As soon as we left from Kaza through the treacherous sandy mountain valleys, maneuvering through the uneven muddy roads, we reached the small village of Langza. Did you know that Langza is known as the village of fossil? Langza is situated right in the heart of Spiti valley at a distance of about 14-15 km from Kaza. As we traversed basking the warm mid-morning sun, we reached villages of Hikkim and Komic which are equally as elegant as one could expect. As soon as you reach the village, you will find a Huge Golden colored statue of Buddha seated at the edge of a hillock. There is literally nothing but plain empty grasslands for miles across; at a far distance you can see a couple of tiny houses in between fields where tiny cattle are scattered across. Apart from which, there was nothing but those coarse sandy hills over which neither a single sapling nor a tree could grow. The only thing that always marked its presence is the cold dry breeze whistling its way through the valley
By the time we had reached Langza, it was almost 12 pm. usually at this time the hot sun would be at the top of our heads. But the frosty breeze had literally stiffened our bones and turned our hands numb. The afternoon temperature was 2 degrees Celsius. July is considered the summer season here. But if this is the case in summer, one can only imagine how it would be during the winter.
As I lifted my head higher towards the horizon, I could see the beautiful snow clad mountain peaks backed by the bright blue sky. But the most eye catching sight is the huge statue of Buddha sitting steadily as if it has been meditating peacefully for centuries. The locals say that the Buddha statue is at least a hundred years old.
When the Sun's rays fall on this beautiful golden statue, the glitter causes a mesmerizing spectacle which is visible from as far as the eye could see. The blend of the bright blue sky, the ever changing contrast of the golden Buddha along with the fast moving white clouds take you to a whole new world while leaving all your tensions and burdens behind for a while.
The fluttering of chanting flags all around the Buddha statue is the only kind of sound that you will hear apart from the whistling wind. I wonder how many prayers might have enchanted themselves within these holy flags which have been resonating in their own way through the continuous fluttering as if it were nature's way of conveying the prayers to Buddha.
The handful of houses that are at the foot of the hill where the Buddha statue is, are mostly seen painted with plain white limestone. To reach to those houses, we had to make our way down a skiddy footpath. You can also find home-stay facilities among these houses. Outside these houses, you will also find Buddha chanting flags fluttering with the force of the wind.
Just around a footpath there was a little tea stall where we got our tiny clay cups of tea and coffee. I don't know about the taste of the tea, but it surely felt like heaven on holding that warm glass in our frozen hands. In that freezing weather, even a tiny cup of tea was like heavenly warm elixir filling our hearts.
Among all this bliss, we couldn't help but notice little children selling different kinds of fossil stones. These are the very kind of fossils that has given Langza its title as the "Village of Fossils".
You can find these stones in the rocky hillocks of Langza. Fossils of marine creatures and plants are found under sedimentary rocks, these are millions of years old. But that is an entirely different challenge because hunting for them in the oxygen deficient high altitude could cost you your health.
I asked one of the kids selling these fossils a reason to buy one of them. The little 7th std girl in her sweet voice replied, "Didi, these fossils are like blessings that will keep diseases away and always keep you filled with positive energy". In a short conversation with these kids, I got to know that these kids travel for miles in search of these fossils in this freezing altitude. The fossils may or may not give me positive energy, but understanding that little girl's belief, indeed filled my soul with a huge cloud of positive energy...