The chilliest village in Spiti: Losar, Himchal Pradesh

Himalayan Travels, Lahaul & Spiti Valley

Losar is a small village in the Lahaul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Spiti Valley is located very close to the Indo-Chinese border and is believed to be the last mountain range before one reaches China through India. Spiti Valley is an extension of Ladakh and is a cold desert region. Losar is situated at an altitude of 13,400 feet above sea level.

The road leading to Losar has breathtaking beauty with magnificent views and different coloured mountains with waterfalls emerging through them. On any given day the weather is generally very windy and pleasant owing to its high altitude.

Losar is relatively unexplored, due to its remoteness and inaccessibility. Very few travellers spend the night at Losar, most stop for a meal and proceed to Chandra Tal Lake or the district headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti, Kaza nearby for a night halt.

Losar has very few accommodation and food options. The village houses have over the time been converted to home stays and guest houses to meet the needs of the travellers. The accommodation options are generally very basic with just a bed and bathroom. The food options are also generally very basic consisting of Chowmein, momo, dal, rice, chapati and vegetables.

The village of Losar consists of a few houses with a population of about 242. The village is nestled in the centre bordered with mountains on all sides. The houses are generally made of mud and have prayer flags surrounding it. The prayer flags symbolise the Buddhist religion which is prevailent in the village. Within the village there is also a monastery which is decorated with paintings on its walls and prayer wheels around it. The monks perform their daily rituals every morning and before sun down.

To reach Losar one can either go via the Kunzum Pass which is a high altitude pass. Kunzum is considered to be one of the most treacherous passes in the world. One can also access the village via Kinnaur. The Kunzum pass is generally shut for most part of the year and can be accessed only during the summer months of mid-July to mid-September. Kinnaur is fairly open for most part of the year other than during winters when the temperature is sub zero.

The best time to visit Losar is from July to September when the road conditions are fairly better than most other months. To reach Losar one can either hire a private vehicle from Manali via Kunzum pass or via Kinnaur. The Himachal Road Transport buses also leaves from Manali which is about km from Losar. One can also hire a private vehicle from Kaza which is 56 km. Although while traveling to Losar one must always do a prior check on the roads condition and also make sure to acclimatize properly to avoid falling sick. Considering there are no major medical facilities available at Losar the nearest hospital is situated at Kaza

The main occupation of the villagers is farming and animal husbandry but with the increase in the number of travellers with each year tourism is on the rise. Potatos and cauliflower are the two main vegetables grown in the Spiti region. The local language spoken here is mostly Hindi. The locals are also very welcoming towards the tourists. Losar is considered to be coldest place in Spiti valley and a night stay is sufficient to explore the village.

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