Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali)

Tripoto
18th Jun 2016
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) 1/1 by Vineet Kumar
Between Sumdo and Tabo!

Tabo to Kaza: Next morning, boarded the morning bus and reached Kaza by 11.30am. Beautiful drive in between along the River Spiti and its flood plain.

Somewhere between Tabo and Gaza!

Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar

Sichiling - the gateway to Dankar!

Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar

Kaza is equipped with multiple hotels, home stays, and local market. Recently, a Mumbai based Spitian has set up ‘The Himalayan Café’ which is a must place to visit in Kaza. This small town is full with bikers fixing their bikes and travelers. Local sight seeing involves visiting the Kaza monastery, Decathlon store, checking out local shops, and walking outside the town. While waiting to catch the bus to Key, we spent few hours at the Kaza Gompa. The EPIC Channel ‘Great Escapes Serial’ first episode was shot here. Kaza is a growing town. Recently Zostel has opened one of its new branches there.

A pooja in progress

Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar

Kaza Gompa

Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar

The faithfuls!

Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar

Key Gompa/monastery: Key gompa is located at an altitude of 4116 metres on a rocky outcrop and provides a perfect view of the Spiti River snaking between the mountains. It is the largest gompa in Spiti and belongs to the Gelepu sect. It is situated between Kaza and Kibber with the Key village in close proximity. We arrived at 5.30pm and there was no bed left for stay. We requested and finally arranged beds to stay overnight. I decided to sleep in the terrace under the open sky, which will remain an unforgettable experience for me. We interacted with migrant workers from Odisha and Bihar who toil hard to keep the construction work going in this part of the country. The gompa has basic shared rooms with per bed cost of Rs 250 that includes food and tea. Do not expect fancy food and restroom facilities are basic. The stay is good for understanding the monastic life and to engage with monks on socio-political discussions.

River Spiti from Key Gompa

Photo of Key Gompa, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

Young monk, fire and the Kitchen

Photo of Key Gompa, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

Inside the Key Gompa

Photo of Key Gompa, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

Key village view from the Key Gompa

Photo of Key Gompa, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

Next day early morning we left for Manali. Kaza to Manali is 200 kms and its takes approx. 12 hours to cover the distance. After approx. 56km of drive, we reached Losar. Losar nestled between the mountains is the last major stopover after which the remoteness of Spiti Valley spellbound travelers. This village and the surroundings are less explored and due to remoteness not many tourists stay here. It has few homestays and guesthouses. The houses are made of mud that keeps the houses warm in the cold weather. We had breakfast at Serchu Café and we were ready for the famous Kunzum pass. As we drove deeper into the valley, once can only see the snow, mountains, waterfalls and few vehicles on the road.

Kunzum Mata Mandir @ Kunzum Pass

Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar

The traffic Jam in the valley on the way to Manali

Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali) by Vineet Kumar
Day 8

Read part II of the series here.

Tabo: Tabo is situated in the flood plains of River Spiti and is surrounded by the mountains from two sides. Founded in 996 A.D., Tabo Gompa is the oldest continuously functioning Buddhist monument in India and the Himalayas. Gompa has old paintings and is known as the Ajanta and Ellora of the Himalayas. It is an ideal place for one night stay. The historical Tabo gompa guesthouse, managed by ‘Jeet Singh - +919418984340’ is a good place. Participate in the early morning prayers at the Gompa!

Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

Tabo Village

Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

The Tabo Village and Gompa in the centre

Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

The Gompa Guesthouse

Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

The old Tabo Gompa

Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

The Kalchakra Stupa

Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Day 9

Kaza – Kaza is the sub-divisional headquarter of Spiti valley and acts as the base camp for travelers who want to explore the valley and its serene beauty. Landscape is very different than what we normally are used to. To explore the valley, travelers either walk from one village to the other through the mountain or come back to Kaza to travel to the other areas. After careful consideration and discussion with bus drivers, we decided to take the only bus to Key Gompa. It leaves everyday at 5pm from Kaza bus stand; stops overnight at Kibber; picks the passengers next morning at 8.30am from Chicham and Kibber village and than heads to Kaza again.

Kaza!

Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

A construction worker @Kaza

Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Day 10

Kibber Village: Next morning, we had breakfast and decided to hike Kibber. We found it quite challenging with the increasing height. We had to rely on hitchhiking and reached Kibber by 11am; stayed at a guesthouse just at the entrance of the village. 

Chichum Village, beyond Kibber

Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

On the way to Kibber Dogri!

Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

Kibber view from the Top

Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

School camp at the Kibber Dogri

Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

Another Kibber view

Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

farming at Kibber VIillage

Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

Kibber Village

Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

Walking to Kibber from Key Gompa

Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Day 12

Next morning, a vehicle was arranged that picked us for Kaza. After reaching first thing that we did was booking our seat on a shared taxi and making arrangement for night stay.

Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Day 13
Photo of Losar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar

Losar

Photo of Losar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Vineet Kumar
Day 14

Manali – Manali is among the most famous tourist destination of India and globally. Packed with honeymoon couples, old and young, adventurers, the town infrastructure is crumbling, as it cannot take the rush of four-wheel drives anymore. Honking cars all over, the town was not designed for such a massive rush of tourists. We were too tired to explore any hotel in old Manali so booked ourselves at Mall road, next to the bus stand. Evening was spent exploring the Old town cafes and restaurants. Old Manali is a major attraction point for foreigners and foodies. The best cafes in town are in this area. Further up lies the famous Manu Temple in the Manali village. Manu Temple and Manali is associated with the Vaivsat Manu himself who had carried the seeds of creation in the Ark during the great deluge and it is believed that the boat may would has rested somewhere in this region.

Next day we had to return to Delhi by the HRTC evening bus. We spent the day shopping and exploring different temple sites. We had tasty and heartful breakfast at 'Cafe Amigos & German Bakery'. The Bhutti Weavers Co-op Society Ltd. close to Mall road is a good place to shop for traditional Kullu products. We went hiking upto Dungri Village to visit the famous Hidimba Mata Mandir, Gatothkach mandir, Shiva temple and later to the Manu Mandir in the Manali village. Manali is a spiritual place and due its remoteness was the abode of many Rishi's associated with Hinduism through the different Yuga's. If the state government can regulate the traffic and the flow of cars and tourists in this area than it will continue to inspire generation of travelers. With the hope of coming back in a lean season, we bid farewell to Manali and boarded the bus for Delhi.

3 Comment(s)
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Vishakha Javeri
Mon 02 27 17, 07:35 · Reply · Report
regards,
Mon 02 27 17, 07:35 · Reply · Report
Thankyou Vineet for sharing about us on TRIPOTO.we are glad and looking forward to see you again soon..
Mon 02 27 17, 07:35 · Reply · Report