KI VILLAGE, HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA - 2013/06/05: Aerial view on Ki Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located on top of a hill at an altitude of 4,166 metres, the Spiti Valley in the background.. (Photo by Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images)

LightRocket via Getty Images


Separated from fertile Lahaul by the soaring 4551m Kunzum Pass, the trans-Himalayan region of Spiti is another chunk of Tibet marooned within India, a kind of 'mini-Ladakh' with fewer tourists. The scattered villages in this serrated moonscape arrive like mirages while the turquoise-grey ribbon of the Spiti River is your near-constant companion, albeit sometimes way below in precipitous gorges.


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