery is the largest in the valley and holds a powerful sway over the most populous part of the valley around Kaza. One can find Lamas practice. along with more than 15. in the position of Dhyana. This monastery is a perfect example of the monastic architecture. after Tabo monastery. where temples are built on top of one another. 24 of 45 . many temples have been added on top of the existing one. Kye houses beautiful scriptures and paintings of Budha and other gods and goddesses. The monastery completed 1000 years in 2000 AD. The 1000 years old Kye monastery is another millennium years old monastery. tortuous staircases and small doors. that it looks more like a fort. Today. the Kalachakra ceremony was considered all the more auspicious. This monastery is an outstanding example of the monastic architecture. Thereafter.complex now resembles a defensive fort. singing and playing on their pipes and horns. It is considered the most revered and secret spiritual practice of trans Himalayan Buddhism for the Moksha (salvation) of all mankind. sing and play on pipes and horns. It has a collocation of ancient murals and books of high aesthetic value. The 19th century saw three more effort to ruin the monastery. than a monastery. History The history of the monastery dates back to 1000 AD. and a celebration of its millennium years were conducted in 2000. Continuous attacks and rebuilding lead to an uneven design pattern. The gompa is an irregular heap of low rooms and narrow corridors on a monolithic conical hill. dance. Kye monastery dates back to 1000 AD. the Mongols were the one who attacked the monastery. stucco images and peculiar wind instruments that form part of the orchestra whenever Chham is enacted in the gompa in summer. which developed during the 14th century in the wake of the Chinese influence. Kye Monastery in Kaza is one of the most beautiful monasteries in the valley. Another interesting aspect of the gompa is its collection of weapons which may have been used to ward off marauders as also to maintain its control over people betraying a church-militant character. rather it seems that in successive time. Kalchakra is a religious celebration performed by the Dalai Lama every year. The monastery enshrines Buddha images and idols. The celebrations witness `His Holiness Dalai Lama`.

devotion.290 ft) in the north and it will touch another high point of Kamelong (19.200 ft in a narrow valley on the summit of a limestone rock. psycho-physiology. yoga and meditation. it is only 8. a high school. The remarkable feature about the architecture is the use of stone instead of mud or adobe brick used extensively in the valley. sadhana and Buddhahood. liberates the participant from suffering and bestows on him the bliss of Enlightenment. Abhisheka. The lama breathed his last in Kibber in 1983 and when he was being cremated a water source erupted from that spot. Kee Gompa. There is a monastery in Kibber which is named after Serkang Rimpochhe of Tabo. is located in Lahaul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. on the way to Kibber. Even today the source is being used by the villagers. one of the highest villages in the world at an altitude of 4205 m above sea level in a narrow valley surrounded by mountains from all sides. It is an effort by every participant to try to discover the true and permanent peace for the sake of all others.5 kms trek from Kaza. The ceremony focuses on five main subjects . There are only 80 houses in the village. a telegraph office and a community TV set in the village. The moment you get down from the bus you are greeted by lush green fields which look strikingly refreshing against the arid backdrop of lofty hills. The trek to Ladakh takes minimum 3 night halts. is worth a visit.one of the highest motorable villages in the world. There is a traditional trade route from Kibber to Ladakh over Parang La. The Spitians go to Ladakh to barter their horses for yaks or to sell for cash. is the highest village in the world at a height of 4270 m.Kalachakra initiation (Skt. a post office. There are a civil dispensary. prayer.362 ft) in the south. Kibber Kibber. Wildlife species include blue sheep and ibex. Tibetan Wang) is not just an elaborate puja or a religious congregation.The Kibber sanctuary also covers the highest peak in Himachal Pradesh. at an altitude of about 4205 mThe main attraction is Kibber Sanctuary. It is only 16 kms from Kaza and a bus service plies between these two places in summer. blessing. Gete Gete . mantra. The gompa is approached by road from Kaza (only 12 km). Kibber is located at a height of about 14. 2000 by His Holiness Dalai Lama. However. at a short distance away from Kaza.Thousands of devotees from all over the world were attended the Kalachakra ceremony which was performed in August. Permits are required for this trek. Panoramic views of Shilla Peak and Parang La Pass are the added features. The Buddhists believe mere presence during this elaborate initiation ceremony stretching over a few days. the highest village in the world. A Kalachakra mandala and Viswatma deitiy in union with his consort are at the centre of this ceremony guiding the disciple through the tedious process of initiation. Langcha and Kibber village It is locally known as Khyipur. Gette. initiation. Rest houses are available for the visitors. Kibber is a rather pleasant village with plenty of cultivation. Kibber also serves as a base camp for the trek to the Tso Morari Lake in Ladakh. Kibber Sanctuaryis the only sanctuary in the country which is situated in the cold desert area and covers about 1400 sq km. It is a workshop in a grand scale to make an earnest effort by both the teacher and disciples to awaken their Buddha nature by the combined forces of teaching.Kibber Sanctuary is linked with road via Lalung. Gya (22. 25 of 45 .cosmology.

A small flight of steps leads to the river bank where one could even venture a swim. with motorable road and electricity. Ibex. pack animals and guides for Chandrataal and other treks starting from Lossar can be hired from here. There is a small gompa in the village. 26 of 45 . The neatly white-washed mud houses with red bands look extremely picturesque. embosomed in flourishing crops and herds of Pashmina wool goats. Losar It is situated near the confluence of Losar and Peeno streams at height of 4080 m above sea level.085 m. blue sheep. Yaks and horses meet the eye upon the high activities of the mountains. According to Gerard. The contrast is rendered all the more appealing by verdant fields and willow plantations around the village. There is a PWD rest house at the edge of the village where one can stay. Kullu and Bilaspur. Yak is the beast of burden. most of them had population between 10 and 25!). white and brown stripes). there are two lakes are used for farming fish. The shepherds believe a stay of two months in and around Spiti immunises their flock and increases their fertility. at an altitude of nearly 4300 mts This road has further touched the village of Gete at 4995m where there are only six living families. a village at higher altitude then kibber. can be seen in the higher reaches around the village.white. blue framed windows and heavy brush coverings (for insulation against the winter snows) on their flat roofs. Arriving in the tiny village of Komik we were taken to the monastery (painted in blue. Porters. The flat roofed houses are topped by white flagpole which the superstitious believe saves them from evil spirits and brings prosperity. Lossar is surrounded by vast alpine. Komik We were headed to the villages of Hikkim and Komik (at Enormous Buddha at Hikkim 4200 meters high and considered one of the most beautiful villages in the whole of the Himalayan Ranges) and the monastery there. One wonder if the tourists are also accorded the same hospitality. meadows which are frequented by herders from Kangra Mandi. "Lofty as the level of Lossar is.. there is little in the landscape to betray its position when viewed in summer. A few meters from the rest house from Spiti river in all its serenity. etc. it has hardly 4-5 houses! (villages in spiti are named on a govt. the village is singularly secluded. The inhabitants dress up more like their Tibetan counterparts and perform an interesting post harvest Yak dance which can be witnessed during La Darcha fair. Chamba. One can find fossils near Gete Village. this village is worth a visit being the first big village and because of its Location. placard with it's population. Situated at a height of 4. It was certainly beautiful . The people of Lossar are very hospitable. Totally awe inspiring and the whole environment made us feel very insignificant. Yak and horse riding are other charms to add to its beauty and unique experience. The village grows seed potatoes and green peas besides traditional crops.Gete. and an ardent sunshine keeps the air looming from the effect of mirage. Lossar is the first inhabited village on the Spiti side if you advance to the valley from Manali over Kunzom pass. Sight of Lossar to a trekker coming down from Kunzom brings instant relief. it is common for the villagers to invite touring officials to their village for a binge where the gusts are regaled to the tunes of local music and dance an liberal helpings of chhang and arak. The rest of the houses were all traditional as in Nako .

