Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !!

Tripoto
13th Sep 2018
Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

After a sudden and shocking fallout of the Happy Thing that was developing for more than 3 months, the soul needed to be healed. The solitude which had once become unbearable had to be awakened yet again.

An itinerary was already in place for 3 months now but the dates were undecided. So in the middle of my home vacation, I decided the dates for another vacation and yes, I was traveling to my favorite place yet again, Spiti valley.

Day 1

A flight to Delhi from Bangalore and then a bus ride from Delhi ISBT to Manali at 11:00 pm, wherein I was the only person traveling to Manali. I had started talking to the few other people who accompanied me to Chandigarh. The driver was friendly as well and due to some road mishap, the bus got well delayed. We did have lunch and enjoyed a bit of chat. I had jumped into clicking mode and clicked the mighty Sutlej and Beas. The water levels were high but not high enough for discomfort.

The HRTC Bus wherein I was the only one Manalii bound.:P

Photo of Delhi, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu
Day 2

The mighty Sutlej

Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The beautiful town of Kullu

Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

River Beas in its full force

Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Happy Evening Vibes at Mall Road, Manali

Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

We reached Manali at evening 5 and checked in to my hotel and then went to Van Vihar nearby. After having food and then enjoying the happy vibes of Mall road, I went to the bus counter to recheck and confirm the bus for Kaja that I had pre-booked online. I met a guy, Dhawal who just wanted to go Kaja as well and asked if he can join me in my journey to which I agreed. I had Bengali food, went back to my hotel, took a bath and slept early.

Manali Stay:

Hotel Premier (Near the mall road)

9999350996

Double Bed with geyser - 500 INR

Travel Expenses:

Delhi-Manali HRTC Volvo:

INR 1540

Manali-Kaza HRTC Bus:

Ordinary (booked online at http://online.hrtchp.com/oprs-web/ ,it shows Kullu as the starting point)

INR 315

The bus was scheduled at 5:30 and Dhawal had reached the stand before me. We had tea and off we started one of the most amazing and picturesque journeys. We had breakfast just before the Rohtang ascent. Viktor from Belarus had his seat beside me and this started the beginning of an amazing friendship.

Day 3

I immediately started capturing the snow-capped peaks and we were having a good discussion and realized we were people with similar heads, both being passionate about contributing to Music but hadn’t pulled up our socks yet. The mesmerizing views kept on captivating us all the while. Come Chatru, Airtel disappeared, the bus didn't stop and the green surroundings started to change to the cold desert ones. It was all nostalgia for me. There was Angela from Manchester the seat behind and then Dhawal had a Japanese girl as a seatmate.

Ascent to the Rohtang Pass has views like this :)

Photo of Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Snow capped peaks post Rohtang Pass <3

Photo of Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The first stop amidst the Mountains..:)

Photo of Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

We engaged in good conversations throughout the journey and had lunch at the famous Chacha Chachi ka Dhaba in Batal. I walked a bit and captured some nice shots. We did a customary round of the stupas at the Kumzum Pass and in some time, we entered Losar, the first village of the valley around 3:30 and the magnificent Himalayan views did shoo away our tiredness.

Beautiful Batal :)

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Kaza evenings <3

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Some pose at Kumzum Pass \m/

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

We reached Kaja around 5:30 and we started searching for rooms. All 5 of us together were in search and we got 4 at a very less price of 400 after a bit of negotiation and Me and Dhawal decided to stay together. It was an enthralling journey and it was all memories for me from my last short trip. We had dinner together at the Himalayan Cafe where a Belgian couple joined us. It was fun interacting with so many perspectives. I tried my hand at Night sky photography and succeeded. Yay !!

