A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes

Tripoto
21st Jun 2016

If you ask me why one should visit places that are secluded and still unexplored by many, I can give you thousand reasons to why not. I am saying this after a wonderful trip to the diverse lands of Spiti and Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh. This place is a desert valley surrounded by Himalayan ranges and rugged brown mountains, that have no inch of greenery on them but still adds beauty to the place in a unique way. It is the land between the Tibet and India and that’s what the name Spiti refers to – “The middle land’.

Road to Spiti Valley

Photo of Spiti Valley, Marango Rangarik, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

The bunch of small villages that you need to cross by in between, hold their own charm and have some hidden treasures that are beyond our imagination. You need to be there once to believe such heavenly places do exist on our earth. Spiti and Lahaul are remote Himalayan destinations with some dangerous rocky terrains, dreamy landscapes, enchanting river valleys, stunning lakes, starry skies with millions of shooting stars, and are also home to some of the oldest Buddhist monasteries. It looks like God has dedicated all of his attention to creating a place this beautiful and serene.

Enroute Spiti

Photo of Spiti Valley, Marango Rangarik, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

We started the journey from Delhi and It was 13 days long trip. From Delhi, we reached a small town in Himachal called Narkanda. The best things about traveling to a Himalayan hill station are the beautiful roads, the green surroundings, the dense deodar forest and the cool breeze. We traveled on the toughest roads that were not only scenic but extremely dangerous to drive on.

Beautiful Himalayan Roads

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

Narkanda is famous for the apple farming and it feels good to see so many Apple orchards all around.

Narkanda & the Apple Orchards

Photo of Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

Our next stop was a small Himalayan village gracefully settled by the banks of Baspa river. Rakkcham is a quite but serene village surrounded by snow capped peaks and the soothing sound of river Baspa.

View from Rakkcham

Photo of Rakchham, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

River Baspa Valley View

Photo of Rakchham, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

From Rakkcham we moved ahead to reach Chitkul, another small village on the bank of river Baspa, with a minimal population, pretty wooden houses, and breathtaking views of snow filled mountains. Completely mesmerized by the beauty of the place, we had a good time at the government school at Chitkul and interacted with the students. I have never imagined of a school that is based amidst such beautiful surroundings and offers a magnificent sight of snow-packed mountains.

Chitkul

Photo of Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

The next paradise was Kalpa. The village will look like a fresh painting, irresistible and thoughtful. The charm of the place is the mighty view of Kinner Kailash range that crowns the village gracefully. I spent many lovely hours in the morning looking at the peaks and praising the beauty God has created.

Kalpa Village View

Photo of Kalpa, Reckong Peo, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

From Kalpa, we started towards Tabo via Nako, which is a small village in the trans-Himalayan region of Kinnaur district famous for Nako lake and Nako monastery.

Nako Village

Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

Nako Lake

Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

Priceless Smiles

Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

The next stop was Geyu village where 500 years old mummy of a holy monk is well preserved in Geyu monastery. The monastery is located in an isolated place enclosed by barren mountains.

Geyu Monastery

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

The mummy of the monk has unbroken nails and hairs. The local people are his ardent devotees and believe that his nails and hairs still grows.

Mummy Of The Monk In Geyu

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

If you are in this part of the Himalayan region, you must indulge yourself in trekking to get the complete feel of the place. There are many such places where hiking is the only way to reach and the views you get to see are indescribable.

Dhankar Trek

Photo of Dhankar Lake, Dhar Nipti, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

Our first hiking experience was to Dhankar lake from Dhankar village. It was half an hour long trek with majestic views and the first look of the lake will just lift up your lost energy.

Dhankar Lake

Photo of Dhankar Lake, Dhar Nipti, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

There is absolutely no sound, no houses, no crowd, just the lake, snowy mountains, layers of rocky barren terrain and an overwhelming silence. I could feel the force of the wind inside out and that’s the only sound that even existed there.

Dhankar Village

Photo of Dhankar Monastery, Sichling-Dhankhar Gompa, Dhankhar, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

We climbed down to Dhankar village and after a long drive reached Kaza. Compared to other places, Kaza is quite developed and has a big market to eat and shop local things. The best thing is, there are many beautiful urban cafes in the town and it feels awesome to enjoy great music while sipping coffee in a far Himalayan cafe.

