Spiti - The land of the GODS

Discussion in 'Travelogues' started by Sayantan, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Sayantan

    Sayantan Member

    Prelude-

    “How long do we have to wait before the car is refueled” – I asked Umesh Thakur(our driver for the trip) impatiently for the 5th time, and this time somewhat angrily.

    “Bhagwan Jane”(God knows!)

    So,we are stuck at a the only petrol pump of Kalpa , the last petrol pump on our journey to Kaza(some 200km away) for the last 4hrs.

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  2. Sayantan

    Sayantan Member

    Tip 1 - Patience…..be like the mountains,unmoved by the world that passes in front of you.

    Tip 2 - Always fill up your car’s fuel tank at Sangla/Shimla,keep an extra liter o
    f petrol .

    With nothing to do except seeing the stone quarry (situated just beside the petrol pump) destroying the mountains ,I tried to remember the hectic events of last 48hrs.

    Day0 &1- late night flight to Delhi, sleeping in the lounge, catching the flight to Dehradun (instead of Shimla,to cut costs),and a long tiring journey through an uninspiring Shimla to finally stay at Narkanda( a small Hamlet, surrounded by coniferous trees)

    Tip 3 - Do visit Narkanda in winter, it’s magical and better than Shimla.

    Day2- Next morning heavy breakfast,an aborted trip to Saharan Bhimkali temple( the road was bad,and we had a lot to cover up),and then nonstop travel to Sangla.A quick bite,and next we were on our way to Chitkul,a small village besides the river Baspa, amidst the forests of pine and fir. Before you enter Chitkul, there is a army camp where you have to show your car’s papers. Do stop here,the beauty is mesmerizing.
     
  3. Sayantan

    Sayantan Member

    Tip 4 - Stay at Chitkul,if you have time (instead of Sangla or Kalpa). The accommodations are basic,but the natural beauty compensates.

    Our brief admiration and photography at Chitkul was interrupted by rains. So we rushed back to Kalpa to see the setting sun illuminate the peaks of Kinnaur Kailash in red.

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    sunrise-at-kinner-kailash.jpg


    At Kalpa, we stayed in the midst of a Apple orchard, and after a fruitful ( literally full of fruits) breakfast next morning, we are here standing in a petrol pump for 4 hours!
     
  4. Sayantan

    Sayantan Member

    Where nature is a painter

    After all these days, I do not remember at what time the petrol tank came, how our driver managed to get our car fueled amidst the madness and cacophony of other drivers. What I vividly remember is that our SUV was creeping slowly along a barren rocky mountain path (to call it a road would be equivalent to calling Kolkata as Paris), carved along the slopes of the Himalayas (Karakoram,I suppose), with the turbulent Spiti river giving us company all along the way.

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  5. Sayantan

    Sayantan Member

    With death staring at us at every nook and corner, we enjoyed the rugged barren nature, with a few patches of green fields trying to raise the flag of revolt against the fury of nature. The mountains bear the love of fire and ice for centuries, with jaw dropping sculptures and paintings etched on the mountain walls as a proof of this eternal love.

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  6. Sayantan

    Sayantan Member

    The modern art by nature

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  7. Sayantan

    Sayantan Member


    The Sculptures


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  8. Sayantan

    Sayantan Member

    Now suddenly the car came to a screeching halt. Looking out we could see a flock of sheep coming down the road. With the car perched on the edge of a gorge, and our hearts jumping to our throats, we sat transfixed as one after another sheep crossed our car.

    Tip 4 - In the mountains, always have a heavy breakfast. And stock up your car with dry food and water. You never know what lies ahead.

    Now, a decision had to be made, and I was always bad at taking them. To our right, a dirt path went all the way to Giu village,where there is a tomb of a mummified monk on display. So a vote was drawn and the majority decision was to skip Giu. (We were already running late due to the petrol fiasco and half an hour “lunch” break at Nako)

    Folk story of Giu- When you have so much time to idle away (the winter months in Spiti are harsh, and villagers are marooned in their houses for days), it give rises to folklore. I have heard some,and I will share those with you. But to keep this blog short,I have written a separate blog on the sasameme.

    With the sun hiding it’s face behind the tall mountains,we reached Tabo monastery,the most revered one (His Excellency, the Dalai Lama has expressed his desire to spent his last days here). It’s a very simple monastery ( much modest than those of Ladakh), surrounded by mighty mountains, and the Spiti river flowing at it’s footsteps. Sacred Buddhist mantras are inscribed over the mountains, for the local people believe that every time a gush of wind sweeps over the mountains, it carries their prayer to the Gods.
     
  9. Sayantan

    Sayantan Member

    Tabo Monastery

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  10. Sayantan

    Sayantan Member



    The inscription on the mountains


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