Day 6- A journey to one of the most pristine and placid lakes in the world
The next day in the morning, Sweety and I woke up early and got ready so that we can ask for the free ride to Dhankar from that guy. We took a ride and got off in the midway. Dhankar is a small village and requires a hike of an hour or two to reach from the highway. It is situated at a higher altitude on the top of a mountain. The village is small and has less number of people. There were fewer tourists as it is not an easy place to reach. One can feel breathlessness due to higher altitude. Dhankar monastery and Dhankar Lake are famous attractions there. We hitchhiked from a tractor that was going up to Dhankar. The tractor guy again dropped us midway and from there on we walked around an hour to reach to the monastery. We enjoyed the place. Had our breakfasts and I were much focused to visit Dhankar Lake. There are few time when you become stubborn and destined to visit a destination. I had an aim to visit that lake. I never saw the photos of the lake, didn’t even know the way of it.
Dhankar Lake is a short hike of around 2 hours one side uphill. It is a completely remote place where when we hiked we hardly find anybody neither during the way to the hike nor at the lake. As we left our backpacks in the monastery hence we had no water or snacks with us. Imagine yourself walking for 2hours without backpacks, without anyone to guide, just following the rough random path and walking relentlessly for hours. The hike turned out to be so damn difficult that it started to give us a mirage where every turn looked like a short path but the lake was very far from what we’ve imagined. It was really difficult to walk in such a higher altitude without a guide and basic supplies. Sweety and I gave up at few times but somehow we managed to finish what we’ve started and we finally did. The lake was a completely out of the world experience. Barren land and alone amidst the mountains was Dhankar lake. It was a holy pristine lake, which is also known by the name of frozen lake. It was like a treat to the eyes. To see water in a dessert. The feeling of achievement ran through us and we sat beside the lake. Slept for an hour and decided to move back to the village. On reaching back we kind of got bored and it was already 4pm and staying at Dhankar didn’t seem like a good option. Exhausted from all the day’s travelling, we just randomly decided to ditch everything and move to Tabo.
Tabo is another small village there in Spiti. Around an hour drive from Dhankar. We reached Tabo by around 6pm with a hope of finding an ATM there since now we both were running out of cash. On reaching Tabo we got to know the ATMs there are also out of order. That was it. We were so tired and exhausted that now we decided to leave back from where we started due to cash crunch. We didn’t have any other options. Nonetheless on the same day we booked a stay at a hotel called Maitree Hotel, which was near the monastery. Tabo was a small and really beautiful town. An evening in Tabo was so peaceful and cultural. If ever you want to experience Spiti’s culture and soak in it then Tabo is a must visit. We had an evening walk around the small town it was simply blissful. We were so exhausted that after relaxing and exploring the village since we had an early bus to catch the next day we slept by 10pm. The bus leaves from Tabo to Reckong by around 5 am.
Places to see- Tabo Monastery, Caves, Gue Monastery, Tabo Lake.
Where to stay- Maitree Hotel
Cost- Rs. 600 for a room
Day 7- At the last village of India- Chitkul
Next morning we left for Reckong Peo. On our way back I returned the money to Sweety. Surprisingly the estimate for 2 days in spiti came out to be only 1200 bucks which included everything from travelling, food to stay. Sweety and I part our ways. As she wanted to travel solo further so she left for Amritsar from there on and I had a spare day so I decided to leave for Chitkul.
Chitkul, also known as the India’s last village is a small town in Sangla Valley, Kinnaur District. It is called the last village since it is the last place of inhabitance between India and China from that side. Recently Chitkul has become quite a popular destination on internet. Honestly, it didn’t live up to my expectations. I didn’t feel anything so special there. Yes the landscapes were good but the vibes and my personal experience was not up to my expectations. I reached Chitkul by around 7pm. I stayed at a very stingy hotel, Rani Guest house, which was the first place I saw since I was too tired from all the travelling without further research it looked like the only option. Well the place was a total bore. First time in my journey I actually felt alone. People there are not so friendly and are money minded. The hotels are way too expensive for a budget solo traveler like me, and there is honestly nothing much to do there. On reaching Chitkul I was thinking that I made a silly mistake that come here. I was really bored. I just explored the town that evening and then came back to my hotel and slept without any plans for the next day.