Keylong is the administrative headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Among the white and brown mountain in the region Keylong stands out as oasis of greenery in the district.
Situated at a height of 3440 m, it is the most populated place in Lahaul region. There are about 250 houses and all government offices exist in the locality. This is a major hub for Lahaul region as buses to other destinations start from here. The other special thing about Keylong is that it is the only place in Lahaul which has a regular market present.
Renowned author Rudyard Kipling described the place as “it is surely the God live here; this is not the place for men.” Lahaul and Spiti have hardly changed with the time. People still live the way they used to live and strongly believe in conserving nature.
Keylong lies on the bank of Bhaga River where Chandra Valley, Bhaga Valley and Chenab Valley intersect. Manali-Leh highway is seven kilometer from Keylong. Valley, river, mountains and green landscape makes Keylong picturesque destination.
Kardang monastery which is the largest and important monastery of Drukpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism lies just opposite to Keylong.
Within the vicinity of Keylong there are several places, temples, monasteries and bazaar which are worth visiting.
Some of the places which attract tourist include Gondla for ancient fort, Sissu for Siberian wild geese and duck during spring and autumn, Triloknath temple sacred destination for both Hindus and Buddhist. There are monasteries like Shasur, Guru Ghantal, Tayul and Gemur famous for its arts and Buddhist faith.
Keylong follows Buddhism culture and every festive celebration includes participation of Lamas and monks. The annual festival Lahaul festival celebrated in July is quite famous among Buddhist and locals. Several cultural activities are organised during the festival and it attracts tourists as well.
Keylong is accessible during summer from May to mid October as Rohtang Pass is closed due to snowfall. The completion of 8.5km Rohtang tunnel project will make the area accessible all through the year. This will also shorten distance from Rohtang to Keylong by 50km and northern and southern Rohtang by five hours.
Carpets, shawls, caps, footwear, natural oil (olive and almond), woolen jackets, metal crafts and bamboo products are worth buying from Keylong.
There is no dearth of options to stay in Keylong. From tourist bungalows to hotels to government rest house there are options for all budgets.
Tibetan food which is speciality of the region is available everywhere. Big restaurants also sell food from other regions of India.
Mid May to mid October is the best time to visit Keylong as Rohtang Pass is closed rest of the year due to snow fall.
BEST TIME TO VISIT LAHAUL
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Lahaul is as given below. The best time to visit Lahaul is also specified.