Kaza Night sky <3

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Kaza Stay:

Doesn't have a Name :P (Left of TashiLing hotel, just near the Bus stand on the left)

Seri - 9418326452 (Hardly available in person :), but can be reached on phone)

Double Bed with geyser - INR 400 (End of the season price, Can be bargained to this)

Day 4

We woke up a bit late after the strenuous journey of the day before. The Japanese girl (I forgot her name) wished to go to the Key monastery and left. Angela tagged along with the Belgian couple for a trek. We wanted to do a nearby circuit of Key-Chicham-Kibber but were not getting people to accompany at the taxi stand (Cons of Budget traveling). We had breakfast near the bus stand, and I captured the bus schedule pic that was supposed to help us for the upcoming days. Luckily we got a group who had booked a tempo traveler for Hikkim-Komic-Langza-Kye-Kibber-Chicham circuit. This is a total of 90 km circuit and can be an easy day travel, with the time taken somewhere around 5-6 hrs. Each of the places has its own significance. The group was again a mixed one wherein there was a Mumbai couple, a solo traveler from Bangladesh, a solo female from Bulgaria and 2 friends from Bangladesh. Viktor joined us and wanted to get down at Key after completing the 3 villages tour.

Enthralling vistas on the way

Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

We started with Hikkim, said to be the highest Post Office in the world followed by Komic, the highest village connected by motorable road and then the fossil village Langza, where we were visually treated by a giant Buddha statue. Shila Peak was visible all along and all the villages presented captivating views and were at a significant altitude, causing AMS to some of the peers.

The majestic Shila Peak

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Hikkim, the World's Highest Post office

Photo of Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Komic, the highest village connected by motorable road

Photo of Komic, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The Komic Monastery

Photo of Komic, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The Giant Buddha statue at Langza

Photo of Langza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The tempo traveler \m/

Photo of Langza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The ride back to Key was full of gorges and after dropping Viktor, we proceeded to the beautiful hamlet of Kibber where we had lunch, followed by the new Chicham bridge, that ranks in one of the highest bridges in Asia. Dessy, the Bulgarian girl was clicking a lot and it was the first time I came across someone on all my trips till date who clicked more than me.

The beautiful Hamlet of Kibber

Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Chicham Bridge, believed to be amongst the Asia's highest bridges.

Photo of Chicham Bridge, Chicham Khas, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The Key Monastery from a distance

Photo of Key Gompa, Key Monastery, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

By now, we were friends with all and it was a team planning out the activity for the next day. They were all supposed to return to Manali after doing the Chandrataal trek, to which we agreed too and we were told we will be dropped at Batal from where we need to find another taxi as we had more plans to visit in and around Kaza. Now, I debuted in time-lapse shoot plus did some more of night sky photography. Post which I had dinner at The Traveller’s shed to use the wifi which was really damn slow and slept early.

Airtel doesn’t exist in the valley. Only BSNL 2g does.

Travel Expenses:

The circuit cost was 3800 INR for the Tempo Traveler, which came to some 430 per head for 9 of us.This can be easily booked at Spiti Taxi Union opposite the bus stop.

Day 5

We got ready as early as 4:30 for the Chandrataal trip. The lake was missed the last time and after a year of regrets, I was heading towards it. A group of 3 from Delhi had joined us now. Dessy being unwell, skipped the journey. So we were a total of 10 people.The driver was late and we started around 5:30. Early morning journey did allow us to get a glimpse of the prettiest sunrise we had witnessed ever.

Stunning Landscapes after Losar

Photo of Chandra Taal, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Chandra Bhaga Peaks near Kumzum Pass

Photo of Kunzum Pass, Dhar Thachakarpo, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The roads were tough but the pristine peaks were rejuvenating us to the core. We reached the diversion to the Chandrataal, wherein the other road goes to Batal. There are two ways to reach Chandrataal, one get down at Batal diversion and walk/hitchhike the 13 km stretch or get down at Kumzum pass and trek the 6-7 km stretch. We passed the Chandrataal camps and then did the ascent to the vehicle stop points. Camps cannot be put and Vehicles cannot be parked in the proximity of the lake. We started the 700 m trek which was a bit tiring but we were greeted with splendid views.

