Lahaul and Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh | Basic Details |History | Tourism Places

Lahaul and Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh | Basic Details | History | Tourism Places –

Lahaul and Spiti
Lahaul and Spiti

Lahaul and Spiti is a district in Himachal Pradesh in India. Here in Lahaul and Spiti, Lahaul and Spiti is two different places or valley. Keylong is the present administrative center which is situated in Lahaul. Before there two places or we can say district merged the capital of the Lahaul and Spiti is different the capital of Lahaul was Kardang and the capital of Spiti was Dhankar. In 1960 this district was formed and in India it was the least populous district. The entrance pass to Spiti valley from Lahaul is Kunzum Pass which is at the altitude of 4,551 m (14,931 ft) and approximately 21 KM far from Chandra Tal. Rohtang pass connect this district to Manali. To the south side, from Tabo Spiti ends 24 Km (15mi), road enters Kinnaur at Sumdo and it joins with NH5 (National Highway No.5)

The characteristic of both the valley are quite different. Spiti is unproductive land (more barren) and it is very difficult to cross this with an average elevation of valley of 4270m (14010 ft). lofty ranges enclose this region. The Spiti river from Spiti merges in Sutlej river. this is a kind of mountain desert area and there very low rainfall on an average 170 mm only.

Lahaul is a bunch of beautiful mountain villages and having charming Buddhist culture and art. And is known a s better half of Spiti and connected at the High Kunzum pass. Lahaul is known for its high mountains, massive glaciers, rivers and High passes. The name of Lahaul was basically derived from Tibetan word Lho-yul which means “Countryis South” and the meaning of Spiti is “The land of Mani


Himachal Pradesh
Vidhan Sabha Constituencies
1 November, 1966
Total Area
13,835 sq. km (24.85% of area of Himachal Pradesh)
Total Population
31,564 (2011 data)
Population Density
2.3/km^2(2011 data)
Literacy Rate
76.81% (2011 data) (86.97% male and 66.5% female)
Sex ratio
903 (2011 data)
10-year development rate
5.0% (2011 data)
Gram Panchayat
Child Sex ratio
1033(2011) (largest in India)
Major Highways
One Highway (Manali-Leh National Highway)
Annual average rainfall
170 mm only.
Lahaul and Spiti average temperature
Lahaul and Spiti weather


Geographical location –

Lahaul -Spiti is a district located in the northern part of Himachal Pradesh.  It lies between 31 ° 44’57 “to 32 ° 59’57” north latitude and 76 ° 4629 “to 78 ° 41’34 ‘east longitude. Jammu Kashmir is north to the Lahaul – Spiti, Tibet in the east, Kinnaur in the South – east, Kullu in the south, Chamba in the west and Kangra district in the south-west.


 Rohtang Pass –

 Rohtang Pass connects Lahaul to Kullu. It is situated on National Highway-21. Rohtang means – Pile of corpses.

 Bhangaal Pass

 Located between Lahaul and Bada Bhangal.

Shingdakon Pass

 lies between Lahaul and Jaskar.

 Kunzum Pass

 connects Lahaul to Spiti.

 Kugti Pass

 connects Lahaul to Bharmour.

Baralacha Pass – Connects Lahaul to Ladakh. At this pass, the roads of Zaskar, Spiti, Lahaul and Ladakh are interlinked. The pass originates from the Chandrabhaga and Greece rivers.

 Valleys –

 Lahaul has three valleys –

(1)  Chandra Valley.

(2)  Bhaga Valley.

(3)  Chandrabhaga Valley.

  Chandraghati is also called Rangoli. Koksar is the first village in this valley. Bhaga Valley is called Gaara. It extends from Baralacha Pass to Darcha.  Chandrabhaga Valley is also known as Pattan Valley.  Pin valley is located in Spiti.  Which lies along the Pin River.  It joins the Spiti Valley near Dhankar.  The Spiti Valley is formed by the Spiti River which extends from Kunjumla to Shumado (the Parchu River joins the Spiti River at Shumado.).  Goethe village (4270 m) of Spiti valley is the highest populated village in the world. 

