Jispa, a beautiful little town in the Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh, is a stunning must-visit. Perched on the banks of river Bhaga, Jispa lies 2 hours from Baralacha-la and provides the most stunning views of surrounding mountains!
While it is often regarded as a pit stop en route Leh on the Manali-Leh Highway, I beg to differ. This place is truly worthy of its own individually planned visit! Situated at a stunning height of 10,500 ft., this little village, home to about 78 households, serves as a halt for travelers on the long road trip to Leh-Ladakh
The calm, quiet and tranquil village with a very small population, offers the most beautiful Zen-like trip you will not soon forget.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
About Jispa Village
Jispa is widely known as a pit stop for your onwards journey to Leh. Often regarded as a great first night stop on the journey, you can actually fully experience Jispa if you spend longer here! Given a leisurely schedule towards your much awaited destination – trust me, the journey is worth every additional second. But, if you’re pressed for time – try squeezing in an extra day for this hamlet.
You will be surrounded by picturesque views of the mist-covered mountains and clouds, both of which make the village look like a brilliantly painted portrait. Take in the leisurely pace of the Himalayan nature and enjoy a stroll by the river or even a picnic near the many many scenic spots near the village.
While there are some homestays available here – I am certain that camping out will make for the most exquisite experience. The campsites are stunningly comfortable and provide basic services such as waterproof tents as well as electricity (though restricted to certain times)!
Jispa is located 20 km north of Keylong and 7 km south of Darcha and is situated on the Manali-Leh Highway on the Bhaga river. There are approximately 20 villages between Jispa and Keylong.
The village has a helipad, a post office, and a monastery. Travelers often stop for the night here; the village has a hotel, a mountaineers’ hut, and a campground. Jispa also has a small folk museum
Best time to visit Jispa Village
Jispa village barely experiences hot summertime and the mercury level never rises above 15 degrees during the entire season. When the winter season dawns, the temperatures begin to drop drastically, and being in the zero to the sub-zero region is a common era!
Jispa is simply adorned by the rugged mountains in the background and the village seems very small when you see it from a distance. Enjoy the hospitality of the local people as they are very friendly. Take a sip of Himalayan tea with snacks and experience Buddhist culture in this small village of India.
In my opinion, the best time to visit the region is synonymous with what the region experience – i.e. pre-monsoon period after the opening of passes – April – June End as well as before the onset of the winter months, i.e. August end- October beginning. This will allow you a lot of comforts and the pleasure of truly experiencing the outdoors and exploring the region.
How to Reach Jispa
In order to reach the beautiful village of Jispa, you’ll need to take the scenic route of the road. While there are certain comforts and pit stops that can be covered by other forms, as detailed below – it is highly advisable to do the road route!
Nearest Airport to Jispa is the Kullu Airport, situated around 180 KMs from Jispa. From here, cabs and buses are easily available towards Keylong and further connectivity. Leh is situated on the other end of the journey at 335 Kms.
Chandigarh Railway Station is probably the most convenient railhead for Jispa. From here, you can hire private cabs and even get a public transport bus for Manali. From there, you can have decent connectivity by road.
Honestly, this is the only real way to travel to Jispa. While there are ways where you can cover part of your journey through other forms – it is essentially completed by road.
Buses run by HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) are available from Manali bus stand. You could also travel by shared taxis. In case of both of these ways of travelling, you will be halting at Keylong from where you’ll have choices to reach Jispa.
The village is best experienced on foot, following the many trails and communicating with the local folks.
Attractions in Jispa
The village of Jispa propositions many exploration opportunities for travelers. Whether it is in a lodge or a tented camp, it doesn’t matter. You are surrounded by picturesque views of the mist-covered mountains and clouds, both of which make the village look like a brilliantly painted portrait. What better thing to do here than soak in the dreamy scenery encompassing you?
One of the things you must do is pay a visit to the Jispa Rural Housing Museum. As an outsider wanting to learn the ways of the place, the museum will give you a glimpse of the way of life of the residents of Tod Valley of Lahaul district.
You can even purchase some lovely handicrafts made by local women. Also, the village also houses several Buddhist chortens or stupas which you should visit during your time there.
Things to Do near Jispa Village
Visit Suraj Tal – Suraj Tal (or lake) is a sacred water body literally meaning the Lake of the Sun God and is the third-highest lake in India. Situated about 40 Kms from Jispa, the road skirts around the Suraj Tal and is absolutely stunning with its clear blue water.
Stay in the monastery and meditate, interact with the monks. Learn the way of life where peace is how you lead and your heart helps keep and preserve happy vibes all around. Come out rejuvenated and with a refreshed love for all things nature!
Where to Stay
Jispa is a quaint little town perched atop beautiful Himalayan hills, makes it difficult to find standard hotel accommodation. Even though Jispa lacks in options, you will be more than comfortable in the lap of nature. You may choose to stay in a lodge or set-up a camp. Overall, one may describe the accommodations here as decent and comfortable for any traveler.
What to Eat
Mostly basic food will be available to you here. You will likely be eating at your campsite/homestay and the food, though basic, tastes great in the hills! The entire positive vibes in the Himalayas and the fact that you have a true feeling of earning your supper will take you through a food journey of its own. If you’re lucky, the locals will happily make some local delicacies for your eating pleasure.
Is there an ATM in Jispa Village?
The nearest ATM is in the Keylong town which is almost 23km away.
Can I find a petrol pump in Jispa Village?
The nearest petrol pump is at Tandi, which lies at a distance of almost 32km from the village. It would be better to carry extra fuel just in case.
Jispa is a beautiful hamlet that MUST be enjoyed. Jispa perfectly summarizes you of an era gone-by and the history and way of life of the residents of the Tod Valley.
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The place gives a perfect glimpse into the culture, traditions, beliefs, values, history, and achievements of the local people.
Visitors often stay in monasteries to meditate and enjoy the serenity and calmness of the Himalayas. The breathtaking view of the mountains and river Bhaga flowing by the side makes Jispa beautiful and serene with its own simplicity. Trust me, you will not regret it!