Views to Die for \m/

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

I had tears in my eyes as this was something in my bucket list for long. We reached the lake and were awestruck by its sheer beauty. The snow-capped mountains all around created a heavenly atmosphere. I clicked a lot and also made some videos covering most of the angles. We were given a time of an hour by the driver as it was Manali bound and we were sort of late. We clicked some group pictures and we had to walk back.

Reflections <3

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

:) :)

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

A panaromic view of the awesomeness

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

A pose while return :P

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

I wished to stay for a longer duration but then there was this time constraint that I had come with(cons of budget traveling again..:)).On reaching the parking, we got a small alto which was Kaza bound as the traveler in it wished to go to Manali in our vehicle. We exchanged pleasantries and thanked our luck as we got our return trip vehicle at the very spot. The journey back was a tiring one as it was quite hot and this was my 4th continuous day on the road.

We reached Kaza in the evening and we headed out to the ongoing Spiti festival, only to find it to be postponed the next day. Though being tired, I started a search for the Tibetan handicrafts shop where I did a bit of shopping the previous time and luckily found it. We had a good chat and I showed him my bracelet, purchased the year before. People are very warm and its so very easy to engage in deep discussions with any of them. Always ready to help, be it making calls back home or any other queries. I shot a time-lapse video, had dinner and slept off.

Travel Expenses:

Onward Journey to Chandrataal - 600 INR

Return Journey to Kaza - 1000 INR for a cab for 2

Day 6

I and Dhawal decided to do a budget travel to Tabo and Dhankhar and caught the bus to Reckong Peo at 7:30. We got the last seats and had a very bumpy ride once we crossed 20 km from Kaza. The Dhankar side has a different topology with needle type and similar rock formations. The desert had now given way to greenery and we were approaching the end of the Spiti valley. Apple orchards were present in large numbers.

The amazing landscapes of Spiti

Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

We reached Tabo at around 10:30, had breakfast and proceeded to the old Tabo caves, which had a proper path. Another of the beautiful Spitian hamlet, the view of the town from the caves was splendid, after which we came down and visited both the old and the new monasteries. The old monastery is more than a thousand years old and has a unique cave kind structure.

The Old caves of Tabo are still used for meditation

Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The pretty Tabo town <3

Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The 1000 years old Tabo Monastery

Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The new Tabo Monastery

Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The next mode of transport was unknown but the destination was Schilling. From Schilling, Dhankhar, the old capital of Spiti, can be reached by a 9 km long road ascent. After a 40 mins wait, we hitchhiked a Tata ace and got dropped at Schilling. We walked to the Dhankhar junction and it had turned out to be quite hot by now. After waiting for almost 40 mins, we managed to convince a vehicle which was Kaza bound to drop us at Dhankhar to which he agreed.

The Dhankar junction

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

We reached Dhankhar and now we had to trek to the lake in the sultry heat. We had to take numerous stops for this 1.5 km stretch, but the views did encourage us to keep the trek on. We finally managed to reach the lake in approx 50 minutes. The trek is composed of 2 parts. One is a steep ascent till the point of the Spiti-Pin river confluence view, that 60% of the trek, the rest trek is of moderate level. We were welcomed by views that looked straight out of a wallpaper. I was busy shooting while Dhawal took rest in a bit of shade by the lake. After spending around 40 mins, we started the descent.

The pristine Dhankar Lake

Photo of Dhankar Lake, Dhar Nipti, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The Confluence of Pin and Spiti rivers and the old monastery and fort on the right.

Photo of Dhankar Lake, Dhar Nipti, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The picturesque Dhankar hamlet

Photo of Dhankar Lake, Dhar Nipti, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

While descending I was amazed by the confluence and the Dhankar town views in a single frame. Dhawal was quick to reach down while I took my own sweet time. We visited the old monastery, new monastery, and the fort and had food. We fell to some miscommunication as we thought were told we will be dropped till Kaza by the hotel guy but he dropped us at the Dhankhar junction down on the Kaza road on his Enfield.(Bike trip on the Himalayas accomplished !! Yay!!).But people were always helpful, he waited till we got an alto to Kaza, and we reached by 7 and headed to rooms to find that Viktor apparently had returned!!.

