Brief Geography of District Lahaul-Spiti

By | April 26, 2020

The district Lahaul-Spiti lies between 31°44’55” and 32°59’57” North latitude and 76°46’29” and 78°41’34” East longitude.

It is bordered in the north by Jammu and Kashmir, Tibet in the east and Kullu and Kinnaur in the south-east and Chamba in south-west and west.

The district is surrounding by high mountains on all sides, the great Himalayas to the north, the Pir Panjal to the south.

  • Headquarter: Keylong
  • Altitude: 3165 meters

Lahaul

In Tibetan literature, Lahaul is called by the name of Garzha and other name of Lahaul is Swangla that is found in the “Manchad” dialect of Lahaul.

Andrew Wilson who wrote the book “Abode of God “called Lahaul a valley of glaciers.

Famous Passes in Lahaul

Rohtang Pass: It connects Lahaul with Kullu. It is also known as “Brighutung”.

Singh-Dkon Pass: It falls between Lahaul and Zanskar.

Kugti Pass: It falls between Lahaul and Bharmaur; it is used mostly by Gaddi shepherds.

Kunzum Pass: It lies between Lahaul and Spiti.

Baralacha Pass: It lies between Lahaul and Ladakh.

Banghal Pass: It lies between Lahaul and Bara Banghal.

Zanskar Pass: This pass is also known as Shingo-La, this pass connects Spiti from Kinnaur.

Read also: Passes of Himachal Pradesh

Famous Monasteries in Lahaul

Guru Ghantal, Kardang, Shashur, Tayul, Gemur.

Om Mani Padme Hum” a sacred recital in the valley which means “I invoke the path of truth and experience of universality”.

Famous Valleys in Lahaul

The Lahaul has three prominent valleys.

  1. ‘Chandra Valley’ or ‘Rangoli Valley’,
  2. ‘Bhaga Valley’ or ‘Gara Valley’
  3. ‘Chandra Bhaga Valley’ or ‘Pattan Valley’.

Chandra and Bhaga River or valley meets at Tandi.

Chandra Bhaga valley or Pattan Valley is also called as ‘orchard and granary of Lahaul-Spiti’.

Khoksar’ is the first village of Lahaul valley.

Read also: Famous valleys in Himachal Pradesh

River System in Lahaul

  • Bara Lacha Pass where Chandra and Bhaga River originates from is part of Pattan valley. This Pass is also known as “Pass with cross Road on summit” where the roads from Zanskar, Ladakh, Spiti, and Lahaul meet.
  • The river Zanskar rises in the extreme north region of Lahaul and falls in the Bhaga River at “Darcha”.

Read also: River System of Himachal Pradesh

Language:

  • Swanglas, Thakurs, Kanets, and Bhots along with several Scheduled Castes communities of Chahans, Dombas, Hessis, Garas, and Balras, etc inhabit in the district.
  • The people of Spiti valley speak only Tibetan language whereas there are three dialects that are spoken in Lahul valley.
  • Bunan is spoken in the Chandra Bhaga valley.
  • Tinan is spoken in Chandra valley and Manchad is spoken in Chandra Bhaga valley upto Thirot.
  • All these three dialects are said to have strong affinities with the languages of Munda speaking tribes of the Pre-Aryan times of India.  It is connected with the Tibetan only in relation to vocabulary.
  • Moreover, the researchers have found many similarities between the Chanali dialect of Lahul and Sanskrit.

Spiti

  • Spiti in comparison to Lahaul is higher in elevation.
  • Spiti is protected by “Kilta Peak” in north and south by “Manirang peak”.
  • Its lower part is called “Sham” situated on both sides of Spiti and its tributary is “Lingti”. “Bhar” is the middle area whereas; “Tud” is the highest region of Spiti.
  • Shangri-la is a cold mountain desert located on the Tibetan border.
  • Pin valley has been declared as National Wildlife Conservation Park.
  • The valley of the Pin River is ever wider than that of the Spiti which is joined by Pin at “Dankar”.
  • Spiti is the driest place of Himachal Pradesh and Lahaul has heavy snowfall as compared to Spiti.
  • River Spiti meets Satluj at Khab in Kinnaur.
  • Lahaul Spiti glaciers are called “Shigri”. “Bara Shigri” is the biggest glacier which fed river Chandra.
  • Spiti River is the main river in the area which originates from “Kunzum la”.
  • Pin and Lingti are the main tributaries of river Spiti.
  • Tabo, Kee/Key, and Dhankar are the main monasteries in Spiti.
  • Suraj Tal and Chandra Tal are two famous lakes in the district.

Read also: Census 2011 of District Lahaul-Spiti

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