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Lahaul – the border region in Himachal Pradesh




Altitude 3340 m (Keylong)
Maximum:26.8 C Min 1.38 C Summer
Maximum:6.1 C Min (-)19.38 C Winter
Religion: Hinduism & Budhism
When to visit: June to October

Lahaul is part of the border districts of Lahaul & Spiti in Himachal Pradesh; these districts are right on the border and border Tibet (China). As is clear from the name ‘Lahaul & Spiti’, the district comprises two different mountains tracts, one known as Lahaul and the other as Spiti. Hence the name of the district came into being with the formation of these two parts into a revenue district. The names, Lahaul & Spiti, have different origins. The valley of Lahoul is situated to the south of Ladakh. For this very reason this place derived its name “Lho-Yul” meaning “Southern Country”. To its south is situated the beautiful valley of Kullu across the Rohtang Pass (3195Mtrs) and the Bara Bangahal (Kangra) across the “Asakh” pass (5051Mtrs) . Its western boundaries touch the Pangi and Churah areas of Distt. Chamba. To its north situated the valleys of Zanskar and Ladakh across Shingola (5090 Mtrs) and Baralacha la (5450 Mtrs) respectively. Its eastern and south eastern boundaries coincide with those of Spiti and Western Tibet across the Kunzom Pass (4500 Mtrs). Lahaul is dependent on the vagaries of the weather on the Rohtang Pass.

Map of the Valley


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These are rugged mountainous regions; some of the adjectives that have been used to praise these areas are like Strange, exciting, primitive. Lahaul is unsurpassed in the beauty of the valleys, unsurpassed in mountain scape, in the rugged beauty of their rocky escapements and the splendor of their snow covered peaks. What do you go there to see ? The valleys, mountains, glaciers, rivers, forests, pastures, gompas (monastries) and ancient buildings of the former ruling dynasty are the principal objects of study. The rugged awe-inspiring snow clad mountains are standing invitation to the hikers, mountaineers and adventurers. The entire district is full of natural scenery exorting the tourists and visitors to explore and imbibe its hidden grandeur. The customs, myths, beliefs and conventions of the simple unsophisticated people are the unique features of this border highland.
The valley lies at a height of 2745 metres above sea level. Summer in this valley is cool and pleasant with green grass and alpine flowers. There are few signs of the 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 Lahul as an ideal destination for tourists and trekkers in the month of July, August and September.
Since the valley is situated in rain shadow area, north of the Pir Panjal ranges the weather remains pleasant and quite comfortable during summers i.e. from May to mid Oct. This is the best season to visit this valley. It seldom rains, and one can always enjoy bright sunshine wandering within lush green valley. There is little or no rain in monsoons. The climate remains dry & invigorating. The days are hot and night are extremely cold. Heavy/Light woolens are recommended. During winter, i.e. from Nov. last to April because of western disturbances it snows heavily and the temp. goes down below minus. There is an average annual snow fall of about 7 feet.
In district Lahaul & Spiti there are only two petrol pumps one at Tandi (Lahaul valley) which is 105 Km away from Manali and second in Kaza (Spiti valley) which is 421 Km away from Shimla. In Lahaul valley after Tandi another petrol pump is situated at Leh (J & K) which is 368 Km away from Tandi.

Nearest Railway Station: Shimla – 341 Km
Nearest Airport: Bhuntar for Lahaul – 166 kms

Places (more details below):
1. Triloknath Temple, Udaipur (Lahaul Valley)
2. Mrikula Mata Temple, Udaipur (Lahaul Valley)
3. Lady Of Keylong
Monasteries
1. Kardang
2. Shashur
3. Gemur
4. Tabo
5. Kee
6. Tayul
7. Guru Ghantal

How to get there:
From Delhi to Lahaul valley
— Delhi – Manali (via) Chandigarh – Ropar – Kiratpur – Bilaspur – Mandi – Kullu (570 km)
From Shimla to Lahaul valley
— Shimla -Manali (via) Darlaghat – Bhararighat – Brahmpukhar – Ghaghas – Sundernagar – Mandi – Kullu (260 km)

Places to see:
KEYLONG MUSUEM : A museum of Tribal Art along with an auditorium is being established at Keylong. The museum apart from archaeological finds displays Thanka Paintings, objects of everyday use as they existed before the achievement of modern mechanised equipments in the District. The museum is also having manuscripts in Bhoti Scripts and Tankri documents. The musuem is also having a good auditorium for hosting cultural events. Open for general public on all working days including Sunday between 10:00 AM to 05:00PM except Tuesday.

ROHTANG PASS: Rohtang pass (altitude 13050 feet) separates Kullu, from the exotic charm of the Lahaul valley. In Tibetan Rohtang means “a heap of dead bodies” and the pass stands true to its notorious name. Every year it must take toll of life and property. This is so because after 11 A.M. sudden blizzerds and snow storms called Biannas are only to be expected. The pass becomes all the more hazardous to negotiate due to frequent avalanches. The summit of the pass turns into lush green meadow in summer studded with violets and varieties of wild Himalayan and Alpine flowers. Butterflies of numerous and rare kind and varigated hues also draw the attention of’ the visitor.
To the left of this pass is the little lake Sarkund. 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.

