SPITI : Trip Report

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#1 Jul 1st, 2016, 15:15
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Preface :

Spiti – A place where the God lives. Though there is always an exertion that writers make with their word play , after my sojourn in this world within a world , I would agree with Kipling to the fullest. Where else in the world were such brown barren mountains, sky as blue as the sea , clouds hovering endlessly to the horizon, small picturesque villages, monasteries at the most inaccessible places to men, rivers sketched with chalks flow in twists and turns in a valley far far below, the night sky glows with thousands of stars ,people greet strangers with a wide smile as if their own . If Gods need a place on earth , it could very well be in Spiti.
Before writing any further I would share my sincere thanks to vaibhav, life1style1, saikat and others who have contributed immensely to this forum have made travelling a lot easier. Also , a word of caution , I doubt if my post could divulge any additional information on Spiti that is already not there in IM. I write with the sheer joy of writing to share the experience I felt in spiti . To me , Spiti felt like nothing I felt before and even after one week , I am going through the motions with a little hangover . It is similar to having watched a good movie or after completion of a beautiful novel.You are happy to have completed it and at the same time it makes you feel sad that it is completed.
Last edited by sindabad; Jul 3rd, 2016 at 14:32..
#2 Jul 1st, 2016, 17:02
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With a title like that I am expecting a super travelogue . The first photo did not disappoint.
#3 Jul 1st, 2016, 17:36
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Lovely start, Himadri!

Looking forward to share wonderful experiences!
#4 Jul 1st, 2016, 17:36
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Itinerary that went wrong :

Day1 : Rudrapur- Delhi- Chandigarh- Manali

It would be a strenuous proposition to travel almost 900 km by road via bus , train and car in 24 hrs. My earlier idea to complete the entire tribal circuit (Kinnaur and Spiti) in 10 days also seemed rushing through Kinnaur , so, I divided the itinerary and gave up Kinnaur in favour of only Spiti this time. But that also meant crossing the dreaded Rohtang and Kunzum passes twice in a week time.
While finalizing an itinerary, I made a fanatic search for a Deluxe or Volvo bus early morning that would be a direct transport from Delhi to Manali but most volo buses leave Delhi at night . Over the years , I have been travelling , I have formulated the three pre- requisites for travelling – Time, Money and Health. While doing fairly well in other two categories , Time is the most precious entity for corporate slaves like me. So, without wanting to waste entire day in Delhi , I planned to move to Chandigarh and hire a taxi from Chandigarh and back.

I finalized with Vinkle , a well known name in this circuit for taxi . The rate of taxi quoted was little higher because of the holiday rush. Most Indian schools remains shut during the summer months of June-mid July and Indian families make a queue to the popular hill stations to beat the rising mercury of the plains.

Before a day or two of travel , I called vinkle and he surprised me saying that he had assigned another driver Hosiar singh for our transportation as he would be accompanying another group. As the driver is a vital part of the journey , I was little apprehensive “ How good would be Mr. Hosiar Singh?”.
contd..

Today's destination Manali :
Last edited by sindabad; Jul 2nd, 2016 at 12:39..
#5 Jul 1st, 2016, 17:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasika View Post With a title like that I am expecting a super travelogue . The first photo did not disappoint.
Thanks Rasika, hope you won't be disappointed ..stay tuned
#6 Jul 1st, 2016, 17:43
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Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post Lovely start, Himadri!

