Spiti Diaries

Tripoto
1st Jul 2018
Day 2

Day 2.. We had our breakfast and packed off from hotel. Our driver sunny was waiting for us at the lobby. From chandigarh we left off for shimla enroute to narkanda. At shimla we took lift and reached mall road. We visited the mall road square... its an amazing square with lots of colorful people visiting that place. Mall road has lots of shops for shopping and souvenirs. There is a church and library and scandal point in the square.the area provides a scenic panoramic view of shimla. Mind well there are few restaurants in the area.after spending 2_3 hours in mall road, it started heavy downpour and we had nothing that we could do than getting ourselves drenched. Fully soaked in rains, we headed to our homestay in narkanda called Hattu valley homestay where we had entire floor with 2 bedrooms and a super amazing balcony ...All to ourselves. If I have to describe the view from homestay...then sorry I can't describe. It was a feeling beyond words could describe. I have never been to any such place before in my life where bedroom offers such a view.amazing mesmerising and out of the world feeling it is. Doors of the room opened staight to the fog and mist clad mountain. The only hue visible were the colours of the Apple orchards and pine wood trees. That place had all the magic in the world to calm all your senses. We spend that night having dinner and all about apples and horticulture with the homestay owner uncle sukhdeo singh dogra.He fed us with nice basic pahadi food . Uncle happens to be a native of the hills.. generations  being born n brought up in the same area. 

Day 1

Hey...

Day1 we started off from Mumbai airport to delhi by 7.15 am vistara flight and then from delhi to chandigarh by 1.45 vistara flight . We reached Chandigarh by around4 and headed to our hotel central park 17 

Had evening tea and straight headed to rose garden for a stroll. Rose garden is acclaimed to be the largest garden spread over 32 acres land. But alas to find no much roses. Except families who had come there with young kids for Sunday evening stroll. Returned to the hotel and quickly retired for the day for the adventurous journey beginning tomorrow.

GHIU MONASTERY

Photo of Chandigarh, India by Priya Soni

Dhankar monastery

Photo of Chandigarh, India by Priya Soni

Khunjum pass

Photo of Chandigarh, India by Priya Soni

Kaza to losar route

Photo of Chandigarh, India by Priya Soni
Photo of Chandigarh, India by Priya Soni
Day 3

Day 3:

Being awed by the nature view from that room, i and Jay woke up early morning to breathe in all the fresh air we could and fill our eyes and soul of all the beautiful memories of that place. Bidding adieu to that place we left for sangla .

Starting from narkanda at about 9_10 am, we reached sangla by around 4.30. Our hotel in sangla was surrounded by Apple orchards across. Roads were serpentine and with u-pin bends. But equally scenic. The moment we started from narkanda n entered the sangla, all across where our eyes could gaze and beyond were all Apple orchards. I had never seen an Apple tree and here I was awestruck with miles of Apple trees lining up beautifully across mountains. We were put up at hotel royal castle at sangla. Again a basic hotel with amazing orchard and hills view. Stunning mountains clad with clouds.

Day 4

Day 4: we started off from sangla on way to chitkul village at around 8_9 am. chitkul happensto be the last village on the Indo-tibet border. The village has tourists from all over the world. The village is beautiful picturesque. Stone walls and stone fences adorn the entire village. It's more of a utility for villagers to have stone fences to prevent land slides but to us "plainards" it looked amazingly stunning. There's a river which you shall follow "Baspa river" When routing along to chitkul. 

From chitkul we left for kalpa. Kalpa is a place in kinnaur district. Located at about 9500 ft above sea level kalpa presents a beautiful scenic view. Here we stayed at Hotel Apple pie. Our room was on 3rd floor and again view it presented was heavenly. Sky touching mountains... snow clad mountain peaks . Mountain peak shining like a bright crystal due to falling rays of the sun.  Truly super view to get enthralled for. I am truly head over heels in love with the place and it's beauty. Also while in kalpa we visited the famous suicide point

Day 5

Day 5: we started off from kalpa post breakfast and started off for Tabo.  On the way we stopped by at khab _ a place which is the confluence of 2 rivers sutlej and spiti river after which the valley is named as spiti valley. There is a bridge which one is to cross . The moment I crossed this bridge, the view had suddenly changed from that of green hued mountains to only rocky mountains. These mountains standing and bearing over the number of years the harsh climate, has converted themselves into unique master pieces. The winds here become dry and very chilling. The roads that lead to Tabo is all carved amongst the mountains and present one of the most scenic panoramic view your eyes and soul could see in life. 

On crossing sumdo check post we visited the nako lake which is more of a closed pond like in the middle over looking mountains and also visited ghiu which is again a very beautiful picturesque village. This village is beautifully built with stones piled up on both sides of the road and greens grown everywhere. This narrow postcard road leads to a monastery and a small cabin which huts some 500 year old mummy. Villagers claim that until few years back the nails of this mummy still grew but due to some natural event the tomb glass fell on mummy and blood oozed out. Since then nails stopped growing. It's worth a mention that the teeth of the mummy is still intact.

Post having visited ghiu we reached Tabo. On the way we crossed many villages with populations of 100 , 230 and likes. We reached Tabo by around 5. We spent our evening in Tabo visiting the tabo monastery which was a 2 minute walk from our hotel tiger den. We walked around the monastery premises, clicked lots of pictures of the setting sun and the skylines. Distributed toys to the local kids and played with them too. At dinner time we met some fellow travellers from different parts of India and shared their and our travel stories with each other.

