A Travellerspoint blog

See As We Saw - Pattan Valley - Part II

Memories captured in our lens as we sojourned on a 14-day-long Jeep Safari meandering through the sacred Himalayas in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh...

sunny 8 °C

Part II of this photo essay covers our travel from Keylong onwards. After spending the night at Keylong, we ventured into the barren yet scenic Pattan Valley - the combined valley of Chandra and Bhaga rivers - making our way to the remoteness of Trilokinath and Udaipur.

Picture_178.jpg
Deep Valley Lofty Mountains

As we drove into the Pangi Valley we pased by deep valleys surrounded by lofty mountains

Picture_179.jpg
Snow-capped Mountains

All around us were snow-capped mountains as we kept trudging through...

Picture_180.jpg
Along flows the Chenab

The Chandrabhaga also known as Chenab flows alonside as we moved on...

Picture_186.jpg
Passage

Trees on both side of the road as we passed by yet another sleepy village...

large_Picture_187.jpg
Intimidating

Barren mountains with bizzare pattern made us awe-stuck...

large_Picture_194.jpg
Daunting

Its was a humbling experience in front of these lofty mountains...

large_Picture_195.jpg
Scenic

The Chenab quietly flows along in the backdrop of these gigantic barren mountains...

large_Picture_216.jpg
Harvest of Sweat

Potatoes stashed into gunny sacks ready raedy to be transported to the markets far far below...

large_Picture_200.jpg
Bagfull

Loads of potaoes - the only vegetable that grow in these dizzing heights...

large_Picture_201.jpg
Lush

Lush surroudings all around in the midst of this barren landscape...

large_Picture_229.jpg
Row upon Rows

Row upon rows the mountains stood up ahead...

large_Picture_244.jpg
Welcome to Trilokinath

A welcome arch as we entered Trilokinath...

large_Picture_245.jpg
Mountain Village

We trotted up through the Trilokinath Village....

large_Picture_247.jpg
Up Ahead

we saw the ancient Trilokinath Temple up ahead...

large_Picture_253.jpg
Prayer Wheels

We moved the wheels wishing a prayer...

large_Picture_254.jpg
Avalokiteshwara

Closer view of the Avalokiteshwara temple, which the Buddhist calls it Trilokinath...

large_Picture_258.jpg
Colourful Footware

A colourful pair of shoes at the doorstep of the Trilokinath temple caught our eyes

large_Picture_260.jpg
At His Feet

Moving out from the Trilokinath temple I posed for a picture...

Picture_262.jpg
Giant Prayer Wheel

A huge prayer wheel near the exit of the temple...

large_Picture_268.jpg
All White

The all-white Trilokinath stand out in the backdrop of majestic mountains...

large_Picture_271.jpg
Interaction

Mitali interacts with a local as we search for a momento...

large_Picture_273.jpg
Exploring

We explore the Trilokinath village...

large_Picture_275.jpg
Conversation

Two local ladies engrossed in a conversation...

large_Picture_278.jpg
Machine

A tractor parked amidst the fields, ready to till the soil...

Picture_288.jpg
All Smiles

Mitali in all smiles as she poses for the snap...

large_Picture_289.jpg
Carved Out

The dirt track carved out through the mountains clearly visible as far as the eyes could see...

large_Picture_294.jpg
Crossover

Thakur Bhai carefully treads through a stream passing through the road...

large_Picture_295.jpg
Snaking Through

The Chandrabhaga snakes through as we approached Udaipur...

Picture_318.jpg
Hanging Along

A small iron bridge as if hanging along as we entered Udaipur

large_Picture_328.jpg
In Town

We are in Udaipur...

large_Picture_319.jpg
Full Bloom

A colourful shrub in full bloom...

large_Picture_325.jpg
Basking

A local in Udaipur basking in the late afternoon sun...

large_Picture_338.jpg
Innocence

Two kids in their inoocent best...

large_Picture_357.jpg
Holy Mother

A signpost showing us the direction towards the Marikula Devi temple...

large_Picture_343.jpg
Of a by-gone Era

The all wooden by-gone era Marikula Temple in its prestine settings...

large_Picture_346.jpg
Exterior View

Exterior view of the reveared holy shrine of Marikula Devi...

large_Picture_348.jpg
At the Doorstep

Mitali at the doorstep of the Holy Mother...

large_Picture_355.jpg[
Fulfillment

After our holy darshan I just sat at her doorstep fulfilled...

large_Picture_353.jpg
Holy Company

Stood alongside the chief priest, wearing a traditional headgear, who informed us that his family has been carrying out the priestly duties since the last 17 generations. On asked how old this temple was, he replied "Older than Time itself"...

large_Picture_321.jpg
Trotting Back

After our holy visit we trotted back to the Forest Rest House for the night...

