Chenab & Spiti: Touch & Go | Photo Blog | June 2017

After my Trek to Bhrigu Lake , my interest in trekking started to grow. During some literature research on the history of trekking in Indian Himalayas, I came across a book “Spiti: Adventures in the Trans-Himalayas” by the legendary Indian mountaineer Sh. Harish Kapadia. Earlier, for me the word ‘Spiti’ was just the name of a district(Lahaul and Spiti) in Himachal, but now after reading this book everything changed.

This story is about my journey from Dharamshala to Manali to Kaza to Manali and how a two day trekking plan lasted for a week. So here it begins…

22nd June 2017: I was in McLeodganj, back from Triund. For the 3rd time in 2017, I was visiting Triund. It is the best place for a weekend trek from Delhi.

Plan was to go back to New Delhi from the evening bus. So I decided to visit the ‘Namgyal Monastery’ and ‘Bhansunag’ waterfall in McLeodganj.

Namgyal Monastery and Bhasunag Waterfall !

Here is the twist: When I am chilling at the waterfall, my friends Prem and Gaurav called me and said that they were interested in going to Kaza. It seemed to be a good idea… and we all agreed.

I took a late night bus from Dharamshala to Manali which was coming from Amritsar. They also booked their seats in Delhi to Manali Bus and at 7am on 23rd June we were in Manali.

23rd June 2017: We decided to stay in Manali on 23rd. Two main reasons for this choice were: 1. We were tired because of night travelling. 2. Before going to high altitude proper acclimatization is mandatory to reduce the risk of getting AMS(Acute Mountain Sickness).

Getting to Kaza in spiti valley from Manali is difficult… considering the public transport, there is only one bus which leaves early morning, So the alternate option is to go in a shared taxi.

24th June 2017: We booked a shared taxi on 23rd evening and left Manali for Kaza at 5 am on 24th.

And as the sun went over the horizon… We were able to see the mighty Himalayas.

On the hairpin bends of Gulaba, we were able to see first glimpse of the seven sisters mountain group and the mighty ‘Hanuman Tibba’.

And as the altitude increased, Hanuman Tibba became more clear. Now we were en-route Rohtang La after crossing gulaba, and the Himalayan beauty started to lure mediocre minds.

Get Ready for something which can’t be describe in words…

Somewhere on Rohtang La.

Getting down from Rohtang La.

After crossing Rohtang La, we reached Gramphu, from here the road differentiates. The left one goes to Keylong (the Leh-Manali Highway) and the right one goes to Kaza (the Gramphu Batal Kaza Highway).

Somewhere between Chhatru and Batal…

Approaching Batal…

From Batal towards Kunjum La

Kunjum La | 4590m

Welcome to spiti… At Losar, 14 km after Kunjum Pass

25th June 2017 | New day new landscape…

Planned to visit ‘Key Monastery’ and Kibber village.

Key Gompa ✔

यह फोटो लेना तो बनता ही था ! Magnificent !

Monks and Cricket !

Kaza from the banks of spiti river…

Spiti Valley ✔

3 days are certainly not enough… How about 10 days? a month ? an year ? Believe me. If you really want to explore the mountains, even a lifetime is less. Spiti Part-2 awaits…

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” — John Muir

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