5 Things You Should Never Miss When You are in Spiti Valley!

Tripoto
13th Oct 2019
Photo of 5 Things You Should Never Miss When You are in Spiti Valley! by Digdarshinee Rout
Day 1

1. Stargazing and spotting the galaxy:-

Now I know this isn’t a point to be done in the first place, but wait, I cannot keep it anymore in my epinephrine. My body is literally shivering while writing this. But let’s do this.

Well, if you ask me what’s one of the most memorable moments in my life? No doubt it has to be spotting the bizarre but beautiful Milky Way galaxy in Spiti valley. Yes, the one you studied in primary school! It was supernatural and extraterrestrial.

Now there is again a very special story behind it. Hear it-

My bucket list included spotting Milky Way galaxy as astrophotography always excited me. Days were there when I used to watch endless videos on stars and constellations, and how to capture them. When Spiti happened, I was confident to capture the galaxy with naked eyes as you can only spot it in a zero pollution rate area. In Kaza, on the fourth day, I among with few other fascinated ones planned to spot the Galaxy at 2 am at night.

Note- You can only spot the prominent Galaxy in a clear sky(no rains) around 1 am to 4 am.

Milky way and my fantasies:

Earlier that day we had dinner and went to our rooms respectively and slept at 10 pm. The clock ticked at 2 am and my best friend Avinash who accompanied me on the trip knocked on my door and asked” would you come to the terrace or would you rather sleep?” I picked up my setup/gear(camera and Tripod), rolled up another muffler around my face and answered him “I have been waiting for this! let’s go”

Was it an incredible timeless force in the sky?

I went to the terrace, looked to the south and what I saw next just took my breath away, I was watching the whole universe right above my head- millions of stars, a band of purple and warm tones stretched into a dark night.

As Earth rotates, we noticed the galaxy to move in the sky. Avinash in the frame- shot on one plus 7 by Ashok Kota, thank you! A salty drop of liquid tickled my cheek, which rolled out from my eye. I was so overwhelmed to have spotted that. It was my dream. Trust me guys, I am not even exaggerating, the feeling of visualizing the entire universe is something that I will cherish my whole life. Such an awe-inspiring sight it was. We spotted some major constellations like Orion, Ursa Major, and Scorpius as well.

How to capture the galaxy/Milky Way photography:

It was a view to die for, and we didn’t realize that we were actually dying of cold. Yes, it was somewhere around -4 degrees and we were freezing. Before my fingers would freeze, I quickly took out my camera and did some settings to capture that incredible vision.

I got a few shots and felt a sense of pride and accomplishment within myself to have captured this magnificent glimpse of wondrous mother nature. We came back to our rooms. That night I did not sleep but kept gazing at the pictures I took and felt fortunate.

Where to spot the Milky Way Galaxy?

If you are a travel enthusiast or are interested in astrophotography, I urge you to come to Spiti valley and make the most out of the Galaxy sightseeing and I am sure it will be imprinted in your memories forever. You can spot the Milky Way Galaxy in Dhankar, Kaza, Langza, and Chitkul.

2. Trek to Dhankar lake:-

A lake that tests your metabolism.

Now, this is for all the adrenaline junkies who love to take their trip a little overboard with a challenging trek for stamina check. Dhankar lake is situated at an elevation of 4,140 meters. To reach the lake, one must trek to it and the trek starts right above the Dhankar Monastery.

OMG!Let me tell you my story behind it. My struggle while trekking to the lake

When the trek started the curious me asked the Guide “Kitni door hai?’(How far it is) He smiled and pointed to on an anonymous mountain and said, “zyada door nahi, bas pas me hi hain”(it’s not too far).

How to reach Dhankar lake?

I among the group started the journey around 2 pm post-lunch. We were very pumped up to see the spectacular lake. But as we completed our first 30 minutes of trek, we realized it wasn’t an easy expedition. The serpentine(zig-zag) untrodden paths were covered with pebbles, dust, thorny bushes, and rocks. I started to feel fatigued as I trekked more because of the altitude sickness.

Spiti valley tourism-Bollywood in me never dies!

But the inner Kabir( from Yeh jawani hai deewani) in me said: “main thakta nahi hu” (i don’t get tired) which got me on. (hahaha) The trek got steeper and abrupt. As we reached halfway, we got a full panorama of the Himalayas lapping the Dhankar Monastry and oh my my what a view it was. After every 100 steps, I was like: “aur nahi hoga mujhse“(I can’t trek anymore) and Avinash would kick my back.

It took us 2.5 hours to reach the destination and till then we were all half-dead and exhausted as this trek really tests your stamina and for a girl who had never hit the gym, it was quite arduous.

Dhankar Lake-A spellbinding offbeat Journey!

But you know what all the huffing and puffing seemed worth it as I was able to see that breathtaking view. The lake is surrounded by snow-clad mountains at a stretch. We sat on the bank of the lake for an hour or so and soaked all the beauty of nature inside. It was beaaaauuuuuuuuuuutiful!

We clicked a few pictures and flew our drone there too. Also, we noticed that the lake changes its color from every angle and that’s why you should not miss this magical lake if you are in Spiti.

