Quite often I receive emails from people asking about the must see places in Spiti and along the route. While primary attraction of Spiti remains to be its natural beauty, below is a list of some other major tourist attractions on Spiti Circuit and places of interest that I recommend everyone to pay a visit to.
Shimla : This is where you will be starting your journey from. There are several places in Shimla that are worth a visit. If you are staying in Shimla for a couple of days, some of the places you can see are The Mall [main shopping street of Shimla], Christ Church, Jakhu Hill, Shimla State Museum, Indian Institute of Advanced Study [built in 1884-88] and Sankat Mochan.
Kufri : If you are staying in Kufri you can visit Kufri Zoo, Mahasu Peak, Indira Tourist Park and Chini Bunglow.
Narkanda : Next major town on the route is Narkanda. A slight detour of about 12 kms will take you to the top of Hatu Peak which offers a magnificent view of the entire valley around. Built on top of the Hatu Peak is Hatu Temple which is quite beautiful. Road to Hatu peak is drivable for all 2 and 4 wheelers.
Rampur: There really isnt much to see here however you can definitely find a good and reasonable priced hotel in Rampur. There are some old Hindu and Buddhist shrines including Ragunath Temple, Ayodhya Temple, Narsingh Temple and Dumgir Budh Temple located in Rampur If you want to visit.
Jeori : Nothing worth mentioning here except that this is where you take the bifurcation towards Sarahan.
Sarahan : A beautiful town and definitely worth staying over for a night. Places of interest include the famous Bhimakali Temple [must see this] and a Bird sanctuary which houses the State bird Monal. It however remains closed from April until late July due to Bird mating season.
Karchham : Nothing here except for the famous dam which actually is on the way so you will see it anyways whether you want to or not.
Sangla: Another beautiful town however I strongly recommend that you continue to Chitkul rather than staying in Sangla for the night. There is a temple here, dedicated to Nages god but you can skip that.
Chitkul: One of my favorite hill stations. The beauty of this place cannot be described in words and no matter what I write here, I cannot do justice to the majestic view that Chitkul offers. The only and only thing to see here is the natural beauty. Even the drive to Chitkul is awe-inspiring. Situated on the banks of Baspa river, Chitkul is the last and highest village in Baspa Valley. There are also 3 temples of local goddess Mathi said to have been built over 500 years ago. Just take a stroll and you will remember for the rest of your life.
Reckong Peo: Nothing worth mentioning in Reckong Peo. This is where you take the bifurcation goes towards Kalpa.
Kalpa: Offers awesome view of Kinner Kailash and the sunrise is definitely worth getting out of your bed early.
Puh: Nothing worth a visit here.
Nako : Highest village in Hangrang valley and a good place to break the journey for night. There is a lake here named after the village [Nako lake] but don’t keep high expectations. It only looks good in photos. You can trek to nearby hill tops for an awesome view of sorrounding valley.
Sumdo : Nothing here.
Giu Village : A 500 year old mummy is located here.
Hoorling: Nothing here.
Tabo: Tabo Monastery is worth a visit. It’s quite old and said to have its origin in the tenth century.
Dhankar : Another very old monastery is located here. If you are staying here for the night, you can trek to Dhankar Lake.
Kaza: Largest town in Spiti and also the headquarters. Places of interest include the famous Key monastery and the surrounding villages of Kibber and Kaumik, famous for the fossils found there.
Losar: Nothing here.
Kunzum Pass: A high altitude pass which is actually even higher than the mighty Rohtang Pass.
Chandra-Taal: I dont think I really need to write anything about this beautiful and gem of a lake. Very small but this entire area is mesmerizing enough to take your breath away. Highly recommended to stay here for the night. Accommodations are available in form of tents. You can contact Mr. Jamaica @ 09418200183 or 08802105459 who runs a very reasonably priced camping site at Chandrataal.
Batal: Nothing here.
Rohtang Pass: Another high altitude pass on the journey.
Manali: And finally you will end your journey at Manali, another popular hill-station in Himachal.
Remember, it is not the destination but the journey that you will enjoy in your Spiti trip.
kumzum pass will be closed in the month of