from the Kunzum Pass in Lahaul & Spiti district that connects Spiti Chander Tal Lake and Lahaul areas. From Kunzom one trek leads.m. From Tandi (8kms. On one side is the Spiti valley and to the other are numerous C.) or can go to Leh via Keylong . Recently a temple has been built on the top. The lofty Shigri Parbat can be seen right in front in all its grandeur.m. the lake of the Moon. The lake is about a kilometre in length and half of it in breadth.Sumdo road. A temple dedicated to Durga. The panorama as viewed from the top is breathtaking. The altitude of this pass is about 4590 m. A hut has also been built for the people to take shelter. This pass is situated at 60 kms from Gamphu on the Gramphu-Kaza. one has to turn right from Gramphoo. and from where the Spiti. According to some believers. From Killar to Chamba/Dalhousie/Delhi or to Kishtwar. The lake lies in a broad grassy plain which in ancient times was a glacier. Trilokinath and Tindi and thereafter by trekking to Killar.B. was built by some gaddies but it could not withstand avalanches and today is in ruins. The view from the top is breathtaking. This is the source of the river Chandra. People believe that the deity has refused to live in the temple. After seeing this pass one can drive to Batal for a night stay in the Rest House. Chandrataal. Its circumambulation is five kms long. the panoramic view of Bara-Sigri glacier (second longest glacier in the world) is enthrilling and inspiring. Yudhishtra to 'swarga' (heaven) in his mortal form. There is a temple at the top of this pass dedicated to goddess Durga. Though higher than the Rohtang Pass. There is a brownish patch "Samundari Tapu" in the middle of 27 of 45 . away from the temple where travellers can find shelter during foul weather. this is the spot from where the god Indra's chariot took the eldest Pandava brother.Jammu-Delhi. Sarchu. For tourists it is a favourite halt for tea or snacks. Batal Chander Tal At an altitude of 4300 metres and 6 k. The natural lake of Chandrataal is situated at about 14. It provides chief access to the Spiti-valley from Lahaul which is separated from the Spiti valley by the great Kunzom range. short of Keylong) one can also drive to Pangi valley along the Chenab river to Udaipur. Kunzum Jot The crest of the pass is marked by a wall of mani stones clearly suggesting that one is now stepping into a Buddhist country. Her foot impressions worshipped by gaddies and local people. Tanglang la by road. The crest of the pass has been marked by a chhorten of stones erected ages ago. After crossing Rohtang pass and driving 20kms. Darcha. this deep blue-water lake has a circumference of 2.000 ft above msl between a low ridge and about nine kms from the Kunzom pass. Kunzom is safer and provides easier ascent and descent. Surrounded by snows and acres of scree. She prefers to stay in the open. While going to this pass. On way back from Gramphoo one can either return to Manali (71kms. Baralacha la. pronounced Piti. There is a small hut about 200 m. the fierce female deity.(Chandra-Bhaga ) range peaks.Kunzum pass As Rohtang pass is a gateway to Lahaul so Kunzum pass (4590 m) is the gateway to Spiti from Kulu & Lahaul. the chief river of the area takes its source.5 k.

from the exotic charm of the Lahaul valley. Gramphu KHOKSAR Khoksar is the first village and gate way to Lahaul. is a small stone enclosure and a water spring which is the principal source of the river Beas. There is a story of a mermaid living in the glacial lake. Butterflies of numerous and rare kind and varigated hues also draw the attention of' the visitor.D.111m on the highway to Keylong. A number of temples exist along the periphery of the lake. During summers rich growth of alpine flowers. H. however. sudden blizzerds and snow storms called Biannas are only to be expected. Every year it must take toll of life and property. is open from June to November each year.the lake which a number of people have tried to reach but in vain. on the right bank of the river Chandra. snow streaked and snow crowned. Herds of goats and sheep can be seen grazing around. is the Rohtang Pass. The place gained religious significance because of sojourn of Beas Rishi (the famous Vyasa Rishi. Beas kund is at the head of the Solang nullah. In Tibetan Rohtang means "a heap of dead bodies" and the pass stands true to its notorious name. Its waters are crystal clear and free from pollution. Alpine vegetation grows on the surrounding moraines in summer. There is habitation on the left bank also. Khoksar remains covered under snow during winters. The river freezes during winters and is covered with snow to afford regular passage for human beings as also for mule traffic. Rohtang pass (altitude 13050 feet) separates Kullu. beautiful potato fields and numerous water channels spell bound the visitor.M. There is a beautiful Dasohar Lake left of the Pass. which provides the only access to the Lahaul Valley. This is also said that a shepherd from Hansa village in the Spiti valley fell in love with the fairy and spent some time with her under the water.W. Chandra Taal is a favourite halting place for the shepherds because of rich growth of grass. Cranes and ducks abound in the lake.P. A few km away from the pass is the Sonapani glacier and.the other. This is so because after 11 A. Snowfall is. This lake freezes during the winter season. The pass becomes all the more hazardous to negotiate due to frequent avalanches. author of the epic Mahabharata. The Pass. Rohtang Pass Situated about 50-km from Manali town. This village is situated at an altitude of 3140 m. rest house and Serai are on the left bank. . Just five kms ahead of Khoksar towards Manali is Gramphu from where a diversion to the left leads to Kaza. slightly to the left are the twin peaks of Gaypan-jagged pyramid of rock. Here one sees the majesty of the mountains at its height and splendour. The water in the lake is so clear that stones at its bottom are easily visible. at an altitude of 4. At the highest point on top to the right as one faces Lahaul. The summit of the pass turns into lush green meadow in summer studded with violets and varieties of wild Himalayan and Alpine flowers. 28 of 45 . During winters Khoksar is the coldest inhabited place in Lahaul. unpredictable and blizzards can close the Pass even during this period.P. Avalanches can be seen piled up even near the river bed. This village is surrounded by high mountains and is avalanche-prone. This may be of interest to the reader that Khoksar was on the old trade route from Indian plains to the West Asia.

Interesting routes into the surrounding valleys. is a splendid valley between Solang village and Beas Kund. It is a flourishing orchard industry. Winding paths through forests and glades of whispering Deodars form the setting for the majestic wooden temple of Hidimba Devi in Manali. Vashist Springs (1. The higher of the two peaks can be seen on a clear day from as far as the Ridge in Shimla. Manali's major asset is its proximity to the snowline. high. Himachal tourism buses and taxi operators of Manali provide frequent and efficient service to the tourists in the open season. Surrounded by towering peaks at an arm length. The motorable road is shaded by Chestnuts. are provided with tourist huts and rest houses for trekkign enthusiasts. This forested backdrop enthral one’s spirit and refresh one’s mind all along the uphill path. Chinars and tall deciduous Deodars. Almost directly opposite and obviously only a few kms away is the well defined Sonapani glacier. Tea and snacks are available on the top. Manali. a popular honeymoon destination and trailhead for numerous treks as well as a great countryside ideal for adventure sport lovers. Pangi Lahaul and from Serchu plains across the Baralacha La.To the left of this pass is the little lake Sarkund. in a bath complex with a restaurant and a beautiful view. Manali literally means the 'Home of Manu'.982m): At about half an hour’s brisk walking distance from town. Manali. Manali Situated at the northern end of the kullu valley. Solang 13 kms. warming all kinds of ailments out of their systems. These peaks are snow streaked and snow covered. Thus. the area of Manali is sacred and Hindus treat the temples over here as pilgrimage. Around Manali Hadimba Temple: Hadimba or Dhungiri temple in Manali is one of the most important temples in the region. The winter skiing festival is organised here. It has fine ski slopes. Now a few hotels have also come up. couples can soak in the privacy of their own sunken bath. On the 20th Bhadon (early September) every year a large number of people visit this lake with the belief and hope that an early morning bath in it will cure all their ailments. seats of Pre Aryan Himalayan gods Jamulu and his younger brother Gyephang. The Mountaineering Institute has installed a ski lift for training purpose. The higher peak is 5856 m. Manali has spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of Gyephang La. Solang valley offers the view of glaciers and snow capped mountains and peaks. over the high passes. Here. This four-story wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. Located here is a hut and guest house of the Mountaineering and Allied sports Institute. there are sulphur springs-gush. is a popular base for trekking and mountaineering in summer and skiing in winter. Gyephang La can be seen from Kunzom. 29 of 45 . hot and medicinal emerging out of the mountains at Vashisht. He then came to Manali and recreated human life. with its mountaineering institute. However for food one has to halt at Marhi. Training in skiing is imparted at this place. Manu is the mythological character who is supposed to have survived when the world was drowned in Flood.