Picture_317.jpg
Amidst the Forest

A signboard of the range officer who helped us get the accmodation in the Forest Rest House

large_Picture_368.jpg
Serene Setting

The serene settings of the Forest Rest House, situated amidst a pine forest...

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_001.jpg
Sausage on the Pan

I stir-fried some sausage in the evening at the kitchen of the Forest Rest House...

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_094.jpg

Refreshing

We passed by a refreshing water falls the next morning as we moved out of Udaipur...

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_075.jpg
Suspended

The Gondla Fort seen from the road as if suspended in the air...

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_079.jpg
Raja Ghepan

We pased by the Shashin village renouned for the Raja Ghepan Temple holy to both the Hindus & Buddhists...

Lahol_and_Spiti_081.jpg
Standing Out

The Raja Ghepan Temple stood out in the backdrop of a clear blue skyline...

Direction.jpg
Distances

We were over 437 Kms from Chandigarh our starting point of this safari

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_014.jpg
Confluence

The confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga clearly visible at Tandi...

According to legends there were two lovers, 'Chandra', the daughter of the Moon and 'Bhaga', the son of the Sun God. To perform their eternal marriage, they dedicated to climb to the 'Baralacha La' (Baralacha Pass, 73 Kms from Keylong) and from there they ran in opposite directions.

Chandra being agile and smart easily found her way down the pass and reached Tandi. Soon, Bhaga was found coming with great difficulty through the narrow gorges to Tandi, where ultimately both met and the celestial marriage was happened. Tandi's importance for the people of Lahaul is same as it is Haridwar for the Hindus.

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_018.jpg
Holy Communion

We witnessed the Holy Communion of Chandra & Bhaga....

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_046.jpg

We passed under the Tandi Bridge and stopped for a refreshing cup of tea

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_068.jpg
Fill it, Shut it, & Forget it...

The lone petrol bunk we saw after quite a while, it said next filling station - 365 kms ahead...

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_070.jpg
Tanking Up

We tanked up till the brim in perhaps the most scenic location any pertol bunks could ever be...

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_066.jpg
Guru Ghantal Monastery

A signboard giving us direction to the Guru Ghantal Monastery near Tandi...

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_060.jpg
Standing Tall

The new structure of the Guru Ghantal monastery standing out tall...

This monastery is situated on a hill above the Tupchiling village from where the confluence of Chandra and Bhaga can be clearly seen. This gompa of a bygone era was founded by Padma Sambhava and is more than 800 years old.

As we approached the monastery, we saw two structures situated strategically in a hillock and could clearly make out that one towering structure with Himachali-slate in Tibeto-Chinese pagoda style was a newly constructed one. As we entered the new structure, we could not see a soul and climbing up the staircase, we reached a door that was locked. Dejected, we alighted down to see someone at the entrance of the older structure.

Greeting the person, we were informed that the Lama (local priest) of the gompa was not in but he agreed to let us into this ancient place. At the entrance was a low wooden door and one has to bend down to gain entry inside. Walking through the dark corridor, following the person, we climbed a wooden ladder and entered the upper chamber of the gompa, all lighted up with diyas. We immediately felt warm inside.

The person informed us that the peculiar feature of this gompa is that all the idols were wooden as distinguished from the clay idols found in other monasteries. The Guru Ghantal white marble head was installed by its founder, but now the same is kept under lock and key for fear of theft. The inner wall paintings are in stone colours. Sadly due to lack of proper care and seepage most of the intricate colours were eroding away.

It has idols of Guru Padma Sambhava, Brijeshwari Devi and several other lamas. Bowing our heads seeking divine blessing, we uttered our silent prayers. The person took us further inside to the inner most chamber, wherein we saw one black-stone statue of Goddess Kali.

Seeing a Hindu goddess inside a Buddhist monastery was a bit strange, though I immediately recalled reading about a theory that this was once perhaps a Hindu temple. The close affinity of Buddhism and Hinduism can be very vividly seen for the fact that on the full moon night in mid-June a festival called Ghantal is celebrated by Lamas and Thakurs together.

large_Lahol_and_Spiti_118.jpg
Koksar

Spending some quiet time meditating inside the monastery we continued to move ahead. Early afternoon we reached Koksar where we met the PWD officer seeking our stay permission at the PWD Guest House at Chatru further ahead....

Posted by sabyasachi 03:59 Archived in India Tagged landscapes mountains snow photography

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint