Located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, Kaza is also the capital of the Lahaul and Spiti District. It is the commercial hub of the entire valley, situated at an altitude of 3,800 m above sea level. Surrounded with snow-capped mountains and rugged terrain, Kaza makes a beautiful picture for one’s eyes. Rivers and streams add to the beauty of the patches of greenery in all the right places. This place has a lot of history to dig into. It is replete with monasteries, old villages and other such historic places. Everything just adds up to the intriguing and charming atmosphere of this picturesque town. If you are planning to visit Kaza anytime soon, make sure you go to the places mentioned below.
1. Kibber Village
Kibber village is located at a distance of about 17 kms from Kaza. Situated at a height of 4,328 m above sea level, this village is regarded as the highest motor – able village worldwide. Tibetan architectural style inspires the houses made by stones and bricks here. This village accommodates about 80 houses. It might be a very small village but it has the Ki monastery as well as the Kibbe Wildlife Sanctuary as its main attractions. However, the village has no luxurious hotels to offer. The locals rent rooms at affordable rates to people who are willing to stay there for a day or two. You might not find wide range of cuisine to choose from, but the north Indian food found here is said to be very delicious. The best time to enjoy your stay at Kibber would be between the months of January and July. The great height, the beautiful back drop of mountains, the green fields and the almost non- polluted air is the idea of a perfect destination. This village will leave an imprint on your mind. It would give you an experience you will never forget.
Tabo is located 48 kms away from Kaza. It lies 3,050 m above the sea level. Tabo is known as the “Ajanta of Himalayas”. This place has the Tabo Monastery which is indeed a very significant monastery and comes second in the world wide ranking after Tholing Gompa of Tibet. This monastery is also regarded as the “treasure hunt” of India.
3. Ki Monastery
This monastery is located about 7 kms away from the town of Kaza. Ki Monastery is also called Key Gompa. It is a must visit place. Not visiting this monastery in spite of visiting Kaza is just a waste. It was established in the 11th century and is an excellent example of the architecture of that time. This monastery has old Buddhist texts, scripts and paintings. It is the biggest monastery of the entire valley. Many monks and nuns live here. It is also the biggest training center for the lamas. The Ki Monastery was attacked and damaged many times as a result of which, it had to be repaired several times. Each time a new story would be added to the monastery and therefore it now looks like a fort with overlapping temples.
4. Dhankar Monasteries
Dhankar monasteries lie 40 kms away from Kaza. Easy transportation is available for this place. People interested in trekking can also take the bus that drops you at the point from where the 10 km long trek begins. There are two gompas here. One of them goes back to about 1000s of years whereas the other one came into existence very recently. It was inaugurated by Dalai Lama himself. You must take time to visit these monasteries for it would be a different experience altogether.
5. Kunzum Pass
Kunzum pass is situated at a height of 4551 m. It is the gateway to Kaza. A temple of Goddess Durga is situated at the top of the pass and it is believed that She protects it and keeps out the evil. World’s second largest glacier is visible from here. People can also go for trekking to the Moon Lake from here.
The best time to visit Kaza is between the months of May and October. Winters are extremely cold here and the temperature is usually below 0-degree C. Kaza is regarded as one of the coldest places of India. The temperature during summers is also just 13 degrees C. Kaza also has a good shopping area which is quite famous for woolen clothes. Kaza is not a very usual holiday destination, but we are sure you would have a great time there.