 Rivers –

Chandra, Bhaga, Spiti and Pin are the main rivers of Lahaul – Spiti.  The river Chandra and Bhaga originates from Baralacha Pass (4890 m).

The Chandra River –

Shigadi flows through glacier to Tandi.  The Chandra river receives water from Bada Shigadi and Samundri Glacier.  Khoksar, Sissu, Gondla is located on the banks of the Chandra River.

Bhaga River –

 Entering Surajtal (Lake of the Sun) from Baralacha Pass.  In Darcha, the Bhaga River joins the Jaskar River.  The villages of Keylong, Khardong and Gemur are situated on the banks of the river Bhaga between Darcha and Tandi. 

 Spiti River –

It is the main river of Spiti and Kinnaur.  It joins the Sutlej River near Khab.  Morang, Rangrik, Dhankar, Tabo are the main villages on the banks of the Spiti River.

  Pin River –

A tributary of the Spiti River. 

Glacier –

Andrew Wilson in 1873 AD called Lahaul Spiti the valley of the glacier.  In 1869 AD Captain Harcott. crossed the Shigadi glacier (Lahaul)which is 25 km long.  It is the largest glacier in Himachal Pradesh.  Sonapani Glacier 11 km Is long. 

 (ii) Nomenclature

 Lahaul –

Lahaul is also known as Garja and Swagala.  According to Cunningham, Lahaul means “South District” of Ladakh. Rahul Sanskritayan calls Lahaul the ‘Land of the Gods’ while in another sense it is also called the ‘Country of Pass’. In​​ Tinan, Punan and Tod (Lahaul) languages Lahaul has been called Garja. In Manchhad language Lahaul is called Swangala. The name of Buddha, Rahul, may also have originated from Lahaul.

 Spiti –

Spiti literally means “Land of the Mani“.  The headquarters of Spiti is Kaja.  Earlier Spiti had its headquarters in Dhankar.

  (iii) History



(1)       Ancient History

 Manu has been described as the ancient ruler of this region.  People of this region also participated in the Mahabharata war.  This region was under his occupation at the time of Kanishka (Kushan Dynasty).  A stupa of Kanishka was found in the Zaskar region. After the Gupta period, during the time of Harshavardhana (606-664 AD), the connection of Lahaul rejoined the kingdom of Harsha.  Hieunsang in 635 ADS   had traveled to Kullu and Lahaul.  600 ADS Around Chamba conquered Lahaul.  Lahaul was occupied by Kullu and Chamba who were under Harsha at the time of Harsha.  Due to which Lahaul also came under Harsh.  According to Hieunsang, Spiti was ruled by Sen kings whose first king was Samudrasen.  Rajendra Sen, King of Spiti, made Kullu a taxpayer under him for some time.  At the time of Chhettsen (seventh river) Spiti came under Ladakh.  The rulers of Spiti were called ‘Nono’.

If you want to read Medieval History  and Modern history then click here in read more

(iv)Arts, Culture, Fairs and Gompa



• Gompa

 Kharandog, Shanshur, Gemur and Gurughatal Gompa Located in Lahaul and, Tabo, Ki and Dhankar Gompa Located in Spiti.  Tabo, Ki and Dhakar Gompa is situated on the banks of the Spanti River.  Gaimur Gompa is situated on the banks of the Bhaga River.  ‘Ki’ is the highest and largest gompa in Himachal Pradesh.  Tabo Gompa is the world’s oldest gompa.

 • Religion –

 There are people in Lahaul who believe in both Hinduism and Buddhism.  Geffag.  Dabala and Sariyar are the main deities of fame.  Spiti has people who follow Buddhism. 

 • Marriage –

Thabarston / Morthabiah is arranged / fixed marriage in Lahaul.  Kunmai Bharatan / Konchi marriage is a split marriage. 

