Spiti Trip July-2012: A Photolouge.


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I travelled Leh during August 2009. It was a very old dream.

How old? Well, I was aware of some region named Ladakh (90s) but never came across any pics.

During 1998 I got a chance to watch Dil Se Movie. Leh and surrounding area were amazingly captured in this movie. I decided then and there in the theatre that I want to visit this place. It was 1998 and I got a chance to visit Leh during 2009.

It took me 9 years to fulfil my dream.

During my 2009 Leh trip, I came to know About Spiti and Kinnaur region. A tribal belt in Himachal Pradesh with High Tibetan influence.

After my Leh trip, I came back to my routine life. First thing I did was google Spiti & I got bellow image as the first search result. Key Monastery.


Photo Courtsey: Google/www.cntraveller.in

How could I ignore this stunning place? So during 2010 I decided to Visit Spiti-Kinnaur & Lahual Region. It took me 2 years to materialize this trip. Finally, during July 2012 was able to visit This Amazing Region.

PS. Oral Permission to upload pics at Social media/ Forums were taken from Locals. All the photographs were taken after prior permission from locals.
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This trip was taken during July 2012 so I won’t be able to narrate it in details. It is been 5 years, but I remember many things. I”ll try to share as much as I can.

But, this will be a photologue, where Photographs will do the talking.

Thanks! BCMTouring for providing an amazing platform to share these old travel stories. Because of BCMT, these photographs came out of that External Hard disk.

Some Teasers:


Kids At Rakcham Village.


Somewhere on road en route Sangla.


After Rangrik Village.


Kunzum Pass.

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Night Stay At Shimla-Kufri.

We were a group of 5 people who were travelling to Spiti. Our plan was to reach Delhi and hire a vehicle to reach Shimla. For journey after Shimla, we were in touch with a Taxi guy with his sumo. We were going to explore Spiti, Lahaul and Kinnaur by a hired Sumo. The plan was to start our journey from Shimla / Kufri and end it at Manali.

I don’t remember date wise details. Our night stay was planned at Kufri, Sarahan, Rakcham, Kalpa, Tabo, Kaza(two nights), Keylong( two nights) & Manali.

We hired a Tempo Traveler to reach Shimla-Kufir which was our starting point at 365+12 km from Delhi. It was a 9-hour drive and due to several Breakdowns and Traffic jams it took 14 hours to reach Kufri, but it wasn’t a boring journey. Once you enter in the Himalayas, nothing is boring.

Out night stay was planned at one of the tent accommodation at Kufri. It was raining cats and dogs. We reached Kufri at 8 PM . Had our dinner and retired to our small but comfortable tents.


My Personal tent At Kufri.
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Journey Started.

Kufri is a small town located 13Km from Shimla. It used to be one the famous place for Skiing. As per owner of our tent accommodation, Skiing is now forgotten because of Potato farming.

After a nice & comfortable night stay at Kufri, We started our journey by a hired Sumo. Heavy rain and fog were limiting our visibility. We were travelling parallel to Satluj River. Our target was Sarahan Village 150Kms from Kufri.


We started from Kufri.


We started our journey by a hired Sumo with heavy rain and fog.


Finally, Rain stopped and we were greeted by amazing views and Satluj river.


We were driving parallel to Satluj River. As per our driver, Satluj is one of the fastest flowing rivers in the world.
Yes, It was due to narrow passages and stiff slopes.


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Stop at Rampur Baisher Village.

After Kufri, our first tea stop was at Rampur Baisher Village. A small but commercially important Village. We spent some half hour here. We met some locals talked about their lifestyle.

At Rampur, We were welcomed by Snow capped mountains of Srikhand mountain Range.


Dhaba owner at Rampur village.


Folk music players at Rampur village. They came back after a marriage.


Srikhand Mountian Range.
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At Sarahan Village.

We reached Sarahan Village at 4 PM. Sarahan is a quite small town built into the hillside with spectacular views all around at Mountain Range at 7100 feet. The town is known as the gateway of Kinnaur.

It is also well known for “Bhimakali Temple”. A beautiful multistoried structured building, a fusion of Hindu and Buddhist architecture.

We checked in at Dharamshala of Bhimakali temple and started exploring the village. We visited some local houses, a palace and witnessed an amazing sunset on the mountains of Srikhand Mountian range.

Our night stay was at Bhimakali Dharmashala, which was on the campus of the temple. We were out of campus searching for a wine shop. We bought some Vodka and when we came back at 8 Pm, doors were closed. We had to bang that door to get the attention of caretakers. We had some vodka at Daharmashala, had amazing food and called it a day.


At Sarahan Village.


Ancient, but Well maintained Bhimakali Temple Dharamshala.


Small, but beautiful Sarahan Village.


A local house at Sarahan.


"Sarahan Palace" is home of Royal Family, who used to come here to worship at "Bhimkali Mata"


Bhimakali Temple, a fusion of Hindu and Buddhist architecture.


Bhimakali Temple, a fusion of Hindu and Buddhist architecture.


Yours Truly at Bhimakali Temple.

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To the "Land of God"...

We had an amazing night stay at Bhimakali Dharamshala, Sarahan. After a late breakfast we started for our next destination.

Rakchham crossing Sangla Valley.

We were going towards Kinnaur, also known as "Land of God". It is known for its serenity and beauty of the lush green and rocky mountainscape having Satluj, Baspa and Spiti river snaking through it. the stories of Pandavas and their link with Kinnaur is a great attraction.

There was a small temple on the road to Sangla, named “Durga Temple”. Surperinslgly, there was Gujarati priest. He was very happy to see a Gujarati group at that place. He welcomed us. He was at this temple from last 11 years and well known in Sangla area as “ Barfani Baba.” We spent one hour with him, listing to his stories and shared his smoke. "baba ji ki butti"

Roads to Kinnaur was in amazing condition with some breathtaking views.


We started from Sarahan.


Durga temple with a Gujarati Priest & his two-storeyed house.


I shared his smoke. It is good that my parents are not at BCMT.


At Durga Temple.


Jaypee Dam on Satluj river.


Amazing roads.


Approaching Kinnaur.

Welcome to Kinnaur

Kinnaur is in the northeast corner of Himachal Pradesh, having the three high mountains ranges i.e. Zanskar, the Himalayas and Dhauladhar, enclosing valleys of Sutlej, Spiti, Baspa and their tributaries.

The people have strong culture and beliefs generally follow the Buddhism and Hinduism, believing the Pandavas came and resided in the land while in the exile. In the ancient mythology, the people of Kinnaur are known as Kinners, the halfway between men and gods. Thousands year old monasteries still exist in the area. (taken from Net).


Wel come!

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Sangla Valley...

We were approaching Sangla Valley. Sangla Valley is located in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful valleys in the country. In Tibetan, the term Sangala means “pass of light”

We crossed one of the gateways of Kinnaur. A road carved out of a big rock. This and this kind of images attracted me to Spiti.

After some time we were at a small Sangla village.We stopped for a while and moved ahead to reach out next destination Rakchham.


The gateway of Kinnaur.


Sangla Valley.


Close up of snow cladded mountain.


One more Closeup.