Spiti Expedition – Tabo – Dhankar – Kaza (55 KMs)
Previous day was a day of achievement for us where we traversed through the most treacherous road in the world and completed our target. Once again we retired after reaching Tabo with an anticipation of what’s in store for us next day morning. Although it was dark when we reached Tabo but the mysticism was omnipresent in the air. We had reached an altitude of 3240 mtrs but were at ease without any sign of altitude sickness. Since we were only 40 KMs away from Kaza, we were not in hurry. Our itinerary for the day was very simple, enjoy every moment of the day from Tabo to Kaza via Dhankar Monastery.
Tabo also didn’t disappoint and welcomed us with a very pleasant morning. The sight of barren mountains with snow clad peaks was mesmerising. The purity and freshness of the place gave us the necessary energy for rest of the day. The landscape was simply awesome. Tabo a small town in Lahaul & Spiti region has its own share of history and has one of the important monasteries in Buddhism. Tabo Monastery was founded in 996 and is noted for being the oldest continuously operating Buddhist enclave in both India and Himalayas. Climate in Tabo is very unpredictable as it ranges from cloudy to sunny and from snow to heavy snowfall. Summers are short from May to August and winters are longer from mid-September to April. Winter temperatures in Tabo can range from −15 degrees in the day to −45 degrees overnight. After spending memorable time in the vicinity of this mystic village we proceeded ahead towards our next destination.
Welcome to Tabo – A Mystic Village
Tabo Monastery – New
Tabo Monastery – Estd 996 – A historical significance
Prayer Wheels at old Tabo Monastery
It was a beautiful day with clear visibility. We started our forward journey towards Kaza with a detour towards Dhankar Monastery. While driving through this part of Himalaya one could feel the natural bliss and mesmerising effect on our soul. The varied topography, harsh terrain, amazing landscape, iconic bridges, water streams, and mystery at every juncture in the land of Lama is what we come for. The highway passed through treacherous terrains alongside Spiti River giving us unforgettable memories.
Never tired of these picturesque landscape…
Nadang VIllage – Population 80
Time for a team photo amidst beautiful landscape
Waterfall making it’s way through Himalayas
An amazing run through beautiful topography
After driving 15 KMs we took the detour towards Dhankar Monastery which was built atop on a mountain. A 15 KM narrow road with continuous ascend and numerous hairpin bend took us to the monastery. We were filled with awe just by looking at the location of the monastery. It’s amazing to see a monastery being built at such an altitude on a very difficult terrain. The view of the valley from the monastery was amazing. After imbibing the spiritual essence at Dhankar we proceeded ahead towards Kaza. There was a connecting road that merged into NH22. Again it was a difficult road with no sign of tarmac with steep ascends as well.
Dhankar Monastery as seen from NH22
Leading the way towards Dhankar
Dhankar Monastery – A masterpiece
Unbelievable – Isn’t it?
Shree on her way back from top
View of the valley from Dhankar Monastery
After merging onto NH22 we continued our sojourn surpassing beautiful landscapes, countryside, small villages, barren & snow capped mountains. We were on our own in the valley with almost negligible traffic movement on the highway. We took numerous halt on the highway just to admire the bounty of nature before reaching Kaza (alt 3740 mtrs) at 4: p.m. thereby covering 2325 KM from Mumbai (905 KM from Delhi). It was a moment of pride for all of us!
Highway alongside Spiti River
A glimpse of Moonland as well
A small village at another side of river
A camping site before Kaza