Going to Spiti Valley and staying longer was a planned decision.
I went to Spiti in August, and a few months before that, I finished with a Photography and Filmmaking Diploma.
Ultimately, I have to create my Portfolio to showcase my work. Hence, I planned a Solo trip to Spiti Valley on a budget.
Moreover, it will require more effort to physically and mentally strengthen the body. Going somehow alone would always be demanding but equally rewarding.
So, I embarked on a Delhi to Spiti adventurous journey of a lifetime.
The main bus stand at Spiti is in Kaza, the principal town.
Table of Contents
Delhi to Kaza
For Delhi to Kaza, let’s break this journey into different segments.
Delhi to Shimla
Firstly, I began with the Delhi to Shimla bus overnight. Honestly, sleep doesn’t come to me on an overnight bus. But that was the sole option.
Afterward, in the morning, I reached the ISBT Tutikandi, Shimla.
I missed catching a Shimla to Reckong Peo direct bus by a few minutes. So, I have to take Shimla to Rampur bus.
But before that, I purchased a few things to eat on the way from the bus stand.
Shimla to Rampur
The 5-hour long Shimla to Rampur bus journey was, indeed, tiresome. Finally, the bus reached Rampur, and I was starving because what I had packed was insufficient to satisfy my hunger.
From the Rampur bus stand, I took a bus to Reckong Peo.
Rampur to Reckong Peo
It was another tiresome journey loaded with dazzling scenery. So, at the end of the evening, I reached Reckong Peo for a night’s stay.
Reckong Peo to Kaza
In the early morning, I stood in the queue, and as my turn came, the bus ticket was full!
Hence, I waited another 3 hr for the next bus; I stood before the queue got longer and got the ticket on the last row of the bus—I felt relieved!
While on the bus, I envisioned how Kaza would be by analyzing the surroundings.
Eventually, I reached Kaza in the evening. So, it took me approximately 45 hours to get from Delhi to Kaza.
I know I would be staying longer, precisely for how many days, that I was doubtful. So, concerning that, I reserved my stay at Zostel for 8 days.
Hence, the following day, I started exploring on foot and the perspective I could get. I rented a scooty the same day because I knew I could not get satisfactory nature shots for the Portfolio in the town. Therefore, I would be required to go a little away.
Even I could not stay dependent on the local buses because they all run in the evening. So, renting a scooty was an intended decision.
During my stay, I revisited some spots multiple times; for instance, I went to a site 3-to 4 times on different days and times.
The first few days of my stay, I was limited to visiting till Rangrik.
The visit to Rangrik was memorable because I saw the Perseid Meteor Shower and did Astrophotography.
Earlier, I was worried about how I would come back from Rangrik at Night, and if I came back in the morning, where would I stay during the night?—I have to do Astro there.
Then, I got to know the Astro camp was happening at Rangrik, so I reached out to the members and came up with a solution: there was a house where the members of the Astro camp were staying, so I could stay there for a night.
I did Mily Way and Shot Star trails that night and went to the house to sleep around 3:00 a.m. One member of the Astro camp was also present, shooting alongside the superb night of the Spiti.
Then, the following day, I woke up and went to Kaza at Zostel, where I was staying.
Indeed, that night was very unique and special.
Then, I went to Key Monastery.
I visited Key Monastery thrice. First, I went on Sunday when the monks were playing. Generally, they get to play on weekends and national holidays. So, that was an exciting sight to capture.
Football, Volleyball, and Cricket are among their preferred sports.
Secondly, I went to attend the morning prayer. The prayer usually begins early in the morning, and I insist you listen to the prayer; undoubtedly, it will fill you with peace.
Besides, I planned to make a documentary on the life of monks at Spiti. But, for some reason, I have to drop that idea.
Kibber lies ahead of Key. I felt scared driving on that route because the height was increasing gradually.
My idea was to do some Portraits at Kibber; when I reached, I didn’t see even a single person; it seemed nobody was there in the entire Village.
I couldn’t spot anyone even after waiting there for some time. But I clicked a few landscapes; the vistas from that height are splendid.
Soon, I descended from Kibber and went to Kaza straightaway.
I went to Kibber on almost the 10th day of my stay there. In earlier days, I was going between Kaza and Key and shooting landscapes; I decided to proceed when I was done.
Many have said that Langza is ideal for Astrophotography.
However, my visit to Langza was short, not even an hour.
When I entered the Langza Village, I saw the cow gatherings and the herders with them. Langza was giving a typical Himachal feel.
Till my time there, I couldn’t spot an ideal landscape to shoot, but I found a BNW landscape. The clouds make the picture look more intriguing.
The drive to Komic was picturesque, and I couldn’t spot anybody on that route.
Komic is preferably higher than the rest; it is the world’s most elevated motorable town. The cold breeze is expected there.
There’s one Komic monastery which you can visit.
As you may know, Hikkim has the highest post office in the world.
I went to Langza, Komic, and Hikkim on the same day.
While returning from Komic, I couldn’t find a way to Hikkim because there was no proper sign board, but after turning on Google Maps, I figured out the way.
The route to Hikkim from Komic was off-road.
When I reached Hikkim’s Post Office, first, I remained unhappy, seeing the post office was closed; after going closer, I saw Rinchen Cherring—the postmaster, sitting inside; he saw me and opened the gate.
I was excited to send the postcard to my friends and me; the charge was Rs. 36 for a post stamp. Then, I was utterly pleased and sent messages to friends that a postcard would arrive from the World’s Highest Post office in the next 15 days or so.
After 3 months, I am still waiting for a postcard to arrive. Previously, I checked the address written on it, and it was fine.
We all get excited and send postcards to friends and relatives, but in the end, nothing arrives, and the other person knows who would again come here to complain and check. I am assuming—I may be wrong. Please let me know in the comments if you have received the postcards you sent from the Hikkim Post office.
So, every place is exceptional in Spiti and provides a different panorama.
The only thing I had been waiting for a long time was the La-Darcha Fair; after changes, the date came when the fair would take place.
It’s a 3-day festival, a big occasion for the Spiti people.
People set up food stalls, exhibitions take place, rides for the kids, cultural performances happen, competitions, and much more.
I covered the La-Darcha Festival, and the event was terrific!
Last-Few Days in Kaza
I spent the last few days in Kaza photographing moonlit landscapes as the full moon day approached.
I was scared to venture out alone at a non-familiar location at night.
However, for the first day, I went to Zostel’s backyard. The area is entirely of fields.
The following day, I went with the Scooty rental owner. The day earlier, I returned the scooter. Therefore, he was the only one I could take to a distant place for Night photography. We went on the bike, and it was a wonderful experience shooting at night again.
Furthermore, I have also created a reel showcasing Spiti. I hope you will like it:
I stayed in Spiti for 20 days and covered these places and one festival. There are plenty of places left, mainly Pin Valley. I was not lazy to explore but restricted myself from covering everything. Because you always need a reason to return.
Also, I have additional reasons, like covering Spiti from an enhanced perspective during the following visit whenever it happens.
Furthermore, in 2 days, I reached Spiti and another 2 days to reach Delhi. So, additional days.
That was the first time I visited a place for that many days, and everything worked according to the plan.