Many thousands spend months to get a sight of a snow leopard in Spiti. Besides the endangered snow leopard, Spiti is home to Chamurthi horses – one of the six recognized finest breeds of horses in India.
Known as the camel of the cold desert, Chamurthi horses can brave the cold up to minus 25 degree Celsius. The most remarkable thing about them is they do not trot – they pace – and can easily cover great distances at this gait. No matter how the terrain is, they will run like Thoroughbred.
Ponies of Himalayas
Also called Spiti Pony, the breed is indigenous to the Pin Valley, where there are more ponies than people. The ponies are seen everywhere in the valley, grazing on what appears to be a lunar landscape filled with rocks. They are also the main form of transportation in the area.
They are believed to have come from Tibet, which is likely as the Tibetans have a very similar type of pony. They are still taken to local fairs every year, as they are well known as excellent riding ponies.
They tend to be wider in the chest than most other ponies found in this part of the Himalayas. Interestingly, they have resemblance to Welsh pony.
Mainly fed barley, they are easy keepers and are also worshipped. They are sacred animals, depicted on their prayer flags flapping.
Where to Buy Horses
The annual Lavi Fair in Rampur Bushahr (Shimla) attracts many horse lovers and buyers for the exotic sure footed Chamurti breed horses.