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Kaza Spiti valley

16th May 2024

12 Best Things to Do in Kaza : From Thrills to Tranquility (2023)

Are you ready for the best things to do in Kaza? In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the best things to do in this charming Himalayan town.

From ancient monasteries to breathtaking landscapes, we’ve got you covered!

From our past experience of leading group trips here, we know the hidden gems and local secrets that will make your journey truly special.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or a thrill-seeker, Kaza has something extraordinary to offer. Join us as we unveil the top attractions and experiences that will make your visit to Kaza truly remarkable. Let’s embark on this incredible journey together!

Interesting Facts about Kaza

  1. Kaza, located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains.
  2. The town of Kaza serves as a gateway to numerous ancient monasteries, including Key Monastery and Tabo Monastery.
  3. Kaza is known for its high-altitude adventure activities like trekking, mountaineering, and jeep safaris.
  4. The vibrant culture of Kaza is showcased through its traditional festivals, such as the Ladarcha Fair and Fagli Festival.
  5. Kaza is a haven for nature lovers, with its picturesque landscapes, pristine lakes, and the enchanting Chandratal Lake nearby.

Best Things to Do in Kaza

1. Key Monastery

Perched on a hilltop at an altitude of 4,166 meters, Key Monastery is a renowned Tibetan Buddhist monastery near Kaza. Dating back to the 11th century, this iconic structure houses ancient scriptures, murals, and a valuable collection of Buddhist artifacts.

It serves as a spiritual hub and a training center for monks. Visitors can explore the monastery’s prayer halls, admire the stunning views of the Spiti River, and witness the fascinating rituals and ceremonies that take place within its walls.

  1. Location: Key Monastery is located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, approximately 12 kilometers from the town of Kaza.
  2. Famous For: This renowned Tibetan Buddhist monastery, dating back to the 11th century, is famous for its stunning hilltop location offering panoramic views of the Spiti River.

2. Chandratal Lake

Nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas, Chandratal Lake is a breathtaking high-altitude lake located at an elevation of about 4,300 meters.

Known as the “Moon Lake,” it offers a mesmerizing sight with its crystal-clear turquoise waters reflecting the surrounding snow-capped peaks.

Trekking enthusiasts are drawn to its serene beauty and the trekking routes that lead to it. Camping by the lake under the starry sky is an unforgettable experience that allows visitors to connect with nature and soak in the tranquility of this enchanting location.

  1. Location: Chandratal Lake, also known as the “Moon Lake,” is located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, around 48 kilometers from the town of Kaza.
  2. Famous For: This mesmerizing high-altitude lake, situated at an elevation of about 4,300 meters, is famous for its crystal-clear turquoise waters that reflect the surrounding snow-capped peaks.

3. Komic Village

Situated at a staggering altitude of 4,520 meters, Komic Village holds the distinction of being one of the highest inhabited villages in the world.

This remote village offers a glimpse into the traditional Spitian way of life, with its mud-brick houses, fertile fields, and colorful Buddhist flags fluttering in the wind.

Visitors can explore the Tangyud Monastery, interact with the friendly locals, and savor the panoramic views of the rugged landscape, making it an offbeat destination that captivates with its raw beauty.

  1. Location: Komic Village is located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, at an altitude of approximately 4,520 meters, making it one of the highest villages in Asia.
  2. Famous For: This remote Himalayan village is famous for its picturesque landscapes, traditional mud-brick houses, and the Tangyud Monastery, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

4. Dhankar Lake

Tucked away in the Trans-Himalayan region, Dhankar Lake is a hidden gem that lies at an altitude of approximately 4,270 meters.

A moderate trek leads to this serene lake, rewarding adventurers with awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding valleys and snow-clad peaks. The shimmering blue waters of the lake contrast beautifully with the arid terrain, creating a surreal setting.

The tranquility and untouched nature of Dhankar Lake make it a haven for nature enthusiasts seeking solace in the lap of the mighty Himalayas.

  1. Location: Dhankar Lake is situated in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, near the village of Dhankar, approximately 34 kilometers from Kaza.
  2. Famous For: This hidden alpine lake, nestled amidst the Trans-Himalayan region, is famous for its serene beauty and breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and snow-capped peaks.

5. Shopping in Kaza

Exploring the bustling markets of Kaza is a delight for shopaholics and culture enthusiasts alike.

The town offers a unique blend of Tibetan and Himachali influences, reflected in the handicrafts, clothing, and artifacts available in its markets. Visitors can browse through vibrant Tibetan carpets, traditional jewelry, intricate thangkas (Buddhist paintings), and locally produced organic products.

