Snow-capped peaks, inky sky, copper mountains, creamy cubicle homes, lean Spitians jostling around, and fat sheep and cows — this is Spiti Valley Himachal, one of the remotest valleys in the Indian Himalayas.
People have been clicking pictures of Spiti valley for decades. But since the advent of social media, Spiti Valley images have flocked to all Indians’ and foreigners’ Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Maroon-robed monks (mostly young) jumping on the swirling roads. Himalayan peaks standing tall and a river swiftly snaking in front of them. Icy summits with creamy Spitian villages in front. Selfies with Spitian women on the road. Key Monastery standing tall. Pictures in front of the dominant mountains. A few close-ups of flat-roofed Spiti homes.
We have seen all of the above Spiti images. But the more natural, unposed, and truthful Spiti valley photos don’t make it to Instagram. Perhaps the silence that envelops the stunning Spiti and the isolated Spitian life is too much to handle even in pictures.
I traveled from Manali to Spiti in a shared tempo traveler and stayed in the valley for a week, alone (I’ve linked the travel narrative of my Spiti trip above). During that week, I hitchhiked to remote Spitian villages, stayed in home stays, cooked chapatis with young Spitian girls, spent time in monasteries, hiked up to the pea farms with families, used pit toilets, and celebrated the birthday of Dalai Lama in the key monastery.
In these 63 Spiti Valley pictures, I’ve tried to show a little bit of the struggle and the beauty of Spitian life. Hope you enjoy the photographs.
Let me take you for a walk in Spiti through these Spiti Images
Getting to Spiti
On the way from Manali to Spiti. The terrain becomes harsh and rocky once you cross Rohtang Pass, a popular destination from Manali.
Yaks and buffaloes clicked from a distance. This is probably one of the very few herds of cattle that we saw the entire way from Manali to Spiti.
One of my Instagram images of Spiti valley. Near the river in Kaza.
The last two are probably the prettiest of the Kaza images I’ve.
Traveling Within Spiti Valley
The formidable Spiti valley forces the people to stay indoors for at least four months of severe winter. But villagers do go out to carry water from the main sources to bring to their homes in cans. They also go to shop for supplies in Kaza village and walk back to their village since buses don’t work in the winter. This Spiti Valley picture definitely gives a glimpse into the vast terrains of the valley.
We went on a pretty daring hike on our own in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Go hike to Shikari Devi if you get a chance. Pssst: It’s not for the faint-hearted.
Getting to Kibber Village
Demul Village, Spiti Valley
If you are a wildlife lover, check out some of these Himachal Pradesh photos collected over a four-month slow trip through the state.
Returning from Spiti to Manali via Kunzum Pass
If I had to choose one, I will choose the above photo as my Spiti Valley wallpaper.
Where to stay in Spiti?
Either go to Booking and find a well-rated guesthouse or read through my Spiti travelogue to find out how the homestay system works in Spiti. I’ve written about the best homestay in Kaza in the article too.
Follow up reads
I also suggest reading this beautiful story written by a Spitian Sonam Yangzom about the history of Spiti. She has many more stories from the Spiti valley on her account so indulge if you can.
Did you like these images of Spiti Valley? Which is your favorite Spiti Valley photo?
Pin this photo essay on Spiti to share with the world!
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5 thoughts on “Spiti Valley Images – Pictures No-One Puts On Instagram”
Indeed fantabulous pics they actually take you through a virtual tour to spiti
Beautifully written and brought the pics to live through lens, dear Priyanka. I would love to explore this amazing place near soon when I travel back to India. Could you please tell your experience on solo travelling or if there is any articles on it, please do let me know? Thank you. Keep up the wonderful work ?
Hi Meerashini, thanks for your sweet comment. I don’t have a specific article on the tips to travel solo but I have many solo traveling experiences penned down. Have a look at these- https://www.onmycanvas.com/learning-spanish-in-south-america/, https://www.onmycanvas.com/my-worst-travel-experience/, https://www.onmycanvas.com/100-days-of-my-nomadic-life/, https://www.onmycanvas.com/what-travel-taught-me/, https://www.onmycanvas.com/memory-postcards-india/, https://www.onmycanvas.com/thailand/. Hope this helps. And I am going to write one about traveling solo soon 🙂
Wow. I am speechless. Beautiful photos and stories. I want to experience Spiti one day, first time I ever heard of it. Thank you for the art in your words. I especially loved the photo of the back of the two little girls holding hands. Reminded me of my sister and I growing up. Such a sweet moment. I can only imagine the other little girl hugging you every time she saw you. The innocence and quick affection of a child… something every adult needs more of.
Hey Vanessa. Thank you for reading like always. When you are on your next trip to India, please go there. Those two girls were sweet. And the little one that kept coming back to me was just wow. if only we could give that child-like affection to each other without being too selfish 🙂