Unforgettable Spiti: A Photo Essay

Dhangkar Monastery

“You have to see Spiti to actually believe what it feels like, and then, hopefully try and relive those memories”, says Bharath Moro, who travelled to Spiti a few months back. He has explored this valley multiple times, falling in love with its mountains, tracking snow leopards and gazing at the night sky.

Here, he shares some of his thoughts and experiences from Spiti through this photo journal (by the way, Bharath is also leading a trip to Spiti this August. Interested in joining him? Then CLICK HERE for more information):  

The first thing you notice when you enter Spiti is the sky.

Spiti sky

To get there, you need to drive through some impossible roads, including the NH22 (formerly the Hindustan—Tibet Road), one of the world’s most treacherous roads. It winds its way above and on the banks of the Sutlej for a good part of length. It takes all the skill and experience of a good driver to navigate it.

Drive to Spiti. NH-22

The entire valley is dotted with small and beautiful villages. At the edge of Spiti and Kinnaur lies Nako, one of the more prosperous ones in the area. With wide terraces available, the village grows two to three crops of wheat, potato and green peas a year.

Nako village. Farms.

With less than 15,000 people in the whole of the district, Spiti is amongst the remotest and least inhabited places in India. This means that the spectacular winding roads make it a great choice for long, quiet walks. Crime is unheard of in the valley so it is utterly safe to walk for great distances alone.

Roads of Spiti

Dhangkar Monastery is nearly a 1000 years old and is among the oldest such institutions in the world. It sits precariously on a spur of limestone that is slowly eroding. Conservation efforts are underway through UNESCO to preserve this unique monastery.

Dhangkar Monastery

Above Dhangkar lies the beautiful village of Demul, frequently the site for the annual Namkan festival. Celebrated to mark the harvest, this occasion calls for everyone to dress up, including the men. The women gather around in a circle and to the accompaniment of big drums sway and do a gentle dance.

Namkan at Demul, Spiti

Adjacent to the Spiti Valley, is the Pin Valley which gets its name from the river Pin that carves it into two. It is even more remote than Spiti and has some spectacularly beautiful trekking paths that overlook picturesque villages.

Pin Valley

The people of Spiti are warm, friendly and extremely hospitable. No matter when you decide to say hello, they will always welcome you to their home and make you a fresh cup of tea. If you are adventurous, you can even ask them to substitute yak milk for the normal 🙂

Spiti home, tea

At the other edge of Spiti lies the imposing Kunzum Pass. Prayer flags flutter at a height of 4590 mtrs above sea level. The pass connects the Kullu and Lahaul valleys to Spiti and is an essential stop for all travellers coming from Manali.

Kunzum pass

Not far from the Kunzum pass lies the serene waters of the Chandrataal lake. Named so because of its crescent shape, the lake is fed by vast glaciers. The lake and its surrounding wetlands are rich in wildlife and home to some rare high-altitude Himalayan birds.

Chandartal Lake

By the time you leave Spiti, the last thing you’ll notice is the sky.

Spiti Sky

To know more about Spiti, watch this interview of Bharath talking about his experiences there:

Spiti interview

“You have to see it to actually believe what it feels like, and then, hopefully try and relive those memories. ” ~ Bharath Moro on exploring Spiti. Watch this interview and click here for more: http://byd.tl/2sJml9b

Posted by Byond Travel on Friday, June 23, 2017

 

Are you looking to get away from the urban chaos and spend a week surrounded by fresh air, calm landscapes, beautiful skies and friendly people? Then, Spiti is the place for you. Join us this August to walk among mountains, spot galaxies, hear calming prayers from monasteries and camp under the Himalayan sky. CLICK HERE for more details.

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