Day 6

Day 6: we again visited the old and new tabo monastery and then we left from Tabo at around 10. On the way to pin valley national park and mudd valley.

On the way we stopped by a monastery called dhankar monastery. Had lunch near shankar and reached a  place where spiti river ran parallel to the road. We visited the banks of the river .once this river had huge water flow which reached up till the road but now it got narrowed due to some floods few years back. The river bank is full of amazing shaped stones and fine sands. We clicked lots of pictures at the river bank and and moved on to reach pin valley national park. Though a national park, we could hardly spot any Himalayan animals. This pin valley has a river flowing around the valley was as pin river. This river then merges with spiti river. This valley is one of the most quaint and secluded valleys. Part of this valley is a small village called as mudd village. This is a very small village but the kind of calmness this place exudes is amazing. You can see green peas farms all over the valley. Peas is the only vegetable that grows in this region. We reached mudd village around 3_4 pm. After having some rest we went for a walk and talk with the locals. This village is a host to lots of tourists indian as well as internationals  who start treks for pin_Parvati and bhawa top treks. We met locals who narrated their stories about marriage culture tradition and their winter life in general...what they do in 8 months where the snow falls and mercury drops to minus 30 /35. Evening was a gala time which we spent in the company of local guys. These guys were to do a group dance performance in a neighbouring village school where sports tournament was being organised for children of nearby villages and followed by cultural dance performances. So this gang of guys showed us some of the dance moves. . Sang songs...local n Bollywood..  however we met a fascinating talkative local named navche, who was also a homestay owner and our conversations with him ranged from local food habits to lifestyle to their customs and their faith in Buddhism. Interesting to learn that in winters the elders of the family, aged folks of the entire village go down in lesser cold regions to do parikrama which is a sort of pilgrimage. 

Taking memories of this kool village we left for kaza the next day.

Day 7

Day 7 : kaza... we started off from mudd village and saw the various trekks on way like pin parvati trekk and alos visited khungri monastery. within 3 hours reached kaza by around 2pm at the famous and oldest hotel of kaza ..called sakya abode

post lunch and afternoon siesta. In the evening we visited the famous local market of kaza. This is a small area of approx 1 km where one can find few local shops selling daily needs items. There are few good cafes too to chill out. Some of the cafes sell local articles made by local people. We visited this kool place called sol cafe. Seabuckthorn juice you can try here. It's a local berry grown in wild in this region only.

Day 8

Day 8: kaza...post lazying around for long and late breakfast we left for kaza local siteseeing. We started off with langza. It's a place where there is a huge Buddha statue in the middle of the mountains. Amazing backdrop and amazing view is what you can expect from langza.

From langza we visited komic village. It's the highest village in the world connected by motorable road. There's a monastery to visit here apart from that there's a snow leopard skin also put up for display in monastery.

On way from komic we met the local postman of the highest post office in the world. He happened to be the postman of langza komic n hikkim village and post office is located in hikkim. Hikkim is at the height of 14567 ft and has the highest operable post office in the world. We met the post master there, send postcards to our family back home and stamped some of the postcards ourselves. If I have to mention about post office, it's a small hut like place and on one corner of the room there is a table to sort posts and on the other side are beds for some one to stay overnight.

Day 9

Day 9_post breakfast we left from kaza at around 11.30 to losar. On the way we visited the famous key monastery and passed by khibber village. Also along the way we stopped by chicham bridge which is the highest bridge in Asia.  Reached losar by around  4pm . At losar we stayed at cottage called nomads cottage which has 2 glass rooms. Laying on your bed you can have the most beautiful view out of the window . Mountains and clouds and skies mesmerize you to never get up from bed. Also here we dined in a common hall where wood fired chimney is placed in the middle of the room to provide heat . Every local has such common eating hall with indian seating like arrangement and a small table in front. Having a early dinner we retired to bed for a early start next day for descent to solang valley

Day 10

Day 10 Solang Valley.. 

We started from Losar to solang very early at about 6am. This was due to the fact that the road is one hell of adventure with "pagal nalas" overflowing and washing away even vehicles. This particular route has a lot of vehical breakdown.  It was one adventurous drive for us where our car got stuck in one of the nalas with huge rocks. The route is amazingly scenic.
On our way we passed by the very famous rohtang pass. Since in the past few days we had just laid our eyes on the most scenic of the nature, rohtang pass somehow could not make it up to our excitement list. Nearby to rohtang pass is a temple of Rishi vyas, and it is also said to be the origin of beas river.

From the hair pin bending route to long traffic for clearing the pass, we reached solang valley. Also to mention, this rohtang pass route is closed on certain day of the week. Please check before travelling to avoid a day wastage.

Solang valley however to our dismay could not offer us much excitement and thrill of adventure sports as it has become too commercialized and the cost of such activities is not even regulated. We decided to skip it for the sheer fact that we have seen and done much better things in life to while our money on such stuffs.

Day 11

Manali.. and we reached manali.. this was my 2nd or 3rd visit to manali. As my earlier trips all that i saw in manali was couples couples and more couples honeymooning in manali. We visited mall road , shopped for some souvenirs, visited Hadimba temple and had some nice time shopping knick knacks.

We were in no mood whatsoever to return to Chandigarh tomorrow flight back home to Amchi mumbai.

Returning back from Spiti gave us a completely different perspective on life and renewed our vigor to travel more and explore more.

Hopefully someday i will be able to have my oneway ticket to world travel.. Amen.

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