• Festival –

Festival Ladarcha-

This fair is held every year in July in Kibber village. 

Sissu Fair –

 This fair is held in June at Shashur Gompa, in July at Gaimur Gompa and in Godla’s Mani Gompa in August.

Fangli Fair –

Fagli or Kun Mela is held on the new moon of February in the Patdan Valley.  This allows the arrival of Falgun. 

Pauri Fair –

 This fair is held in August at the Trilokinath temple where a lamp of pure ghee burns throughout the year. 

Halda / Losar –

Halda or Losar is the New Year arrival festival of Lahaul which is similar to Diwali.

Folk Dances –

Shehni, Dhure, Gharfi (oldest dance of Lahaul Spiti)

Drink –

 Chhang which is a native liquor made from rice, barley, wheat. 

 Tandi –

Tandi has originated from the village Tan-Dehi.  Draupadi gave up her body in Tandi.  Sage Vasistha was buried at Tandi.  In Tandi, Surya’s son was married to Moon’s daughter.

(v) Economy –

The German clergy A.W. Hide in 1857 AD started potato farming in Lahaul.  Lent cultivation 1925 AD Started in Lahaul has surpassed Netherlands in potato production per hectare.  Karu, Patish and Kala Jeera are found in Lahaul while Ratanjot is found in Spiti.  1978 AD in Kazaa the post of ADC was created in 1978 AD in Lahaul – Spiti ’Desert Development Program’ was started in Resins Grape Research Sub-station has been established in Thirot.  Leprosy and dry fruit research center have been established in Keylong. 


1869 AD in Keylong.  Post office was established in 1939 AD in Kazaa Post office branch opened in 1861 AD by German pastor Hyde.  School opened in Keylong.  1932 AD in Spiti’s Kaza School opened.

Lahaul and Spiti Tourism places

(1)       Kaza – Monasteries, lakes and Buddhism.

(2)       Tabo – Monasteries, Buddhism, caves and lakes.

(3)       Pin valley National Park – Mountainous terrain with Buddhist stupas.

(4)       Kibber – Snow leopards, Monasteries and lakes

(5)       Jispa – Camping and lakes.

(6)       Darcha – Adventure, monasteries and hiking.

(7)       Langza – Fossils, Buddhism and monasteries.

(8)       Keylong – Monasteries and mountains.

(9)       Hikkim – Monasteries.

(10)  Dhankar – Monasteries and lakes.

(11)  Komic – Monasteries and snow leopards.

(12)  Sissu – Waterfalls Camping, Lakes and Glaciers.

(13)  Losar

(14)  Khoksar- Rivers

(15)  Mud

(16)  Key – Monasteries and Buddhism.

(17)  Zing Zing Bar

(18)  Miyar valley

(19)  Batal – Lakes, glaciers and adventure.

(20)  Chicham – Monasteries.

(21)  Gramphu – Lakes.

(22)  Triloknath- Temples, glaciers, and architecture

(23)  Demul – Monasteries and mountains

(24)  Kee – Parks.

(25)  Tandi – Cycling

(26)  Lahaul

(27)  Kardang – Monasteries, Buddhism and architecture.

(28)  Hal

(29)  Rangrik – Monasteries, Buddhism and mountain.

(30)  Kungari- Monasteries and architecture.

(31)  Zanskar Sumbo – cycling

(32)  Lallung

(33)  Udaipur

(34)  Gemur- Monasteries and camping

(35)  Lingti

(36)  Gondhla – Castles, History.

(37)  Goruma

(38)  Urgos

(39)  Dhar Spiti Sarchu

(40)  Marango Rangarik

(41)  Ladarcha

(42)  Tayal Gompa – Monasteries.

(43)  Shichling – Backpacking, lakes and mountains.

(44)  Chhataru – climbing.

(45)  Labrang- History.

(46)  Tashigong

(47)  Koumik
Lahaul and Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh | Basic Details |History | Tourism Places
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