Children in villages of Spiti valley

Villages Of Spiti Valley – A Bawray Banjaray Guide (Part 3)

Till now we have shared two routes for covering villages of Spiti —  one going towards Kee, Kibber and Chicham Village while the second one covers Langza, Komic and Hikkim villages. In this third part of our blog series about villages of Spiti, here is the next set of villages in Spiti Valley. These villages can be visited in a day excursion from Kaza.

Lhalung Village: One with Golden temple of Spiti

The literal translation of Lhalung is the land of gods, Lha means Deities and Lung means Land. Lhalung village along with its monastery is one of the oldest settlements in Spiti Valley. The village and the monastery were established by the great scholar of Buddhism Rinchen Zangpo. The monastery is also known as Sharkhang Monastery. Lhalung is the largest village in Lingti valley, a sub valley of Spiti valley and is home to 300 people.

How to reach Lhalung

There are no buses or public transport available for Lhalung. Private taxi or a bike is the best option for visiting this village of Spiti. Best way to reach Lhalung is via newly built Lhalung-Dhankar connection road that diverges from Kaza-Kinnaur main road near Schling. The village is about 14 km from the main road.

Best time to visit Lhalung Village

Lhalung village might not be accessible during winter months so the best time to visit Lhalung is between the months of June to September.

Stay options in Lhalung village

Recently some homes of Lhalung village have started hosting travellers in their homes but there is no hotel or hostel in Lhalung. 

Suggested Read: Villages of Spiti Valley (Part 2)

Dhankar – Ancient Capital of Spiti Kingdom

Dhankar village is located in between Tabo and Kaza, overlooking the confluence of Spiti River and Pin River. Literally, Dhankar goes as “a place which can be easily reached by visitors” but it is situated on the top of a cliff. Dhankar was once the capital of Spiti Valley. Now, home to 68 homes and 300 people, it is one of the most significant villages of Spiti valley. There is always a chance that you will be invited for a tea if you strike a conversation with any local. Tea tastes better when it comes with local flatbread.

Panoramic view of Dhankar village
View of Dhankar monastery while climbing up from Schling

How to reach Dhankar Village

Dhankar lies between two towns of Spiti Valley — Kaza and Tabo. All the buses or taxis going back and forth from Kaza and Kinnaur pass through Sichling which is just below Dhankar. Taxis can take one all the way up to the village or one can also try to hitch a ride. There is no direct bus to Dhankar. The distance of Dhankar from Kaza is about 35km.

Best time to visit Dhankar

Dhankar is accessible all year round and every season is worth a visit. However, the best time to visit Dhankar is during the summer season. Winter is very cold, harsh but adventurous and fulfilling if one wants to experience the life of locals during winters.

Confluence of Spiti and Pin Rivers
View from Dhankar village of confluence point of Spiti and Pin rivers

Stay options in Dhankar Village

Dhankar has plenty of homestays to choose from. The New Dhankar monastery has got dormitory for tourists which is a good option for staying overnight.

Must Read: Villages of Spiti Valley (Part 1)

Kungri – Second Largest Monastery in Spiti Valley

After Kee Monastery, Kungri Gompa in Kungri village is most significant in Spiti valley. It is also the second-largest monastery in Spiti valley after theone in Kee. Kungri village hosts some exotic cultural events, traditional sword dance by Buzhens of Mud village being one of them. Buzhens are wandering monks who roam around villages, singing songs in praise of God. Also, they are the only monks who carry weapons. Monks of Pin valley are allowed to marry and their sons become Buzhens. Besides, younger sons of landowners become Buzhens instead of joining a monastery. They grow their hair long and twist them to give a wild appearance. The Buzhens share their historical connection with Trilokinath of Lahaul. On records, it is estimated that there are only 25 in the community

How to reach Kungri

There is a daily bus from Kaza to Pin valley and it goes till Mud village which is the last village of Pin valley. This bus starts around 4 in the evening from Kaza and reaches Pin valley around 5:30 PM and departs next day morning back to Kaza. That is the only public bus in the area but there are plenty of taxis and bikes on hire which is usually a good option for travelling in the Villages of Spiti Valley.

Best time to visit Kungri

Kungri can be accessible round the year except for some days when the whole Pin Valley is cut off from the rest of the Spiti Valley due to heavy snowfall or landslides. Summer months of July to September are ideal to visit Kungri.

Stay options in Kungri

Plenty of options to choose from. Homestays, hotels and camps are easily available in Kungri.

Mud – The Last Village of Pin valley

One of the most famous villages of Spiti, Mud is a patch of green land against the barren multicoloured mountains of Pin Valley. Mus is home to 215 people and 45 houses. The village works as a base camp for Pin Valley National Park. The national park is home to some of the rarest animals of Himalaya. Mud villages also work as a starting point of two major treks Pin Parvati Pass Trek and Pin Bhaba Pass Trek.

Mud village in Pin Valley
View of Mud Village from the trail going towards Pin Parvati Pass

Other then these two famous treks there are several other unexplored valleys and passes in Pin Valley which can be accessed from Mud Village. The village gives a serene view of Great Himalayan range which divides Spiti’s barren land from lush green Parvati valley and Bhabha valley.

How to reach Mud Village

Distance of Mud from Kaza is around 50 km. After about 17 km on Kaza-Kinnaur road near Schling village, a diversion of 33 km takes us to Mud village. There is a daily evening bus from Kaza to Mud which starts around 4 PM from Kaza and reaches Mud before 7 PM. The same bus leaves for Kaza in the morning. Best way to reach Mud is to hire a private taxi. 

Traditional houses of Villages of Spiti Valley
Old traditional houses in Mud village

Best time to visit Mud Village

Mud can be accessible around the years except for some days when the whole Pin Valley is cut off from the rest of the Spiti Valley due to heavy snowfall or landslides. Summer months of July to September are ideal to visit Mud.

Stay options in Mud Village

Plenty of options to choose from. Homestays, hotels and camps are easily available.

View from Mud Village
Open wide valley seen from Mud village

Gue – This village has a Mummy

Gue has a perfect setting for a village in Spiti — bank of a river or even better confluence of two, deep narrow valley and windswept mountains in the backdrop. Gue village is famous for the only naturally mummified body in India. According to folklore The Lama, Sangha Tenzin, decided to mummify himself to save his village from the plague of scorpions. 

How to reach Gue

There are no buses or local transport to Gue Villag. The only way to reach here is to take a taxi from Kaza, Nako or Tabo. Distance of Gue from Tabo is about 35 km and from Nako, it’s 47 km. 

Best time to visit Gue Village

Gue village might not be accessible during winter months. It is best to visit Gue between the months of June to September.

Stay options in Gue village

Recently, one or two homes of Gue have started hosting travellers in their homes but there is no hotel or Hostel in Gue.

Further Read: Things To Know About Hikkim Post Office – The Highest in The World

Have you been to This marks the end of our guide series on villages of Spiti Valley. Do let us know if we have missed any or if you would want to add to the list from your knowledge!

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