Spiti Travelogue: Introduction

An unfor­get­table jour­ney to the Himalayas

In October/November 2000, I under­took a trip to the grand Himalayan Spi­ti val­ley in the north-east Indo-Tibetan bor­der of Himachal Pradesh, India. This was my fourth trip to North­ern India. On three ear­li­er occa­sions, I had been on trips to Jam­mu & Kash­mir, Badri­nath / Kedar­nath, and Nepal. How­ev­er, nev­er did I expe­ri­ence any­thing of the sort I did in this trip, because Lahaul and Spi­ti are a dif­fer­ent world alto­geth­er.

We were a group of 10 – Vidisha, my ex-wife, my friends Dhanan­jay and Bha­vana, Geetlekha and Mad­hukar and George and I. We also had two kids and their grand­moth­er with us. Mad­hukar, who is an avid trekker, and vis­its the Himalayas fre­quent­ly, mas­ter­mind­ed the trip.

Our ear­li­er planned route to approach Spi­ti was via the south­east from Shim­la, along the Sut­lej Riv­er. The planned way back was the more treach­er­ous route via the Kun­zam and Rohtang pass­es to Man­ali. While book­ing our jeeps, we dis­cov­ered that because of the Sut­lej floods, the Shim­la route was closed. The pos­si­bil­i­ty of snow­fall also threat­ened to close the Rohtang-Kun­zam route, hence we depart­ed with uncer­tain­ty of reach­ing our des­ti­na­tion, and remain­ing stuck in Man­ali. At the time how­ev­er, this did not mean much to Vidisha and I, since we were bliss­ful­ly unaware of what we might miss.

Next: Day 1: We begin from Pune

Jump To

Day 2: Deli­cious Del­hi

Day 3: Mar­velous Man­ali

Day 4: Des­ti­na­tion Spi­ti

Day 5: Com­ic Adven­ture

Day 6: Kun­gri & Ki Gom­pas

Day 7: Tabo & Dankar Gom­pas

Day 8: Back on Earth

Day 9: Sooth­ing Solang

Day 10: In The Air

Day 11: Serene Solang

Day 12: Dev­il­ish Del­hi

Day 13: Wheels Back In Motion

Day 14: Back Where We Began


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  • Dear Mahen­dra,
    It’s a nice­ly script­ed doc­u­ment, friend!
    Flow has rythm in same sychro­niza­tion of boun­ties of nature in Lahul and Spi­ti.
    Chan­dra is one of my most favoured spot for trek. To me Kun­zum bears mys­ti­cal val­ues. I like its back­drop and approach. I always love to enjoy Batal in ear­ly morn­ing.
    You have reignit­ed my hid­den desire to revis­it the route.
    Snaps are great and nice­ly blend­ed with the sequence.
    Only one point of suggestion–you could have arranged the trav­el­ogue day-wise, i.e., from Day 1 to end. Just take it friend­ly!
    Thanks and hope more two come soon on your blog.
    Warm wish­es,

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  • u must vis­it ladakh some­day and not miss high alti­tude nation­al park off the high­est motorable pass in the world

    i hope to do lahaul and spi­ti some­day

  • Prax: Yes, Leh-Ladakh is on my to-vis­it list for years! Thanks for the tip…do vis­it Lahaul/Spiti…I hope my trav­el­ogue entices you enough!

  • ur trav­el­ogue is some­what sim­i­lar to my ladakh expe­ri­ence
    ladakh is very sim­i­lar to l and s
    but a lot high­er and more scenic, rugged and way high­er alti­tude.

  • i also saw most of ur pics on flikr