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Lingti Valley

The word Lingti translates to ‘an instrument that cuts rock’. Lingti valley is located in Eastern Spiti in Himachal Pradesh and the valley is bound from all sides by the high Himalayan peaks and ridges. Towards the North of Lingti Valley lies the extensive Gya peak which stands at a height of 6794 metres, and is also the highest peak in Himachal Pradesh. The valley is the longest one in the Lahaul and Spiti district and runs in a north-eastern direction from Lingti village for about 60 km.

The geological history of the place dates back to 250 million years with the fossil findings in the place having led to the development of many geological theories. Gaya Peak, the highest peak in Himachal Pradesh, is situated high at the northern head of the valley. The peak is the meeting point of Spiti, Ladakh and Tibet.

Gya peak lies at the point where Ladakh, Tibet and Spiti meet. Tibet lies towards the North-East from Lingti valley, across the ridge that connects Gya with the Shijibang peaks. Ladakh on the other hand, lies towards the North-west across the ridge that connects Gya and Parilungbi peaks. Lingti valley is surrounded by a ridge line towards the West and South. This ridge connects the peaks of Parilungbi-Lakhang, Shilla, Cho-Cho Khang Nilda, Tserip and Kuwa. Lingti emerged from a large glacier that exists at the feet of Parilungbi. The Parilungi River first flows in a south eastern direction for approximately 20km and here it joins another river branch called the Chaksachan Lungba that flows from a Northern direction. Lingti valley then takes a sharp 90° turn and flows in a South-Western direction. The Syarma nala joins the Lingti from a western direction and carves a slender gorge intersecting the Sisbang ridge and Cho-cho Khang Nilda point. It then flows on to join Spiti River, opposite the intersection of Spiti and the Pin rivers.

'Lingti' is a tool that cuts rock. The rapidly flowing white water of the glacial melt has carved a deep gorge through an otherwise flat landscape, hence the name. The steep walls of the Lingti valley provide an excellent habitat for the snow leopard.

Despite being an excellent location for mountaineers to explore, Lingti valley is not explored much due to its remoteness, leading to very few mountaineers venturing to it.

Lingti Valley has preserved over 250 million years of geological history in the form of shales and fossils. The ammonite and belemnite fossils from here are renowned globally and several theories are based on the geological studies that have been carried out here. In the 1980's Lingti Valley was recognized as being a part of the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary. Due to the remoteness of the valley not a single village can be seen for approximately 400 square kilometers of the upper part of the valley. Around 100 years ago a remote village existed in the valley but the remoteness of the valley forced it to relocate.

Lingti Valley is known as a living geological museum and is the longest and largest, at 60km, side valley of Spiti. It is famous for its fossils in geological history that date back 250 million years. The largest collection of ammonites and belemnites from Lingti Valley are preserved at the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge.

The Lingti Valley was once part of the ocean floor before the creation of the Himalaya mountain range. The fossils that are found in this valley even today are between 250 million and 500 million years old. The Kibber National Park near the Lingti valley is a nature reserve for rare flora and fauna. The Lingti Valley lies in an eastern direction, very close to the Comic Gompa which is a Buddhist monastery that stands at a staggeringly high height of 4500 metres.

Way to Valley

It is extremely difficult to reach the inner parts of the valley and very few have achieved this. In 1983, distinguished mountaineer Harish Kapadia was the first to lead an expedition to the valley, but only explored it halfway through before changing direction toward surrounding peaks. In 1987 the same expedition returned and reached the source of the Lingti valley and while also climbing the Parilungbi. After this it has been a rare sight to see any expeditions coming to this remote valley.

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Lingti Valley
Lingti Valley
Lingti Valley
Lingti Valley
Lingti Valley
Lingti Valley

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