Beas Kund: Further ahead is the Beas Kund. This place is ideal for a taste of adventure and for spending a quiet holiday in solitary splendour. is the 'Arjun Gufa' or the cave of Arjuna. There are private organisations that provide training as well as equipment for skiing. which have been rated the best for skiing in the world. The institute has sufficient lodging and boarding arrangements and equipment can be hired for trekking purposes. In here Arjuna practised austerities to get Pashupata Ashtra or weapon from Lord Indra. About 6-km from Manali. the very source of the holy river Beas. which offer packages for paragliding. The Mountaineering Institute has put up a small ski lift at Solang Nullah. Kothi. The slopes of Solang Nullah provide just the right kind of slopes for paragliding during summers. The tiny roundish igloo like stone hut shelters the Beas Kund. There are organisations. Skiing in Manali: Near Manali there are some slopes. The various clubs provide the basic equipment required for the water sports. so clear and icy cold that it almost numbs the fingers. 5-km from Manali near the village of Prini. This institute also conducts other adventurous sports activities like high altitude trekking. In parachuting one has to jump from an aircraft whereas in paragliding one has to run down hill. Water flows at the source of the river likfe a spring. All around is the rocky terrain with very little vegetation. minor mountaineering. Paragliding in Manali: Paragliding is a combination of hang gliding and parachuting. A few mules graze around while all and sundry try to brave the wind on a clear sunny day. Marhi and Rohtang slopes are very good for skiing in the winters as well as in summers. Kullu The Silver Valley 30 of 45 . skiing. rock-climbing. Patalsu. The slopes are being further developed to accommodate more trainees and tourists.Himachal Tourism runs a camping site here. Jagatsukh is famous for its Shiva temple that is built in "shikhara" style and nearby is the old and interesting Devi Sharvati temple. Adventure Sports in Manali Manali Mountaineering Institute: The Mountaineering Institute located at Manali provides training facilities for basic and advance climbing both for Indian nationals and foreigners. The trip starts from Mohal and covers a total distance 10-kms. The national level skiing competition is held on the slopes of Solang Nullah and the winter carnival is organised at Manali.Jagatsukh (6-kms): It is one of the biggest villages in Kullu district. The season normally starts from May to mid-June and rest depends on the arrival of monsoon. Raisan By the banks of the Beas-and on the Kullu-Manali Highway. The place has immense potential to offer some world-class ski slopes and they are being developed on the same lines. and high altitude rescue and relief courses. Rafting in Manali: The Beas river flowing through Kullu valley is suitable for not only white water rafting but is ideal for canoeing and kayaking too. The Solang Nullah. Arjun Gufa (5-kms): On the left bank of the Beas. In fact Patalsu and Rohtang slopes are the only places where one can do summer skiing. The Beas River from the Manaki to Jhiri near Bajaura in Kullu district has become very popular among the lovers of river rafting and many competitions have been organised in the same.

The Himalayan mountain scapes remain spectacular whether in brilliant sunshine or in the haze of the mist. Places Of Interest In Kullu Raghunathji Temple: In the 17th century. to pay homage to the reigning deity. the stone base of which is much more ancient than the 19th-century wooden verandah and roof. Its 16th century stone and wood castle is now a hotel run by Himachal Tourism. this 2.each of which is a visual delight and seems more beautiful than the other. has a legend around it. and by the banks of the shining river Beas.Kullu was once known as “Kulanthpitha”. which means the end of the habitable world. The shrine houses an image of Shri Raghunath in his chariot. lay the fabled 'Silver Valley' of Kulu.400 years Naggar remained the capital of Kullu. situated on the left bank.Lord Ram. which he brought from Ayodhya. As a mark of his penance. here am hot sulphur springs that bubble next to the by waters of the Penal river. Naggar also has three other old shrines.687 ft.the small shrine of Gaurishankar and the larger chalet-roofed temple to the goddess Sandhya Devi. Raja Jagat Singh installed here an idol of Lord Raghunathji. This temple was built by Raja Jagat Singh to house the image and even today. Parvati Valley & Manikarna: At 1. He started performing 'tapa' at this mountain. the 'linga' is then carefully pieced together by the temple pundit. Here. Kasol makes a good holiday destination. Decorated palanquins and processions convey Gods and Goddesses from temples all over the valley to Kullu. with Arjuna. a gallery houses the paintings of the Russian artist. which opens into the Sutlej valley. Around the Jagatsukh secondary school playground there are two ancient temples . Raghunathji. Adventure Sports in Kullu Angling & Fishing in Kullu: Kasol: An open glade by the banks of the river Parvati.) high snow dove Jagatsukh. Nicholas Roerich. In the 17th century. Raja Jagat Singh of Kulu committed a great wrong. under the advice of Maharishi Vyas. Bijli Mahadev Temple: Set on a spur that offers some spectacular views. he placed the idol on his throne and it became the presiding deity of the Kullu valley. Jagatsukh : Jagatsukh is the most ancient Kullu capital. The town of Kulu is famous for its colourful Dussehra festival. The place is revered by both Hindus and Sikhs Treks from here lead to Pulga. The route finally reaches the Pin Parvati Pass (4802 m).737 m. dancing and festivity. in order to obtain the powerful Pasupata Astra from Indra. Using only butter as adhesive. Around Kullu Naggar: For 1. which shatters the 'Shivalinga' and scorches the building. Here is the core of an intricate web of numerous valleys . is greatly revered. Khirganga and Mantalai' a stretch of considerable natural beauty. between Nagar and Manali. The town of Kullu has long been a centre of faith. To atone for the sin he sent a senior courtier to Ayodhya for a statue of Lord Raghunath . A Fair springs up during the festival which is celebrated with a great deal of singing.953 metres (9. Deo Tibba: Also known as Indralika. Clean white sand 31 of 45 . Beyond rose the forbidding heights of the Greater Himalayas. this temple is famous for its 20m high rod that periodically draws lightning.

