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Traditional Homestays

These are village homes with one portion converted into a clean and comfortable guest accommodation. The homestays have been developed as a means of generating a sustainable livelihood supplement for the villagers. Guest accommodation is allotted serially from among our listed homestay accommodation providers in a particular village, to ensure rotation and equitable benefits.

Spiti has homestays in 6 villages, namely Langza, Komic, Demul, Lhalung, Dhankhar and Mikkim. Set along its highlands at an average altitude of 4000 mts (the notable exception being Mikkim in Pin valley), most of these villages fall within the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary (except Mikkim that lies within the Pin valley National Park) and are home to rare and endangered species of wildlife and flora.

Homestays provide you with:

  • Warm Spitian hospitality
  • A clean room with clean bed sheets and pillow covers
  • Local cuisine
  • Boiled drinking water
  • Traditional Spitian dry eco-friendly toilet
  • Candle and lamps

Life in Spiti is hard and tough but you wouldn’t guess that looking at and living with the people. Each event is an occasion for celebration, for the community to eat, drink, sing and dance together. Births (pingri), weddings (paklen) and festivals are celebrated by the community as a whole. Some of the important festivals celebrated in Spiti are:

Galten Amchauth: Celebrating by lighting lamps to celebrate the birthday of preacher J. Chaukava.

Losar: Celebrated to welcome the new year in mid-November. In the past this used to be an occasion for people from all villages to congregate and trade.

Lachhang:This is celebrated to welcome the winter season.

Dacchang:Celebrated during winters. The myth is that a wicked demon lived here and was finally killed by a child. This festival marks the victory of good over evil and is celebrated in January-February.

Chhhisu:This marks the birthday of Guru Padma Sambhava.

Pingri:Birth celebrations

Paklen:Wedding celebrations. Weddings are held usually in winters and are week-long community celebrations.

Namkan:To welcome the harvest of crops. Celebrated around September, people dress up traditionally - there are prayers, horse races and a season of song and dance.

Chakhar Mela:This takes place every three years. Lamas worship God Chikchait for 6 days. On the 7th day Chakhar is thrown into the fire and the Chham dance is performed. It is believed that miseries and diseases are burnt with the Chakhar. This is celebrated in the last week of September.

Gataur Mela:This is celebrated every year in the last week of September. On these days, Lamas, worship God Chaugayal and the next evening, saur is thrown into the fire while performing the Chham dance.

Ladarcha Mela:Previously, this fair used to be celebrated in the Kibber grounds in the month of July where traders from Ladakh, Rampur Busher and Spiti meet in this fair to barter their produce. Due to closure of Tibetan traders, this fair is now being celebrated at Kaza, the headquarters of Spiti Sub Division in the 3rd week of August. A large number of visitors and traders from Kullu/ Lahaul/ Kinnaur meet there. It has now become a conference of cultures of Spiti, Ladakh & Kinnaur as also of the Indian plains.

Local Cuisine- Local cuisine is partly inherited from Tibetan kitchens (Tibetan bread, Thukpas-a mild noodle soup, Momos - stuffed dumplings, Thenthuk - another noodle soup etc.), and partly adapted to what is produced locally. Kyu, a vegetable-barley stew is a local favourite. The larger-Indian cuisine of rice, rotis and accompaniments is also becoming popular ever since the import of rice and wheat has become viable. No festival, social gathering or an occasion is complete without the local tipple of Chang (barley beer) and Arak (harder fermented barley alcohol). For the teetotalers, sweet lemon and milk tea are drunk and offered through the day. Chaza - Salted butter tea made from Yak butter is very popular amongst the locals and almost tastes like a soup.
Dance & Music- Dance and music are intricately woven into the very fabric of Spitian life and culture. The musicians and artists from Lhalung and Demul villages are famous for their cultural performances. Most of the monasteries have performances of masked dances during their individual festivals. The Shunto is danced by men, to a song in praise of the Buddha, while the Shaboo is danced on most festive occasions. The Singhi or the 'snow lion' dance is performed to ensure peace and prosperity.
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