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Kaza Spiti

A place of immense natural beauty ,Kaza is situated in the exotic desert mountain terrain of Spiti valley. It is famous for the largest monastery in Spiti, the ancient Key Gompa.

Kaza is the main town in the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Spiti also means “Middle Country”. It lies between Tibet, Ladakh, Kinnaur, Lahaul & Kulu.
The rugged mountain terrain of Kaza is generally devoid of vegetation. Its stark landscape gets cloaked in snow during winters. The high rocky mountains give way to the river Spiti which flows through them and then takes a serpentine track into the valley. In his book ‘Kim’ famous author Rudyard Kipling wrote, “At last they entered a world within a world - a valley of leagues where the high hills were fashioned of the mere rubble and refuse from off the knees of the mountains....surely the Gods live here.”
The people live a very simple life growing barley, buck-wheat, peas and vegetables. The main Spiti valley is split into eastern and western valleys. They are connected with Ladakh & Tibet on the eastern border & Kinnaur and Kulu on the western border through high passes.
The famous Key Gompa is situated amidst high barren mountains facing the Spiti river. The temples grand solitary structure in these rugged surroundings is a visual treat. The key monastery also serves as a research and cultural centre for Budhhists.
The Spiti river descends from a height of 16,000 feet, originating from the Kunzum range. The main tributary of Satluj, it merges with Satluj river near Kinnaur.
The people of Spiti are called Spitibas. Due to the topography only a few crops flourish here like the peas, potato and barley. People depend on milk and milk products from regional animals like goats and yaks for a living.
 Kaza is a trekkers’ paradise. Various treks can be organised from here. The Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Comic - Kaza Trek is very interesting trek:
The trail leads trekkers initially to Langza after 8 km; a town surrounded by fossils. The next stop is Hikim which has a monastery build under Mongol patronage. Its architecture is like a Chinese palace. A further 8 km along  lies the village Comic which then finally returns the trekker after  6 km back to Kaza.
The Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the Himalayan desert flora and fauna is also nearby.

Drive to Spiti:
It is easiest to drive from Manali to Spiti via Lahaul region and Kunzum La. The valley of Spiti has comparatively more vegetation than the rugged Lahaul region. Good roads lead through Losar and on to Kaza. However, this connection to Kaza is closed in monsoon months.
The second option is to drive from Shimla via Kinnaur - there is a motor-able road which remains open up to Kaza for 8 to 9 months a year. 10 km ahead of Pooh the road goes to Sumdo via Hangrang valley. Sumdo is the entrance of the Spiti valley.

Key Monastery
A short drive from Kaza Key Monastery is perched on a hillock and stands apart from rest of the valley. Founded by Drom-Ton in the 11th century, Key Monastery is built in Pasada style architecture. Ravaged many times by various attackers like Mongols, Dogras and Sikhs, Key has survived the blow of time. Its walls are covered with paintings and murals. It is an awesome structure standing built in many tiers upon the desert mountains of Spiti. This Gompa belongs to the Gelugpa sect and is a centre for learning. It also provides accommodation to a large number of Buddhist monks and nuns. A narrow passage and stairs lead the traveller to the top most building: The Zimchung Chamber houses the incarnation of the Lama. Zimchung gives way to upper chambers offering splendid views of the Spiti valley below. The three storey Gompa houses ancient murals and scrolls and statues of Buddha. Books of religious importance are also kept here.
Tangyud Gompa
Built on the edge of a deep canyon, this Gompa was built like a fortified structure with mud walls. It is located 4 km from Kaza. The main sect here is Drugpa.
Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kibber Wildlife sanctuary is located on the left bank of the Spiti river. Spread over an area of about 1400 sq/km it offers a great view of the region's peaks - Chau-cahu Khanamo & Chau-chau Khang Nilda. This high altitude sanctuary is home to a some rare fauna like the Ibex, blue sheep, red fox, Tibetan woolly hare, Himalayan Wolf, Tibetan wild ass and the elusive snow leopard The birds life here includes the Himalayan snow cock, the Himalayan billed chough, the bearded eagle and griffons.
There is a special type of tea called Spiti Tea that can be bought from the local markets - it is made from seeds from a local fruit and quite refreshing.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
CHANDIGARH 502 Km 07H 49m
BHUNTAR 256 Km 03H 51m
SIMLA 454 Km 06H 57m
Chandigarh 497 Km 07H 45m
Shimla 413 Km 06H 47m
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
45 Km 00H 39m
45 Km 00H 39m
187 Km 02H 41m
Keylong is a beautiful and picturesque town in the Lahaul and Spiti district. Lying in the cold desert, Keylong is a blend of rugged mountains, snowy peaks, gurgling streams and sparsely placed green valleys.
204 Km 02H 59m
On the banks of the Beas river, surrounded by the majestic Pir Panjal, Parvati, and Bara Bhangal mountain ranges, lies Manali - one of the most popular hill resorts in India. Manali is also the gateway to the exotic Lahaul and Spiti valleys.
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Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 5 °C 25 °C
Winter -5 °C 12 °C
Bright,sunny, pleasantly cold summers and freezing cold winters.
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