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The district of Lahaul-Spiti in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh consists of the two formerly separate districts of Lahaul and Spiti. The present capital is Keylong in Lahaul. Before the two districts were merged, Kardang was the capital of Lahaul, and Dhankar the capital of Spiti.

Kunzum la (altitude 4551 m) is entrance pass to Spiti Valley from Lahaul Valley. It is at a distance of 9km from Chandra Tal. This district is connected to Manali through Rohtang pass.

The language, culture, and populations of Lahaul and Spiti are closely related. Generally the Lahaulis are of Tibetan and Indo-Aryan descent, while the Spiti Bhotia are more similar to the Tibetans, owing to their proximity to Tibet. Fairer skin and hazel-colored eyes are commonly seen among the Lahaulis.

The languages of both the Lahauli and Spiti Bhotia belong to the Tibeto-Burman family. They are very similar to the Ladakhi and Tibetans culturally, as they had been placed under the rule of the Guge and Ladakh kingdoms at occasional intervals.

Among the Lahaulis, the family acts as the basic unit of kinship. The extended family system is common, evolved from the polyandric system of the past. The family is headed by a senior male member, known as the Yunda, while his wife, known as the Yundamo, attains authority by being the oldest member in the generation. The clan system, also known as Rhus, plays another major role in the Lahauli society.

The Spiti Bhotia community has an inheritance system that is otherwise unique to the Tibetans. Upon the death of both parents, only the eldest son will inherit the family property, while the eldest daughter inherits the mother's jewellery, and the younger siblings inherit nothing. Men usually fall back on the social security system of the Trans-Himalayan Gompas.

Most of the Lahaulis follow a combination of Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism of the Drukpa Kagyu order, while the Spiti Bhotia follow Tibetan Buddhism of the Gelugpa order. Within Lahul, the Baralacha-La region had the strongest Buddhist influence, owing to its close proximity to Spiti. Lahul has temples such as Triloknath, where pilgrims worship a certain god in different manifestations, notably in the form of Shiva and Avalokiteshvara. This bas-relief, of marble, depicts the Buddhist deity Avalokiteshvara (the embodiment of the Buddha's compassion) in a stylized seated position; Hindu devotees take it to be Shiva Nataraj, Shiva dancing. This image appears to be of sixteenth century Chamba craftsmanship. It was created to replace the original black stone image of the deity, which became damaged. This original image is kept beneath the plinth of the shrine. It appears to be of 12th century Kashmiri provenance.

Before the spread of Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism, the people were adherents of the religion 'Lung Pe Chhoi', an animistic religion that had some affinities with the Bön religion of Tibet. While the religion flourished, animal and human sacrifices were regularly offered up to the 'Iha', a term that refers to evil spirits residing in the natural world, notably in the old pencil-cedar trees, rocks and caves. Vestiges of the Lung Pe Chhoi religion can be seen in the behaviour of the Lamas, who are believed to possess certain supernatural powers.

The Losar festival (also known as Halda in Lahauli) is celebrated between the months of January and February. The date of celebration is decided by the Lamas. It has the same significance as the Diwali festival of Hinduism, but is celebrated in a Tibetan fashion.

At the start of the festival, two or three persons from every household will come holding burning incense. The burning sticks are then piled into a bonfire. The people will then pray to Shiskar Apa, the goddess of wealth (other name Vasudhara) in the Buddhist religion.