Lahaul & Spiti Valley
This vast, desolate corner of Himachal Pradesh is also one of the most sparsely populated regions on earth. Lahaul is relatively green valley north of the Rohtang La, but as you travel east into Spiti the landscape transforms into a rugged network of interlocking river valleys hidden nit he rain shadows of Himalayas. It’s a 12,000 sq km of snow topped mountains and high altitude desert, punctuated by tiny patches of greenery and villages of whitewashed mud-brick houses clinging to the sides of rivers and melt water streams.
As in Zanskar and Ladakh, Buddhism is the dominant religion, thought here are small pockets of Hinduism in Lahaul, where many temples are sacred to Buddhist and Hindu Deities. According to Legend, some monasteries in Lahaul were founded personally by Padmasambhava, the Indian monk who converted Tibet to Buddhism in the 8th Century AD.