Spiti has a total population of around 10,500 people. These people inhabit villages spread over three levels of altitude: Lower, Middle and Upper.
Kaza – The headquarters of Spiti:
Kaza is main region with administrative centre of Spiti having population around 4,000 people. Kaza with an altitude of 12500 feet (3800 Mtrs) above sea level is in the upper region, and is popularly used as a base by travellers.
A trip to Spiti wouldn’t be complete without exploring the villages and discovering exactly what it’s like to inhabit such a remote, high altitude environment. The harsh winters force residents to stockpile food and remain housebound for months at a time. During this period, they occupy themselves by making handicrafts.
During our visit to Spiti valley, we have covered almost all villages of Spiti. Below are some villages with picture:
Mud: Mud village is where we completed Pin Bhabha Pass trek. From this village, one can start Pin Bhabha and Pin Parvati Pass treks. Mud village is located on the banks of Pin Parvati river.
Dhankar: Dhankar is a large and remarkable village, that was once the capital of Spiti. Located 12760 feet (3890 Mtrs) about sea level, the village is an unforgettable sight as it balances precariously on the edge of the cliff face. Attractions include the Dhankar monastery, ruined fort, lake and awe inspiring views.
Lhalung: Lhalung village is located at a height of 12000 feet (3660 Mtrs) above sea level, is rich in diverse flora including Seabuckthorn trees.
Demul: Demul village is a lively and alluring village, with a captivating vista at 14300 feet (4360 Mtrs) above sea level. It is an excellent place to spend a day or two. It is one of high altitude village of Himalayas.
Comic: Comic village is Asia’s highest village, with an altitude of almost 14800 feet (4500 Mtrs) above sea level.
Kibber: Kibber village is the world’s highest village with a drivable road and electricity, is located not far from Kaza at 13800 feet (4200 Mtrs) above sea level.
Tashigang: Tashigang village is final village where one can drive from Kaza on jeep trail. On the way, you can cover Gete Village.
Gete: Gete village is very small village with 11 houses.
Chichum: We couldn’t explore this village much. But I am able to take beautiful photograph of this village with Himalayan backdrop.
KEE: KEE village is located on the way to Tashigang village. We need to cross KEE village while visiting most of the villages. Highlight of this village is KEE Monastery which is World famous and mesmerizing for our eyes. Simply Phenomenal!!!
Rest of the villages such as Sumaling, Rangarika, Hamsa, Losar, etc… can be witnessed during drive from Kaza to Manali on Kaza – Manali Highway.
How to visit this villages: Hire one good driver at Manali, he will take you to these villages. Most of the villages are near by, A day or two is enough to explore these villages with monasteries. Also it depends on how you want to explore these villages.