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Things to know before planning a trip to spiti valley

The term Spiti in local language of spiti valley means “the middle land”. Every year thousands of tourists visit this region to explore raw nature and picturesque landscape of the region. If you are also planning to visit spiti any time soon, then this list is for you. Hope this helps you prepare well for your trip to the land of lama.

Things to know before planning a trip to spiti valley:

There is no phone network in Spiti valley except BSNL 2G:

If you are planning to go live on Instagram or Facebook or whatever social media platforms you feel to use, then this one’s for you. As of now no other telephone network except BSNL 2G actually works in Spiti valley. Even BSNL doesn’t really works well in major parts of spiti even for calling. There are a few restaurants and cafes in Kaza which provide WiFi now, but don’t expect much from them as well. So, you might have to wait a while for uploading your selfies on social media from Spiti Valley.

It’s better to carry your own postcards to Hikkim:

In the past few years it has become a trend to send postcards to them self from the world’s highest permanent post office building. but due to the increasing number of tourists visiting this remote himalyan region. It becomes quite hard to balance the demand and supply of postcards there for the post master of Hikkim post office.

So you might even miss your chance to send a postcard to yourself from Hikkim post office because of the scarcity of postcards there. Hence, it is better to carry your own postcard.

Beware of High Altitude Sickness:

For people visiting this region from the plains, High Altitude Sickness is a major problem. Sometimes also referred as “Mountain sickness” is caused when your body fails to acclimate to high altitudes. It is basically caused by decreasing barometric pressure which indeed leads to decreasing oxygen intake of the body.

Symptoms and How to avoid High Altitude sickness:

Nausea, dizziness, vomiting and headache are the most common symptoms of it, which is more than enough to spoil your most awaited trip to the Himalayas. The best way to avoid High Altitude sickness is to drink lots of water and climb gradually to higher altitudes. Avoid alcohol and tobacco in any form at high altitudes or even any form of medication without consulting a doctor.

Don’t trek alone:

There are a number of trekking options available in Spiti valley as well. Kanamo peak, bhabha pass and pin Parvati pass are few of the most famous ones there. The overall connectivity to this region is already very poor and trekking to even remote corners of this region can even prove dangerous. As if anything goes wrong while you are on the trek you might end up being lost in the vastness of this region with medical services at least hours if not days away from you. So it’s highly advised to take a guide or even some who actually knows this region. The best is to contact any villager there only, people are very kind and helpful and will surely be ready to help you out in exchange for a little cash.

Don’t create chaos there especially in Monasteries:

For those of you who don’t know what a Monastery is “it is a complex which acts a house and spiritual center for the monks”. Hence monks spend most of their time there generally praying or meditating there.

Monasteries generally are places where visitors come to find peace and silence except a few. Tourists visiting these iconic and historic sites must always keep this in there mind. It’s highly advised not to play loud music near any Monastery. Talk softly when you are in the premise and don’t force monks there to get clicked if they are not interested in getting clicked.

Spiti valley doesn’t have proper waste management system:

Basically there is no waste disposal system in Spiti valley so even if you through garbage in the dustbin still it stays there only. The waste produced generally gets dumped somewhere close the town or village only. So it is better to leave as smaller footprint as possible. In order to do so you can use reusable water bottles and refill them instead of buying a new bottle every now and then, avoid packed food like chips, snacks or even Maggie noodles. Instead, it’s better to enjoy local cuisines in local restaurants or homestays which will even support the economy of spiti and will also give a good experience of some unique local dishes.

Water crisis in Spiti Valley:

Spiti is a cold desert and hence there are not many sources of drinkable water available there. Kaza and nearby regions of spiti are facing water scarcity due to the effects of global warming. It has affected the vegetation and cultivation in the region. Making the people to rely heavily upon tourism as their primary revenue source.

Water crisis is mainly caused by irregularity in snow fall and ever decreasing glaciers of spiti. The crisis tends to worsen as the winter approaches.

You can get a better insight by checking The Indian Express post here.

Facts about Spiti Valley:

Spiti houses world’s highest petrol pump:

Based at an elevation of 3740m on Losar road of Kaza village. It’s an old fashioned Indian oil petrol pump which doesn’t even show the amount of petrol you purchased there.

World’s highest village is in Spiti valley only:

Komic in Spiti valley is the world’s highest village connected to a motorable road. It is also famous for its unique fossils and a Monastery. Komic is at an elevation of 4587m from sea level.

World’s highest permanent post office building is based in Spiti only:

Hikkim is the world’s highest post office according to the board which hangs in front of the post office there. It is based at an elevation of 4400m from sea level.

Also check: Is Hikkim really world’s higest post office

There is a 1000 years old Monastery in Spiti valley:

Built in 996 AD, Tabo Monastery is one of the oldest Monastery of the world.

Spiti valley’s largest Monastery is a must visit:

based at an elevation of 4166m from sea level. Ki Monastery also known as ki Gompa is one of the highest Monastery of India. It’s an iconic site located very close to the spiti river.

Asia’s highest bridge is in Spiti valley:

Chicham Bridge based at an elevation of around 4145m is an engineering marvel which took almost 15 years to complete.

Also check: Spiti valley with HRTC busses

500 years old self mummified body is in Spiti:

The Gue Monastery in Spiti valley houses a 500 years old self mummified body of Sangha Tenzin. It is a major tourist attraction for people visiting this region. It is around 35 km from Tabo.

Do let me know in the comments below if you would like to add something to the list.

Hey, I am photographer and blogger based out of Lucknow. I do love to travel and that's why, I started this blog with an aim to share my experiences and tips which I acquire by travelling. Most of the photographs available on this blog are clicked by me only.

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