Its exciting when a trip starts with a problem. On our way from Kullu to Spiti, as soon as we crossed Rohtang Pass, our bus was caught in a landslide for an hour. I couldn't resist taking a picture at sunrise of the beautiful mountain range despite our problems.
Luck had taken a hike in the beautiful mountains. Our bus had three flat tires and couldnt continue up the bumpy ride anymore. After being stranded for an hour, we hitched a ride with a passing tempo. Bless his soul, he took us to a dhaba where we washed our troubles down with delicious food.
The tempo dropped us off at Kaza. From Kaza, we took the only bus for the day to our next destination, Kibber. We met some interesting travel companions from Kibber and Chicham villages on the bus that leaves Kaza at 8am.
Kibber is located at a height of 4250m and is around 18kms from Kaza. The village has 80 houses made of stone and is the highest village in the world to be connected by motor road.
We got a chance to roam around in the streets of Kibber. This sparsely populated village doesnt see much activity through the day. We spotted this old soul walking home.
We see a woman deep in prayer in a small temple in the village. In contrast to the cold monotones outside, the inside of the temples and houses are adorned by bright colors.
At temperatures as low as -10ºC, it is difficult to get warm. Localities can be seen walking around the village wrapped in layers to beat the cold.
The spectacular monastery is located at an height of 4116m and 7 km from Kaza. It is the largest monastery in Spiti Valley. Established in the 11th century has ancient Buddhist scrolls and paintings. It also houses large number of Buddhist monks and nuns and a cafeteria.
A man observes the monks as they serve tea to the visitors of the monastery.
The monks invite you into their cozy kitchens to warm your shivering body and calm your racing heart, after the hike up the monastery. The herbal tea served in the cafe works like magic to revitalize you.
I was privileged enough to stay with a local family in Kibber. We made a little friend, Sonam, at Serkong Guest House run by the Dorje family. The terrain doesnt yield to playgrounds, hence, Sonam makes friends with every guest and her house is the playground.
A unique little habitat unknown to so many people. The only way of getting to this tiny town is a metal cage, the size of an apple crate that zip lines across the valley that lies between Kibber and Chicham.
Dhankar Village is the old capital of Spiti Valley. Home to a monastery long ago, Dhankar is shaped by the roads sweeping across the valley.
It is at an altitude of 3,894 metres (12,774 feet) above sea level. The daunting landscape is one of the many things that make Dhankar beautiful.
Chhering Palzor is the shepherd at Dhankar. He takes all the sheep from the village, almost 300, to graze and drink everyday. In the evening he herds them back to the village and every sheep goes back to its respective house.
The flock of sheep graze on the field in front of the village where there are hills where tourists can trek or just enjoy the beautiful view of the lake and the hills.
Like the sheep, at the end of the day the children in the village flock to their mothers, their laughter ringing in the air.
A lady carried her child and a couple of wax candles to light at the Dhankar Gompa at sunset. The locals still visit the old monastery even though all the monks have moved on.
We saw a beautiful display of the Milky Way, in all its glory at night. The view was a world apart. Reflecting on memories like these makes us realise our place in the grand scheme of things.