Interacting with the warm-hearted local shopkeepers adds to the charm of the shopping experience, allowing visitors to take home a piece of Kaza’s rich cultural heritage.

  1. Location: Kaza is the main town of the Spiti Valley, located in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India.
  2. Famous For: It is a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and take home some souvenirs.

6. Kunzum Pass

Situated at an elevation of 4,590 meters, Kunzum Pass is a high mountain pass that connects the Spiti Valley with Lahaul Valley in Himachal Pradesh.

This scenic pass offers breathtaking panoramic views of the snow-covered peaks, glaciers, and barren landscapes. It holds immense significance for both local residents and travelers, who often stop here to seek blessings at the revered Kunzum Mata Temple.

The pass is also a gateway to various treks and serves as a thrilling adventure for road trip enthusiasts navigating its winding roads.

  1. Location: Kunzum Pass is a high mountain pass located in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India, at an altitude of approximately 4,590 meters.
  2. Famous For: It is a popular route for adventure travelers heading towards Kaza and offers a thrilling drive through challenging terrain.

7. Dhankar Monastery

Perched precariously on a cliff at an altitude of around 3,890 meters, Dhankar Monastery is a prominent Buddhist monastery in the Spiti Valley.

Dating back over a thousand years, this ancient monastery showcases magnificent architecture and houses valuable artifacts, including murals, thangkas, and statues.

Dhankar Monastery offers awe-inspiring views of the surrounding valleys and the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers. It is not only a spiritual center but also a cultural heritage site that provides insight into the rich Buddhist traditions and history of the region.

  1. Location: Dhankar Monastery is situated in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, around 32 kilometers from the town of Kaza.
  2. Famous For: It offers panoramic views of the surrounding valley and is a significant religious and cultural site in the region.

8. Pin Valley National Park

Nestled in the picturesque Pin Valley, this national park is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.

With an altitude ranging from 3,500 to 6,000 meters, it is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the elusive snow leopard, ibex, Himalayan marmots, and numerous bird species.

Visitors can embark on guided treks, explore the pristine landscapes, and witness the unique ecosystem of the Trans-Himalayan region. The park’s serene ambiance, snow-clad peaks, and gushing rivers make it a captivating destination for those seeking an immersive wildlife experience.

  1. Location: Pin Valley National Park is located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, spanning an area of approximately 970 square kilometers.
  2. Famous For: It offers opportunities for wildlife spotting, birdwatching, and trekking amidst breathtaking landscapes and snow-clad peaks.

9. Kibber Village

Situated at an elevation of approximately 4,205 meters, Kibber is a scenic village in the Spiti Valley that offers a glimpse into the traditional mountain life of the region.

Surrounded by towering peaks and barren landscapes, this charming village is known for its white-washed houses, barley fields, and the ancient Kibber Monastery.

Visitors can engage in village walks, interact with the friendly locals, and marvel at the panoramic vistas. Kibber also serves as a base for treks to nearby high-altitude lakes and passes, making it a favorite among adventure enthusiasts.

  1. Location: Kibber Village is situated in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, at an altitude of approximately 4,205 meters.
  2. Famous For: It serves as a base for treks to high-altitude lakes and offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan range.

10. Tabo

Tabo is a small town in the Spiti Valley that holds great historical and religious significance. Its main attraction is the Tabo Monastery, which dates back to the 10th century and is often referred to as the “Ajanta of the Himalayas.”

The monastery houses ancient murals, statues, and scriptures, making it an architectural and artistic treasure trove.

Tabo’s tranquil surroundings, ancient caves, and meditation centers attract spiritual seekers and history buffs alike. Exploring the town and its cultural heritage offers a profound experience that transports visitors to a bygone era.

  1. Location: Tabo is a small town located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, approximately 47 kilometers from the town of Kaza.
  2. Famous For: It is one of the oldest Buddhist monastic complexes in the Himalayas, dating back to the 10th century.

11. Sakya Tangyud Monastery

Located in the picturesque village of Kaza, Sakya Tangyud Monastery is a distinctive Tibetan Buddhist monastery that showcases remarkable architecture and intricate wall paintings.

Perched on a hilltop, it offers panoramic views of the Spiti Valley. This monastery holds cultural and religious significance, and visitors can witness the daily rituals, participate in prayer sessions, and gain insights into the Buddhist way of life.

The serene ambiance and the blend of traditional and contemporary elements make Sakya Tangyud Monastery a must-visit destination for spiritual seekers and admirers of architectural beauty.

