I sit in the shivering cold, but million stars warm my heart,
I wander miles across the mountains, but my feet are too excited to give up
I lay in the wild flowers as the clouds above dance a melody,
Even earth knows, this is where heaven comes down!

Spiti is beautiful beyond words. It’s a land sans belief. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, it’s a destination that demands your time, perseverance and curiosity. Geographically connected to Leh-Ladakh; its landscape changes at every turn. It’s not the lush green mountains you would have imagined but a barren brown scape that’s overwhelming and overpowering. Amidst the nothingness and the snow horizons is however a life that will make you re-think the way you live.

Spiti is definitely not a place if you are looking for a relaxing vacation. Just to reach your destination, you will need to drive through one of the most treacherous terrains on this planet. While our deep heartfelt thanks go out to the Border Roads Organization (BRO), vehicles on this part of the world are at the mercy of nature. Things like shooting stones (landslides/rockslides) and the rise in water levels along the mountain roads is common, so much so that you need to stick to a schedule to be able to cross a certain pass. Drivers here are so adept at their job that you would come close to death by an inch along the steep ridges and yet be able to gasp out in wonder!

Photo Credits: Chandratal, Spiti
Photo Credits: Tabo Monastery

But that’s not the only thing you need to prepare for. In places like Chandratal, the night temperature in the summers can go down to a minus five degree or lower! Not that you can skip Chandratal either! It’s too beautiful to not lay your eyes on it!

Lastly, be ready for a lot of walking and breathlessness! You cannot window-shop Spiti…you just can’t!

I have always adored the mountains but this was something completely overwhelming. Here are some of the moments I tried justifying with my camera and my eagerness for more!

Here’s the route we followed:

Chandigarh – Sangla – Kalpa – Tabo – Mud Village – Kaza – Manali – back home for flashbacks!

Photo credit: Madhumay Mallik. Banner Left: Nako Village. Spiti; Banner Center: Sangla Monastery; Banner Right: Pin Valley, Spiti For further details see: http://madhumaymallik.com/2018/07/02/spiti/