Located at an altitude of 4,551m above mean sea level, Kunzum Pass is one of the highest motorable mountain passes of India. Also known as Kuzum La, this pass serves as a gateway to the magical Spiti Valley via Lahaul and Kullu. At a distance of 108 kilometers away from Manali, Kunzum La offers an incredible 360-degree view of the second-longest glacier in the world, Bara-Shigri Glacier, a spectacular view of the Spiti Valley, and a mind-blowing vista of Chandrabhaga Range. Owing to this enthralling view, Kunzum Pass is a photographer’s paradise.
A 15 kilometers long trek to the popular Chandratal Lake (Moon Lake) originates from Kunzum Pass. It is said that the travelers have to stop and pay their respects to the Goddess Kunzum Devi and seek her blessings to travel safely through the rugged terrain. Taking a complete circle of the temple in your vehicle is a tradition that has been followed for several decades.
Best Time To Visit Kunzum Pass
The best time to visit Kunzum Pass is from June to September when it is open for visitors. It remains frozen for the rest of the year.
The temple located on the Kunzum Pass is home to the Goddess Kunzum, and it is said that the goddess protects the pass from evil powers. Dedicated to the Goddess Durga, the temple holds a mythological significance amongst locals and visitors alike. The visitors who visit the pass or want to go further pay their respects to the goddess.
Places To Visit In Kunzum Pass
1. Chandratal Lake
Located at an altitude of about 4300 m in the mighty Himalayas, Chandratal Lake is often referred to as one of the most beautiful lakes. The source of the Chandra River, this stunning lake is situated on the Samudra Tapu plateau in the Lahaul region of Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul and Spiti district. It is one of the two high-altitude lakes in India that have been declared Ramsar Sites. A major crowd puller in the region, this lake was once a tentative residence for Tibetan traders who used to travel to Kullu and the Spiti valley.
2. Key Monastery
A student of the famous teacher Atisha in the 11th century, Dromton, is said to have founded the Key Monastery and Ki Monastery. A Buddha idol sits inside the monastery in the Dhyana position and a huge collection of murals and books can also be found in the monastery. This monastery provides religious training to the aspiring Lamas, and more than 300 lamas receive their education from this monastery.
3. Dhankar Monastery
Situated in the district of Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, India, Dhankar Monastery is also referred to as Dankhar, Drangkhar, or Dhangkar Gompa. Perched on the edge of a cliff, this monastery is located at an altitude of 12,774 feet above sea level and offers the most stupendous view of Spiti valley. Overlooking the heart-stirring sight of the confluence of Spiti and Pin rivers, Dhankar Monastery was built one thousand years ago on a 1000 feet high mountain. It is listed amongst one of the world’s 100 most endangered monuments.
4. Suraj Tal
Considered as the 3rd largest lake in India, Suraj Tal Lake is located at an elevation of 4950 meters above sea level. Suraj Tal, which means ‘The Lake of Sun God’, is situated in Spiti Valley. The stunning lake is located just below the Baralacha Pass, which should be visited while you are here, especially if you love photography. This lake is one of the most photogenic and dream-like lakes in India.
5. Pin Parvati National Park
Situated in the Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve in the Lahaul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh, Pin Parvati National Park or Pin Valley National Park is set amidst semi-frozen rivers in the valley. The height of the national park ranges from 3,500 meters above sea level in Ka Dogri to more than 6,000 meters above sea level at its peak. Home to the rare species of famous Himalayan snow leopards and their prey, the Ibex, the Pin Valley National Park is one of the fascinating facilities of its kind. The incredible trek to the national park is a delight for trekking enthusiasts. For most of the year, it snows in the national park making the trek even more adventurous. Foreigners are not allowed inside the national park but Indians can visit the park with the necessary permissions.
How To Reach Kunzum Pass
Kunzum Pass is located in Spiti Valley in Lahaul and the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, which is one of the most remote areas in the country. Here’s how you can reach Kunzum Pass.
The best option to reach the Kunzum pass is that you take an overnight bus from Delhi or Chandigarh to Manali and then book a private taxi or board the local bus from Manali to and deboard at Kaza in Spiti Valley.
The nearest airbase to Kunzum Pass is Bhuntar Airport in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. There are many private taxis available just outside the airport to cover the remaining distance from the airport.
Distance from Bhuntar Airport - 159 Kms
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available To Reach Kunzum Pass