TIPs-

1. It’s a high altitude trek, so make sure we wear the grippiest shoes.

2. You may get Altitude sickness, carry camphor.

3. Carry a bottle of water.

4. Start early and reach the origin by sunset.

5. Do not trek this lake on the first day.

Things to do in Spiti valley-Moon lake/Chandrataal lake

3. Camping at Chandrataal lake:-

Is there anyone on this entire planet who is unknown by the fact that Chandrataal lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in India? Well, I am getting upset while writing this as we were not lucky enough to visit this enchanting lake because Kunzum Pass was not yet opened due to critical weather conditions which obviously broke my heart. But nevertheless, it will be on my list until I mark it ‘done’.

However, let me tell you how you can make the most out of this crescent-shaped lake when you are in Spiti valley.

How to reach this Divine Lake?

The lake is 6kms from Kunzum pass, you can trek or you can reach the lake by car as well. As you trek, you will pass through two big mountain ranges Moulkila and Chandrabhaga. Be ready to baffle yourself with the view larger than life. The bewitching sight will surely leave you to feel/sense life and nature within yourself. So, allow yourself to get lost into it.

If you are a vehement trekker or an ardent nature lover, you are going to love this journey.

The most enchanting lake in the Himalayas.

As you reach the lake, you can see the hue changing swiftly from different directions. The moon lake is situated at an altitude of 4,300 meters. As you see the reflection of majestic mountains in the water, you will be bewildered. The locals say the lake is located at a place from where the chariot of Lord Indra picked up Yudhisthira(Eldest of Pandavas brothers).Interesting right?

That’s not it, the lake allows you to admire and treasure its beauty as long as you can. Yes! You can camp at the base located 2kms from the lake.

Tips-

1. The trek to the lake will be open from the month of mid-June to September, so plan accordingly.

2. Carry your own tent in case you were unable to book online due to network issues.

3. Carry lots and lots of warm clothes.

Visit the world’s highest motorable village in Komic, Spiti valley

4. Eat at the world’s highest restaurant-

Yes, how about lunch with your loved ones at the world’s highest restaurant? Sounds romantic and thrilling at the same time..right?

Komic is good 18 km from Kaza. It is an unpaved and uphill dirt track. You can hire a taxi or you can hitchhike( taking lift from strangers) and the journey promises to offer some breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and Spiti river down the hill.

You can ask your driver to stop so that you can enjoy the view a little more.

As you reach Komic, You can take rest in the world’s highest monastery, i.e the Tnagyud Monastery. This color-coordinated beautiful monastery allows redeeming your soul as you hear the prayers going on.

You can spot a large stuffed Leopard as you enter the monastery. Also you can see a lot of Tibetan wall murals as you move forward. Holy freaking right? Just in the vicinity is the world’s highest restaurant called-Spiti’s organic Kitchen run by the locals. You can order your thukpa - Spiti’s delightful local dish.

Discover the delightful Thukpa in Spiti’s local organic kitchen

Though we ordered veg Maggi and enjoyed every bit and sip of it immersing ourselves into the beauty of the spellbinding village. Then we interacted with other tourists -one I remember was a handsome foreigner who was on the mission of a world tour with his hot girlfriend. And they were hitchhiking. Oh gosh, I was so inspired by them.

How does it feel like to play cricket at the highest point with the llamas?

Then, we took a few pictures with cute fluffy doggies who can heal you with their cuteness. After worshiping our stomach(finishing our food), we headed to the huge playground right in front of the restaurant. And we played cricket with our whole group. Omg, I am going down into memory lane now, it’s still so fresh. It was so much fun and it gave a little relief to my altitude sickness as well.

Then we head to click pictures at the signboard which said”Worlds highest motorable village” Headed to Hikkim next which brings us to our next point.

5. Surprise your loved ones by sending your favorite postcard from the world’s highest Post office-

Now Just imagine, how happy your loved one will feel when he/she will receive a postcard from the world’s highest Post office? Hikkim, located 2 km from Komic is an isolated yet beautiful region containing a cluster of small scale villages that has a tiny post office called as world’s highest Post office.

Take pride to visit there, interact with the postmaster if he is available and click pictures to bomb your social media’s with gratification. The locals come here to deposit money in their savings account. On the way to the post office, we met so many locals and we shared a few moments to remember. We laughed, we interacted and clicked pictures. And guess what, they taught me to make 'V' with two fingers.

But the post office was closed when we reached as it was some festival going on that day. And we came to know that there are two postmen who walk on foot to Kaza to deliver all mail daily, then from Kaza, the mail is carried to other cities of Himachal Pradesh further.

#tripoto #spiti valley #travelblogger

The heavenly milky way

Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by Digdarshinee Rout

Mesmerizing Dhankar lake

Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by Digdarshinee Rout

Bitten by love in Dhankar lake

Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by Digdarshinee Rout

How cute these fluff balls are

Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by Digdarshinee Rout
Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by Digdarshinee Rout

Meeting locals be the best

Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by Digdarshinee Rout

At world's highest post office

Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by Digdarshinee Rout

Village of komic

Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by Digdarshinee Rout

Kaza

Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by Digdarshinee Rout
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