Spiti valley: An awakening

Tripoto
14th Aug 2014
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena

Blooming Bud, Chakrata

Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena

Raining Wisdom, Chakrata

Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena

Nako

Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena

Rohru

Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena

On the way to Komic

Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Spiti valley: An awakening by Kaushal Meena

I have always felt special camaraderie in my heart with Nature. I have always respected nature just like I respect my Parents. Whenever I am sad/broken, A tree/A dog/A butterfly/A Plant/ or any other part of nature is always there to listen to me, to comfort me. 

        I had done N number of trips in my life as my circumstances allowed But I was not happy with just that. I kept craving for more, I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to know what my limits are. Most of all, I wanted to know if I have what it takes to follow your heart. 

        One noon in March 2014, I came across a picture in which mountains were enveloped by dessert and forming a valley, river flowing in between and riverbank were having diminutive vegetation to only show the possibility of life in such adverse situation. I could not figure out that picture, it confused me. that place felt like out of the world. It was very hard to believe that a landscape like this exist for real in this world. That picture was from Kaza, Spiti valley, Himachal. Could it have been just a coincidence that this place kept coming to me in one form or another? I don't know but every single time I read/heard about this place I felt rising restlessness in me and I had to experience it myself. Rest is history; My decision making, planning, preparation etc.

I did half of the journey in bad weather but it was fun in itself. I came to know how to feed to hunger in my heart. When you are riding to Chitkul from Sangla, Landscape manifest itself in to more gorgeous self with every meter and the breeze of air touches your soul than just your face. At the moment, you just close your eyes and capture these moments in your memories. And it is not just the eyes which enjoys picturesque but your all senses get pleasure. You forget what you are, and what you have been and than you meet yourself, the real you, in the colour full valley of Chitkul. In this very strange and new place, you feel most comfortable like this is where you belong, this is where your heart lies. You starts to fall in love with this feeling, You fall in love with this place, You even fall in love with yourself. 

Next beautiful thing to enjoy in this epic trip was people and culture. You shall see ever smiling faces everywhere like disquietude has not touched this place, You shall forget that word named as "Stress" even exist in dictionary. People are so friendly and helpful that It ensure you don't feel homesick. 

As you keep moving with the road everything gradually keeps changing; Mountains get less greener, Air gets dry, Language keeps changing, Temples become Gompa, Bhagjery changes in to Thukpa, facial characteristics gets sharper & smaller and it all keeps changing until it becomes SPITI

This journey has made me realise that no matter how frustrated I am, No matter how much hardship I am going through, No matter how bad my relationships go, No matter how sad I feel and No matter how lost you are. There is a place, On this planet, where I can forget all of this and I can find myself again. 

I needed to realise these, It did not fill the space in my heart but It gave me a path to walk on where My heart is healing with every step. I do not say any more that world is full of selfish people, as I know that this world is far more beautiful than you can imagine, there are far more things to live for than dying, there is too much love in this world than hatred. 

Only those who reads the book of world are able to read the book of life and only those who do travel knows how to read the book of world.

"DO NOT FORGET TO MEDITATE IN MONASTERIES; EAT THUKPA AND MOMOS; NIGHT STAY AT CHANDRATAL/Batal; WATCH DAWN AT CHITKUL AND DUSK AT Kalpa; VIBRATIONS OF DHANKAR OLD MONASTERY; PLAY WITH CHILDREN; BLEND IN BUDDHISM; GREET AND MEET OTHER TRAVELLERS; TAKE CARE OF YOUR TRASH AND MOST OF ALL DO NOT FORGET TO ENJOY"

