So as they say, every morning is new and a better one too, so was this one. A visit to the adjacent Tabo monastery was peaceful and informative. The monastery is noted for being the oldest continuously operating Buddhist enclave in both India and the Himalayas. There are several priceless ancient murals and artifact displayed on almost every of it's walls. The monastery is protected by the ASI as a national historic treasure of India. The roads from Tabo to Pin valley were something out of this world. We were finally witnessing the so called world within a world terrain while moving along the Spiti river. The sun was showering fire from above yet we were shivering to our bones. Such dichotomy in the weather conditions makes this region harsh and difficult for survival. The roads again were bumpy and narrow which required sharp driving skills to avoid any mishaps that may be life threatening. Dhankar Gompa was our first stop, well visible from a distance before we even started making the climb. The Gompa overlooks the confluence for Spiti and Pin rivers and is one of the most spectacularly located Monastery in the world built on a 1000 foot high spur. The Monastery hosts several artifacts and valuables just like any other monestary in the region. The Gompa also paves the way for the Dhankar lakes which was next on our list. It's an 60 mins steep trek under harsh weather conditions that provides no shade whatsoever till the lake. Even though the trek is not much challenging but it does drains out every last drop of fluid from your body. It is a rare sight to see a turquoise water lake situated amidst the snow capped hillocks. The surrounding land is morbidly barren as one can encounter large patches of thorny bushes on the way to the water body. One thing that stood out to me was that the water changed color every time i looked at it from a different angle. We circumvented the lake as it kept on changing it's shades. Undoubtedly it seemed more beautiful and pristine with each changing color. The road to Mud village, the base village for several high altitude treks including Pin Bhabha pass was yet another phenomenon. Now even the mountains started changing colors, as we could not help but notice yellow, red and orange tinge in the form of layers along the slopes. You would need to witness it in order to believe it, it's really hard to imagine such phenomenal beauty vicariously. There were many small villages located on the slopes with not more than 10 houses, who cultivated their own crop and other necessities. The clouds were playing hide and seek with the mountains casting shadows on the foothills. We crossed numerous little bridges to cross the perennial streams and the biggest one was to cross the Pin river itself at Mikkim. We saw glaciers protruding on the way, frozen waterfalls vanishing under the bridges and smiling kids waving us goodbye. The journey itself was an unexpected treat as for the first time we didn't get enough of our time on the road and wished we didn't had any destination to go. After reaching, we had a evening stroll around the village as it was just about to get dark. It was end of the motor able road and any kind of further exploration of the valley could only be done on foot. We had a simple dinner and went on to the roof to witness a million stars scattered across the sky. The sky hadn't been so clear so beautiful ever before in our lives. We even made out certain constellations and lone bright stars out of curiosity. It seemed like god's very own planetarium and we were surely in for a treat in that moment.
Dhankar - Pin Valley - 50 km (2.5 hours)*We entered in Pin Valley (11500 ft) around 2:30 pm. Complete road was covered with minimum of 1 ft of snow. With fear of slipping on black ice, slowly and safely we reached to Sangnam village. We had awesome local handmade Momos there.
In Picture : Hanging Bridge Crossing a river at Pin Valley National Park, Spiti Originating in mesmerising mountains of Himalayas, the Pin River joins the Spiti River southeast of Kaza. Time of the year - June 2019
After spend a night in kibber village, we planed to visit iconic key monastery of spiti. But plan are meant to be unsuccessful. We have got a free offer to visit pin valley national park from a forest ranger in kibber. Pin valley national park is around 50 km from kibber village.We are ready to expect unexpected journey, it was one of the best part of spiti valley. When we reach pin valley national park, the valley look like a sheet of snow. Which was given beautiful naturalistic view. If you are planning to visit pin valley national park, take a guide or accompany for forest ranger. It makes valley unsafe because of wild animals. Ibex and mountain dogs you will find everywhere. But wild animals are also there in forest like snow leopard. But we haven't seen any leopard there.After spending a day in pin valley we back to kibber and spend one more night there. Next morning we need to prepare for key monastery.If you are planning to visit ahead from kibber village, then drop your plan. All route get shut because of heavy snow.
Pin River at Sagnam Village