Spiti, often known as the Middle Land, is a stunning cold desert region in Himachal Pradesh. Spiti is known as the “Middle Land”. Because it is situate between India to the south and Tibet to the north. Historically, this region saw a significant amount of trade between India and Tibet. Even now, the cultural influence of Tibet is undeniable in Spiti. Beautiful prayer flags float in the breeze, serene people with prayer wheels. And historically significant Buddhist monasteries with a high number of monks may found everywhere you go. Spiti Valley is a chilly desert region with bleak scenery and little spots of green agricultural land among the many shades of brown.
If you enjoy winter and chilly weather, this is the spot for you. The temperature plummets to minus 20 degrees Celsius and even lower. You’ll find out if you truly enjoy chilly weather as it pushes you to your limits. However, if you dislike chilly weather, a winter journey to Spiti is a must. When you return from the journey, you will pleased with yourself for being able to survive in that kind of weather. That was on a lighter note, to be sure. Spiti Valley gets a lot of snow during the winter, from November to March.
In Spiti Valley, the average yearly snowfall is roughly 7 feet. The road from Kullu/Manali is close during this period; nevertheless, if the weather is not too severe, one can travel from Shimla-Kinnaur. With climate change due to global warming, the weather in Spiti Valley is somewhat perplexing at the moment. Summers are scorching, winters are icy-cold but shorter, and rainfall in the valley has increased. The sun is hot, the shades are cool, and the evenings are usually freezing.
The residents of Spiti valley endure numerous challenges. As a result of their high elevation, severe snowfall, lack of greenery, difficult terrain, and being cut off from the outside world for 4-5 months. During the winter owing to road closures. Despite this, they always have a smile on their face and persevere in the face of adversity. Spitians are exceedingly simple, innocent, and spiritual beings. With advancement and modernization, there is some loss of cultural value nowadays. Traditional communities of Spiti Valley use a system of inheritance similar to Tibetans. The Spiti community is led by a senior male member known as Yunda, and his wife is known as Gundam.
Spiti Valley, sometimes known as the “Land of Lamas,” is a Buddhist region. Spitians practice Vajrayana Buddhism, which is identical to that practiced in neighboring Ladakh and Tibet. Spiti Valley is home to several historic monasteries and serves as Buddhist research and cultural center. Buddhists make up 62 percent of the population in Lahaul and Spiti Valley, Hindus make up 36 percent, and Muslims, Christians, and other religions make up the rest. Prior to the advent of Buddhism, Spitians practice the ‘Bon’ religion. In which animal and human sacrifices were do to appease the gods and spirits. Some Lamas are claim to practice the Bon religion in the remote reaches of Spiti Valley.
As previously stated, the history of Spiti may traced back to the Mesozoic Era. Around 150 million years ago, the world’s landmass was divide into two continents: Laurasia and Gondwana. The sole ocean used to be the Tethys Sea, which was located between these continents. These two continents began to drift towards one other, eventually colliding and forming the Himalayas. The Tethys Sea vanished, and the sea’s once-living inhabitants died and became fossils. Spiti Valley is located in the trans-Himalayan range, where the Tethys Sea formerly existed. And fossilized species can still seen in a few parts of the valley. Fossil footprints on stone are easy to locate, and there are stores that sell them. Much of Spiti Valley’s history has lost.
The first reliable information is from AD 1055. Spiti Valley was once ruled by Lhasa and the Tibetans. Spiti Valley was under Tibetan administration until the 17th century. Hence a distinct Buddhist culture can found. King Jamya of Ladakh established Ladakhi control over the entire Spiti valley in the early 18th century. Spiti Valley was rule by Raja Mansingh of Kullu towards the end of the 18th century. Spiti Valley passed through the hands of Tibetan and Ladakhi monarchs in the nineteenth century. During this time, the valley was pillage and the monasteries were loot. Spiti V was born in 1846.