River Bed in Kaza

Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

We had a relaxing stay at Kaza for three days. Soul lifting conversations, good tea, winsome sunset and getting lost in sky gazing session with friends to spot a shooting star. Such beautiful star-studded skies aren't rare when you are in Spiti.

Sunset View, Kaza

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

During our stay in Kaza, we visited the famous ki Monastery, known as the highest monastery in the world. It is far from the hustle bustle of Kaza town and settles gracefully amidst the Spiti river valley on one side and snow packed mountains on another side.

Key Monastery

Photo of Key Gompa, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

The stunning stretch of green farms by the river bed surrounded by rugged brown hills, and Key monastery at the top, this place looks spectacular. River, valley, desert and snowy mountain, all in one frame. This place is completely a photographer’s delight.

Key Monastery Valley View

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

The Key monastery is 1000 years old and is nestled at 13,668 ft above sea level. It is a famous Buddhist training center full of Lamas and holds an utmost religious importance in the lives of local people.

View From Key Monastery

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

The other places in Spiti that we roamed around are Kibber, Hikkim, Komik, Kunzum La and Lagza. Kibber is one of the highest villages in the world located at 4250 m above sea level. The village has a fascinating landscape that will surely allure any nature lover. Hikkim is another village that holds the world's highest post office. It is an amazing experience to write telegrams from this part of the world and send it to your loved ones.

View of Hikkim Village

Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

World's Highest Post Office In Hikkim

Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

Langza is another highest village of Spiti valley. The highlight of the village is the huge golden color Buddha statue placed in the middle of the terrain that is covered by innumerable hilly slopes in lush green and crowned by the snow covered mountains peaks.

Langza

Photo of Langza, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

There are a handful of houses below the statue flanked by colorful prayer flags. All I can say is one needs to be standing right there to feel the charismatic aura of the place.

Lanza Village

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

Our trip’s greatest delight was an early morning trek to ChandraTal Lake. ChandraTal Lake is situated at an altitude of 14100 feet and is popularly known as the Moon lake. We stayed in the camp for a night and started from the camp base at morning 4 am to climb up towards the lake.

Base Camp

Photo of Chandra Taal, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

The entire way to the lake itself is a beautiful experience. The grandeur of the snowy mountains peaks, lush green meadows stretched for miles, tiny streams of the water coming out of the mountains, the morning mist we could feel on our faces, clouds closely walking with us and the peaceful silence that kept us going. It was heavenly!

ChandraTal Trek

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

On The Way To ChandraTal

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

The only thing that was fluctuating in my mind was when the path itself is so breathtakingly beautiful how would the destination be.

Climbing Up To The Tal

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

Feast Your Eyes

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

I have melted away with emotions when I had the first glimpse of the lake. How can I never heard about the existence of such a wonderful place in my own country?

Chandra Tal

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

The lake is seated between the mountain ranges of Chandra Bhaga and Kunzum top. We spent few peaceful hours at this place and had the best of the times. The mirror lake’s glittering surface reflects clearly the blue sky and snowy peaks. The lake adapts with the color of the surroundings and looks marvelous.

View of Chandra Tal

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

The last destination of the trip was Manali, a popular hill station of India. I could not help myself from looking out from the window most of the time as the whole stretch has got beautiful views of the mountains and stunning waterfalls.

Enroute Manali

Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by kavya pant

By the time we reached Manali, it started raining a bit, the weather was getting so romantic and the road trip with some gorgeous people was coming to an end.

Manali

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

Keep Calm & Let Us Go!

Photo of A Trip to Spiti- All about starry skies and dreamy landscapes by kavya pant

Don’t ask me or anyone about the reasons to visit Spiti!! Go and seek them for yourself. I am sure you will find plenty. The place will leave you stunned for sure.

Have a look at my blog at syrupynostalgia.blogspot.in

I post my travel pictures and stories on Instagram here - https://www.instagram.com/wondersofdear/?hl=en

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