Lahaul & Spiti
Lahaul is braced for massive changes. For years, reaching this spectacular if desolate region has involved crossing the seasonal, infamously treacherous Rohtang Pass. However, by 2020 the new Rohtang Tunnel is expected to have opened, making access a breeze from Manali. In its wake, you can expect a rush of new tourism.
Keylong (Lahaul's capital) is on the summer-only mountain highway to Ladakh. To the west, the fascinating, little-visited Pattan and Pangi Valleys are an explorer's delight. To the east, a rough jeep track leads over the soaring Kunzum La into Spiti, Himachal's 'mini-Ladakh'. Riven by deep river chasms, this is a high-altitude desert backed by snow-topped mountains and punctuated by tiny villages set in patches of striking greenery. As in Ladakh, Tibetan Buddhism is the dominant religion in both Spiti and upper Lahaul, though Hinduism is prominent in lower Lahaul. Some curious Lahauli temples encompass both religions.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Lahaul & Spiti.