(Last Updated on : 24/12/2014)
The district of Lahul and Spiti lies in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It constitutes the two erstwhile separate districts, Lahul and Spiti. The present headquarters is in Keylong, situated in Lahul. The district in cut off from the rest of the country, surrounded by lofty mountains and low valleys on the Indo-Tibet border. Lahul and Spiti cover an area of 12,210 sq. km. with varying altitudes. Religion comprises a combination of Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism of the Drukpa order, accompanied by Tibetan Buddhism of the Gelugpa order. Lahul possesses temples like Triloknath, where pilgrims worship a specific god in different manifestations, particularly in the form of Shiva and Avalokiteshvara. Prior to the arrival of Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism, people were supportive of the religion 'Lung Pe Chhoi', an animistic religion that had affinities with the Bon religion of Tibet. The Losar festival (also known as Halda in Lahuli) is celebrated between the months of January and February. The date is however decided by the Lamas. Losar bears same significance as Diwali is for the Hindus. Raw scenic grandness and Buddhist monasteries, like Ki, Dhankar, Shashur, Guru Ghantal and Tayul gompas are regarded the primary attractions of the region. Another illustrious place is the Tabo monastery, housing prized collection of scriptures, thangkas (a painted or embroidered Buddhist banner, hung in a monastery or a family altar and occasionally carried by monks in ceremonial processions) and Buddhist statues. Another prominent gompa is the Kardang monastery, located at an elevation of 3500m, across the river, 8km from Keylong. Other admired tourist attractions in Lahul and Spiti include- Baralacha Pass, Kunzum Pass, Pin Parvati Pass, Tashigang Gompa, Pin Valley, Chandra Tal Lake and Suraj Tal.
Triloknath Temple, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Noted for its several unique features in temple architecture, Triloknath Temple also is home to an extraordinary Lord Shiva.
Markula Devi Temple, Udaipur, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Markula Devi Temple speaks Mahabharata in its every aspect, beginning from the murals and culminating in its construction.
Mahakala Vajra-bhairava Temple, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Illustrious for its horrific effects, Mahakala Vajra-bhairava Temple can be accessed after deep meditation only, shrining Buddhist almighty.
Tabo Monastery, Tabo Village, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Tabo Monastery is the principal monasterial establishment in Lahul and Spiti, home to several other smaller gompas.
White Temple, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- White Temple is adorned with intricate figures, functioning under the Tabo monastery establishment.
Vairocana Temple, Lalung, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Vairocana Temple enshrines an uncanny 4-faced image of Vairocana, another form of Buddha.
The Temple of the Enlightened Gods, Kaza, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Temple of the Enlightened Gods is known by several names, with Buddha serving as the presiding deity in a variant form.
Mystic Mandala Temple, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- One of the Tabo Monastic establishments, Mystic Mandala Temple is bejewelled with murals, surrounded with Bodhisattvas.
Geypan Temple, Sissu, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Geypan Temple houses the patron lord of Lahul Valley, enlaced with elaborate carvings.
Golden Temple, Tabo, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Believed to have once been enwrapped in gold, Golden Temple still bears enough aura to attract worshippers.
The Large Temple of Dromton, Tabo, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- The second largest religious institution under the Tabo Monastery, Large Temple of Dromton is decorated with delicate woodwork.
Tayul Monastery, Keylong, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Enshrining a colossal statue of Guru Rinpoche, Tayul Monastery also houses a priceless library with ancient relics.
Mane Monastery, Mane, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Built in medieval times, Mane Monastery is home to several incalculable occasions and artefacts.
Kungri Gompa, Attargo-Pin Valley, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- The sanctum of Kungri Monastery is ornamented with elaborate engravings, regarded as the second oldest gompa in the district.
Gozzangwa Monastery, Khardong, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Visitors are attracted to Gozzangwa Monastery basically due to its sculptures of the pre-Christian period along with priceless relics.
Gungri Monastery, Pin Valley, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Gungri Monastery being one of the erstwhile establishments, is home to rare Buddhist sects, founded by Padmasambhava.
Hansa Monastery, Hansa, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Situated close to popular tourist destinations, Hansa Monastery is also no less attractive in its being one.
Khardong Monastery, Keylong, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Emblematic of a hill construction, Khardong Monastery is a medieval creation, home to several Buddhist collections.
Kye Monastery, Kaza, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Withstanding cruel attacks from oppositions, Kye Monastery has survived ravages of time since its built during the medieval age.
Tashigang Gompa, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Tashigang Gompa is considered exceptionally sacred by the Buddhists in every aspect of their religious faith.
Thang Yug Gompa, Kaza, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Thang Yug Gompa is a prehistoric monastic establishment, located 13km from Kaza, in Lahul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh. The monastery is situated in an isolated place, in the narrow gauge of Kaza Nallah. The gompa usually features a Lama from Tibet. Thang Yug Monastery can be reached by bus from Kaza.
Dhankar Monastery, Dhankar Village, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- With Vairocana as the commanding deity, Dhankar Monastery is home to spectacular Buddhists artefacts.
Shashur Monastery, Keylong, Lahul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- Founded in 17th century, Shashur Monastery is home to renowned festivities, built in an extraordinary three-storey format.