Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul:
Kinnaur, Spiti Lahaul districts have been opened to Indians only in 1993's 27 february. The culture is a mix of Hinduism and Buddhism. Outsiders are not allowed to buy land in these districts. The entire area has its own rural charm, as there are no towns here, only villages. The locals love singing and dancing, and have a special chant for ornaments.
Indians have no restrictions to visit Kinnaur since 1993. However, since the whole area is close to sensitive border, hence presence of troops are common. It is advised that even Indians should carry some form of photo identity at all the times. Now a days, all hotels across India requires a photo identity card for you to book in.
If you are a foreigner, you will need a RAP from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Delhi , or from Resident Commissioner Himachal Pradesh, Himachal Bhawan, 27 Sikandra Road, New Delhi 1.
However, if you are traveling in a group of 4 or more, you can approach any Govt. Approved travel agent (check for the certificate) in Shimla, Kulu, Rampur or Rekong Peo.
Kinnaur spreads from Jeori village in the south to Chango village in the north, comprising 77 villages. Only about 10 people stay per sq kilometers, in an average. The summers are short, winters long. The southern part of Kinnaur receives more rainfall, the northern side being primarily dry.
Spiti and Lahaul are two valleys, which comprises the district, with Keylong as the headquarters. Its height varies from 13 thousand to 14 thousand feet. It has the dry Ladakh in its north and the green Kulu valley in its south. On the west lies Chamba, on south east is Kunnaur and on North east is Tibet.
The entire area is snow covered in the months of October to March. The area is devoid of vegetation, resembing Ladakh topography. Winters are sunshine rue the place. Cars traverse only in summer months. Plan your visit in the months of June to October. It will take near about a month if you wish to travel the entire valley.
Main Places to Visit in this virgin valley:
Rampur Sarahan Sangla Raksham Chittkul Kalpa Rekong Peo Nako Tabo Kaza Batal Keylong Udaipur (Markul)
One Mr. Manoj Gupta has travelled accross these places driving on his own, and has provided a fascinating account, along with the pictures of his trip. It is a beautiful reading, and you will love it. Read it at http://adventure-in-india.socialsire.com/A-road-tour-of-Himachal.