Spiti, the middle land, the land of lamas, whichever name you call it with, its still the land of some of the most beautiful landscapes that will take your heart away forever. Though my trip was of 7 days, from the first day itself I was captivated with the beauty, the peace & the silence this place holds. Prayer flags seen flying almost everywhere seems to purify the whole atmosphere.
Due to less tourism, the place is not yet much commercialized, at some places you may not even see the roads clearly. But this is the reason that up-till now the beauty of this place is intact and you will actually find a wave of inner peace in the silence at each and every place you visit especially the Monasteries.
Until I visited Spiti, I wasn't known to the wonders this land holds. Unlike Leh Ladakh, Spiti is not known much to the people. And so people don't even consider it on their bucket list.
Here I will give you more than enough reasons as to why its once a lifetime destination.
Owns Highest post office
Hikkim Village owns the highest post office in the world. The post office is inside a small house and is mounted on the entrance with the board of the post office at 14,444ft.
Mr. Rinchen, the postmaster working here from past 29+ years
The postmaster Mr. Rinchen has often seen sitting there with his daughter. Post- office runs on the first floor and he gets a rent of Rs 500 from postal. department. Here is the picture from my trip, I couldn’t capture inside look of the post-office since it was too crowded.
How to Reach the post-office?
To reach Hikkim, one has to take the motorable road. From the parking area, you have to walk down to reach the post-office. The houses here are made of stone and mud just like every other village of spiti. All the houses are clustered together below the road
Here fossils are easily available as compared to other villages and you can find small kids selling them.
Survival Spirit of Spitians in -18 to -20 degrees
Spiti valley is totally cut from the north up to 8 months due to heavy snowfall. Valley receives around 259 days of sunlight. Do not be surprised to know that temperature recorded here ranges from -18 to 20 in winters and sometimes even drops to -30 degrees..
Water pipe freezes here in winters, which means no running water for the whole 6 months. So no water to bathe, wash your face, and flush. You must be wondering about the last point- no flush, so things are done here with a dry compost toilet. When it snows, locals run out to remove it from their roofs. This has to be done on high priority, even when the temperature is -5 or below.
Residents here, take special care of hand pumps. Every evening they wrap it with multiple layers of plastic sheets, empty rugs, and sacks, to prevent it from freezing at night when the temperature remains between -18 and -20.
As a daily schedule, locals have to carry water to their homes in 40 or 20-liter cans. During emergency situations, even though ambulances are there, it's of no use due to road blockage during heavy snow days. Hats off to the survival spirit of the locals of Spiti, to live in the extreme winters up to -20 degrees
Owns oldest Mummy
Gue village of spiti is known for the mummy of a lama, India’s only Natural Mummy. It is around 500 years old and still intact with teeth and skin. Villagers once in a year gather to cut the nails and hairs, yes they grow, though very little but yes..
It is kept in a glass box inside a small room which can accommodate only 5 to 6 people at a time. People are allowed to take pictures of mummy but without flash as artificial light might damage the mummy.
It sits firmly with its fist around one leg, chin resting on its knee. It is said the lama went through the self-mummification process while being alive
The Highest bridge in ASIA
At 13596 ft, Chicham Bridge is highest in ASIA and connects two villages Chicham and Kibber. Look down and you will yourself looking into 1000 ft deep gorge known as Samba Lamba Nallah.
Owns most beautiful Monasteries
Kaza is the main and the largest town of the Spiti district. My stay in Kaza was just behind the Sakya Tangyud Monastery or Kaza monastery as refereed by locals.
It is around more than 1000 years old monastery and also has a newer version of it built adjacent to the old one. There is no artificial light allowed inside the monastery as it could damage the paintings drawn on the walls..
It is one of the famous monasteries in Lahaul Spiti district, located at an altitude of 13,667 feet above sea level. The nearest town for the Key monastery is Kaza.
** Don't believe what they say, go and see it **