Tashigang is a small village close to Tibetan border. Actually if one heads couple of kms farther from Tashigang to Somang (Tso Mang in Tibetan), one can see the Tibetan plateau, or so we were told. Somang is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. It is believed that Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the caves around Somang Monastery and one can see his footprints there. But trek to Somang requires at least 2 days, and we wanted to get back to Nako by evening, so decided to go up to Tashigang only.So next day, early morning we started climbing the trail out of Nako, from an altitude of ~3600 m. (I don't have exact numbers, but the max altitude on this hike shouldn't be more than 3900 m.) For half an hour or so, this was a steep climb, and we ran into herd of sheep causing traffic jam on trail.
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For those who are interested in Buddhism and its teachings, a visit to the Dhankar Monastery is a must. Situated on top of a hill above the village of Dhankar, this monastery has many caves for one to meditate in, a museum that houses Buddhist artifacts and a library as well. The Dhankar village lies on the confluence of the Rivers Spiti and Pin and has been labeled as an endangered sight out of 100 such places by the World Monument Funds.
This Ladakh-like terrain, nestled in high Himalayan mountains is another Tibetan Buddhist-culture influenced land. Often referred to as the 'Middle Land', the valley is home – and proudly so – to some of the oldest monasteries in the world. With very few tourists having the courage to tread to this remote valley and even fewer villages scattered in this jagged terrain, Spiti retains its picturesque landscape. Prospering in absolute silence, the valley can be approached from Manali via Kunzum Pass from mid-June to mid-October, or by road through Shimla-Kinnaur Valley a.k.a. Hindustan–Tibet Highway, which stays open all round the year – except when it is temporarily closed down during snowfall in winters or landslides during monsoons.
After an hour, at around 2 PM, I proceeded towards Key Gompa. The sun was shining on top of my head but the winds couldn't let me feel the sun, it was about -15 degrees with the brightest sun in my one month stay in Spiti Valley.I reached Key Gompa during lunch time and saw a dozen of little lamas playing cricket. It was such a joy to watch them having fun. I visited Key Gompa twice, as it is closest to Kaza and most beautiful gompa in the entire Spiti Valley.I had lunch there and some conversation with lamas about weather conditions and how there was no snowfall till mid Jan. (You can read about how Langza miraculously transformed in a night)I came back to Kaza before dusk and trekked to Langza with a dozen of kids next day.Watch this space to know how I reached Langza on strecher (just kidding)!
After Langza, Komic is the highjest village of Asia and known mainly for the Tangyud Monastery. This is a quiet little farming village and is filled with simple people happy with their life and surroundings. The snow leopard is the main animal here and you will also be able to see a body of one hanging inside the Komic Monastery. The view of many peaks and roads from top of this road is lovely and a drive along this road is immensely adventurous.
This 8-day trek is a popular option in the Spiti Valley, taking you on the traditional Ladakh-Spiti route with gorgeous views, steep gorges, stark landscapes and a glittering lake all thrown in. Drive from Kaza to Kibber village, the highest inhabited settlement in India. From Kibber it's a couple of hours trek to Dumla. The next day you will descend from Dumla and head to Thaltak Meadow, which should take a good 5 hours. Day 3 is a strenuous one with some 7 hours of trekking from Thaltak to Jagtha and onwards to Bonrojen. On the next day a steep 2-hour climb will bring you to Parang La pass at 18,300 feet, from where you will get sweeping views of Spiti valley. Trek ahead to the source of Pare Chu River and set up camp at Dak Karzong. Days 5 to 7 will cover broad plains and a well-marked, fairly easy trail from Dak Karzong to Datang Yongma to Chumik Shilde and finally to the southern edge of the breathtakingly beautiful Tso Moriri Lake. On Day 8 trek along the shore of the lake as you behold the Lungser Kangri peak in the background. A 6-7 hour trek will bring you to Karzog where you can visit the ancient monastery. The next day drive from Karzog to Leh via Mahe Bridge, a distance of more than 200 kilometres, which can be covered in 8-9 hours. 4. Kang Yatse
About the trek: If Stok Kangri is too ambitious for you, then Kanamo Peak, that rises almost to the same altitude as Stok Kangri, is the perfect alternative. Overlooking almost over 35 other summits, the Kanamo Peak stands tall and above all else in its region at 19,600 ft.Things to know before you go: 1. Acclimatisation before climbing to Kanamo is crucial.2. Prior high altitude trek experience is a must before attempting to climb Kanamo.Region: Himachal Pradesh | Highest Altitude: 19,600 ft | Difficulty: Difficult | Duration: 8 daysRead more about the Kanamo peak here.