  1. Location: Sakya Tangyud Monastery is located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, approximately 7 kilometers from the town of Kaza.
  2. Famous For: This beautiful monastery, belonging to the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism, is famous for its stunning architecture, exquisite murals, and towering statue of Guru Padmasambhava.

12. Keylong Market

Keylong, the administrative center of the Lahaul and Spiti district, features a bustling market that offers a vibrant shopping experience. Visitors can browse through local handicrafts, woolen garments, and traditional artifacts.

The market is known for its lively atmosphere, with vendors selling fresh produce, spices, and unique local delicacies.

Exploring the Keylong Market provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the local culture, interact with friendly residents, and savor the flavors of the region. It is a hub of activity where one can witness the daily life and commercial spirit of the locals.

  1. Location: Keylong Market is situated in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India, approximately 186 kilometers from the town of Kaza.
  2. Famous For: Keylong Market is famous for its vibrant local market, offering a variety of products ranging from traditional handicrafts, woolen items, and local produce to daily essentials.

Best Time to Visit Kaza

The best time to visit Kaza is during the summer months, from May to September. During this period, the weather in Kaza is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C during the day, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploration.

The roads leading to Kaza, which are often snow-covered and treacherous, are also accessible during this time. Additionally, summer brings vibrant colors to the valleys with blooming flowers and lush greenery, enhancing the scenic beauty of the region.

It is advisable to avoid the monsoon season as heavy rains and landslides can make travel difficult.

How to Get to Kaza

1. By Road

Kaza is well-connected by road and can be reached via Manali or Shimla. From Manali, travelers can take the scenic Manali-Leh Highway (NH505) and cross the high-altitude Kunzum Pass to reach Kaza.

The journey offers breathtaking views but requires acclimatization due to the high altitude. Alternatively, from Shimla, travelers can take the Hindustan-Tibet Road (NH5) and pass through the stunning Kinnaur Valley to reach Kaza.

2. By Train

The nearest railway station to Kaza is Joginder Nagar Railway Station, located approximately 350 kilometers away. From Joginder Nagar, travelers can hire a taxi or take a bus to Kaza.

However, the train connectivity to this region is limited, and the journey involves multiple transfers and long travel durations. It is recommended to check the train schedules and plan accordingly.

3. By Air

The nearest airport to Kaza is Bhuntar Airport in Kullu, approximately 250 kilometers away. From Bhuntar, travelers can hire a taxi or take a bus to Kaza. However, flight connectivity to Bhuntar is limited, with most flights operating from major cities like Delhi and Chandigarh.

Another option is to fly to Chandigarh Airport, which offers better connectivity, and then continue the journey to Kaza by road.

Where to Stay in Kaza

  1. The Grand Dragon: Located in the heart of Kaza, The Grand Dragon is a popular and well-appointed hotel offering comfortable accommodations with modern amenities. It boasts spacious rooms with stunning views of the surrounding mountains, a multi-cuisine restaurant serving delectable dishes, and warm hospitality that ensures a pleasant stay.
  2. Spiti Sarai: Nestled amidst the serene landscapes of Kaza, Spiti Sarai offers a unique and authentic stay experience. This eco-friendly property features cozy rooms built in traditional Spitian style, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the local culture. The tranquil ambiance, personalized service, and organic meals sourced from the property’s own farm make for a rejuvenating and sustainable stay.
  3. Sakya Abode: Situated in the picturesque village of Rangrik, just a short distance from Kaza, Sakya Abode is a boutique guesthouse that offers a peaceful and serene retreat. With its comfortable rooms, traditional decor, and breathtaking views of the snow-clad peaks, it provides a delightful stay experience. Guests can savor home-cooked meals prepared with local ingredients, engage in cultural activities like traditional music and dance, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the hosts.

Where to Eat in Kaza

  1. The Himalayan Cafe: Located in the heart of Kaza, The Himalayan Cafe is a popular eatery known for its cozy ambiance and delicious food. They offer a diverse menu featuring a blend of local and international cuisines, including Tibetan, Indian, and Continental dishes. From momos and thukpa to pizzas and sandwiches, the cafe caters to various tastes.
  2. Sol Café & Restaurant: Sol Café & Restaurant is a charming establishment that offers a relaxed atmosphere and delectable food. With its cozy indoor seating and outdoor terrace, it provides a comfortable setting to enjoy a meal. The menu features a range of dishes, including traditional Spitian cuisines like chhang (local beer), local noodles, and momos.
  3. The Tibetan Kitchen: As the name suggests, The Tibetan Kitchen specializes in authentic Tibetan cuisine, serving up a delightful array of flavors. Located in the main market area of Kaza, this restaurant offers a welcoming ambiance and a menu filled with traditional Tibetan dishes like thenthuk (hand-pulled noodle soup), tingmo (steamed bread), and butter tea. The use of local ingredients and the expertise of the chefs ensure an authentic culinary experience.