Looking forward to share wonderful experiences!
Thanks prakaant ..keep encouraging , i plan to go slow with the narrative
#7 Jul 1st, 2016, 17:49
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Originally Posted by sindabad View Post Thanks prakaant ..keep encouraging , i plan to go slow with the narrative
No problem! It would be okay, even if it's little bit slow!
#8 Jul 1st, 2016, 18:19
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you reminds me our tour back in year 2010. Truly amazing place. We were stuck in Rakcham for 2 days for heavy snowfall. Hope you will cover Kaza. Keep posting..
#9 Jul 1st, 2016, 18:27
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@sindabad..... first photo is terrace of key monastery i guess.
#10 Jul 1st, 2016, 21:49
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contd..
The train chugged into Chandigarh Railway station one hour delayed than scheduled time, unnecessarily waiting outside the city gates for another train to cross, which eventually never came. After debarking, I called the driver and he assured he was waiting outside the Railway station.
As we made our way through the crowd , we were surrounded by a swarm of Taxi drivers who like peddlers spoke in hush tone “ Sir , taxi..Shimla ..Manali..shimla..”.
Just to beat the melee , we stood below the life sized replica of Train engine outside Chandigarh station and called the driver. After few minutes wait , a man appeared smiling at me . I immediately identified him from the whatsapp profile image. He was a frail looking man must be above 40, dressed in Blue uniform with a remarkably big moustache and wearing a Himachali cap. The moustache looked bigger in his small face. With a few twist to his moustache , he took my suitcase and disappeared behind the taxi stand, we had to run to keep pace with him.
Finally , we reached the grey white Innova waiting for us which seemed to be in fairly good condition and our journey for Manali started.
Chandigarh was very hot , must be above 40 degrees , we kept the AC on.
After a few casual conversation with the driver , I asked him
“ How long will it take to Manali?”
-“Sirji , it will take 10-11 hrs”
I thought I didn’t hear him right , so I repeated my question and he gave the same answer with an explanation :
“ Sirji, road widening is going on , it is in bad shape”
I checked in google map , it is still naively showing 7 hrs and with an SUV I was hoping to do it in 6 hrs. I threw my head back and thought we were doomed. The road became worse as we entered Himachal, construction work was going on major part which in future may reduce the travel time. I tried to sleep a few times but couldnot due to the constant jerking.
The road became better after we crossed Mandi , as well as , the scenery enroute. The river Beas was flowing gushingly below the gorges among Blue mountains. It became dark at 8o’clock in the evening , full moon came out over Beas. It was strikingly beautiful but I was too tired to appreciate it. All I could think was a hot shower and soft bed to sleep. We reached Kullu by 9 PM , there was a huge jam of cars towards Manali . In between I called Hotel Shandela at Mall road to keep our room & dinner ready. We reached Hotel at approx 10-30 PM, after a quick shower and delicious dinner , we slept. If everything went well, our next night would be in Kaza, spiti. With that happy thoughts , I slept well that night.
#11 Jul 1st, 2016, 21:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajatchakraborty View Post @sindabad..... first photo is terrace of key monastery i guess.
yes ...it is
#12 Jul 1st, 2016, 22:28
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#12

SPITI : A Place where the God lives

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Originally Posted by sindabad View Post Preface :

Spiti – A place where the God lives.
Lovely write up.
I really miss spiti, I fell in love with Spiti when I saw the glimse of golden mountains from Kunzum Pass.

Very Emotional bondage by this mysterious valley.
Last edited by aarosh; Jul 1st, 2016 at 23:36..
#13 Jul 1st, 2016, 23:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookie110 View Post Lovely write up.
I really miss spiti, I fell in love with Spiti when I saw the glimse of golden mountains from Kunzum Pass.

Very Emotional bondage by this mysterious valley.
I hope you can relive those moments through my narrative
#14 Jul 1st, 2016, 23:38
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Kaza at Midnight :

Day 2 Itinerary : Manali - Rohtang Pass- Kunzum Pass.

There was a major flaw in our Plan today . We had no permit in hand to cross the Rohtang pass from Manali After recent ruling by the Green Tribunal , taxis need permit to cross Rohtang but for day trips the permit can be obtained online. There are often huge queue to get the permit as drivers start early morning for the permit.

We had a goodnight’s sleep and felt fresh in the morning. After breakfast I called Hosiarji , he was at the DM’s office to get permit for crossing the Rohtang pass.
With time in our hand , we strolled at the famous Manali Mall . It was a wonderful place to relax and watch daily activities and have those candid shots.

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As time passed, I was worrying about our permit , as there is a long journey ahead. I was beginning to realize the merits of hiring a driver who already has a permit . Our driver called me at 11AM and informed that he had got the permit. At breakneck speed , we checked out of Hotel and with the luggage arrived at the Mall . There the driver picked us up and we were driving towards Rohtang pass.

Tourists doing Paragliding :


Another shot of Paragliding:


Towards Rohtang pass: Huge traffic and bad roads


Enroute we saw many a waterfalls due to snow melting in summer



Towards Rohtang :


Rohtang Top : perfect place for tourists
Last edited by sindabad; Jul 2nd, 2016 at 12:43..
#15 Jul 2nd, 2016, 00:56
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#15
Indeed it is the place where God resides. Photos are spectacular with appropriate writeup, thanks for presenting such a nice travelogue.
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