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Spiti - the little Tibet

 

The Middle Land, between India & Tibet

Spiti Valley lies in the idyllic Himalayas of North India and is appropriately known as 'the middle country'. Nestled between Nepal and Pakistan's wild Northwest Frontier Province, and bordering the ancient kingdom of Tibet, the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Kashmir make up India's own Northwest. For centuries, these remote valleys remained largely isolated from one another, preserving homogenous and distinct cultures and traditions. To this day, from one valley to the next, people speak completely different languages. Even within the same valley, up to 7 dialects may be spoken.

KNOW THE FACTS

  • Population: 32,000
  • Area: 13,835 km²
  • Major Languages: Manchad Dialects, Bhoti & Sanskrit
  • Major Religions: Buddhist & Hindu
  • Currency: Indian Rupees (INR)

The area has always drawn wanderers and explorers with its rich cultural heritage and spiritual prosperity. Increasingly, it is the spiritual appeal of Himalayan Buddhism which draws western travellers to the mountains. Indeed, it is often said the Himalayas are the closest that humankind can get to the heavens. The Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain faiths can all trace their roots to these mountains.

General Information
  • Visa & Permit

    You need an Indian visa to enter into the Spiti Valley region which falls under the Himachal Pradesh state of India. The passport should be valid for at least 6 months prior to your departure.

    Foreign nationals visiting the regions of Lahaul – Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley - are required to get the inner line permits for these protected areas near international borders. 

    The documents required to get these permits are - a completed Inner Line Permit application form, a letter of sponsorship by a recognized travel agency, a defined itinerary of your travel, a copy of your valid passport & visa, and three passport-sized photographs.

  • Best time to Visit

    The mountain passes leading to Spiti are only open from the beginning of March to the end of November, making for a very short visiting season but also creating the conditions which make Spiti so unique and isolated. The mountain passes preserve the cultural heritage of the mountain people.

    The best time to visit Spiti Valley is during summer i.e. from mid May to mid October.