GONDLA(3160 m): It is 18 kms. from Keylong on the right bank of Chandra river. The location of royal houses of the village is interesting. In the month of July a fair is held when Lamas dance & enjoy. The Gompa of this village has historical significance and the fair attracts a large number of visitors.

TANDI: Tandi is 8 kms. short of Keylong and is situated at the confluence of Chandra & Bhaga rivers.

GURU GHANTAL MONASTERY(3020 m): This is on the right bank of Chandra river about 4kms. above Tandi and is believed to be the oldest Gompa of Lahaul having wooden structure with pyramidal roofs, wood carving and preserving the idols of Padmasambhava & Brajeshwari Devi.

KEYLONG (3340 m): Keylong is the district Headquarters of Lahaul Spiti on the main road to Leh over Rohtang. It is an oasis of green fields and willow trees, water streams surrounded with brown hills and snow capped peaks. There are hotels, tourist bungalows and rest houses to stay.

KARDANG MONASTERY(3500 m): It is about 5kms. from Keylong across Bhaga river. It is believed to be built in 12th century. The Monastery has a large library of Kangyur and Tangyur volumes of Budhist scriptures in Bhoti.

SHASHUR MONASTERY: Situated on a hill about 3 kms. far from Keylong towards north on the same slope. During June/July this monastery attracts lot of visitors when Lamas perform devil dance.

TAYUL GOMPA(3900 m): Tayul Gompa is 6 kms. from Keylong and is one of the oldest monasteries of the valley having a big statue of Guru Padmasamhava about 5 m high and houses library of Kangyur having 101 volumes.

JISPA: It is 20kms from Keylong on the bank of Bhaga river having a rest house and mountaineer hut. There is a big camping ground. Sufficient trout fish is available in the river.

DARCHA(3360 m): It is 24 kms. from Keylong on Leh road where a camping ground is available. From Darcha trekkers start their trek to Padem, via Shingola as well as Baralacha/Phirtsela.

BARALACHA LA(4883 m): It is about 73 kms. from Keylong on Manali Leh road. The name means pass with cross roads on summit (roads from Ladakh, Spiti and Lahaul join at the top). There is no road yet from Spiti. Only a path exists. This is also the point of origin of Chandra, Bhaga and, Yunam rivers.

TRILOKINATH TEMPLE: Trilokinath means the Shiva. A Temple is situated in the village which is about 4 kms. short of Udaipur on the left bank of Chenab river. Devotees from far off places come to pay their respects at this unique temple. This Shiva temple was given a look of Budhist shrine by Guru Padmasambhava by installing the 6 armed image of Avalokiteshvar.

UDAIPUR(2743 m): In olden times this village was known as Markul and so the name of local goddess is Markula Devi. The temple here is unique and famous for its wooden carving on its roof and ceiling. Its name was changed by Raja Udai Singh of Chamba. This place is situated near the confluence of Chenab and Mayar Nallah.

SURAJ TAAL: Suraj Taal or the lake of the Sun god is situated well on the summit of the Baralacha la, a little below an altitude of 16000 feet. The Bhaga river rises in this lake which is situated in a beautiful natural amphitheatre just below the highway.

CHANDRA TAAL: The natural lake of Chandrataal is situated at about 14,000 ft above msl between a low ridge and about nine kms from the Kunzom pass. The lake lies in a broad grassy plain which in ancient times was a glacier. The lake is about a kilometre in length and half of it in breadth. Its circumference is five kms long.

Places to stay in Lahaul:

1. PWD Rest Houses in Lahaul: (01900-222276)
2. Forest Houses in Lahaul: (01900-222235)
3. Circuit Houses: Keylong (01900-222501), Udaipur (01909-222224), Kaza (01906-222202)
4. Tourist Complex Keylong (HPTDC): (01900-222393)
5. Hotel Tashi Deleg, Keylong: (01900-22450, 222667, 222278)
6. Hotel Valley View, Keylong: (01900-222666)
7. Hotel Dekyid, Keylong: (01900-222217)




4 comments to Lahaul – the border region in Himachal Pradesh

  • […] Lahaul – the border region in Himachal PradeshThe valley of Lahoul is situated to the south of Ladakh. For this very reason this place derived its name “Lho-Yul” meaning “Southern Country”. To its south is situated the beautiful valley of Kullu across the Rohtang Pass (3195Mtrs) … […]

  • […] Lahaul – the border region in Himachal PradeshThe valley of Lahoul is situated to the south of Ladakh. For this very reason this place derived its name “Lho-Yul” meaning “Southern Country”. To its south is situated the beautiful valley of Kullu across the Rohtang Pass (3195Mtrs) … […]

  • […] Lahaul – the border region in Himachal PradeshAltitude 3340 m (Keylong) Maximum:26.8 C Min 1.38 C Summer Maximum:6.1 C Min (-)19.38 C Winter Religion: Hinduism & Budhism When to visit: June to October. Lahaul is part of the border districts of Lahaul & Spiti in Himachal Pradesh; … […]

  • […] Lahaul – the border region in Himachal PradeshAltitude 3340 m (Keylong) Maximum:26.8 C Min 1.38 C Summer Maximum:6.1 C Min (-)19.38 C Winter Religion: Hinduism & Budhism When to visit: June to October. Lahaul is part of the border districts of Lahaul & Spiti in Himachal Pradesh; … […]

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