Best Places to Visit in Keylong, Lahaul
Keylong is the administrative centre of the Lahaul and Spiti district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, 126 km north of Manali and 120 km from the Indo-Tibetan border.
STARK & FORBIDDING
At once start and forbidding-Lahaul has an ethernal beauty. The word Lahaul is regarded as a derivative of the Tibetan Lho-Yul-‘southern country’ or of Lhahi-yul ‘country of the gods’. Its attraction include the Buddhist monasteries, passes, glaciers, lakes and rivers.
PATCH OF GREEN
Leave early for Keylong, district headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti. This is over a rugged road past the Kunzam pass (4551m). A chunk of green in an arid area, Keylong has willow-lined watercourses, fields and a market.
En route,sights include a frontal view of Shigri peak from Kunzam pass, while a trek route branches off to Chandra Tal (4,270 m), a lake almost a kilometre long and between a low ridge and the main Kunzam range.
Gramphoo (51km short of Keylong) is where the roads to Kaza, Keylong and Manali meet, and Khoskar (5 km ahead) hosts a major festival every january. Sissu (3,120 m,28 km short of Keylong) has marshy plains that are a stopover for migratory birds and its monastery houses an image of Lahaul’s patron deity, Gyephang. Gondhala 3,160 m,i6 km short of Keylong, has an eight storeyed timber-and-stone tower and every July the village hosts a large fair and masked dances commemorating victory over the Tibetan King Langdarma, an enemy of Buddhism. Here a sheer cliff rises over 1500 m from the riverbed and forms a spectacular sight. Keylong has hotels and rest houses. Chandratal is among important tourist places to visit in Keylong, Lahaul.
Based at Keylong, visit Buddhist gompas and savour nature’s spectacular sights. Some suggestions are – Guru Ghantal (8 km) regarded the oldest gompa in Lahaul and said to have been founded by the religious leader Padmasambhava in the 8th century. Kardang (5 km) has a library of Buddhist scripture and exquisite thangka paintings. Shashur (3 km) is surrounded a rare patch of woodlands and its 17th century gompa hosts Shashur These festival in june. Tayul (6 km) means the ‘place that is choosen’ and has a huge statue of Padsambhava. Baralacha La (4,890 m, 75 km) is an 8-km-long pass where the paths from Zanskar, Ladakh, Spiti and Lahaul meet; Suraj Tal (4,800 m) is a lake just below the summit of the pass and is the source of the river Bhaga. Sanchu,on the route to Leh, is the last point in Himachal and has a tented colony for tourists. Trilokinath (53 km) has fine stone carving and Udeypur (53 km) has an ancient temple. Other important places to visit in Keylong are Rohtang tunnel, Shashur Gompa (Buddhist Monastery) and Khardang Gompa (Buddhist Monastery).
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