Lahaul & Spiti

Lahaul & Spiti, two remote Himalayan Valleys, is a district of Himachal Pradesh lying on the Indo-Tibet border. It attained the status of a district in the year 1960. Till then it was merely a tehsil of Kullu Sub-division. The district of  Lahaul & Spiti is one of the most spectacular valleys with ancient monasteries and natural formations. The valleys mountains, glaciers, rivers, forests, pastures, gompas (monastries) and ancient buildings of the former ruling dynasty are the principal objects of study.

Keylong the regional headquarters of Lahaul district . Kaza the regional headquarters of Spiti district.

The two valleys are quite different in character. Spiti is more barren and difficult to cross, with an average elevation of the valley floor of 14,009 ft. It is enclosed between lofty ranges, with the Spiti river rushing out of a gorge in the southeast to meet the Sutlej River. It is a typical mountain desert area with an average annual rainfall of only 170 mm (6.7 inches).

It is the third least populous district in India

There are little monsoon in both these valleys and this enables climbers & trekkers to enjoy a long and unbroken season in perpetual sunshine to explore the wilderness and grandeur of the inner Himalaya. This unique feature makes Lahaul & Spiti as an ideal destination for tourists and trekkers in the month of July, August and September. Keylong is 115 kms. from Manali

Best Time To Visit Lahaul & Spiti

The best time to visit Lahaul & Spiti is during summer i.e. from June to October, since the district is snowbound area and Lahaul valley remain isolated from rest of the world from October-May due to closure of the Rohtang Pass.
The road to Spiti valley from Kinnaur is almost all-weather road.

How To Reach Lahul & Spiti

Access to Lahaul & Spiti district by road can be made from two different locations one is Sumdo through (Kinnaur District) for entry into Spiti valley and another is through Manali (Kullu District) for entry into Lahaul valley. The nearest airport is Bhutar Airport (Kullu) & nearest railheads are Jogindernagar, Shimla & Chandigarh.

Fairs And Festivals In Lahaul & Spiti

Fairs in Lahul & Spiti

Ladarcha Fair in Lahaul & Spiti

Years ago, this fair was peviously celebrated in Kibbar maidan in Spit during the month of July. Prior to the closure of the Tibetan traders, here the merchants from Ladakh, Rampur Busher and Spiti get together in this fair to negotiate their produce.
this fair is now being celebrated at Kaza, the headquarters of Spiti Sub Division in the 3rd week of August. A large number of visitors and traders from Kullu/ Lahaul/ Kinnaur meet there. It has now become a conference of cultures of Spiti, Ladakh & Kinnaur as also of the Indian plains.

Pauri Fair in Lahaul & Spiti

This fair is celebrated during summer within the 3rd week of August each year. In the earlier days this appeared to be one of the most popular fair of Lahaul. People of all the casts and creed assemble there, not just from Lahaul but from Chamba and Kullu too. The fair is mixture of pilgrimage and festive activities. Preparations are made at least a week in advance and the majority of people leave their residences a day prior to the celebrations, where they’ve faced darshan of the statue of Triloknath (Shiva Lord of Three Worlds) or Avolokiteshvara as it’s regarded by Buddhist. After paying their obeisance, people proceed to the parikrama gallery between the inner and outside walls of temple. Pilgrims/ devotees usually complete three or seven clockwise circumambulations of the gallery/ rotating the prayer wheels and murmuring Mantras ( OM MANI PADME HUM) each morning and evening until they stay there. Ghee and Mustard oil lamps are lighted always inside. People contribute money and Ghee/ Oil to maintain the lamps, one of which is so big as to accommodate 16 Kgs. of Ghee/ oil. As soon as the prayer and rituals, the fair starts. Temporary shops, tea stalls and hotels are established at the fair ground. The moment darkness overtakes, the pilgrims dance in a huge circle to the melody of folk songs devotional or otherwise. On the second morning, a typical procession is taken out, which can be headed by the Thakur of Triloknath traveling on a decorated horse. Their destination is the place where as per traditional lores, seven gods, the youngest of whom was Trilokinath had appeared from seven springs in the past. This is the most important ritual of the fair. The precession then returns to the fair ground for more festivities. Some people for their native places leave as soon as the procession disperses, while others stay until the third day when the fair is over.

Tribal Fair in Lahaul & Spiti

Tribal fair coinciding with Independence day is celebrated with great pomp and show from 14th to 16th August, at Keylong the headquarters of the district.

The Tribal Festival attracts a huge number of folks not solely from the country nevertheless from foreign shores also. People from the neighboring locations and also the remaining portion of the valley accumulate in the region to get involved in this fair.It’s being celebrated as at State level fair. In order to make the fair colourful , artists and cultural troupes tend to be invited from Chandigarh, Dharamshala, Leh , Chamba, Kullu, Spiti additionally to localized artistes.

Tsheshu Fair in Lahaul & Spiti

Tsheshu fair is celebrated in Shashur, Gemur, Kyi, Kardang Tabo and Mane Monasteries in the months of June.

Devil dance is performed by the Lamas bedecked in colourful dresses and wearing masks of different birds and animals.

Festivals in Lahaul & Spiti

Festival of light in Lahaul & Spiti

A festival of lights known as Diwali is celebrated all over India in October every year. A similar type of festival is celebrated as Khogla in Pattan valley and Halda in other valleys of Lahaul at the second and third week of January. The date is fixed by a Lama while in Pattan valley it is celebrated to Magh Poornima coincide with (full moon). Pencil cedar branches are cut into strips and are tied together into bundles to make a torch called Halda quite similar to Hola in upper regions of Shimla district. In the evening halda at each house are lit and brought together at one centre place. This is repeated four to five times, each time in honour of different deities. When the ceremony is over, the villagers return to their houses. The haldas are prepared and lit in the same manner and collected at one place where they burn to lashes. But there is slight difference. Along with honouring the deities, the people of Gahar valley curse the Ranas of clans hostile to their own.. The people of Keylong curse the Ranas of Goushal and Kardang threatening to “bite their hearts”.

Fagli Festival in Lahaul & Spiti

Fagli, locally known as Kus or Kuns is one of the most important festial of the Pattan valley.It falls, after a fortnight ofKhogla on Amawasya (Moonless Night) in the first/ second week of February. The houses are fully decorated and oil lamps are lit. A Barazais set-up which consist of abamboo stick, two to three feet tall, mounted on the floor. Around the stick a white chader isdraped in such a maanner as to suggest an angel dressed in while,sitting in the corner, ornamented with jewellery and marigold flowers. Delicious dishes are placed before the Baraza along with burning incense.The Baraza represents the angel “SHIKHARA- APPA) grand mother of the peak andhere visit is considered to bring prosperity to the house. According to ritual demand the head of the family and his wife getup early in the morningto prepare (TOTU) (A dough of roasted barley flour and butter milk)and kwari. The Totu is taken upto the roof which is offered to the deities.Kwari is later thrown to the crows who await for it as if they have received the invitation.The totu is distributed among the family members as prasada. The couple go to pay their annual respects to their cows and sheep to express their gratitude and acknowledge their dependence on these animals.Rest of the family members getup and pay their respects to their elders of the household by bowing to them and touching their feet.

Gochi or Gothsi in Lahaul & Spiti

There is a festival of the Bhaga valley which is celebrated in February in the houses where a son was born during the preceding year. It is a festival organised in Gumrang Kothi in Keylong and adjoining areas, falling sometime in January or February. Date for the celebrations is decided by the Lamas on the basis of their astrological calculations. This festival is celebrated jointly by all the families, where male child were born in the preceding year.


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Lahaul & Spiti