History and Pre-Historical Period
– Spiti has evidence of early human habitation through pre-Buddhist rock art.
– Spiti was part of the western Tibetan kingdom of Zhang Zhung until the mid-7th century CE.
– Buddhism came to Spiti through the Second Diffusion of Buddhism into Tibet.
– The Tabo monastery was built in 996 CE.
– Spiti was part of the kingdom of Ngari Khorsum in the 10th century.
– Rock art in Spiti dates back nearly 3,000 years.
– Spiti’s rock art is categorized into different periods based on the designs depicted.

Colonial Period and Administration
– Under the Treaty of Amritsar in 1846, Spiti came under direct British administration.
– Mansukh Das, hereditary Wazir of Bushahr, administered the region from 1846 to 1848.
– Spiti came under the control of the Assistant Commissioner, Kooloo (Kullu).
– Spiti was made part of the Lahaul tehsil of Kullu district in 1941.
– Spiti became a sub-division with its headquarters at Kaza after the formation of Lahaul & Spiti into a district in 1960.
– Spiti valley falls under Lahaul and Spiti district, with a small part in Kinnaur district.
– Total area of Spiti valley is 7,828.9km (3,022.8sqmi).
– Total population in 2011 was 17,104 persons.
– Spiti is part of Lahaul and Spiti constituency for state-level Vidhan Sabha.
– Spiti is part of Mandi constituency for national-level Lok Sabha.
– Inner line permit required for foreign nationals, abolished for Indian citizens in 1992.

Geology and Climate
– Spiti River and its tributaries have cut deep gorges in the uplifted sedimentary strata.
– Visible rock strata in steep cliffs without excavation or drilling.
– Three forms of alluvia in the Spiti valley: deposits of fine clay, triangular platforms sloping from mountains to river, and enormous masses above the river bed.
– Speculation that the valley was a lake bed in the past.
– Valley uplifted from ocean bed due to movement of tectonic plates.
– Spiti valley is arid and situated in the monsoon rain shadow of the Himalayas.
– Average annual rainfall is about 50mm with snowfall less than 200cm.
– Extreme temperatures range from -25°C in winter to 15°C in summer.
– Villagers claim glaciers are melting faster and snowfall has decreased.
– Climate change threatens agriculture, Gaddi shepherds’ migrations, and environment.

Flora, Fauna, and Society
– Spiti is a high altitude cold desert with sparse vegetation.
– More than 450 species of plants, including Seabuckthorn, Dactylorhiza hatagirea, and Ephedra.
– Alpine pastures home to small bushes and grasses like Rosa sericea and Lonicera.
– Wildlife includes Siberian ibex, snow leopard, red fox, pika, Himalayan wolf, and weasels.
– Avifauna includes lammergeier, Himalayan friffon, golden eagle, Chukar partridge, and rosefinches.
– Local people of Spiti follow Tibetan Buddhism.
– Culture similar to Tibet, Ladakh, and Hangrang valley of Kinnaur district.
– Presence of Gelug, Nyingma, and Sakya schools of Tibetan Buddhism in Spiti valley.
– Hierarchy with Nonos (local aristocracy) at the top.
– Chhazang (agriculturalists, Tibetan medicine practitioners, astrologers) in the middle.
– Pyi-pa (Zo blacksmiths and Beda musicians) at the bottom.
– Marriage within own status group.
– Inheritance through primogeniture, younger sons become monks.
– Traditional agriculture revolves around barley and black pea.
– Animal husbandry focused on yaks and Chumurti horse breed.
– Semi-nomadic Gaddi sheep and goat herders visit Spiti in summer.
– Green pea cultivation has replaced some traditional crops.
– Polyandry was prevalent but has almost disappeared, monogamy and nuclear families prevail.
– Local festivals and cultural significance.

Access, Monasteries, and Adventure Activities
– Spiti valley accessible throughout the year via Kinnaur from Shimla on a difficult road.
– Alternative route via Manali through Atal tunnel and Kunzum Pass in summer.
– Kaza, the headquarters of Spiti subdivision, is 201km from Manali.
– Shimla to Spiti route advised for travelers coming from lower altitudes.
– Inner line permit required for foreign nationals, abolished for Indian citizens in 1992.
– Tabo, Key, and Dhankar monasteries belong to the Gelug school.
– Kungri monastery and nunneries in Mud village belong to the Nyingma school.
– Kaza and Komik monasteries belong to the Sakya School.
– Nunneries established at Kwang, Morang, Pangmo, and Kungri.
Pin Valley is home to the surviving Buchen Lamas of the Nyingma school.
– Winter sports in Spiti (ice-skating, ice-hockey, skiing, ice-climbing).
– Trekking and mountaineering options in Spiti.
– Other adventure activities like cycling, running, and driving in Spiti.
– References and bibliography.Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiti