SPITI : Trip Report

Reply
#16 Jul 2nd, 2016, 00:28
Join Date:
Aug 2011
Location:
NE
Posts:
543
  • sindabad is online now
#16
Day 2: Contd..

Negotiating the heavy traffic took time for us to cross the Rohtang pass .We would be returning by the same route , so took minimum photo breaks. The drive was lovely, the greenery was refreshing, due to melting of snow, many waterfalls were formed which cascaded down the hill slopes.We crossed Rohtang at about 3:45 PM , very late considering we still have to cross another Mountain pass higher than Rohtang.

We finally turned towards Kaza , very few cars were with us


Except few horses hugging it out !!


I heard spiti roads were bad , but we were driving on non-existant roads and on huge boulders.




We drived for hours , till we reached the chatru Dhaba . I disembarked for a break. A group of yellow flowers attracted me , so did a old Bridge far away





Our driver was asking passersby about the Chota Dhara , after he left Chatru he didn't speak even a single word. I was begining to wonder what the fuss is all about . After a while we reached the big water crossing , it seemed an entire river was flowing on the road . The Chandra river below was also flowing with such intensity , felt it would wash away everything with it. The situation was very scary. One small car was stuck in the middle of the stream and the passengers had to push it to safety. This is why a SUV is required on these roads.



After crossing Chota dhara , our next stop was at Batal Dhaba, we had hot steaming noddles here .
Even the most upscale restaurant in town , won't have this view

The machines at work


The sun was setting , we still had a 100 kms to go . But right now I only thought about this beautiful sunset .


The owner of Batal Dhaba , ever smiling Cacha . He provides bed rolls for a cost of 100 INR, for tourists stuck in Chota Dhara. He also guided me to a camp where STD calls can be made using satellite phone.



It was getting darker after we crossed Batal


We were driving in complete darkness , till we witnessed the most amazing view. The moon rising behind the mountains . It was a full moon accompanied by a lone star . The whole mountain glittered in a silvery glow . My weariness subsided and was awestruck by this heavenly beauty. We stood at Kunzum Top at 8:45 PM.


Breathless , the winding roads-
Gasped at the Full Moon,
And Polaris at the night's edge,
Alone stood Kunzum in eerie silence
Her heart ravaged in Time's pillage.
Only sound heard is of wind's howl
And there breathless was my soul.


After that beautiful sight , we drove towards Losar . There I realised the expertise of our driver , Hosiar singh, he was driving at complete ease, he knows the roads like the back of his hand.
By the time we drove to Losar , it was almost 10 PM .
I put my horse at the stable and entered the motel. As I entered , from the corner of my eye I watched 2 ruffian looking man staring at me sitting close to the fire place. I walked to the fat lady at the counter and ordered beer . Just then i saw the ruffians harrasing the waitress, I pulled out my gun and bang bang , a gun fight started
Back to reality , the amiable owner of Losar Dhaba informed me , he could only serve Rajma chawl and mix vegetable. So, we ordered a plate each and had our belly full.
We were again driving the majestic landscape , though in darkness, the beauty was less evident. We crossed Rangrik , i saw Spiti Sarai , the hotel run by Ramesh Lotey. Our booking was with Kumphen Sakya abode in Kaza run by Mr. Tasering , We finally reached at about 11:45 PM , the manager was still awake, perhaps waiting for us. There was no power at Kaza , he showed us our room . The room was cosy and warm. After the long and tiring ride, I laid on bed and slept. Finally , I was in Spitiiiiii !!
Last edited by sindabad; Jul 2nd, 2016 at 11:44..
#17 Jul 2nd, 2016, 06:22
Join Date:
Feb 2015
Location:
delhi
Posts:
116
  • cookie110 is offline
#17
Beautiful
#18 Jul 2nd, 2016, 10:24
Join Date:
Dec 2008
Location:
NCR
Posts:
14,855
  • vaibhav_arora is offline
#18
Good going Himadri. Glad you enjoyed. Could you share the lens / camera combo used for these photos? I suspect an ultrawide. You've used it to maximum effect!
#19 Jul 2nd, 2016, 21:40
Join Date:
Aug 2011
Location:
NE
Posts:
543
  • sindabad is online now
#19
Contd after Day 2

Itinerary for the Day : Kaza- Ki - Kibber- Kaza

We woke up late , infact very late . I am an early riser but was sleeping like a piece of log after the tiresome journey last night , my whole body was paining from constant jerking like after a terrible horse ride.
The Hotel, Kumphen sakya abode was located adjacent to the Kaza monastery . I could hear the prayer chants and slow ringing of bells from my bedroom.
Finally we got ready at approx 10-30 am for Ki monastery.
As we went passed sakya abode , we were greeted with this beautiful picture of clouds play.

And another one..


The Bridge to Rangrik


The first view of the Ki Monastery. It felt surreal .This is the sight I have been dreaming for months now. The Ki Monastery has invariably become the most iconic monument to represent Spiti.



As we reached Ki monastery , there is a still a elevated way up leading to the Monastery . This was the first time I felt the lack of enough oxygen, had to stop at short steps to regain breathe.
The history of the monastery inscripted outside the Monastery
Name:  IMG_0035.jpg
Views: 317
Size:  92.2 KB

The view from the Monastery was something to die for :



Once inside the monastery, went to the terrace . The entire valley was visible





The sun was beating down harsh and it was terribly hot outside . But once inside the monstery chambers , it was cold.
The young monk called us inside for a cup of tea . The herbal tea was refreshing and I asked for a second help. We donated few bucks for the monastery.

Prayer candles :

The flask they used here in spiti, similar flask I have seen in Ladakh also:
Name:  IMG_0075.jpg
Views: 326
Size:  35.5 KB

It was afternoon , Lunch time for the monks. All the youngsters gathered for lunch with utensils and water:


After that I walked to the furthest end of the monastery to get a different perspective of the Monstery.

I also shot a Time lapse video of the clouds play over the monastery , the result I am yet to see.
#20 Jul 2nd, 2016, 22:29
Join Date:
Feb 2015
Location:
delhi
Posts:
116
  • cookie110 is offline
#20
Amazing

Sent from my LS-5014 using Tapatalk

Moderator Note:

Please go to your tapatalk settings and disable the default signature. Thank you.
#21 Jul 2nd, 2016, 22:34
Join Date:
Aug 2011
Location:
NE
Posts:
543
  • sindabad is online now
#21
From Ki Monastery we drove to Kibber village , which was formerly the highest motorable village and now ranked the second highest village. Kibber was only 4-5 km away from Ki .
The constant walking and may be the late afternoon sun, made me completely famished . We found just the right place at Kibber - Hotel Tashi Zom , which served us delicious lunch . They also offer rooms for homestay . Our driver informed us that almost all the houses in Kibber offer homestays that is given on sequencial basis. I found a large Map of Goa donning the Hotel wall. I was pleasantly surprised and asked the manager what is it doing here 14,000 ft above sea level. He told me he spends the winter in Goa and summer in spiti . What a lucky guy!!
Name:  IMG_0114.jpg
Views: 325
Size:  92.9 KB

After a heavy lunch , we lazily strolled the village roads. But instead of going towards the houses. I went up the fields where women of the village were ploughing , they grow mostly peas here. Peas grown here is sold at a very high price in the market. This phenomenon of women only working in the fields was little surprising to me . If its a norm or an exception , I am yet to understand.

Another biker making his way to Kibber :


Women ploughing the fields , back drop a mountain peak.



We greeted the women folks of the village " Julley" and walked up the step fields. People here work very hard during summer months and store food grains for the winter .During Summer they hardly get time to talk , winters are the time when they socialize and celebrate. We walked past them and reached a spot where there were a wild growth of flowers. I laid on the grass there , the sun was playing hide and seek , a gentle breeze was blowing , the sun light was not harsh any longer rather it enveloped in a comfortable coat diffused by the clouds. I laid on my back sideways and watched the villagers doing the daily chores and felt what a paradise ! what a Idyllic life!

Wild flowers fleeting in the breeze





Hard working village women and kibber village in the background





We returned from Kibber at approx 4-30 PM.
#22 Jul 2nd, 2016, 22:55
Join Date:
Aug 2011
Location:
NE
Posts:
543
  • sindabad is online now
#22
Contd.. Day 3

We reached our hotel at approx 5-30 PM and there was still lot of daylight left. So, instead of going to our rooms , we decided to walk to the monastery next door. It was a relatively new monastery with an open compound and a modern looking hostel for the monks. The land for the monastery was donated by Tasering's father , the owner of the Sakya abode. Spending a few mintues within the monastery , listening to the prayers and bells ringing can rejuvenate one's mind.




After that we decided to explore the kaza market which is 10 mintues walk from the monastery. We wandered aimlessly in the market , shot whatever I could focus on , bargained with the antique dealer without any true intention of buying, had authentic hand made thukpa and mutton momos and sweetened it with freshly cooked syrupy hot jalebis. On our return , witnessed a beautiful sunset over the old Kaza town.

Name:  IMG_0236.jpg
Views: 321
Size:  96.3 KB

Name:  IMG_0240.jpg
Views: 325
Size:  92.8 KB

Name:  IMG_0243.jpg
Views: 318
Size:  37.7 KB

#23 Jul 2nd, 2016, 23:05
Join Date:
Jun 2015
Location:
Bangalore
Posts:
176
  • SayanBanerjee is offline
#23
There should have been an option to like every photo individually. Which camera and lenses did you use?
#24 Jul 2nd, 2016, 23:57
Join Date:
Dec 2005
Location:
Mumbai, India
Posts:
3,662
  • shahronakm is offline
#24
Lovely pictures & write up. Waiting for more.

Ronak.
#25 Jul 3rd, 2016, 01:15
Join Date:
Dec 2008
Location:
In the land of awesomeness
Posts:
31,289
  • aarosh is offline
#25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SayanBanerjee View Post There should have been an option to like every photo individually.
You can do that by going to his gallery.
#26 Jul 3rd, 2016, 10:37
Join Date:
Aug 2011
Location:
NE
Posts:
543
  • sindabad is online now
#26
[QUOTE=shahronakm;1971552]Lovely pictures & write up. Waiting for more.

Ronak.[/QUOTE

Thanks Ronak
#27 Jul 3rd, 2016, 10:41
Join Date:
Aug 2011
Location:
NE
Posts:
543
  • sindabad is online now
#27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SayanBanerjee View Post There should have been an option to like every photo individually. Which camera and lenses did you use?
Thanks sayan.. I use canon UWA 10-18 , sigma 18-250 , canon 50 mm prime.
#28 Jul 11th, 2016, 22:09
Join Date:
Aug 2011
Location:
NE
Posts:
543
  • sindabad is online now
#28

Om mani Padme Hum

I have never been overtly religious but in India it is not easy to escape spirituality . This is the land where spirituality flows in its air around sacred mountains , sacred rivers and Holy beings. One mountain that has always been contrived in such mystery , myth and spirituality is the Himalaya. As mentioned in Hindu religious texts , Himalaya is the abode of Shiva,in Mahabharata the Pandavas choose Himalayas for their journey towards Heaven . Buddhism being philosophically connected to Hinduism in so many ways, it was not unlikely that Himalayas would influence Buddhism as well . Tibetan Buddhism , a form of Buddhism is practiced in the high reaches on the Indian side of Himalayas. The monasteries of Dhankar and Tabo are a few of the surviving testimonials that preserves the religious texts and a slice of that culture.


Our Itinerary for the day : Dhankar – Dhankar Lake- Tabo .


We checked out of Kunphen sakya abode after a heavy breakfast . It was evident by then that our driver Hosiar singh is tasked to drive us from point A to point B. Whenever a good photography site came , he always suggested that a better spot laid way ahead which unfortunately never came. To stop him , sometime I had to coerce him or show fake assertion , rest of the time had to resign to my fate.
The topography has changed drastically , we crossed mountains which seemed to me gigantic rock formation due to erosion .


We stopped at a point where the road bifurcates to Lalung village but I was more keen to hike to Dhankar lake , so to save time continued driving towards Dhankar. After a while , the Dhankar fort was visible from the road. The placement of the fort on top of a vertical rock is truly awe inspiring.
I wanted to visit the fort , so our driver dropped me at the path leading to the Fort . I thought he would wait, but he was more keen to drive straight to the monastery .
- “ There is a road from the Fort to the Monastery . You will like it “ He told me.

I believed him and started to walk . This was the first time , I was toiling in the spitian thin air and after a few steps got a heady feeling. I stopped to breathe and looked at the migrant workers laboring at some construction site. I continued to stride forward and reached the Fort . It is in completely dilapidated state but in its glory days must have been a grand site to view .



I climbed up a rickety ladder and reached the roof of the Fort. The Dhankar monastery both the old and new and the entire valley was visible.



Climbing down feels more strenuous than climbing up , the path was almost vertical and I felt like falling on my face with nothing to support. I moved with timid steps much to the humor of the local people. They kept telling me “ sir , you will not fall , walk properly”


After 10-15 mins the ordeal was over and I found proper steps to walk and reunited with my wife . Together we went inside the Old Dhankar monastery. Dhankar literally means “ Fort on a cliff” and said to be 1000 years old. It is also listed in 100 endangered monuments as the monastery is in the risk of collapsing.



View from the monastery


Inside the Monastery :




An NGO is working on the conservation of the monastery , we made donation to the lamaji


Poor fellow !! surprised to see a stuffed animal inside monastery
#29 Jul 11th, 2016, 23:37
Join Date:
Aug 2011
Location:
NE
Posts:
543
  • sindabad is online now
#29
We drove to the Dhankar Monastery guest house for a quick snack. The view of the Monastery and the fort from the GH was spectacular.



After , I was keen to trek to the Dhankar Lake located on the other side of the village. There is a village trail upto the lake ,it took me half an hour to reach the end of the road , then I became confused among the three trails that were visible. Instinctively , I took the trail taken by a couple with a kid ahead of me i.e the left most path. After walking for 5 mins , i reached the end of the road , ahead of me stood almost a vertical ascend of loose pebbles . I looked ahead and saw the couple going steady and seemed to know what they are doing. I braced myself to the climbing but it became extremely difficult with tripod in my hand. After 30-40 mins of ascending , i came to a point where there was an abandoned house with prayer flags . There I met the couple . I was hoping that they would tell me how the lake looked, But unfortunately , they were descending as the route became extremely difficult with a kid. I dejectedly looked at them go away . I have been dreaming of the Dhankar lake and reflections of snow peaks for long, so I was not willing to give up yet. I pushed myself for another half an hour and sat on a rock , I looked back and suddenly I felt completely alone. The downward path looked extremely dangerous and slippery. After thinking pragmatically , I made a difficult decision to retreat . It took me another half an hour to descend to the old house . The grand view of the Dhankar monastery and the village was some consolation.



After some walking , sliding and bruises on my hands and knee , I descended on the village path . There I met a monk who told me that the path on the right hand most extreme is the actual route to the lake . But it also needs some amount of vertical ascent. I reached the Dhankar Guest House almost heart broken and without much delay started for Tabo.
The path from Dhankar to Tabo was very beautiful but I completely lost interest in the landscape. We reached Tabo by 5 PM , we didn't had a prior booking in Tabo. We went to Hotel Tiger Den first but it was fully occupied . The owner took us to another guest house run by him " Tashi Khangsar". We immediately loved the place, its a budget accommodation surrounded by apple orchard , it was also at the end of the road , so no other construction was obstructing the view.

The main temple closes at 5 o clock in the evening , we were already late for the visit.
After lunch at the hotel , we went to explore Tabo town , we also went to see the Tabo Monastery and relaxed at the Temple complex . The Main Temple opens at 9 AM in the morning , I was impatient to have a view of the exquisite paintings for which Tabo is often called " The Ajanta of the Himalayas"

We were walking on ancient land and a piece of history , sometimes it is very hard to believe:


The mud walls of the Monastery :



The Old monastery, the mud chorten and a glimpse of the New goldenchorten at the background , reflective of the ancient and the modern. Tabo still exists.

#30 Jul 12th, 2016, 00:01
Join Date:
Jun 2012
Location:
New Delhi
Posts:
747
  • rajatchakraborty is offline
#30
At dhankar, lamaji asked us to go to the terrace one by one, the floor was quite unstable. Hope they strengthen the main structure.
I am revisiting spiti through your travelogue, and great photographs..
Reply

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Kinnaur Spiti trip report Mar 28th, 2017 02:04 15 2172 Himachal Pradesh
Spiti Trip Report Oct 1st, 2014 21:45 4 1811 Himachal Pradesh
Trip report from Spiti Valley (June 2010) Jun 13th, 2013 12:05 13 4795 Himachal Pradesh
Trip report - Spiti - Kinnaur - Lahaul Oct 11th, 2008 20:31 2 3218 Himachal Pradesh
Trip Report: Manali to Shimla via Lahaul and Spiti May 5th, 2008 16:03 8 3652 Kullu and Manali


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success