From the Land of Lamas

The trip is done. The bags are unpacked. I left something behind though and that was a good chunk of my heart.

Those twelve days managed to grasp a firm hold on my little pacing heart and insisted that just like I got a token of my travels back here, I leave a token of my presence in those mountains.

I was in Spiti – a cold desert mountain valley in the Trans Himalayan region. To put it in the words of Rudyard Kipling, “A world within a world”. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”, i.e. the land between TibetΒ and India. While I was there, I used to think ofit as Middle Earth – the magical land from the mind of Tolkien. It is arguably one of the sparsely populated parts of the country with some of the villages having a total population of 27 people.

The minute you are in the valley, the altitude ranges from 13000 feet to 16500 feet (provided you are not attempting one of those mountain treks… which then touch even 20000 feet from what I recollect). The days are warm depending on the sun and clouds while the nights are cold depending on the winds and clouds.

It was a journey filled with trekking, volunteering and community living. I was travelling with strangers and interacting with people who I am probably never going to meet again. Yet there was something about the air that made us bond at levels that only travel can bring. Also the fact that we all had to struggle to get the basics like breathing and pooping made us a lot more inhibited. I mean, what role can worldly filters play when you need the human wall in order to pee properly in the wild.

Timing was something that went really went for me while soaking up the culture and traditions of Spiti. It did not work out so well when I stepped out in the night to catch the Milky Way. The floods in Himachal Pradesh ensured almost a consistent cloud cover through the night – it cleared up only a couple of nights. But it was more than enough.

The memories, the internal reflections and external realizations are something I will always cherish. It will probably take a few more posts to cover all the experiences. Right now, I will just leave you with a few photographs. I will catch up on posts and comments over this week πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for all the love and support!!

Balari Top
Balari Top: 16500 feet
Chandrataal
Chandrataal Lake: 14100 feet
Kaza
Kaza Riverbed: 13000 feet
Kee
Atop Key Monastery: 14000 feet
Komic
Sunset at Komic: 14900 feet
Langza
Buddha Statue at Langza: 14500 feet
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67 thoughts on “From the Land of Lamas

  1. sMiLes.. my Friend.. Prajakta..
    welcome back from your
    vacation iN ancestral
    Lands of HeARt
    FeLt iSREAL now..
    in old Tibet too..
    the first name for
    God that Humans
    create is Lahmu and
    Lahamn for Water and
    Earth miXed as SiLT then
    and perHaps iF they kepT
    God as original Nature before
    ‘Sin’ of Abstract Written Language..
    Collective Intelligence and Complex
    Cultures.. NDD or Nature Deficit Disorder
    also kNown as GDD.. GoD DaM Disorder
    too hehe.. as NatURe OnE whOle too..
    hUman.. would not be eating aWay @
    eARTh iN footprints
    of hUman
    tools.. as
    space ships
    show IS A cancer
    of the PlaneT eArth
    on re-entry to the air
    we breathe FReED.. oh..
    the world of NDD.. but what
    iF everyone suddenly grew a
    SpiRit.. a HeARt.. a SoUL.. a MiNd
    and BoDy BaLanCinG way of empathy
    and hugs and eYes of Unconditional Love
    for each other all around the Globe now like
    a Love Virus FReED.. WeLL.. the other thing is
    then other folks came along and created a God for
    them.. yes.. a tribal one that would expand the human
    domination of Nature from Sea to Sea.. the destroyer
    of God iF yOu WiLL or they WiLL of course.. from
    continents East.. West.. South and North all.. but
    perHaps they don’t see as Godzilla clearly
    FeeLs aLL innately.. instinctually and
    even ‘Blue Oyster Cult’ by
    intuition now2.. yes..
    sAMe nAMe of
    Godzilla too..
    Nature and or
    God depending on
    semantics of the silt
    of the day.. is alWayS in control
    as Nature lives from subatomic
    spiraling flow allone to galaxies
    and UniVerses BeYond.. as Free
    WiLL DanCe and SinG in moVinG..
    ConNecTing InteRdependent CreAtinG
    ways.. so.. all the pain and suffering around
    uS humans wE do feel and see as iSREAL noW..
    is juSt Karma my friEnd.. the action and consequence
    of getting out of BaLancE wiTh Nature God samE now..
    as alWays Force that seeks Balance over all otHeR opposing
    Forces now.. Nature has no nAMe but Balance.. and mosT aLL
    oF hUman Suffering and Misery can be attributed to GDD mY FriEnd..
    TrUly sorry you had to go back to work.. but sure.. that IS A way of a world..
    that says.. there is enough human beings destroying We rest oF Nature
    NOw.. so get back to work you humans and do anything but making
    more
    children
    of misery
    and suffering
    for the reST of wE
    oF NaTuRe noW.. from
    STD’s to Mosquito DisEases
    to all the rest of God OF Nature
    checks and Balances my FriEnd noW
    iN Karma’s eYes of NatuRE God SamE..
    only the individual can possibly escape now
    in tHeir own way of TrUth and liGht iN BaLanCinG Force..
    the taste
    of your
    heARt
    in silt
    of Mountain
    Lake mirror flows view..
    as oPen mY friEnd.. a Vacation
    worth more than a stones throw oF work..
    WiNkS in jUST my opinion of course as
    when i re-TiRed work.. somehow i wanted
    to go back then if i ever could… noW
    oh.. no one
    is immune
    Vs..
    the way
    of the World.. mY FriEnd..
    so.. so.. hard to E-sCapE noW..:)

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  2. OH…MY…GOD!! These pictures cannot be real !!!😍 Gosh…beauty ! 😍 Absolute beauty. Can’t wait to see and hear more of your adventure there Prajakta. And So happy to see you back πŸ˜‰πŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a magical adventure! Your photos are epic! In all those times I’ve watched The Lord of the Rings movies (or read the books) I don’t think I’ve ever thought about them having those basic bodily functions to contend with in the wilderness. You were brave! I look forward to reading more!

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  4. Beautiful details & mesmerising images,i had a trip to leh ladakh via exploring tribal belt of Kaza as this part is still untouched by tourists.Looking forward to see more πŸ‘πŸ‘Œ

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  5. So, so beautiful! This is probably the third time I am reading about Spiti on a fellow WordPress blogger’s blog. That makes me want to go there so much now. Your post just clinched it. πŸ˜€

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  6. It must be one of the most memorable trips of your life! I was just thinking about this solo trip of yours as was talking with some friends on advantages and disadvantages of solo travel. Great to read about your experience. And, the PICTURES…they are just WOW!! πŸ™‚ …

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  7. Amazing pictures! Reading your blog made me remember a quote by Ruskin Bond- “It is always the same with mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape”
    πŸ™‚
    Cheers!
    Keep ttrekking & blogging!

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  8. I could connect with your experiences on a lot of levels….not to mention the photographs do complete justice to the beautiful landscapes you described. Brings back happy memories of my time hitchhiking across the barren landscape of Spiti !! Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience πŸ™‚

    Like

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