Incredible Spiti - A photologue

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#1 Oct 5th, 2015, 16:54
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#1
It was sometime around the summer of 2012 when I learned that there is a place in the North Eastern part of Himachal Pradesh called Spiti which is very much off the beaten track and almost similar to the landscape of Ladakh..

I was kind of spellbound with the images of Spiti available on the internet.

I am grateful to all IMers for their valuable suggestions and feedback which has helped me to understand the place and realize the risks of being at higher altitudes and plan the trip accordingly..

Day 1 : Sealdah to New Delhi

On a not so bright and sunny afternoon of 23rd Sept we started our Spiti venture from Sealdah in SDAH-NDLS duronto.
Next day we realized that the train is late by almost 4 hrs,thanks to track maintainance work in Gaya.So we were offered an extra lunch(Khichdi) due to the delay.
We reached New Delhi at around 3.30 p.m..scheduled arrival was at 11.30 p.m.
We took the Metro to Mandi house for our HPTDC bus to Manali.We had some time in between,so had Rajma Chawal and took 3 autos to India Gate.

Day2:New Delhi to Manali in bus

The bus started for Manali from Mandi house at 6.00 p.m.The ride was very comfortable but I was bit annoyed since I found there are no curtains in the Windows.

Later I realized none of the Volvos had curtains in the windows..one of our co-passengers told us that the curtains were removed after an order from the Delhi high court after the Nirbhaya incident.

The bus stopped at Karnal for dinner at around 10.45 p.m for 30 mins.

Next day the bus reached Manali bus stand at around 9 a.m..
We didn't had any prior accomodation booking in Manali,so we ventured out to find one.

We managed to get a descent hotel(The Beas View) at the other side of river Beas at Rs 1000 for a night even though they demended 1500.
I called up our driver for the final confirmation and he had to take out the permit for Rohtang pass,it is given only a day in advance of the journey.
Next day we had to start at 5.30 a.m so we didn't had much plans for the day in Manali except for 2 pegs of Old Monk and an authentic Bengali dinner.

Day 3: Manali to Kaza

We had some nice warm sleep and eventually missed the target of 5.30 a.m..so we started at 6.15 a.m..We reached Marhi at around 7.30 a.m and had our breakfast.
After a cup of hot coffee and a few puffs of cigarette,we started again.We could feel the increase in chill as we neared Rohtang pass.It took another 30 mins to reach Rohtang pass from Marhi.
I didn't find Rohtang pass very interesting..as much it is being spoken about...maybe the absence of snow made it look ordinary..after a brief photo session we started again.
The pitch road gradually started to vanish as it neared Gramphoo..after crossing Gramphoo(the place where the Manali-Leh and the Manali-Kaza highways bifurcates) it was all boulders,stones,pebbles etc in the name of a road.
I was sitting on the last seat of the Sumo and I found myself tangling in the mid air more than in the seats.
Out of 205 k.m Manali-Kaza road,around 140 k.m are only boulders with no signs of pitch roads..
If there was an accurate calculation then I am quite sure that I had spent close to 90 k.m in mid air rather than in seats in the total 11 hour journey..

The scenery soon started to change,the green valley vanished and were replaced by tree less mountains..for the first time I could smell the essence of Spiti...

We reached Chatru at 11.15 a.m and had our lunch in the form of Rajma Chawal...clicked a few pictures and started again at 11.45..
There were some places were I got confused since I could'nt understand weather the river was flowing on the road or the road is being made to run in the river...

Next we reached Chota Dhara,our driver asked us to get down from the car and help him to cross the boulders..while crossing chota dhara,the silencer pipe hit a boulder and was damaged..
Our driver said that it was a small damage so he will get it repaired once we reach Kaza..

Rohtang La:

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Gramphoo:

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Chota Dhara in between Chatru and Batal:

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Only rules that matters are:What a man can do and what a man can not !!!!

