The Fossil Village -
Nestled between the mountains in a bowl shaped area, Langza is a small remote village. The village is situated at an altitude of 14,500 feet above sea level in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh in northern India and is one of the most picturesque villages of Spiti. It is about 16 kilometers from Kaza.
Langza is surrounded by green pastures, snow-clad mountains and barren landscapes that awe-struck every person who visit this stunning location. The beautiful peak of Chau Chau Kang Nilda makes the view of this village even more beautiful. The village is adorned by a beautiful Golden statue of Buddha which can be noticed instantly and an ancient temple called ‘Lang’ said to be the Abode of the Deities of the region and it is over 1000 years old.
Langza is divided into two sections: Langza Yongma (lower) and Langza Gongma (upper). The village has a population of about 137 people living in 33 houses. All the houses in the village are built below the Buddha statue. The houses are made of mud and have prayer flags tied in front of them. There are no other accommodations available here, so these houses have turned into home stays providing the travelers with accommodation and food options.
Langza is well known for its rich fossil reserves of marine animals and plants. Millions of years ago, Spiti lay submerged under the Tethys sea. Fossils of sea life can easily be found scattered close to the village. Regular fossil excursions are organized for a unique insight into the history of the Himalayas. The magic of nature at Langza village leaves everyone speechless.
The main attraction at Langza is to collect fossils and to visit the monastery. Fossils of marine creatures and plants are found in plenty under the sedimentary rocks. These fossils are around millions of years old. Although possession and collection of fossils are illegal in India, the locals in the village sell these collectibles to the travellers visiting their village. Young kids can be seen running around the village collecting and playing with these fossils trying to persuade the travellers to buy them in return for money. The local name of fossil here is ‘chaudua’ and can be easily found in and around the village. The fossils are Cephalopoda.
A visit to Langza is not complete without fossil hunting, the easiest way to find these fossils are to go higher around the mountains in Langza and to look for them under the rocks. The best time to visit Langaza is between July to September, when the weather is pleasant and the road from Manali tends to be open. It is usually cold before May and after October. Winter snow-fall usually cuts off the road connectivity from Kaza to Manali.
Things to do –
- Spot many endangered species such as snow leopards, Tibetan wolf, Himalayan griffon.
- Collect sea fossils.