The day was long, the roads bad(Infact no roads) The rains had made the conditions worse. However we were determined to go ahead and were ready to face it all. We got a day less at Kaza as per itinerary but we didn't regret a bit. Already making plans of coming back again in another extreme season. We went to the key Monastery, On one side is the magnanimous Himalayas and on the other side lies the Spiti river valley set at the backdrop of snow-capped Himalayas. The Key village and it's lush green farms nestled on the banks of river gives a majestic treat for your eyes! It is the largest Monastery in the valley. We went at a time when the lamas were chanting and we were mesmerized, we were lost in the chants creating a positive aura, forgetting our worries, leaving the wordly desires outside the four walls. It was one of a kind experience. We didn't know how time passed. We left for kibber after a while. Kibber is the photogenic hamlet of Spiti and a wildlife sanctuary housing many snow-dwelling animals such as Ibex, Blue Sheep, Red Fox, Tibetan Woolly Hare, Himalayan Wolf, Lynx, Pika, Tibetan Wild Ass, and Snow Leopard.
On our way was the Chicham bridge, an engineering marvel connecting the Chicham Village to Kibber. It is the highest bridge in Asia at a staggering height of 13596 ft. We clicked a few mainstream touristy pictures on the bridge and went further towards Chandrataal. We also halted somewhere in the middle of a beautiful river. All the glacier melted was so cold and blue you could stand there all day looking at the river flow and hear the soothing voice. We had our lunch in a small village. We also crossed the Kunnzum pass, one of the highest motorable mountain passes at an altitude of 4552m. It lies on the eastern Kunzum range of the Himalayas. Kunzum la offers a 360 degree view of the Bara Shigri Glacier (The 2nd longest glacier in the world)
We finally reached our campsite late afternoon. Checked in and left for Chandrataal lake. As soon as we reached the check post the person told us it was too late. However, after convincing him he let us. We couldn't take our cars up because of low clearance and bad conditions. But we convinced the local riding the 4x4 Bolero to give us a ride. He agreed for 200 bicks per person and we didn't regret as the ride was all worth it. An open jeep is the last thing we asked for in the trip. And we had tick marked our wishlist😎
The short hike from the point where the jeep left us was quite a mysterious one. For the pre dominant duration of the hike, you don't see the lake at all. Just the last bend when you come over a small ridge you see the lake emerge in front of your eyes in its full entirety; and it's a breathtaking sight. Makes you want to sit down and take a few deep breaths so you can soak it all in. We returned down to the check post post sunset and we could see the stars already. Crystal clear sky and stars wherever you look. We could see the milky way. We also clicked a few pictures and called it a night.