Seven Spitified Days
Known for its spectacular views and undisturbed natural beauty, Buddhist monasteries and Tibetan culture, Spiti is a destination for trekkers, hikers - only the string hearted. The experience at Spiti Valley can be best described through Rudyard Kipling's words, “Surely the Gods must live here, this is no place for men.”.
Spitify Day 1:
After spending a night at the most peaceful location in Manali, I set out for a new adventure early morning next day. It was going to be a long journey, but I somehow knew the mountains won't disappoint me. Driving through the Rohtang La, savouring those inviting views, eating rajma-chaaval at Chacha chachi dhaba with that goddamn backdrop, ah my inner traveller never felt that blessed!
So after an adventurous ride through the bumpiest of roads, the middle-land welcomed me with a smile!
If Himachal is an oyster, Spiti would be a pearl in it! Yes, the middle-land is a world away from the world which we live in.
Unalloyed air, breath-taking vistas (LITERALLY) , pin-drop silence and the most important thing, beautiful smiles. Every kid on my way gave me a smile which I couldn't return back. Ah, the innocence I would melt for!
Finally I reached Kaza (the administrative capital of Spiti) to the colourful hues in the sky post sunset. My hotel (Spiti Sarai) is set up midst surreal landscapes.
Ending today's day by writing this down and awaiting for a new day! Good Night!
Spitify Day 2:
Julley! Today began a bit late, thanks to the breathless last night. (I swear the views did that to me!) :p
Post sumptuous breakfast, I headed out for some record-breaking travel! Okay, so are you ready to listen? Driving through those winding roads, I reached Langza where a huge Buddha statue amidst the mighty hills awaited me. There, I experienced my first northern rains. Ah, those heavenly droplets settling on my face at a height of 4000meters; it was blissful!
Komic, a village which is the world's highest village connected with motorable road. Posed for a picture with that board and had Maggi & chai to the majestic Himalayan setting!
Post that, I was amazed at the thought of visiting the world's highest post office (some record breaking, isn’t it?) in Hikkim. In the world of technology, imagine sending a postcard to someone! Yes that's what Spiti does to people, it brings them closer to the world by such things. So a man named Karim Cherin who heads that post office explained about its working and I wrote a postcard to my Maa and Paa who were miles away from me in Mumbai. Ah, I hope that lil gesture brings a smile on their face (after 12 days tho)! This was definitely the highlight of my day 2 in the middle- land! Ended my day by shopping some souvenirs at Kaza market! Time for some delicious dinner and a good night's sleep. Julley!
Spitify Day 3:
Julley! Meandering past the majestic mountains, I reach Mudh the last village of that area.
Basically, for brunch, Tara café located at a quaint corner caught my eyes. Maggi, hot chocolate and Momos made it to the menu. The mugs which they served, I could steal them all. So I jokingly asked the kid who was serving the food about where do they get such intriguing mugs from. He answered with a cheeky smile: "Madam bazaar se". I went all whoa by that sarcastic reply and I couldn't stop laughing. Like you know how much I love kids, so I finally got a chance to mingle with some cute brats and click photos in exchange of chocolates. I could adopt them all!
Moving ahead, I was totally not bored with the barren mountainous terrain, but a green pasture in Pin valley made me stop to admire it's beauty! So here I met the cutest dog who was as excited to greet me as the Spitians. He was going all cute over me by wiggling its tail, showing love and not leaving my side until I got back in my car. Unconditional love is what people call it!
That's all of the story for today.
THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TODAY WILL BE THE STARLIT SKY. YES IT'S FINALLY CLEAR AFTER THOSE GODDAMN CLOUDY DAYS. AND YES I AM NOT GONNA SLEEP TONIGHT! It's such a heavenly view oooo oo!
Spitify Day 4:
Morning began by paying visit to one of the oldest monasteries in Tabo (996). It's inside a cave like structure- so serene, so pure. Mesmerized! Post sumptuous brunch, I headed to a small village named Dhankar, a mountain land with a lake atop. My companions decided to trek up the hill, where as I stayed back in the village. After spending some time at Dhankar monastery and chatting with the monk, I started to wander around and found a pretty spot for some book-reading. (Above picture) Well I didn't know someone resides here; opening the gate I sat on the stairs reading to the beautiful view; with wind being my only companion, I needed nothing more. But Spiti has something more to offer, so when I was lost in another world there appeared a man who opened the door right next to me and gave me a huge surprising smile. "Julley!"We said to each other. After discussing each others livelihood, he then offered me chai. I'm not a tea person but I just couldn't refuse to his sweet offer. And I am so happy that I agreed cos that was the best chai I've ever had. (No exaggeration)
I am in awe of the people here! Kindness adds up a little to each day spent in this middle-land!
Spitify Day 5:
Every time I leave a place, I leave behind a part of myself there. It was time that I left the beautiful Kaza for my onward journey. Driving past curvy roads, I reached Key village, home to the oldest monastery: Key Monastery! Perched above the hill in a postcard- picture setting, it took me by my mind! Mingling with monks, admiring their hospitality (offered mindblowing herbal tea), playing with kids, feeling at peace that has become a routine. Moving ahead I left for Kibber, another village nearby Key. My afternoon was spent hiking up a nearby hill and savouring best of the views. It was worth my effort! Coming back to my homestay, dead tired waiting for some Manchurian and rice dinner! Caught up with some local mumbaikars at supper and exchanged travel stories, thus ending my second last day in Spiti.
Spitify Day 6:
The moon shaped lake awaits me today. Driving past the picturesque landscapes from Batal, I reach the campsite at Chandrataal in the afternoon. Unfortunately the tents are set up on another hill as you are not allowed to camp just near the lake. I head to hike up 3kms to witness that gem of a lake from the vantage point. Later, taking a downhill route towards Chandrataal, I spent some time admiring its pristine beauty and dipped my feet into its crystal clear water. No you are not allowed to take a plunge in that freezing lake! I know it’s hard to resist your inside swimmer, but trust me the mere sight of it will keep you busy for hours. Nights in the Himalayas are the most magical you will ever sleep to. Gazing into the abyss, spotting the band of stars, wanting no way out of this gravity. I wish a good night to my last stay in the Middle Land.
Spitify Day 7:
Rugged mountains, alluring skies, demystified land – Oh I’m Spitified!
-Written by Twinkle Motta