****************************** **
Some of my compilations in Flickr
Last edited by life1style1; Oct 5th, 2015 at 21:01..
#2 Oct 5th, 2015, 17:05
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  • arupratan ghosh is offline
#2
Nice Start , L1S1 Subscribed !
#3 Oct 5th, 2015, 17:54
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#3
Look forward to your photos Lifestyle 1. I think we went to Spiti around he same time. Unfortunately, I will not be able to write a TR but if you are interested you can check a few of my snaps on my blog.
#4 Oct 5th, 2015, 18:01
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramx View Post Look forward to your photos Lifestyle 1. I think we went to Spiti around he same time. Unfortunately, I will not be able to write a TR but if you are interested you can check a few of my snaps on my blog.
Checked your blog..some great photos..
Did you spend the night at the Chandratal camp on 30th?
#5 Oct 5th, 2015, 19:22
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#5
@life1style1, on which date did you start for rohtang la? on 26th sept. we could not even get a pack of biscuit in manali. and 27th sept was a transport shutdown.
#6 Oct 5th, 2015, 19:29
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#6
Thanks LS1. I think Spiti makes even a clumsy photographer like me into a decent photographer.

No, I did not go to Chandratal. Did the village trek though. Hope to see your Chandratal photos and see what I missed.

How was the weather in Chadratal? Also heard that road was bad. Was it worse than the other Spiti roads?
#7 Oct 5th, 2015, 20:51
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramx View Post Thanks LS1. I think Spiti makes even a clumsy photographer like me into a decent photographer.

No, I did not go to Chandratal. Did the village trek though. Hope to see your Chandratal photos and see what I missed.

How was the weather in Chadratal? Also heard that road was bad. Was it worse than the other Spiti roads?
Weather was exceptionally good in Chandratal..
I shall upload the images later on in the thread..
Did you trek from Kibber to Dhankar through Langza/Komic/demul?
#8 Oct 5th, 2015, 20:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajatchakraborty View Post @life1style1, on which date did you start for rohtang la? on 26th sept. we could not even get a pack of biscuit in manali. and 27th sept was a transport shutdown.
Yes we reached Manali on 26th and heard of the shutdown...but the locals said that there won't be any issues with transport,only shops will remain closed...
Infact we started for Kaza on 27th morning and didn't face any issues..
#9 Oct 5th, 2015, 22:22
Passion for Football & Trekking never die
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#9
Wow great start L1S1...Hooked to the thread....Great snaps...
Rules r meant to be broken
But!!!!!!
Don't break rules in Himalaya
Please Keep Himalaya clean & plastic free
#10 Oct 5th, 2015, 23:34
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#10
Day 3: Manali to Kaza(continued)

Humping through the almost non-existent road we reached Batal at around 2.30 p.m..

After a brief break of 15 mins we started our onward journey towards Kunzum pass..the weather was not looking in a good shape as there was some fresh snowfall along with strong winds....the snow stopped after a few minutes and we reached Kunzum pass at 3.00 p.m..

Our driver told us to offer prayers as it is a symbol of safe passage in the high mountains..and so we did...

There were strong winds in the pass and it was almost impossible to stand there.So we started towards Losar..

The landscape again started to change...the terrain between Chatru and Kunzum pass is rocky ,full of boulders and moraine deposits..
On descending from Kunzum pass the landscape becomes more picturesque and have the Spiti river as company...The effects of wind erosion becomes more prominent..

Reached Losar at 4 p.m..it is the first village beside the river Spiti....

We didn't stopped at Losar as we were already late and it would take another 2 hrs to reach Kaza from here..

After crossing Losar suddenly the Silencer pipe of our car broke off after it collided with a boulder earlier in the day in Chota dhara..

Our driver some how managed to tie up the pipe using nylon ropes so that we can continue our journey till Kaza..

We reached Kaza at 6.45 p.m at checked in Hotel Deyzor..we had prior bookings for 3 double bed rooms...


Chatru:

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Near Kunzum pass:

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Kunzum pass:

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View towards Spiti valley from Kunzum La top:

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Last edited by life1style1; Oct 6th, 2015 at 01:16..
#11 Oct 5th, 2015, 23:52
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#11

Thumbs up

Exceptional and eye opener snaps...ohh also inspirational snaps for me.
#12 Oct 6th, 2015, 00:03
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#12
As usual nice snaps bhai...
#13 Oct 7th, 2015, 01:34
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#13
Few more:

Towards Losar from Kunzum passs:

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Losar Village,the first village along the banks of river Spiti:

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River Spiti,en route Kaza from Losar:

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#14 Oct 7th, 2015, 11:38
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#14
Just Awesome!!
#15 Oct 7th, 2015, 22:36
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#15
I still wonder how a single mountain has so many variety of colors...Truely incredible spiti...
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