There is a beauty beyond words in walking on a zealous journey. It’s a simple task from moving out of your comfort zone to testing your limits. Real life begins when you step out of your comfort zone, try to explore the unknown, decide to reach beyond the sky, full of stars.
Check out latest Spiti Valley Video on my official Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz28K59hqko/
Me and my friend were planning this trip for a while now, after those stressful nights of assignments and exams, we couldn’t wait to get out of this hustle and bustle life of ours. When I looked at the photographs, my eyes were mesmerized by the beauty and I couldn’t believe that mere photographs could have such a beautiful impact on my mind and I vowed to visit this heaven in the hills of Himachal Pradesh. The trip to Spiti valley and Kasol, the two part’s of Himachal Pradesh was not only beautiful but a life changing road to wanderlust.
Our main agenda of this trip was to discover the beauty that was hidden high in the Himalayas. We boarded a train from Mumbai to Dehli, and from there we took a bus to Reckong peo which was estimated to be a 20 hour journey. We reached Reckong peo the next day around 5pm in the evening and immediately checked into a nearby hotel for the night. The next day at 5:30 in the morning we took another 10 hour journey to the first leg of our trip, Kaza the center of Spiti valley.
Spiti Valley is a cold desert mountain valley located high in the Himalayas in the north-eastern part of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”. Spiti valley is the land between Tibet and India. Spiti valley welcomed us with a little drizzling rain.
We stayed in a homestay in Kaza run by warm and kind local people of Kaza. On the first day of our trip we started our much awaited exploring, we first visited the Key Monastery.
Kye Gompa is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located on top of a hill, close to the Spiti River. It is known to be the biggest monastery of Spiti Valley. The monastery was very enchanting and peaceful as we met monks, who showed us around and told us calming stories. It was very intruging to know about their way of life. This is a haven of peace and tranquility. The Monastery is also known to be a training centre for teachers in Tibetian Buddhisim. From the monastery we headed towards a village named Kibber which was not far away from the Key monastery.
Kibber, which is also known as “Kyibar” is a village high in the Spiti Valley. The village had positive and welcoming vibes and it was so peaceful to look around as the village was high in the valley. The village has a monastery and the kibber wildlife sanctuary.
From Kibber we went to Komic village, komic literally means “eye of a snow cock”. Komic village has one of the most famous landmarks, the iconic sign board which describes Komic as the “Highest village in world connected with motorable road”.
From there we moved onto see Hikkim.
Hikkim is another village in Lahaul and Spiti district. It is the nearest town from Kaza, connected by road. The beauty of Hikkim was in it’s infrastructure. People of Hikkim village use stones and wood extensively to build houses and structures. Moving onto the next stop was Langza. The Langza village like kibber, komic and Hikkim is certainly one of the best places in the Spiti valley. This artistic village is surrounded by alot of greenery, mountains covered in snow and barren landscapes. It also has ancient monasteries and buildings belonging from the prehistoric era. It surely is one of the most beautiful destinations to visit.
Moving on, we visited the highest bridge in Asia. Yes, Spiti valley is home to Chicham Bridge, and quite a sight at that.
The bridge is at a astounding height of 13,596ft and connects the two villages named Chicham and Kibber.
Looking down, there was a gigantic gorge! The gorge below is known by the name of Samba Lamba Nallah; the making of this bridge cuts down the journey from Kibber to Losar.
After seeing the Chicham bridge, we went to see Tabo. Tabo is also a small town in the Lahaul and Spiti district, on the banks of the Spiti River. The town lies on the road between Rekong Peo and Kaza. The town surrounds a Buddhist monastery which, according to tradition, is said to be over a thousand years old. The Dalai Lama has expressed his wish to retire to Tabo, since he insists that the Tabo Monastery is one of the holiest.
As we travelled to all these villages, it started raining which turned into snow. In a few minutes Everything was covered in snow and the temperature dropped drastically.
As the cold swept up, we visited kinnaur.
Kinnaur, is located in the northeast corner of Himachal Pradesh bordering Tibet to the east. It has three high mountains ranges, namely, Zanskar and Himalayas that encircle valleys of Sutlej, Spiti, Baspa and their tributaries.
After spending the whole day out we came back to Kaza and decided to spend the remaining day in the local Kaza market which included extremely mouth watering and appetising food.Being avid foodies, we decided to explore every nook and cranny of the area.The variety of food available in this ‘melting pot’ of Tibetans, monks, locals, and foreigners was enthralling and feasting.
After we came back from the market, we had dinner with the local family we were staying with. Not only the food they made was amazing, but also the conversations we had with them as they grew longer, we got to know more about the local tales, the rituals and legends that were believed and followed. By the time we retired off for the night, it was -3°.
Next morning, at 7Am we took a sharing car from Kaza to Rampur. We reached Rampur by 5PM in the evening and took a overnight local bus from there for Bhuntar. We reached Bhuntar next morning by 7AM. We changed yet another bus for Manikaran, which was 3km before Kasol.
In Manikaran we decided to stay overnight in tent that was next to the river. We passed the whole day enjoying the breath taking view of the trees, mountain and the river from my extremely cozy tent and ended up making some friends along the way as evening came with the bonfire to warm us and took around 100 selfies to remember. It was indeed one of the most evenings to be taken in deep memory as their was a carpet of stars in my sight as we laughed, talked and danced the night away.
By next morning we had checked out from the tent and headed for the Manikaran gurudhwara. The infrastructure of the gurudhwara was awestrucking and beautiful and the air around felt peaceful and calm as we payed our respects. The Gurudwara Shri Manikaran Sahib is famous for it’s natural hot springs water as we got the opportunity to wash our hands in there.
Also, you check out my short video on Kasol on my instagram page https://www.instagram.com/p/BzLHw9AnvAv/
After the prayers we went to the Kasol market, and explored the market as it was displayed in the most beautiful vibrant colours. As we waited for the bus to Bhuntar we went to a amazing cafe called SunShine. After spending some time in the cafe which had a nice cozy vibe inside and had a lovely view to look at outside we headed for the bus stand, only to find no buses available. So we hitched a ride from the fruits and vegetables delivery guy, who happily obliged us and agreed to drop us. It was a 2 hour journey, and we spend the ride talking to the delivery guy, who told us life and tales about the local areas and people. We came to know many traditions that we had no knowledge about. After reaching Bhuntar we took a overnight Volvo bus for Delhi and reached the city next morning at 5AM. After spending the night in Delhi we boarded the train for Mumbai the next morning.
This trip to Spiti valley gave me an experience of a lifetime. It mind boggled me and made me explore my limits and my possibilities. As I came back to Mumbai, the place where this trip began, I looked back and saw myself to the moment when we began this trip and realized that this encounter not only changed my life, but I will never be the same again.