Spiti Festival at Kaza \m/

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

We went to the Spiti festival and it was great to see the locals perform. We had food and the eventful crazy day came to an end. A day where only the places to be covered were known, but not the modes of transport. From HRTC to Tata Ace to Alto to Enfield Classic to Alto again, we traveled in all !! A combined team effort. Cheers Dhawal !! An epic day to remember forever!!

Travel expenses:

HRTC to Tabo : 7:30 bus , 75 INR

HitchHike From Tabo to Schilling - NA

Schilling junction to Dhankar cab - 800 INR for 2

Dhankar to Schilling junction bike ride - 300 INR for 2

Schilling Junction to Kaza cab - 400 INR for 2

Day 7

After the epic previous day, woke up a little late at 9 only to find that both Dhawal and Viktor had left. Surely they might have knocked, but I was in deep deep sleep and had missed the knock. I was undecided what to so next and was deciding amongst hiring an Aprilia sr scooter and redoing the nearby circuit or catch the bus at evening for Pin valley. After having lunch, I did go to the Tibetan shop again in search of the woman from whom I had purchased the last time, she was there and took a little time, but did recognize, giving the details of my rucksack color as well. I was shocked at her memory powers. We had a good half an hour talk and did a town walk, capturing the Kangyud monastery and the stupas and post having lunch, I kept the rucksack at the owner’s brother hotel and set out with only my messenger bag. The owner is pretty much hard to reach on phone and is seldom available at the place.

The Spiti festival setup

Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Kaza Monastery

Photo of Sakya Tangyud Monastery, Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The Stupas

Photo of Sakya Tangyud Monastery, Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The HRTC ride that started at 4 was again picturesque. I traveled WT as the conductor told me he will give the front, that was a seat reserved for him. Just for the experience, I did agree. Pin Valley starts from the Kaza-Tabo road diversion at the Attargo bridge and the views again are enthralling with Pin river now flowing along the road.

The Attargo bridge is the diversion for Pin Valley

Photo of Attargo Bridge, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The Pin Valley entrance

Photo of Attargo Bridge, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Pin Valley evenings <3

Photo of Attargo Bridge, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Lots of picturesque hamlets like Mikkim, Khar and Kangri passed by with Sagnam being the biggest of the lot. I was destined for the last village of Mud. The solitude had slowly crawled back and I started loving the interactions that I had with the fellow travelers who were telling me spots that I should click.

A small village in the valley

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Sunset at Sagnam, the largest village in the village

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The conductor too had a friendly chat and we reached Mudh by 6.I had just started walking and was called by an old lady asking if I wanted a room. I got a room for as low as 400 and kept my stuff and was asked to have the dinner there. After placing my mobile for a time-lapse shoot, I went out in search of food and only Pin Parvati hotel nearby was offering that. There were 2 guys from Uttar Kashi working there and in came the conductor and the driver of the very busy and we got involved in some deep deep conversation yet again. I had Maggi and tea and we talked for more than an hour about the place as well as the ride.They joked that I shouldn’t be traveling solo to such places.:P.

Post which, I was served dinner by the homestay people and I talked with the owner lady for some time and slept off.

Mud Stay :

Gatuk Homestay (Beside Tara Homestay)

Gatuk - 9459836547/ Satellite number to book :08991723015

Double Bed with Geyser - INR 400 (End of season price again, but can be negotiated.:))

Travel Expenses:

Kaza to Mud HRTC bus : INR 80

Day 8

I woke up, had tea at the terrace that greeted me with some amazing views and was talking with the lady again. This chat comprised mainly of how they stock up food for their cattle, for the harsh winters when they hardly get to move, owing to the heavy snow, then I told my wish to walk down to the river nearby and she did start guiding me, screaming at her full voice from the terrace though I was almost 100 meters away from her. I reached a point where it presented a peaceful view wherein yaks, horses and cows were grazing in harmony amidst the rivers and the colored mountains.