Lahaul and Spiti. A cowherd who saw all this spread the words that he had seen the princes with Charlatan. the princess was put in a deephole in the earth full of thorns and Padmasambhava was taken out to a secluded place. Mandi Mandi is situated on the banks of the river Beas. Manali. On King's order.Kullu. Banjar: It is about 58-km from Kulu at an altitude of 1. He thought that his daughter has broken the vow by flirting with a man.Shaped quite like a square and with a shoreline of 735 meters. This lake is known for its floating island. Mandi is an important trading centre situated on the Pathankot-Kullu road. When the smoke did not clearoff for a week. the Sainj and Tirthan. 32 of 45 . The news aroused King's wrath. Khatrain is the widest point in Kullu Valley and is overlooked by the 3. Repenting king offered him his kingdom and princess Mandarva was married to him.534m (5. this place is well known for trout fishing. Bathad: A beautiful spot at a distance of 67-km can be approached by road from Kullu.325 m Baragarh peak. where the spirit of Padmasambhava rests. came through the air from 'Uddiyana' and appeared in person to give her teachings. It is the headquarter of the district. Fishing permits can be obtained from Kullu and Largi itself. 34-km south of Kulu via Aut. The town is also the gateway to Himachal's most famous valleys . Rewalsar is known as 'Padmacan' to the Buddhist which means 'Lotus Possessing' and is considered the place. Largi: Largi is a small hamlet. The king agreed and she took her bows before a Buddhist scholar named 'Shantarakshita' ( believed to be the brother of Padmasambhava ). this is the home of lush orchards and famous for bee-keeping and trout fishing. offers the best trout fishing and scenic beauty in the valley. Banjar is famous for its panoramic beauty and trout fishing in river Tirtham. There is a story behind the formation of this lake. tied to a wooden pyre which was then set on fire. the daughter of king 'Arshadhara' of Zahor ( tibetian name of Mandi ) resolved to announce her loyal ties and dedicated herself to the religious order. It has a rich culture and history represented by its temples which are a major tourists draw. The entire town has a huge sprinkling of temples.000 ft. Rewalsar Lake and Kunti Sar Lake :.separates the lush green grass from the stone. Katrain: At about midpoint on Kullu-Manali road. meet. It is recognized for adventurous games such as hunting. the King visited the spot and found to his surprise that the place had turned into a Lake with Lotus in the centre.). The legend goes that princess Mandarva. It is an important pilgrimage. Padmasambhava having observed that she was a dedicated pupil. Mandi is also on the KulluShimla road via Bilaspur. The resthouse there is in a stunning location where two Himalayan torrents. trout fishing and breathtakingly beautiful sites. Padmasambhava had menifested himself.

on the haulage trolley is thrilling. and next to it is 'Macchial' considered to be a sacred spot. Jogindernagar :. A three-tiered Pagoda-like temple dedicated to the sage lies by the lake and he is regarded to have meditated here.( 57 km.Beautifully fertile valley receives the tired traveler with open arms at a distance of 25 km from Mandi on the National Highway. This is a very sacred place. Overwhelmed.332 metres above sea level. It is worth a visit on account of Shanan Hydel Project built by the Britishers Pandoh Dam. Bassi power station is 5 km. You can reach the place from Karsog via Bakrot ( Chindi ) or via Gohar ( Budhakedar ). The lake water is believed to be flowing underground from Rewalsar to 'Nagchala' ( a place 10 km from Mandi on the Mandi-Shimla National Highway ). the seven floating islands in reward. Barot :. This natural sulphur spring is pure and has curative power for various kings of bodily ailments.This lake is situated in a cup like valley. Captivating sunrise and sunset from the temple is soul stirring. Tatta-pani means hot water. It is located on the right bank of river Satluj at an altitude of 656 meters. With deep blue waters. The Hindus believe that it was here that the 'Lomas Rishi' held his penance in devotion to lord Shiva. This lake is fed by small mountain streams.The lake is also associated with Nag cult or serpent worshipping. A temple of great scenic beauty is also here. The water level of the spring keeps changing with the fluctuation in the water level of the river.Resting deep in a scenic valley and surrounded by hills. Prashar Lake :. A fair is held here in the in the month of June every year.Tranquility for trekkers at a height of 3. Shiva gave the rishi. Sukhdev Vatika and the temple of Mahamaya are the well known places of worship. 33 of 45 . Sundernagar :. Devi Temple. Shikari Devi Temple :. Rock Salt Mines at Gumma and Darang are other attractions around the main town. It is famous for Trout Fishing and a ropeway that attracts the Tourist.A nice picnic spot situated at a distance of 33 km. this beautiful lake is held sacred to the sage Prashar (rishi). Slapper Hydel Project. where people gather from all neighbouring villages. ) Jogindernagar is the terminus of narrow gauge line from Pathankot-Jogindernagar. Waters of two giant rivers Beas and Satluj have been wedded here to give birth to Asia's biggest Hydel Project generation electricity for the country. Tatta Pani :. A journey from Jogindernagar to Barot in the interior of Mandi district. from Mandi on Mandi Pathankot Highway. No other temple in the Western Himalayas can rival the grandeur of the settings of Prashar Rishi.

Bilaspur Bilaspur was the capital of a state founded in the 7th century.There is a beautiful and well furnished rest house to stay overnight. Two big generating stations have been built just below the Bhakra Dam. India became independent in 1947. The Gobindsagar reservoir behind the dam is 80 kilometers long on whose banks has sprung the new township of Bilaspur. After covering 32 k. each with a capacity of 600 millions watts.Resting resort for trekkers at a height of 3.Janjehli is a paradise for hikers. to help feed the teeming millions. and on July 1 1954 Bilaspur state was made a district of Himachal Pradesh state by an act of the Indian Parliament. by a motorable road up to Gohar and rest of the journey is on foot. The land consisted of the villages of Lodhipur. In the midest of thick forest. plans were already afoot to build a new and the place become a big tourist attraction. Guru Tegh Bahadur went to Bilaspur to attend the mourning for Raja Dip Chand of Bilaspur.Chidi :. and in 1936 the Punjab Hill States Agency was separated from the Punjab States Agency. Mianpur and Sahota. easily approachable via Tatta Pani from Shimla. The historic town was submerged in 1954 when the Sutlej River was dammed to create the Govind Sagar. The town of Bilaspur was founded in 1663. Chindi. There are numerous small temples of considerable antiquity not too far away. Here on the mound of Makhowal.Karsog road. from Mandi. acceded to the Government of India. The ruling dynasty were Chandela Rajputs. The Guru bought the site on payment of Rs 500 (Five Hundred Ruppees). by Baba Gurditta Randhawa. The Dowager Rani Champa of Bilaspur offered to give the Guru a piece of land in her state. from Mandi. or as Bilaspur after its later capital. The new village was named after the Guru's mother. The state later became a princely state of British India. the most important fair of Bilaspur which is held 34 of 45 . Kamru Nag Lake :. As the old town was submerged. A link with the past is still provided by the nalwari. Janjehli :. which combined with a canalization of the waters has extended irrigation over ten million acres. who claimed descent from the rulers of Chanderi in present-day Madhya Pradesh. and was under the authority of the British province of Punjab. It is 107 km.334 metres above sea level on Mandi . offering treks up to a height of 3. from here Janjehli is a scant 20 km away through bridle path. In 1932 state was made part of the newly-created Punjab States Agency.At a distance of 67 k.m. Chakk Nanaki later became famous as Anandpur Sahib. and a new town was built upslope of the old.This little hamlet in an apple growing area is blessed with breathtaking beauty.m. Guru Tegh Bahadur raised a new habitation.300 metres. 1665. Bilaspur became a separate state of India under a chief commissioner. The New Town The ultimate effects of the colossal construction were to generate many thousands kW of electric energy.1665. The ground was broken on June 19. On May 13. HH Raja Sir Anand Chand. forests (15 km from Gohar) is Bajahi. Nanaki. and on October 12 1948 the ruler. and known as Kahlur after its earlier capital.

