Spiti – Where Gods Reside: Day-4

 

Day-4: Tabo – Attargo – Kungri (Monastery) – Attargo – Lingti Village – Kaza

Highlights of the Day:

1. Riding through the beautiful Pin Valley with the Pin River (tributary of the Spiti River) following all through.
2. Reaching our final destination of the Spiti ride – Kaza.
3. DCS giving his visiting card to the tea stall owner at Lingti Village!

We did not have much distance to cover on this day, as we just needed to reach Kaza which was less than a hundred kilometres from Tabo. A hundred kilometres might not sound much when it comes to the plains, but in the hills and with almost no roads for the major part, it was to take us quite some time.

Early morning at Tabo

 

Early morning in Tabo Village

Early morning in Tabo Village

Tabo Village

Tabo Village

 

 

We started early morning from Tabo after checking our bikes, lubing the chain and setting our respective luggage bags on our machines. My P-200 was making a strange noise since day-3 and I was unable to make out what was wrong with the machine. It seemed to run just fine, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t the mill that was the culprit. However, just before departing from Tabo, I did find out the source of the noise. The nut of the left side leg guard had fallen off somewhere because of which it was bouncing off of the chassis each time the bike went over some pothole or rocky terrain. And since the whole route was rocky and filled with potholes (small and large), this sound continued for the whole way. 

It was very chilly when we started out towards Kaza. If I remember correctly, we were onroad by 7:15am or thereabouts. The sun had already risen and the warm sunlight was really comforting for us. But, there were certain places where sunlight could not reach. And hence riding through those portions were really a challenge. It was really cold. For probably, the first time in the entire ride, we could see snow really up-close, especially on those parts where sun rays were not able to melt the snow.

We were riding merrily on the rocky terrain, when we saw a diversion that read ‘Pin Valley – 17kms.’ and without even giving it a second thought, we crossed the bridge and started riding towards the Pin Valley. I had read and gathered quite some information regarding this valley, which is famously known as the ‘Land of Ibex and Snow Leopard‘. Although, we weren’t lucky enough to see either, but the sheer beauty of the valley bowled us over. Once in Pin Valley, we visited the monastery there, known as the Gungri monastery. The whole place is absolutely out of this world, with the Pin river keeping you company wherever you go. The views were magnificient, and all one could hear if the engines were turned off was the flow of the river down below.

Pin Valley.

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The Gungri monastery is one of the oldest Buddhist monastic establishments in the Pin Valley. It belongs to the red-headed division called the ‘Nyingmapa’ or the Old School, which was launched by Padmasambhava, the benefactor saint of the Buddhists. He had established the Mahayana Tantric Buddhism here offset of the 8th century. There are a few other monasteries that are located near-by the Gungri monastery, namely, the Tabo Monastery, Kye Monastery, Kibber Monastery, Sichling and Dhankar Monastery.

 

 

Gungri Monastery, Pin Valley.

Gungri Monastery, Pin Valley.

 

Monastery complex.

Monastery complex.

Monastery complex.

Monastery complex.

Gungri Village.

Gungri Village.

 

There were many small villages enroute, where locals would wave at us and we would inturn wave back at them. It was a really heartwarming experience to see and talk to the locals even.  Knowing that our final destination, Kaza, was not too far, we spent a considerable amount of time at the monastery sipping hot tea in the ice cold weather, and talking to the lamas present there. A host of pictures clicked, tea sipped and after relaxing there, we started our journey way back towards the main road which would take us towards Kaza.

Just before Kaza, we stopped for another cup of tea at a small village with about 150 inhabitants, known as the Lingti Village. The Lingti Village lies in the Lingti Valley of the Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. It runs north-east from the Lingti village for about 60 odd kilometres to it’s head. It is interesting to note that the geological history of the place dates back to an amazing 250 million years. The fossil findings in the place have lead to many geological theories. The Gaya Peak which is incidentally the highest peak in Himachal Pradesh, is located high above the northern side of the Lingti Valley. This peak is also the meeting point of Spiti, Ladakh and Tibet.

The locals there were amazed to know that we had come on motorbikes all the way from Delhi just to visit the Spiti Valley. For them, the valley might not hold anything interesting or unknown, but for us urban dwellers, it is and will remain a different world altogether; a world so unexplored and untouched by anything. DCS also managed to give the tea stall owner his visiting card, and assured him of the fact that if he visits Delhi anytime, he should ring him and visit him, and DCS would make the tea stall owner’s Delhi visit worthwhile. I do not have a visiting card, so I could only give him a smile and thanked him for the wonderful cup of tea before moving ahead.

Eventually, all through this Spiti ride, we also discovered an interesting fact. We found out slowly, but surely that the locals are so straight forward and simple that they take the jokes that we might make, seriously. This did happen quite a few times during the whole trip, after which we learned that it’s better to be straight forward with them than to hurt their feelings in the process of having some fun.

After our tea break, which turned out to be quite a long one, we moved on towards Kaza. Now, for the uninitiated, the town of Kaza is the capital of remote Spiti valley. It is located along the Spiti River (which is pronounced at Piti river by the locals) at an elevation of 12,500 feet or 3,800 metres above Mean Sea Level (MSI). It is also the largest township and commercial center of the valley. It also fortunately for us, had one petrol pump where we were supposed to fill up the tanks of our respective machines the next day (Sunday). But, this was a mistake which almost cost us dearly. More about that later though…

 

 

Kaza, Spiti Valley.

Kaza, Spiti Valley.

As soon as we reached Kaza, I noticed that I was having a little trouble breathing. Perhaps, it was mild AMS or something psychological, but surely I was having a tough time breathing in and breathing out. DCS was also having a little headache. We both took a tablet of Disprin each which made us feel a little better, but the breathing problem would continue till the time I would be there at Kaza.

 

Kaza.

Kaza.

Entrance to Kaza Town.

Entrance to Kaza Town.

The bikes, resting at 12000+ feet!

The bikes, resting at 12000+ feet!

Kaza Town.

Kaza Town.

Kaza

Kaza

Those white clouds...

Those white clouds...

Cute and Cuddly!

Cute and Cuddly!

A local passing his time, at Kaza.

A local passing his time, at Kaza.

The views at Kaza.

The views at Kaza.

 

Next – We visit the Kye Monastery and arguably the highest motorable village in the world – Kibber.

Comments

  • Debarpita(archi)  On May 29, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    Fantastic log and photographs there Aryan…

    Like

    • Bobby Roy  On May 29, 2009 at 12:09 PM

      Hey Archi, thanks. Iam glad you liked the pictures and the log. 🙂

      Like

  • Sandeep Bagchi  On May 29, 2009 at 7:10 PM

    lovely photographs and flawless narration.

    Like

  • Finny  On July 18, 2009 at 3:44 PM

    Great work, lovely photographs and narration makes my heart long to be out in the road, would love to visit this place in my lifetime on a bike 😉

    Like

    • Bobby Roy  On July 18, 2009 at 3:49 PM

      Thanks Finny, am glad you liked the pictures and the text. 🙂 Do ride to Spiti sometime, it’s a tremendous place. Hard to believe we have something like that on Earth! 🙂

      Like

  • beyondlust  On May 11, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    Beautiful, beautiful pictures.

    Makes me wonder why on earth i am sitting in office on this hot May afternoon and working my ass off! I should be thundering down these roads on my Bullet!

    Sigh!

    Like

    • vulpineshooter  On May 11, 2010 at 9:34 PM

      Thanks beyondlust for the comments. 🙂 Yes, you MUST get out of your office and ride some place far, really far. 🙂

      Like

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