Mud village :)

Photo of Mud, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Cattle grazing in harmony

Photo of Mud, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The Pristine mountains and the Pin river

Photo of Mud, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

A bridge across the river

Photo of Mud, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

\m/

Photo of Mud, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The surroundings were making sure that I was getting back to normalcy and the inner strength was surely crawling back. I walked near a bridge that starts the Pin Parvati trek and clicked a lot of pics. It was kind of warm, but the solace that the soothing Pin river was providing was enthralling. I walked back to the village and the weather started getting windy and cloudy. I set up my mobile for time-lapse and then again walked to the hotel to have food. Again there was a conversation mostly regarding the origins that was quite interesting.

The homestay owner

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

I walked back to the homestay where I was handed salty tea and barley popcorn, supposed to be a local snack.I engaged in another round of talks with the lady and she showed her dining space which was quite unique. I set out for lunch followed by an evening walk. The sunset in the valley is something to die for and each step I was taking in the valley, was bringing back the inner belief.

The religious portion of the village.

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Sunsets like this <3

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Dinner was with the owner ’s son family where it started with 2 pegs of local alcohol. This was the first alcohol I have had in any of my solo travels and could not say no as the hospitality was winning over the resistance here. The guy started talking about his family, his daughter studying in Tabo and the son studying in Sagnam. He also told can help in treks to the Pin Parvati and Bhaba Passes and we exchanged number as well. The hospitality was the best across all of my travels and I will truly cherish the moments spent on 20th September, which also happens to be my permanently ill Brother’s bday.

The family dinner :)<3

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu
Day 9

Caught an early 6 am bus from Mudh to Kaza and was again treated with the pristine sunrise moments of the valley. There was a marriage in Sagnam village the last day and many in the bus were discussing it.

Pin Valley Mornings \m/

Photo of Pin Valley National Park, Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The bridge to Sagnam Village.

Photo of Pin Valley National Park, Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Such Vistas of Pin Valley <3 <3

Photo of Pin Valley National Park, Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

We reached Kaza by 8:30 and I went to the place of my stay and was lucky to catch hold of the owner guy and occupied the same room. I had hardly taken good shots of the Kee Monastery and wished to do so as I had the entire day by myself. I had breakfast and reached taxi stand yet again, looking for fellow travelers. After half an hour of waiting, we became another team of 5, wherein there was a mom son duo from Bangalore and a very young couple from Delhi and all were Monastery bound. The Delhi couple had just begun the Spiti tour and I passed on as much information as I could.

We reached the monastery in some time and I walked some 150 m to the Giant Buddha statues, which provided some captivating clicks of the monastery amidst the mountains and the river. I trekked almost 300 m upwards and after satisfying my clicking urge, I came down to the school nearby wherein I interacted a lot with my young monk friends. I then hitchhiked back to a point 2 km from Kaza wherein there's an art spot built out of plastic that travelers left behind.

Key Monastery

Photo of Key Gompa, Key Monastery, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Another angle of the enthralling beauty.:)

Photo of Key Gompa, Key Monastery, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The Love Spiti Spot <3

Photo of Key Gompa, Key Monastery, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The town of Kaza :)

Photo of Key Gompa, Key Monastery, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

After stopping for a while, I then walked back to Kaza and met Angela at the same stay. She was amazed to see me but was sick due to stomach issues. I took a bath and went to my lunch place where I met Diana from Canada, who was in the return bus from Mud in the morning and had come post a Dhankhar trip. We became friends in no time but she was tired and took leave, promising to come at evening near the bus stand.

We had to book tickets for the next day to Kaza. But this scenario had changed from the last year and it was in the morning only that one could occupy the seats after coming as early as 4:00 on a first come first serve basis. We did a bit of shopping at the Spiti Souvenir shop ,where I got a tee and apricots and she got apricots as well. She wanted a pair of woolen socks as well, and we searched a lot of shops and finally, she got one. We had dinner together, after which I dropped her at her stay and bought one more tee at the Tibetan shop and headed back to my room. I tried with some night shots, packed all my stuff and slept early, heavily sad as it was my last day in the valley.

