With improved road infrastructure and connectivity, travel enthusiasts have started exploring the unexplored and untouched places in India. One such example is a nature laden, heavenly road trip to Leh via Lahaul-Spiti Valley.
Many people are not aware of Kaza & the Spiti valley. Spiti means the middle land & it lies between Tibet & tourists favorite Himachal Pradesh, south-east of Ladakh. Any person who loves driving in the Himalayas should definitely take a trip to Lahaul & Spiti valley. The terrain is harsh, desolate & inhospitable but your final destination makes it all worth it. A few years back I fulfilled my dream of a driving holiday through Lahaul valley to Leh & since then was dreaming of a holiday in Spiti valley. My dream was fulfilled in the second week of October. It was difficult to find companions for this journey but fortunately, my wife & daughter agreed to accompany me, although a bit reluctantly.
Journey through Lens – Kaza, Spiti
Rohtang pass is the gateway to this wonderful & isolated world. Landscape dramatically changes into barren mountains, stark moonscapes & the startling lack of vegetation. As we drive into the high altitude mountain desert, roads are bad & at most places barely motorable. Driving is a testing time for courage & patience. The journey is definitely not for the weak hearted & there is a constant assault on your back & bums.
Kaza the headquarters of Spiti is about 200 kilometers from Rohtang. The mean elevation is around 4000 meters, the highest point being the Kunjum pass at an elevation of 4550 meters from sea level.
Unfortunately for us, our car broke down before we could cross the Kunjum pass & there was no communication available as most of the mobile networks do not work there. To add to our worries weather turned bad & it started snowing heavily. With great difficulties, we reached Vatal about 20 km ahead. It was great to see a “dhaba” managed by an elderly couple. It was an oasis in the desert. We were lucky to find a working landline BSNL phone here & could contact our travel organizers Vishesh & B Tsering. They were kind enough to send a rescue vehicle despite the heavy snowfall & difficult conditions. And after a treacherous journey and an adventurous road trip, we managed to reach our hotel.