On Earth there is no Heaven, but there are pieces of it.
And yes, I have been to that one piece of Heaven, namely Spiti. I had never travelled solo to an unknown place until then. I remember the day before the trip when I was discussing about this impending Spiti trip with my friend. His first question was whether I had travelled solo before. And the answer is yes, I have, to Agra and Nainital for 2 days. However, I had been to those places before. But the trip of Spiti was going to be different. It’s a virgin location and quite alien to me. My friend was left stunned and remarked that I am making quite a jump – from Agra and Nainital for 2 days to Spiti for 15 days! I couldn’t help but break into laughter.
It’ll be surprising for you to know but I didn’t have much knowledge about Spiti valley before embarking on this trip. The only fact I knew is that there’s a beautiful monastery out there where my favourite film Highway was shot! So there was no fixed itinerary as such. I had no idea where I’d be the next morning while on the go. It was this friend and the lovely locals of Spiti who helped me in planning my next move during the trip.
Thankfully, the trip turned out to be a success. Each and every place that I went to was like a distinct piece of heaven. It’s not just the natural beauty that was appealing but even the attitude of the people there that added to the heavenly element. Interacting with them and also their kids was an unforgettable experience! If I came across a kid in Sangla who was a bundle of cuteness, in Chitkul meanwhile, I came across a naughty bunch of baccha party. In Nako, a lady opened her shop in the freezing weather at 10 pm at night (quite late for those people) when I realized that I have lost my gold earring. In Tabo, I got a chance to have home cooked food in the residence of a local person on my personal request. The lady of the house also offered fresh apples for free! In cities, no girl can feel safe, whether in crowded areas or in lonely places. But out there, I hitchhiked on trucks, loading autos and cars. Of course, there was a slight fear at the back of my mind but I didn’t have a single awkward moment with these people. In cities, we have to be cautious of everyone, including our own. But in Spiti, I got a first-hand experience of humanity, trust, respect and kindness doled out to me by complete strangers.
The pleasant experiences just don’t end here. In Komic, I experienced the best hospitality in the world in a small homestay where the owner offered me a hot cup of tea the moment I entered his kitchen and also gave me a woollen stall before going outside. In the Kee monastery, a kind Lama offered me noodles when he realized that I am hungry and unable to digest the food cooked for everyone. In Losar, I was floored as a lady agreed to sleep with me for the night since I felt scared and hence was unable to doze off. So this lovely lady joined me after completing her chores. Unbelievable but true! If this isn't the Heavenly experience then I don't know what is
Needless to say, these were some of the most beautiful experiences and would always have a special place in my heart. I hope you liked reading my travelougue and also check out the pictures that tells the rest of the story!