Travel Expenses:

Mud to Kaza HRTC: 80 INR

Kaza to Key : 200 INR

Day 10

I didn't have a good sleep due to anxiety and reached the stop as early as 4:00 am, only to find a crowd of people. The crowd kept on growing, Diana too came soon and the doors were only opened sometime past 5 to which there was a huge rush for seats. The rucksacks had to be put on the bus terrace. It was highly irresponsible on Conductors part as he was late and didn't even open the box behind to keep the bags. The bus with a 37 seat capacity was filled with more than 60 people.

I met a group of 3, with whom started yet another of the travel stories. Kajol from Delhi and Sonali from Mumbai and Pushpinder were solo travelers who had met a few days back and were Chandrataal bound. We put the rucksacks between and found ourselves sitting with occasional naps in between. It was quite a difficult journey as getting a seat on such tough terrains is of utmost importance. We started a few talks and after crossing Losar, it started raining.

As we started Kumzum ascent, we started witnessing one of the big moments in our lives, the snowfall. We started taking as many videos we could but little did we know of the impending troubles. The overcrowded bus stopped a place near the ascent and waited to inquire about the snow from the vehicles coming in the opposite direction. It was advisable to return back. Few people started the trek to Batal which seemed a risky task for us. Diana too left for the trek. And we started thinking about our way next. I had the next day as a buffer, which I was supposed to spend in Manali.

The snowfall !!

Photo of Kunzum Pass, Dhar Thachakarpo, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The stop during Kumzum ascent !!

Photo of Kunzum Pass, Dhar Thachakarpo, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Losar stop

Photo of Kunzum Pass, Dhar Thachakarpo, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Someone get me a rain cover :P

Photo of Kunzum Pass, Dhar Thachakarpo, Himachal Pradesh by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The bus came back to Losar again and we were told it would leave for Manali only when the weather cleared out, and asked us to accommodate in Losar meanwhile. After talking to locals, it seemed that going to Manali was not an option atlas for the next 3 days. We started persuading vehicles to take us back to Kaza and we found a gem of a man who was not Kaza bound but agreed to us and we started another of the journeys with a new team now. We 4, then there were 2 guys from Chandigarh,3 bong guys and 2 guys from Kerala. This man took us to his village for tea and chapatis and dropped us in Kaza by afternoon 2.

We booked a vehicle to travel to Shimla. Most of us had flights from Delhi back a day after. Still, we were a team of 11, wherein the guys from Chandigarh were replaced by a young couple from Kanpur who were among the bus travelers. We had lunch and started the journey, the journey against time and the harsh weather conditions wherein it was super cold and the nonstop rain.

Drenched Kaza

Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

We started introduction rounds of each one and people were all rejuvenated, exchanging seats every now and then and talking amongst. We crossed Spiti valley and entered Kinnaur valley by late evening. The networks started to reappear and just when we sure to reach Shimla the next morning, we found big rocks on the road due to a landslide. We had to come back to Pooh, the nearest village and had to spend the night there and restart in the morning, hoping for the rocks and boulders to be cleared by then.

Travel Expenses:

Kaza to Manali HRTC: INR 300

Losar to Kaza Vehicle:INR 200 each

Day 11

An early wake by 6 and we started for Shimla. The roads were cleared and we were charmed by the greener Kinnaur valley mountains and the mighty Sutlej views throughout. We continued our conversations and it was more of a family know, having fought more than half the battle against the crazy weather.

Pooh <3

Photo of Pooh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Rains were very less in this part, though the water levels did seem high. We had lunch at Badhal and were treated to some crazy mountain cut structures on the way. Some distance and we found another hiccup and this time there was a tree that had fallen on the road .this though dint takes much time to be cleared by the local people. I and Pushpinder had our bus tickets booked from Manali to Delhi and we canceled that.



