Prior to leaving for Pin Valley, my hosts at Kaza had shared some local knowledge about the place with me. Pin Valley wears three different colors through the year, they said:
White- Throughout the Winters, the valley is covered with thick sheets of snow and the only color you can see is White. It continues through the early Summer months as well
Green- During the monsoon season, the valley is lush Green
Yellow- At the onset of the Fall season, the entire landscape is draped in beautiful hues of Yellow
Only while driving through Pin Valley did we discover that the information wasn’t complete. It wasn’t just Yellow this time of the year (Fall). All around, there were beautiful hues of Red, Pink, Orange, Golden, and of course Yellow! The decaying leaves had imparted such beautiful shades to the valley, it looked like a painter’s canvas.
We stayed at Tara Guest House in Mudh village. It is the last Spitian village to which the HRTC bus connects to- a very small hamlet with a population of just around 200 souls. Wow! Compare that with my city life where the residential society that I live in would have more people than the entire population of Mudh village! We were truly spoilt by the hospitality shown by our host for it was almost unreasonable to have imagined such luxuries and so much comfort in such an isolated village. And when you get way much more than what you have expected, it is truly delightful.
Come night and the village gets very quiet and peaceful. We went to the terrace of our guest house and what we saw from there took us a great many minutes to swallow.
The entire sky was lit up by zillions and zillions of stars. (Wow! I can’t even see half of the skyline from where I live in Delhi). Vast mountain ranges enveloped the village from all sides. The snow peaks on these mountains gleamed brilliantly at night. Down below, the Spiti River swiftly carried its waters and the music of the flowing water was just the sound we needed in the calm of the night.
Such a tranquil atmosphere, and to complement it, Mudh does not have any telephonic connectivity. Yes, you have to use satellite phones to make calls. Thanks to the lack of technological connectivity, we could connect with people for real and had heartfelt conversations with folks sitting in front of us. For once, we could live the simple life of a village. Transported back into simpler times was very peaceful and it gave us the much needed calm that we are devoid of when living our fast paced city-life.
While driving back to Kaza, our driver needed to convey some message to our host back in Mudh village as he had forgotten something there. But, as there is no connectivity, the only way to send a message into the town is through a human messenger. And therefore, we kept waiting for another vehicle to pass us in the opposite direction, gave him the message to be conveyed and continued on with our journey.
Ah! Simpler times, beautiful places and innocent folks- this is how I would sum up my trip to Pin Valley.