This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Prasad NP, also known as the 'desi Traveler'. Prasad shares his story about the time he spent traveling the Spiti Valley, Dhankar lake, Chandratal Lake and the beautiful Monasteries around. So sit back and enjoy listening!
Today's destination: Spiti -- Kaza, Chandratal Lake, Ki Monastery, Dhankar Lake in Himachal Pradesh
Nearest airport: Manali or via Shimla;
Nearest Railway Station: Shimla railway station; Joginder Nagar railway station
Direct buses are available from Chandigarh, Shimla, Kullu, Manali etc
Packing - Sunglasses, sunscreen, hats/umbrella, warm clothes, a good pair of shoes, medicines for AMS
Time of the year - June to September
Length of the itinerary: 7-10 days
- Spend a day in Manali to acclimatize yourself to the higher altitudes
- Start from Manali to Kaza - its about 12-14 hours by road. It is advisable to hire a cab/guide from Manali for your entire trip.
- Kaza can serve as the base - lodging in the Himachal tourism hotel; visit the Kaza monastery and kaza market.
- Enjoy the beautiful star trails at night from the rooftop of the hotel. Savour on some flavorful spitian food that is also influenced by tibetan cuisine
- Make a short stop to Ki Monastery, Enjoy the blue skies and cotton candy clouds, meet with the monks and get a beautiful view of the kaza city from the rooftop.
- Enjoy the awesome Himalayan tea offered from the Ki monastery's kitchen. If you are lucky, you could get a chance to interact with the monks help them with plucking sweet peas from the farm.
- Make a visit to the Dhankar monastery which is about 2 hours from Kaza, getting some beautiful shots along the way.
- Trek to the Dhankar lake, which is about an hour's hike from the monastery. Be sure to have a good pair of walking shoes on, some sunscreen to ward off the sun, and keep hydrated!
- Drive to the Langza Village, stay with the locals, enjoy interactions with the locals, partake in their daily chores like farming and weaving.
- Camp close to the Chandratal lake - the crescent shaped perennial lake that is also one of the source of the Chandra/Chenab River.
- Trek to the Chandratal lake early in the morning to enjoy the fabulous view of the lake with golden peaks in the backdrop as the sun ascends.
- Make a stop at the amazing Kunzum pass. Capture the pictures of the snow clad peaks, gompas and fluttering colourful prayer flags. Head back to Manali.
- Last but not the least, listen to some funny stories and useful advise on how to travel responsibly!