Spiti though a sub division of Lahaul and Spiti district, deserves a separate mention because of its ruggedness and the environs that are totally different from rest of Himachal Pradesh. Its ranges appear to be painted in shades of russets, pink and purple. Spiti is cold desert of the State and falls in the rain shadow zone - no rains but abundant snow. It has strong Buddhists traditions and has thirty gompas. Spiti can also be reached from Shimla via Kinnaur. The Spiti Valley is a desert mountain valley located high in the Himalaya mountains in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachel Pradesh.
The valley and surrounding region is one of the least populated regions in India and is the gateway to the northern most reaches of the nation. Along the northern route from Manali, Himachal Pradesh or Keylong via the Rohtang Pass or Kunzum Pass respectively, the valley lies in the North East of the Himachal Pradesh, and forms part of the Lahaul-Spiti district. The sub-divisional headquarters (capital) is Kaza, which is situated along the Spiti River at an elevation of about 12,500 feet (3,800 m) from sea level. The Rohtang Pass, at 13,054 feet (3,979 m), separates Lahul and Spiti from the Kullu Valley. Lahaul and Spiti are cut off from each other by the higher Kunzum Pass, at 15,059 feet (4,590 m). A road connects the two divisions, but is cut off frequently in winter and spring due to heavy snow. The valley is likewise cut off from the north up to eight months of the year by heavy snowfalls. A southern route to India proper is periodically closed for brief periods in the winter storms of November through June, but road access is usually restored a few days after storms end via Shimla and the Sutlej valley in the Kinnaur district.
Culture : Spiti valley is a research and cultural centre for Buddhists. It possesses a distinctive Buddhist culture similar to that found in the nearby Tibet Autonomous Region and the Ladakh in India. Highlights include Ki Monastery and Tabo Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in the world and a favourite of the Dalai Lama. It was the location of the spectacular scenery and cinematography in the Indian films Paap and Milarepa, a biographical adventure tale about one of Buddhism's most famous Tibetan saints. The Buddhist monastery in the valley served as the locus of the set and some of the monks appeared in the film. The Pin Valley of Spiti is home to the few surviving Buchen Lamas of the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism.
HOW TO REACH
By air : The nearest airport is at Bhuntar.
By rail : The nearest broad gauge railhead is at Chandigarh, while the closest narrow gauge railway station is at Joginder Nagar.
By road : To reach Spiti, you have to come from Manali via Rohtang Pass to Kaza.