Travel Tips and Suggestions

  • Acclimatize properly due to the high altitude of Kaza.
  • Carry sufficient warm clothing and protective gear against harsh weather conditions.
  • Plan your trip during the summer months for better accessibility and pleasant weather.
  • Stay hydrated and carry bottled water to cope with the dry climate.
  • Be mindful of the limited availability of ATMs and carry enough cash for your expenses.
  • Respect the local culture and customs, especially when visiting monasteries and religious sites.
  • Check road conditions and permits required for travel in the region, and plan your transportation accordingly.

Conclusion – Best Things to Do in Kaza

In conclusion, Kaza, nestled in the breathtaking Spiti Valley, offers a treasure trove of experiences for travelers seeking adventure, culture, and natural beauty.

From exploring ancient monasteries like Key Monastery and Tabo Monastery to immersing oneself in vibrant festivals and local traditions, Kaza truly captivates the heart.

Trekking to high-altitude lakes, witnessing the panoramic vistas, and indulging in the vibrant markets and authentic cuisine are must-do activities. With its serene landscapes, rich heritage, and warm hospitality, Kaza invites you to embark on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting Himalayas.

FAQs – Best Things to Do in Kaza

What are the top attractions in Kaza?

Kaza is packed with incredible attractions that cater to various interests. You can’t miss visiting Key Monastery, a renowned Tibetan Buddhist monastery dating back to the 11th century. The monastery is perched on a hilltop, offering stunning views of the Spiti River. Another must-visit is Chandratal Lake, also known as the “Moon Lake,” with its crystal-clear turquoise waters reflecting the snow-capped peaks. For a glimpse into traditional mountain life, Kibber Village and its white-washed houses are a must-see.

What adventure activities can I enjoy in Kaza?

If you’re an adventure enthusiast, Kaza has got you covered! The town is a hub for high-altitude activities like trekking, mountaineering, and jeep safaris. You can embark on thrilling treks to Dhankar Lake, hidden amidst the Trans-Himalayan region, and witness breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys. For wildlife enthusiasts, Pin Valley National Park offers a chance to spot elusive snow leopards and explore the unique ecosystem of the Trans-Himalayan region.

What is the best time to visit Kaza?

The best time to visit Kaza is during the summer months, from May to September. The weather during this period is pleasant, ideal for outdoor activities and exploration. The roads leading to Kaza are also accessible during this time. However, it’s advisable to avoid the monsoon season due to heavy rains and landslides that can make travel difficult.

How can I reach Kaza?

Kaza is well-connected by road and can be reached via Manali or Shimla. If you choose to travel from Manali, you can take the scenic Manali-Leh Highway and cross the high-altitude Kunzum Pass. Alternatively, from Shimla, you can take the Hindustan-Tibet Road and pass through the stunning Kinnaur Valley. The nearest airport to Kaza is Bhuntar Airport in Kullu, and the nearest railway station is Joginder Nagar Railway Station.

Where can I stay in Kaza?

There are several accommodation options in Kaza that cater to different preferences. The Grand Dragon is a popular hotel in the heart of Kaza, offering comfortable rooms and stunning mountain views. Spiti Sarai is an eco-friendly property that provides an authentic stay experience with traditional Spitian-style rooms. Another option is Sakya Abode, a boutique guesthouse in the picturesque village of Rangrik, offering breathtaking views and cultural activities.

What are the must-try local dishes in Kaza?

While in Kaza, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the local cuisine. The Himalayan Cafe, located in the heart of Kaza, offers a blend of local and international dishes, including Tibetan, Indian, and Continental cuisines. Sol Café & Restaurant is another charming establishment known for its traditional Spitian cuisine, such as chhang (local beer) and momos. The Tibetan Kitchen specializes in authentic Tibetan dishes like thenthuk (hand-pulled noodle soup) and butter tea.

What travel tips should I keep in mind when visiting Kaza?

When visiting Kaza, it’s important to acclimatize properly due to the high altitude. Carry warm clothing and protective gear for the harsh weather conditions. Plan your trip during the summer months for better accessibility and pleasant weather. Stay hydrated and carry bottled water to cope with the dry climate. Respect the local culture and customs, especially when visiting monasteries. Check road conditions and permits required for travel in the region and ensure you have enough cash as ATM availability is limited.
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