Situated in the hot temperature zone the climate of Bilaspur ranges from high temperature to sub tropical and snow rarely falls. for infant diseases and sterility. it is believed. it is believed. Situated at the height of 673 meters. A dip in the sacred waters over here is a sure cure.is where the Maharishi Markande the sacred waters over here is a sure cure.every year in the third week of march. Markand Himachal has always been the favourite stamping grounds of the ancient Rishis (Sage) here they performed penance’s and sought cures for mankind in their orisons (prayer). 35 of 45 . Performed the strictest austerities on his body to delve into the secrets unknown to man. for infant diseases and sterility. Markand is 25 kilometers from Bilaspur.

It dates back tot he 16th century. Beyond Keylong the road follows the river Bhaga winding upwards to the Baralacha-la. Khardong the largest Gompa in the area is located across the valley from Shashur. located on the Bhaga River makes a splash of emerald in the browns and greys of the surrounding hills with its fields. 36 of 45 . The Zanskar range and two more high passes the Lungalacha-la and the Taglangla have to be crossed before the road descends to the Indus plain and on to Leh. the pass across the Great Himalayan Range. Lahaul Spiti & The Great Himalayan Safari The Lahaul plateau nourished by the Chandra and Bhaga rivers and the Spiti valley linked to it by a high pass the Kunzam la. Just 18-km from Keylong. Samundari and Sonapani glaciers. The people are charming. From here one can visit the monastery of Guru Ghantal believed to have been established by the guru Padmasambhava himself about 800 years ago.21) one of the highest mountain roads in the world is open for 3 months in the year from early June to September. The narrow Spiti valley carved out by the swift flowing Spiti River rising from the slopes of the Kunzam la is an area of weathered gorges and dramatic mountain scapes. It is perched almost 600m above the valley and a steep and difficult track leads up to it. At the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga Rivers. Lahaul is glacier country and some of its most dramatic glaciers include the Bara Shigri. are together a district in Himachal Pradesh . The rugged Manali-Leh highway (N. trees and watercourses. an imposing 7 storeyed structure.General information about Lahaul Zanskar The Zanskar valley is noted for its high ranges. friendly and hospitable. Close to the town are a set of ancient rock carvings and two picturesque monasteries.H. The 473-km drive is fairly arduous and the journey can be broken with stops at sarchu the last post at the Himachal border or pang where there are tented camps. Chota Shigri.another region where nature can be seen at its wildest. Udaipur in Upper Lahaul is an interesting excursion. It is also the base for treks to the Zanskar valley. Approaching Lahaul The only approach to this exotic region is by road. Attractions In Lahaul Manali with its forested slopes and beautiful scenery is the start of an arduous journey across some of the most fascinating landscapes in the country. It traverses the subdivision of Lahaul and crosses the Great Himalayan range into Ladakh. fine Gompas and gentle people. the splendid Stongdey perched on a rocky outcrop. A two-hour trek from Padum takes one to Karsha with the largest and most wealthy Gompa in the region. it is now a popular destination with trekkers. Close to Keylong is the Shashur monastery. The Rohtang pass is not far from Manali and takes one abruptly from the lush meadows of the Kullu valley into the barer hills and rocky landscape of Lahaul. the sub divisional headquarters. the meadows carpeted with flowers and a patchwork of fields ornaments the villages. In summer the valleys are green. just short of Keylong is Tandi. Bardan and the spectacularly located Phugthal just off the Padum-Manali trail. At Gramphu the road from Spiti coming over the Kunzam pass meets the highway. the Stagrimo and Pibiting Gompas. It is in turn linked by road and air to Chandigarh. Keylong. the fort of Gondla seems to guard the road. Other interesting monasteries include the castle like Gompa at Sani. is Padum the main habitation and the sub divisional headquarters. Set in a wide plain where two swift flowing tributaries join to form the Zanskar River. Shimla and Delhi. The most isolated of all Himalayan valleys inaccessible for 8 months in a year. Manali in Kullu district is the ideal base for visits to this area.

Lidang. vegetation & climate . buck. Approaching Spiti Spiti is accessible during the brief summer months from Manali via the Manali . Ladakh. The road branches off from Gramphu in Lahaul to cross the high Kunzam la. The people are simple and honest. Isolated in the deep valleys the culture of Spiti has developed undisturbed. Over the centuries succeeding generations contributed to its expansion and embellishment and today tabo has nine temples with a wealth of fine murals and painted stucco work that unfolds the iconography of the region. The main attraction at dhankar is a natural lake at 13. one gets to Attergu.sides that seem painted in shades of purple and pink. there are beautiful murals painted in an Indian style. The valley is not wide but there are villages and some fields where people grow barley. a protected area with its National Park is the habitat of the ibex and snow leopard.Tibet road from Shimla across the scenic district of Kinnaur. The hilltop Gompa. peas & vegetables. In the temple of enlightened gods. Mud. Spiti’s most sacred Gompa. Sarahan is picturesque and is noted for the Bhimakali temple with its impressive architecture. Kungri. Tabo.500 ft. Kalpa with its fine view of the Kinner Kailash Peak and Nako with a little lake make fascinating breaks in the journey. at Kaza. The road then goes to Sumdo via Hangrang valley.General information about Spiti Spiti is the sub division of Lahaul & Spiti district with its hqrs. the sub divisional headquarters of Spiti. which is the du-khang or assembly hall of the complex. Proceeding along the state highway towards Kaza. Hikim. a perfect camping site. The terraced fields. Some inhabitants have adopted Budhism as there faith and Bhoti is the spoken language. It has an area of 4800 sq. It lies between Tibet.Leh highway. Just 25-km from Tabo is the Dhankar monastery. satluj enters India near Shipki la & Spiti river joins it at Khab. ahead of Pooh. dating back 250 million years. Attractions In Spiti Spiti which means ‘Middle Country’ is a vast highland basin for swift flowing glacial streams that have cut deep gorges into the mountain terrain. From Shimla via Kinnaur there is a motorable road which remains open upto Kaza for 8 to 9 months. Sangnam are the more prominent of the 30 or more monasteries in Spiti. The main Spiti valley is split into eastern and western valleys. About 10kms. It is called "Little Tibet" because it has almost the same terrain. From Sumdo Spiti valley starts. a walk of 2. The Spiti river flows fast through deep gorges at some places. Dhankar. Lahaul & Kulu. Some of the hills are eroded through the reveal its undulating strata. Close by too. which doubled as a jail in the old days. groves of juniper and flat roofed houses are set against the backdrop of rocky mountain . Ki or Kye. in a little world that centres around its many Buddhist Gompas. Spiti also means "Middle Country". They are connected with Ladakh & Tibet on eastern side & Kinnaur and Kulu on western side through high passes. There are interesting little towns along this route.000-year-old Tabo monastery. Tabo is located not far from sumdo on the kinnaur-spiti border.. 37 of 45 . is a treasure house of art. The Lingti valley is a living geological museum noted for its shales and fossils. Spiti valley is barely 3-km wide and most of the villages are located along its wider bank. Dhankar was once the capital of Spiti. This is why tabo is known as the ‘Ajanta of the Himalayas’. the 1. This is the point of access to the pin valley where there is an interesting gompa at kungri.wheat. The pin valley.5-km from the village. Further into Kinnaur the beautiful Baspa valley and the village of Sangla provide a breathtaking excursion. Kinnaur. The longer but popular route into the valley is along the old Hindustan . is the lingti valley. kms. Among them pin and Lingti are the main streams that feed the Spiti River. dominates the village.