Vistas along the way

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The vehicle of valor \m/

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Roads like this during the last stretch.

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

The final hurdle

Photo of Spiti Again ! An incredible solo journey to where it all started !! by Prasenjeet Sadhu

We restarted the journey and reached Shimla ISBT by 6 where it was raining crazy. The bong group, Abhishek, Rajashri, and Bidish , had to get a cab booked as Abhishek had an early flight the next day. I tagged along with Pushpinder, Adnan and Mustafa, the Kerala guys and the couple, Mohil and Priyalika. We bade a farewell to Sonali and Kajol and booked a private Bus to Delhi. We walked up to the stop, had our dinner at a dharamshala nearby and the bus started around 11.

The feeling was great, as not one moment was anyone down, all were upbeat that we will reach the destinations. The obstacles kept on coming and we kept on fighting, playing songs, talking to each other and sharing travel experiences.Cheers to the team who kept their warrior spirit alive throughout. And we did make some amazing friends and it was an eventful 2 days as the conditions had worsened up with rivers rising up to dangerous levels in Manali with highways shut down and with more snowfall in the Rohtang and Kumzum passes, Spiti was cut off from Manali side. I sincerely hope the people who started the trek from the Kumzum stop did escape the harsh conditions unscathed.

Day 12

We reached Delhi ISBT by 6 and hugged the people and bade them a goodbye. Mustafa and Adnan went to their friend's place. Pushpinder to his stay place and Mohil and Priyalika to their place. It was quite an emotional moment and I had made some good friends here. I had to go to Ghaziabad to my friend and booked a cab for the same. Roshan is one of my school buddies and we engaged in nostalgic conversations and the short stay here like always was a good time and caught a flight back to Bangalore at evening.

Travel Expenses:

Kaza to Shimla vehicle : INR 1500 each (Vehicle was 15000 plus some extra we paid to the driver for the huge contribution that he had in We reaching on time and safely)

Shimla to Delhi bus: INR 838 (A private bus,booked through redbus)

Trips like this do help when you are going through rough times. The 7 days spent without network was indeed the best week of the year so far wherein I was one with myself. The best part was the second half wherein I stayed at Pin valley. I had already known the people of mountains had a golden heart but the warmth I received at the stay was something beyond words. It did give me a feeling of a bonding so strong which I had always craved for. Surprisingly, I got a call from Gatuk around 14 days later when he was in Kaza for some work. The network doesn’t exist in Mudh and I was heavily overwhelmed by the gesture.

So, I had made Kaza as my base and was traveling to places in and around. Apart from Kaza, the only place i stayed was Pin valley. The bus timings are a bit odd, as most of them start at evening and come back the next morning for places in and around Kaza except the Dhankar side comprising of Nako and Tabo though can be done by staying at the villages if one wishes to do a budget travel.

The bus time table.

Photo of Delhi, India by Prasenjeet Sadhu

Spiti does hold a very special place in my heart and this was the second visit. The year before, post my Manali trip, I had 3 days to spend in Delhi which I didn't and instead did a short trip wherein 2 days were spent in travel. Above all, it was my first solo ever, that gave rise to a series of solo travels after.

The innumerable interactions that I had were truly special and I do wish we meet at some point in life. Hope I have been able to help people who have Spiti in their wishlist.Till the next Blog, Happy traveling and Blogging.

Cheers \m/ !!!

5 Comment(s)
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Chennai polama?
Fri 10 19 18, 03:10 · Reply · Report
Saadhu
Fri 10 19 18, 03:09 · Reply · Report
Wonderful trip
Fri 10 19 18, 03:09 · Reply · Report
Prassssssssssss
Fri 10 19 18, 03:09 · Reply · Report
DJ Saadhu wonderful trip. Chennai trip later Saadhu. SAAAADDHUUUUUUU
Fri 10 19 18, 01:22 · Reply · Report
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