Yes!!! We are finally SPITIed.
Spiti Valley is a trans-himalayan, cold desert region located in the north-eastern part of Indian state of Himachal Pradesh offering only scenic landscapes and nothing else. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”, i.e. the land between Tibet and India and Spiti River adds life and charm to this Himalayan Valley.
Every sight in each direction is so pristine and serene that you feel stunned and amazed every moment. This part of world is cut off from world for 4-6 months in a year and infamous for tough traveling conditions. Every turn calls for highest order of driving and maneuvering skills on these roads. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”, i.e. the land between Tibet and India which was described by Rudyard Kipling in his book Kim as “a world within a world” and “a place where god lives.”
After an inspiring self-drive up to Kinnaur Valley last year, Spiti Valley was on high priority for us. Literally we planned meticulously for this trip and finally on 26th September 2015, early morning I left for this dream road trip with my companion for life – my wife. It was indeed one of those once in a life time journeys that we finally embarked upon with a mix feeling of apprehension and high expectation.
We travelled for 1800KM in 8 days and roughly 500KM were on NO TARMAC road and for miles and miles there was indeed no road. We drove on one of the most dangerous road of the world, crossed treacherous water streams, attentively meandered along rivers like Satluj, Spiti, Pin, Chandra and Beas, watched best golden hour landscapes, traversed thru Rohtang and Kunzume passes, visited highest village of the Asia and prayed inside few of the oldest monasteries of the world and camped at 4500 mt in freezing -6 degree temperature near Chandrataal. While on road in Spiti, shades of mountain, vibrancy of sky, pebbled river bed, endless roads made us feel as if Tolkien’s Middle-Earth (Endor) in Lords of the Rings was this Middle-Land Spiti.
The barrenness of the mountains characterized by the umpteen shades of brown, black, grey, orange, green makes this region of the world most scenic. As you enter from fruit-abounding, full of green Kinnaur Valley to treeless, road less, people-less and oxygen less Spiti Valley, you see unbelievable, unimaginable aspects of natural beauty.
We drove edge to edge, detoured to worst ever route to Chandratal, crossed notorious Pangi nallah and living the words of Robert Frost every moment in Spiti Valley. It indeed was travelling on the road least travelled and now when we are back to Delhi we realized that it had made all the difference in true sense.
So, for now, I will let the photographs do the talking. More detailed posts to come soon.
Oh! Spiti, I am in love with you. Dying to be in your embrace again and again!