a village with fine traditional architecture. the jewel is in the lotus'). above msl. found in the Pin valley. is constant. For all the seeming bleakness. Rohru And Jubbal (Nearer to Narkanda) Hatkoti in the picturesque valley of the river pabbar. and 14. In practical isolation for centuries. splendidly located among apple orchards. Tattapani (Near Shimla) This small village is famous for the hot water sulphur springs.a village with fine traditional architecture. Spiti possesses a haunting beauty. Ki. these springs are not so eye-catching at first. Enroute to Hatkoti is the village of Kotkhai.400 ft. Mud. but their setting is very beautiful. It is 12-km from Shimla on the way to Kalka. Spiti has an intensely introvertive culture centred around its several monasteries. fine murals and a valuable collection of Kangyur . Spiti (locally pronounced 'Piti') or the 'middle country'. Spiti was loosely ruled for many centuries by a hereditary wazir. Spiti has come to be known as the "fossil park of the world". once the capital of a princely state with its impressive palace is also on the way. 38 of 45 . is noted for its historic temple dedicated to Goddess Durga. Kasauli has been coming up as a side trip from Shimla. The three villages Kibber. is noted for its historic temple dedicated to Goddess Durga. The walk to Sanawar is very pleasing and full of natural beauty. Jubbal. Hatkoti in the picturesque valley of the river pabbar. Mane Gogma and Giu to name a few. The village is very relaxed and peaceful. 'Behold. Tabo.500 ft. Not Covering Kotkhai. once the capital of a princely state with its impressive palace is also on the way. it is believed to bring good fortune and wash away all sins. The wildlife in the region includes the elusive snow leopard and ibex. The repetition of the mantra "Om mani padme hum" (literally.ancient Buddhist texts are its attractions.Dhankar. Sagnam. styled Nono. Kasauli (Near Shimla) In recent times Kasauli has developed as an alternate accommodation for Shimla. Kaza & Kye fall on the route faovourite among those looking for fossils. Unlike the springs in Manikaran and Manali. has its sub divisional headquarters at Kaza. about 104-km from Shimla. Lidang. The majority of the people are Buddhists. Hikim. Langza is famous for fossils of maritime life. These villages are situated at heights between 13. Sansar has the potential to become another hill station in the area as nature has provided abundance of beauty and scenery to this place. followers of the Geluk-pa sect. Among its other treasures are two horns almost three metres long. Ki Gompa the largest in the valley is 11 km away. Brought out on festive occasions they resound across the valley. Jubbal. It has some great walks. These fossils are found on either side of Kang-yur and Paapen-yu nullahs near the village. The river Spiti originates at the base of the Kunzam range and flows eastward to join the Sutlej at Khab in Kinnaur. splendidly located among apple orchards.Kaza is located 76-km south east of Kunzam la and 74-km from Sumdo. located above Kaza at the height of 4116 m. Enroute to Hatkoti is the village of Kotkhai. about 104-km from Shimla. Hatkoti. Gungri.

This monastery has idols of Guru Padma Sambhava. Keylong Keylong is the district head quarters of Lahaul and Spifi. As far as communication facilities are concerned. a Tourist Bungalow and many hotels which provide accommodation to the tourists. On the 15th lunar day (mid June) a festival called Ghantal was celeberated at which the visiting lamas and Thakurs used to feast for one day. second in Baring & third in Udaipur. There is a Cricuit House. likened Keylong to a barbaric jewel--a roughly cut emerald in a bronze and silver setting. Col. there are police and telegraph radio nets. Naturally Keylong is the most populated and busy village of the Lahaul valley. In the past Keylong was home for the Moravian missionaries. There are three light TV transmitter has been installed one in Sumnam village.D. "It is an oasis of green fields and willow planted water courses surrounded by brown hills and snowy heights". This gompa was founded by Padma Sambhava and is more than 800 years old. The wall paintings are in stone colours. Tourists may also like to visit the temple of the local deity Kelang Wazir in the house of one Sh. M.V. Three of the best known monasteries Tayul. from this village.O. Keylong is situated on the main trade route between the Rohtang and Baralacha passes above the Bhaga river.G. Most of the government offices are located at Keylong. This is also the hub-centre of all commercial activity with a regular bazaar. Another reason for lack of care is that most of the valuables have been transported to the Tupchiling gompa which is easily accessible and the caretaker also hails from this village only. There is lot of seepage in the monastery. The peculiar feature of the gompa is the wooden idols as distinguished from the clay idols found in other monasteries. rest house. Because of lack of care colours have washed away. There can not be a better simile to describe the lush green charm of Keylong during summer's. The festival is no longer celeberated. the Honble C. a Sainik Rest House. telephone exchange at Keylong and postal service throughout the valley. There is one blackstone statue of a goddess identified as kali in the innermost chamber which gives credence to the theory that this was once a Hindu temple like the Trilokinath temple at Udaipur. but now the same is kept under lock and key for fear of theft. Brijeshwari Devi and several other lamas. a P. The Guru Ghantal white marble head was installed by its founder. Lady Of Keylong During summers Keylong is very green looking refreshingly striking against a backdrop of brown hills and snow clad peaks. Bruce. At an altitude of 3156 m. Nawang Dorje 39 of 45 . The workmanship in the gompa is certainly superior to all other gompas. Because of this panoramic setting Lieut. Kardang and Sha-Shur are within a few kms. Several eating joints and restaurants are also there for every taste..W.GURU GHANTAL This monastery is situated on a hill above the Tupchiling village at the confluence of the rivers Chandra and Bhaga.

It was founded in the 17th century a. his heart did not burn and was enclosed in a black image of Gyatsho. It belongs to red hat sect and is located among the blue pines. When he was being cremated. Udaipar Udaipur is a town in Lahaul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. Deva Gyatsho stayed at the monastery till his death. Since the altitude is low. the king of Bhutan.743 meters. and invalueable wall paintings depicting all the 84 siddhas of Buddhism. 40 of 45 . It is located at an altitude of 2.The village was called 'Markul' in olden days. Before Deva Gyatsho renovated the present monastery. A statue of Namgyal is also present in the gompa. the latter making it unsuitable for district headquaters. Shahshur monastery Situated on a hill about 3 kms. apricots. The village is situated at the point where the Chenab and Mayar Nallah meet. Major attraction here is the Markula Devi Temple. etc. The lamas of the gompa are of the Drugpa sect (red hat sect). It has a rest house and some hotels and is a good resting place This sub-divisional headquaters is situated at the junction of the mighty Mayar nullah with the main river Chandrabhaga. Namgyal founded this sect and the name originated from Dug which in the Bhoti language means Bhutan. Good kail-blue pine forests can be seen all around the village. apples. hence it also becomes a starting point of the Mayar valley. This village is warm but avalanches-prone. and is around 53 km north of Keylong.d. AD by Lama Deva Gyatsho of Zangskar who was a missionary of Nawang Namgyal. far from Keylong towards north on the same slope. Around 1695 it was renamed Udaipur when Raja Udai Singh of Chamba (1690172'8) raised it to the status of a district centre in the Chamba-Lahaul which his father Chatter Singh had annexed to his Chamba state. Situated 53 kms away from Keylong. In the month of June/July Chham is performed in the monastery which is the most popular Chham in Lahaul. over fifteen feet. are grown in the area. there existed a small gompa. walnuts. During June/July this monastery attracts lot of visitors when Lamas perform devil dance. This gompa has the biggest Thanka paintings. this is said. This is very apt as good patches of blue pine can still be seen around the monastery.SHA-SHUR Sha-shur in the local parlance means in the blue pines.A temple dedicated to this goddess is quiet famous in Lahaul because of the wooden carvings in it. This is a green area rather the whole Chenab valley is greener than the Lahaul valley. The paintings are represent the history of 84 Buddha's. earlier this village was known as Margul or Markul. However Udaipur offers the most thickly forested and green scenery in Lahaul. This gompa was founded in the 17th C. This place is therefore a starting point for Mayar valley and further on to Zanskar and other peaks. Hermann Goetz who visited this area in 1939 complimented the natural charm of this place by comparing its scenery to the Swiss scenery.