Before I moved to Haridwar in 2013 I never imagined myself living a Nomad's life But I had always felt something missing in my life and I had a misty picture of my life which I wanted to live; A life in which I have better understanding of nature and related things to nature, A life in which I could do something to preserve Nature, A life in which I could be a reason of smile on a child's face, A life in which I could be free, A life in which I have better understanding of myself, A life in which I have peace with myself, A life in which I love myself, A life in which I can give love as much as possible and A life in which I can love nature in my own ways. The best thing which Haridwar has given me is 'follow my heart and be myself'. 
Photo of Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India by Kaushal Meena
14 August 2014, when the three of us left for a Journey which we had only dreamed of. Monsoon were in news, we had to borrow money from friends and we didn't know if the preparations were enough but it was our only chance and we couldn't let it just slip away. Against all odds, we kept our itinerary flexible and left our home at 13:30 Hrs. On our first day we could only make it to "Chakrata". On our way to Chakrata we saw heavy streams in Yamuna -indication of heavy rain in mountains. But we took our chances and kept going. If you live near by delhi and looking for weekend getaway then I strongly recommend you Chakrata (Especially in the end of monsoon season). 
Photo of Chakrata, Uttarakhand, India by Kaushal Meena
this was the place which took forever to reach. Road was drastically damaged starting from deoban and till tuini it was like that. Rain added difficulty level in that road but along the road you will get to see most amazing sceneries of Uttrakhand. You might have seen massoorie, you might have seen Auli and you might have been to kedarnath, badrinath or Almora. But there is other side of Uttarakhand which you have not seen if you have not been to this side of Uttrakhand.
Photo of Tuini, Tiuni, Uttarakhand, India by Kaushal Meena
By breathing only you can tell that you are approaching Rohru as the fragrance of fresh apples, blended with clear air pass through your nostrils. You will get to see "Crunchy and Crispy Apples" everywhere. If this is your first time to Himachal then don't miss to eat apples here, they might be the testiest apple you have eaten in your life.
After Rohru, You enter in snakes mouth. A dense mountain forest and a dirt road is the only things which will accompany you till Rampur. You will rarely encounter any humans here. There are few villages on the road but due to rain we did not see any single person. after Riding for almost half of the day, A highway appears out of the blue and that is your ticket to Rampur. You will get good Hotels here.
One of the major hydro electric power plant in India. After Rampur, Road is as smooth as butter. You will love to drive your motorcycle here especially after riding desolate roads of Chakrata to Rampur.
Another beautiful getaway if you are planning for 4-5 days trip from Delhi. On NH-22, you can't imagine in 7 kms of distance such kind of picturesque and serene village can exist. On top of that there exist a Bhimakali Temple. which is one of the 51 Shaktipeethas. Temple is architecturally and historically very beautiful. Architecturally it looks like fusion of bhuddhism and hinduism.
Photo of Sarahan, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kaushal Meena
After few hours drive from sarahan, we entered famous death valley of Kinnaur. We were amazed by the cutting of mountains to make this road, accompanied by Sutluj River, Beautifully structured tall mountains and n number of falls emerging from their tops. Nature surprise you with it's beauty and calamities. Kinnaur is one of the region which gives sense to both of these characteristics of Nature. after the Zig zag roads of death valley, here comes SangLa. which leads to chitkul; Last village on Indo-China boarder.
This is the place which gets rooted in your mind so deep that whenever you get tired of life, this place comes in your dreams. This is the place where you want time to stop. Chitkul is the one of most beautiful places I have ever seen. This place is a must 'go' at least once in a life time.
Photo of Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kaushal Meena
You will get to see 'Kinner Kailash' from kalpa. Village is near by to reckong peo, and you will get cheap hotels here than Reckong Peo. As the Sun sets, color of peak starts to change from white to golden to blue. As per the locals it changes itself in seven colors if the weather is clear. However, We enjoyed its beauty to fullest.
Photo of Kalpa, Reckong Peo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kaushal Meena
After Reckong Peo, Landscape changes little faster. There will be boards on road saying: "You are driving on one of the most treacherous Road in the world". If you are lucky then you won't see any land slide or shooting stone otherwise its pretty common here. I myself greeted Landslides and shooting stones many times on the way. Mountains throw there green cloak away and show their true self: Rocks and Dust is everywhere, You get the feeling that mountains can fall apart any time.
Few Hours after Reckong Peo, Roads turn smoother and mountains turn itself in solid red rocks. All green which you were enjoying so far vanishes, sun gets hotter and village gets smaller. In shades, you feel chilled dry air, which given you hint about the nights. This place feels like it must been under the sea thousands of years ago and then all the water suddenly evaporated. It just feels like that. Anyway, Nako itself is a very beautiful Buddhist VIllage, with a lake in between and divine temple just an kilometre trek away. We enjoyed every second here. And most of all, food is really awesome here, this was my first time with Thukpa and it was so awesome. Momos were good too. Having dinner there felt like having a feast.
almost 4 hours drive from nako, you starting to hear calling from your stomach and It doesn't let you concentrate on the amazing beauty in front of your eyes. You starting to look for a place to eat but it doesn't help. You starting to feel that you are the only one left on this earth; Almost like an apocalypse. Then suddenly when you are enjoying world of your own, A village appears out of the blue named as tago village. It is one of the oldest monasteries. The architecture is eye catching and interior is as calm as a beautiful lake at dawn.
It was my 5th day since I left my home, and I was adapting to high altitude and long continues drives and random sudden changes in temperature & culture. After Tabo, there is diversion from the main road going for Dhankar Monastery and you are liking to miss this diversion if you are too tired to pay attention to your surrounding. Windows of this monastery provides perfect picture of confluence of PIN and SPITI Rivers. Monastery itself in a devastating conditions, You may not see it after few years. It needs to be saved and requires attention of authorities at exigency basis.
Photo of Dhankar Monastery, Sichling-Dhankhar Gompa, Dhankhar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kaushal Meena
It is the heart of SPITI Valley and we were fortunate enough to witness it beauty at fullest as the yearly cultural fair was going on at the time when we were there. we stayed there for two days as the petrol pump was closed due to some electric fuse failure. Meanwhile while talking to some stranger we got to know about Komic Monastery few kilometers from the kaza and on second day when we saw that petrol pump is still not opened then we left for KOMIC.
Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kaushal Meena
You will witness once in a life time pristine beauty of nature enroute to Komic from kaza. As the height instantly increase you might face some breathing issues but it is all worth it.
Photo of Komic Gompa, Komic, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kaushal Meena
Photo of Kunzum Pass, Dhar Thachakarpo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kaushal Meena
1 Comment(s)
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very beautifully written.. :)
Mon 06 20 16, 13:14 · Reply (1) · Report
Thanks, I'm glad that you liked it.
Fri 07 15 16, 09:26 · Report