Sprawling over the eroded flood plain of the Spiti River, Kaza is the administrative and transport hub of Spiti subdistrict. The setting is wonderfully rugged – jagged mountains rise on either side and the river coils across the flat valley floor like a python with indigestion. The original, whitewashed village is separated from the modern administrative compound at New Kaza by a stream. The Dalai Lama is set to open the new Sakya Gompa in New Kaza in 2008.
Most people stay at least one night to arrange the inner line permit for travel beyond Tabo. Kaza is also the starting point for trips to Ki Gompa and Kibber and treks into the mountains. The well-organised bus and jeep stand is below the bazaar in the old village.
In August, villagers from across Spiti descend on Kaza for the Ladarcha Fair. All sorts of goods are bought and sold and traders wear their finest clothes.