jewels and charnaras. however. the earlier one consisting of the facade of the sanctum sanctorum and the ceiling and four main pillars of the mandapa. The temple is built in the classical style introduced in the hills in the 7th and 8th C. Most of the Trilokinath temple is of much later period. Trilokinath temple is representative of the Kashmiri-Kannauj style of. the Ganga. The interior. The temple is the usual structure of timber-bonded stone. Lalitaditya of Kashmir (725756). The facade displays. according to Goetz its present Lamaistic image of Avalokiteshvara-Trilokinath cannot be earlier than the 12th C. Kinnars. Ramayana. three headed incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The ceiling consists of nine panels of different size and shape. Eight of these border the big centre piece. Sunderkand. is rich in artistic quality. elaborately and intricately carved. the dwarpala statues on both sides of the facade. the Bhairavas. This temple continues to attract both the Hindu and the Buddhist pilgrims. The exterior of the temple is most ordinary as it had to be renewed time and again because of vagaries of nature. but the column bases of the original porch of the sanctuary are of a very special type characteristic of the reign of Lalitaditya. This Shiva temple was transformed into a Buddhist shrine by Padma Sambhava.This place attracts a lot of tourists and pilgrims to its two unique temples. As is typical to the style this temple consists of a curvilinear stone tower (shikhara) crowned with the characteristic 'amalka' (imitating a segmented gourd). etc. window panels and the architraves supporting the ceiling. In the centre of the compound one can still see the Nandi Bull of Lord Shiva. main characteristic of this transitional phase being three headed Vishnu images. namely. bracelets. ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu the 41 of 45 . arid the later one consisting of two additional pillars. There is also a drain in a wall of the temple at the level of the platform in the sanctorum which was probably built at the time of construction to drain out the water or milk which was poured over the Shiva. Markula's wood carvings belong to two different periods. the Yamuna. Their dance. poses are those of the Bharta Natya and the costumes resemble the late Gupta period. The 'kirtimukha' masks on this centre piece are characteristic of the 7th and 8th C. several Yakshas and. The centre piece. But part of the Markula temple has been copied during repairs in the 11/12th and 16th C. Churning of the ocean (Samudramanthan) Amritpaan. Four figural panels on the four basic directions depict Gandharvas busy with their mates and holding objects like crowns. Like plains there is no pillared hall (mandapa) in the hills perhaps owing to non-availability of clear ground. The niches of the door jambs have been carved into complicated gables of late Kashmiri style. is in the Lantern style. Every year in the month of August a festival named Pauri is held there for three days when followers of both religions gather to offer prayers. The facade of the temple is most richly. However. The phase of Kashmiri art in the 11th and 12th C in its transition to the Lamaistic art of Western Tibet is represented by the inner facade of the temple. The next panel deviates from the Hindu pantheon or myth for it represents the "Assault of Mara". Yuddhakand. The wall panels depict scenes from the Mahabharata. Trilokinath and Markula Devi temples. The temple is covered with a steep gable roof of wooden shingles in a steep pyramid looking like the Shikhara temples in the plains. In the centre Buddha is shown sitting on the Vajrasana in Bhumisparshasana calling the Earth goddess to witness his victory over Mara or the god of Lust and death. Shiva on both sides is flanked by his alter egos. The Markula Devi temple goes back to Ajayvarman's reign in Kashmir. etc. grant of ground by Raja Bali to Vaaman. though no original work of so early a date survives. Also shown are Nataraj and Gauri with dancing Ganas.

Previous to this installation Lahaul had been for several centuries under the Ladakhi supremacy. 42 of 45 . Historically this theory sounds plausible because Pratap Singh was the son-in-law and close fried and ally of Bahadur Singh. The impact of the Moghul and Rajput styles is understandable which perhaps penetrated via Balor which then had some control over Bhadravah. From Sissue to Gondhla land is cultivable and fertile. this village of the Lahaul valley has some royal heritage as its prime attraction. and it was then that the Lamaistic sculpture was introduced. The statue head is too big and her Crown resembles the ceremonial headgear of a Tibetan lama. called the Gondhla castle or fort. the top of it-the backs of early Moghul thrones. The staircases in the building are partially notched wooden logs. The silver idol of Kali in her aspect as Mahishasurmardini was installed by Thakur Himpala in 1569-70. Between these two places the whole mountain side from the peaks over 6090 m. Selection of episodes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata is typical to this style. the district headquarters along the right bank of the river Chandra. The Tibetan element is also not surprising in a frontier area like Lahaul where Tibetan Lahaulis treat Markula Devi as rDo-rje phag-mo (sanskrit Vajravarahi). This Raja also married a daughter of the Gondhla family to cement his ties with the Thakur. This seven storey high edifice is topped by a wooden verandah which runs round the upper storey. on a fairly level expanse of land this hamlet is large as compared to other villages in the valley. The Sun god is repeatedly shown on his chariot drawn by seven horses making it explicit that the temple was dedicated to Lord Surya. This unique shrine is the last wooden temple built fundamentally in the tradition of the early 8th C. The poor and uneducated local population could hardly make any distinction between the Lamaistic and the Hindu interpretations of the great goddess. Gondla (Near Keylong) Around 18 km from Keylong. attracts a large number of tourists. The eight storeyed residence of the thakur of Gondla called the Gondla Castle or fort was constructed in the 17th century. The village is situated at a distance of 18 kms from Keylong. The village is surrounded by thick foliage of poplars and willows. This Hindu revivalist style was patronised by Raja Pratap Singh (1558-82) of Chamba. At the time of its reconversion into a Hindu shrine it was natural to seIect an image of Kali because of its superficial similarity to Vajravarahi. is awe-inspiring. This is some thing like the Swiss Chalet. from Rajasthan.D. Situated at an altitude of 3160 m. The castle is an example of the indigenous timber bonded stone style of the Western Himalayas consisting of alternate courses of stone and wooden beams and cemented together with wet clay. The statue was cast by one Panjamanaka Jinaka from Bhadravah. Local population believes this temple to be the work of the master craftsman who built the famous Hidimba Temple at Manali for Bahadur Singh of Kullu. The Present Thakur Fateh Chand would like the tourists to believe the Fort is about 20 generations old.Navgrahas and Lord Surya (the sun god). to the river bed below 3050 m. but according to the District Gazateer of Lahaul and Spiti the fort was built in 1700 A. The workmanship of the statue cannot be called exquisite because the bodies of the goddess and the buffallo look bloated. Glaciers and snowfields overhanging the precipices make them one of the finest in the world. The building has many apartments which can comfortably accommodate more than 100 people. House of the Thakur of Gondhla. . There is striking similarity between many figures and other details of the later wood carvings to the relief's of the Hidimba Devi Temple. This is a must-visit place. by Raja Man Singh of Kullu whose influence stretched upto the Lingti plains beyond the Baralacha-la. The enclosing frame suggests brass idols of the 15th and 16th C.

