Have you been to the little oasis called Kaza in the Spiti Valley in India?
Think of a distant place and you can’t help but think of Spiti. That’s because among many adjectives that describe Spiti, you’re sure to find “remote” in the mix. The Lahaul-Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh is, without a doubt, one of the most remote tourist destinations in India.
Spiti is very popular among adventure and thrill seekers, those who enjoy road trips and off-roading, and young people looking for a place to get off the grid for a short time. The seat of Spiti, the small town of Kaza is what we are here for.
Located at 3,500 meters above sea level, the town of Kaza is the largest in Spiti and is also the commercial center of the district. It’s hard to imagine how a high altitude cold desert environment can sustain civilization! This one does, and the place is as dreamy as it gets.
When you get to Kaza, you will find Old Kaza and New Kaza. Old Kaza is the main area of the city where you will find the main market, restaurants and places to stay. New Kaza is where you will find the administrative buildings.
Kaza, in itself, is not a very lively city. But being the center of the district, it is the most convenient place to make your base when visiting Lahaul-Spiti. Once in Kaza, within a radius of less than 20 km, you will find the villages of Komik, Langza, Hikkim, Demul and many others. Visiting these remote places becomes so much easier. Did you know that some of these remote villages have fewer than 15 households? Talk about being remote!
Most travelers come to Spiti for the hiking routes the district has to offer. Some of the popular treks are Spiti Valley trek, Pin Valley National Park trek, Chandratal trek, Hampta pass trek and Mount Kanamo trek to name a few. If you came for the trek, might as well hang out and visit Sakya Tangyud Monastery and Key Monastery.
If you are visiting around November, stay for the Spiti Losar festival as it is one of the best ways to learn about the culture and traditions of the region.
Besides the surreal landscapes, if you take the time to just wander the lanes of Kaza, there is a lot to learn from the people here. Around five o’clock in the morning, most of the inhabitants here can be seen in front of their houses and on their terraces, with their solar lamps and their devices to be exposed to the sun to recharge them. Others go to work or set up greenhouses; no wonder that once crops that the harsh environment couldn’t support can now be grown here.
If living slowly can be learned, it can be seen very well in these towns of Spiti.
And how can we leave behind the tallest post office in the world? Visit the village of Hikkim, just 15 km from Kaza, where the post office is located and send letters to yourself or your loved ones from the highest post office in the world. What a great keepsake idea!
- When is the best time to visit Kaza?
Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti is a high altitude region, so the winter months are harsh. The summer and fall months are the best. May to October is a good time for a visit to Kaza.
- Where is the highest post office in the world?
The highest post office in the world is located in the village of Hikkim, just 14 km from the town of Kaza in the Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.
- Are there petrol pumps at Spiti?
There are only two petrol pumps in the Lahaul-Spiti district. One is at Tandi in the Lahaul Valley and the other is at Kaza in the Spiti Valley.