He who travels, lives life, he who wanders in wilderness of the travel gets LIFE!
You get to know that you have entered Kinnaur in the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh, When a wide smile glint your face, the Roaring rivers Baspa and Satluj follow your caravan endlessly for hundreds of miles alongwith at one side of the pebbled roads.
You get surprised and keep guessing if the next turn you take on the road will be the origin of these rivers , but NO, My dear friend they have their basin at some of the further unfathomed and unexplored remotes of the Himalayas.
The tribal potters with the signature “Green Bushehri- Himachali coronet(Topi)” earn their living carrying the commercial goods and weights on their back in exchange of money, their decaying old age body gathers strength to pick the weights by lifting themselves up by the palms and strength of their knees, Its ecstatic to see that they always carry a profound smile on their wrinkled faces and yes they are happy to pose for a click! So don’t miss it.
Border road Organization (BRO) takes over PWD for their meticulous art of work to craft the pavements( barely a single vehicle can cross the road in some of the stretches), You simply love it taking a stance of few of the roadways, like a scanty tunnel of 5 meters carved through a mountain.
“Karcham” is the place where you decide whether to go to Sangla and then to the last inhabitant village of India- “Chitkul” or take a turn towards wild and raw roads towards Rekongpeo/Puh and further to Nako and eventually to Kaza to enter the Spiti valley.
Believe me you can’t be better than to drive more than 25-30 kms max in an hour in this corner of the world.On the first day of the journey I decided to go to Nako Lake/Village(NH-22/505 -Karcham-Powari via Shongtong Bridge; then the Ribba and mooring valley to Puh and finally to Nako) covering a mere 136 kms in long 6 hours- memoirs of that drive are still afresh.
The Driving road from Karcham to Nako Lake in Hangrang Valley in Kinnaur is one the deadliest yet amazing boulevard I have ever driven- barely 2.5 meters wide, it gives you the right meaning of the sign boards embarked- “ Saavdhani hatti Durghatna Ghati”. You Pray to almighty, get me through this as early as possible.
In this long drive, you pass through the barren mountains, tricky curves, then all of a sudden you witness a portion of green flora, it gives you the punch that this beautiful life can sustain itself anywhere. Deep down you think “Yes its right, stand up against all odds- that’s the way to LIVE righteously” and you move ahead with throttled thoughts taking a last sight of that green pasture in the rear view mirror, that you just left behind.
On the way; Met two kiddos drenched with mud; offered them fruits and some chocolates, they were generous enough to get themselves posed for a click. I wished them and prayed to the almighty to keep them smiling always in such freezing chores of life. They undoubtedly deliver the truthful meaning of the statement- “A survival -Larger than life” .
You need to carry a lot of patience and character to drive on these desolated roads.
While on the drive; the Snow clad mighty mountains play a “hide and seek” game and keeps you engaged for a conversation with them through the driving window on the every twirl of the road-. Eventually You make a ruling verdict to them “ As the dusk fall in , I will win you”.
No Matter how tired you are, Impatient you have been, but driving all through and reaching a solace to the worth of this place, where you get to have a rendezvous with “LIFE” that you have always imagined and dreamt of, is priceless.
I took a night stay at Nako Village and early morning went for a walk till the lake for which I had travelled so far. What a beautiful view that was with the snowy ranges of Himalayas in the backdrop!
The basking sun in this small village enriched me to the core. With inhabitants as low as mere 300; the morning errands including a view of school going children was ecstatic. Tibetian flags with flying prayers was a prominent vista all around.
A tranquilized mind, restful body and placid soul is all I was carrying within myself while I parked myself for an hour gazing at this winsome view in front of me!
May God always bless the travelers with such attractions!
A short stint at Nako was followed by heading back to Karcham and then another 2 hours drive to one of my favorite destinations to Sangla and Chitkul!
Bone chilling cold even in the fall season have its own warmth to be felt for, but you can’t resist to sit beside river Baspa at the mesmerizing Sangla valley to have your share of joy, sipping some evening wine followed by a bonfire!
This place gives a backside view of the grand “ Kinner Kailash”- one of the holy abode of Lord Shiva!
Taking a hideout in the tents pitched near the banks of the Baspa river at Raksham 14 kms before the Chitkul village , sang the best lullaby ever for the entire night with its growling sound of the flowing water!
The sun sets early in this part of the world at Kinnaur, You better cover the maximum distance possible till 5 or 5.30 in the evening, otherwise get ready to be lost in boondocks of some of the treacherous roads and wild mountains of this lovely planet.