Tandi (Near Keylong): Tandi is situated at the altitude of 2573 meters at the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga river. catapults. Earlier this sword was never shown to the outsiders but now an insistent visitor can see this prize sword of the Thakur. when he was on his way to Trilokinath Temple in Udaipur. Raja Man Singh of Kullu is believed to have stayed in the sixth storey of the-fort in 1720 A. Large number of people turn out to witness the performance. The village gompa is of historical importance. In Gondhla there is a P.D. This sword seems to have been built in the Toledo technique of spain. quivers.D. Forty volumes of Kangyur can still be seen littered around and carelessly stacked on a wooden rack. rest house which is surrounded by willows. which is yet to be ascertained. arrows.e. In Toledo thin steel wires are beaten with a hammer to obtain the desired shape of a sword or other like weapon. guns and canons beside other articles of antique value can be seen rusting in the apartments. The village is situated above the confluence of the rivers Chandra and Bhaga in the Pattan valley some 7 kms away from Keylong. On the first day the famous Chham or devil dance is enacted. 43 of 45 . The village has a population of about 500. "the sword of wisdom" as Sharab means wisdom and Raldi means a sword. The 'jali' (net) carved on a single piece of wood looks exactly like the cane work.The fifth storey was exclusively meant for the Thakur. Revenue and settlement records reveal that Tandi was founded by Raja Rana Chand Ram under the name of Chandi which over the years got corrupted into Tandi. According to the Thakur this sword was given to one of his ancestors by His Holiness Dalai Lama when that ancestor had fled to Tibet sick of the designs of the local people. Remains of the kitchen and utencils can still be seen in the room. Near the Govt School there is a boulder bearing greater than life size rock carvings of some deities. i. This technique is stated to be superior to the Sheffield technique. Manjushri is the Tibetaa god of wisdom and he is always portrayed carrying this sword of wisdom in his right hand. Once the walls of the prayer chamber were painted all over in stone colours. Ganesha as the main deity carved on the facade of the prayer chamber. Godhla Fort Another interesting article to be seen in possession of the Thakur is Sharab Raldi. Local people ascribe the work to the Pandavas of the great epic the Mahabharata. One can really observe thin lines in the length of the sword. Tandis just 8 km short of Keylong. No eating joint is available in the village. In one of the prayer chambers the window connecting the outer room is an exquisite work of wood carving. Several weapons including bows. Every year in the month of July a fair is held for two days.W. The Thakur is negotiating with the Department of Language and Culture of Himachal Pradesh to sell it as he finds it difficult to maintain this structure. It consisted of personal prayer chamber and a verandah from where the Thakur used to listen to the public and later pronounce his judgements.. Age old costumes. furniture and idols are also strewn around in a state of neglect. It is believed that this place was founded by Raja(King) Rana Chand under the name of Chandi which over the years got corrupted in Tandi. Sword of wisdom (sanskrit Pragya Kharga) has great importance among the Tibetans. But these figures resemble some Buddhist deities.

their wars under the banner of Lord Gyephang. The village is located on a broad flat ground above the Chandra river. Another village above the confluence is Gushal which looks extermely beautiful when seen from Tupchiling or Kargha. Tandi is believed to means Tan Dehi. To perform their celestial marriage they decided to climb the Baralacha-la and from there run in opposite directions encircling a vast tract of Lahaul. In olden days people of Lahaul fought. a deity respected in the entire Lahaul valley. Behind the ridge on which the village is situated is the famous and most propitiated Gyephang peak. rest house. Once in two/three years the deity is taken out of the temple in a procession. A little short of the village is the Sissu nullah which flows down a narrow gorge from tho Gyephang peak glaciers. Jispa has a very large dry river-bed. Good plantations of willows and poplars on both sides of the road are so dense during summers that at places even the sun rays fail to penetrate. barley and buck wheat. They were in love with each other. The confluence itself is best seen from Tupchiling.e. There is a swampy patch on the river side where the Siberian wild duck and geese halt when on their way back from the Indian plains. who left her body at this place. AD can also be seen in this village. The terraces are green with potato. body consumed. hence named Tandi. The temple of Lord Ghepan is in this village.D. i. as. Near this the river is shallow and plenty of trout fish can be caught during summers.W. this is believed that Rishi Vashishtha who meditated near the hot water springs of Manali was cremated at this confluence. Darcha (Near Keylong) At an altitude of 3360 m. A suspension bridge over the river provides easy access to this picturesque fall. This village is situated on the right bank of the river Chandra at an altitude of 3130m. peas. Second. i. The village is situated at the junction of two nullahs with the main river Bhaga. It is around 24 km from Keylong and offers facilities for camping.. this place is famous because of a magnificent waterfall. Kargha -and Ghushal. The temple is not open to outsiders.There are atleast three mythological stories connected with Tandi. Its fame is also because it happens to be the seat of God Geypan. Lord Gyephang or Ghepan is the presiding deity of Lahaul--the protector of people. a rarity in Lahaul. Chandra and Bhaga were son and daughter of the Moon and the Sun gods respectively. The place is virtually an angler's delight. Just on the edge of the river Bhaga is a small PWD rest house. According to the third. First. Snow trout is also available in the village near the river side. Two fountain slabs dating back to 1l th or 12th C. JISPA (Near Keylong) This beautiful spot is 22 kms away from Keylong and 4 kms ahead of Ghemur. Darcha is ideal place for trekkers. Across the river one can see the beautiful Sissu fall cascading over the cliff from the high valley between the two mountains. the wife of Pandav. 44 of 45 . This is associated with Draupadi. Good juniper plantation is around this village. Wild roses of white.. yellow and red hues with expanses of alpine flowers deck the slopes in an unforgettable feast of colours. Very good photograph of the fall can be had from the road just short of the P. Sissu (Near Keylong) At an altitude of 3170 m. Thus flowing south-east and south-west both met at Tandi to enter the wedlock. You can start off trekking from here to Padem passing through Shingola as well as Baralacha/Phirtsela.e. giving up of the body.

Darcha is the jumping off point for treks to Padum over the Shinkun la or Baralacha la and Phirtse la and for treks or mountaineering expeditions to Leh and peaks of Chandra Bhaga series. From Langza one has to walk to Hikkim . The altitude of Darcha is about 3500 m. from Keylong in Bhaga valley where devil dance is held during July in the Local Gompa. Kaza to Langza by road is about 9 kms. has a length of about 22 km and a depth of more than 30 m at the deepest point. Situated in a secluded place in the narrow gauge of Kaza Nallah. Landscape starts looking desolate and absolutely barren. A police check post is also there. Darcha is the last village where one can see sparse growth of trees. The villagers then shifted this gompa to its present site. Both these nullahs meet with the main river Bhaga at this place. Gemur (Near Keylong) It is 18 kms. Near Comic village is the renowned Tangyud gompa. Above this there is a long plateau which leads to Shilla peak.the Tantra treatises which in 87 volumes form one class of Tibetan scriptures. The lamas of this gompa are supposed to be proficient in tantra.Darcha is situated at the junction of Yotche nullah and the Zangskar chhu which takes off from the Shinkun la. which makes it an ideal base camp for acclimatisation. Built around the early decades of the 14th c. above kaza serving western part of central Spiti. However no tourist bungalow or rest house facilities are available on either side of the nullahs. The place is situated on Manali-Leh highway. Thang Yug Gompa It is located 13kms. 45 of 45 . It is recorded that a team of Buddhist scholars of the gompa accomplished the task of revision of Tang-rGyud . is situated at an altitude of about 4900 m. The valley broadens out from Darcha. From Comic to Kaza is a trek of about 6 kms. Two days acclimatisation at this place will prove useful for expeditions to Baralacha la and beyond. the gompa belongs to the Sa-kya-pa sect and is of historical importance. This gompa was earlier near Hilkkim village which was brought down in the earthquake of 1975. which is another 8 kms. It is a circular trek which can be adjusted according to one's own convenience. sometimes spelt Tsomiriri Lake.Tangyut Comic. Some remains of the monastery can still be seen near Hilkkim. it generally has a Lama from Tibet. Beyond Darcha not even a single tree can be seen on either side of the highway. Tso Morari Lake Tso Morari. one of the largest lakes in the Ladakh region. This lake which is almost like an inland sea.

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