A Travellerspoint blog

July 2010

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.

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Deep Valley Lofty Mountains

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

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Snow-capped Mountains

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

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Along flows the Chenab

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

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Passage

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

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Intimidating

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

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Daunting

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

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Scenic

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

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Harvest of Sweat

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

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Bagfull

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

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Lush

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

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Row upon Rows

Row upon rows the mountains stood up ahead...

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Welcome to Trilokinath

A welcome arch as we entered Trilokinath...

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Mountain Village

We trotted up through the Trilokinath Village....

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Up Ahead

we saw the ancient Trilokinath Temple up ahead...

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Prayer Wheels

We moved the wheels wishing a prayer...

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Avalokiteshwara

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

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Colourful Footware

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

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At His Feet

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

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Giant Prayer Wheel

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

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All White

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

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Interaction

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

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Exploring

We explore the Trilokinath village...

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Conversation

Two local ladies engrossed in a conversation...

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Machine

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

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All Smiles

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

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Carved Out

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

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Crossover

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

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Snaking Through

The Chandrabhaga snakes through as we approached Udaipur...

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Hanging Along

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

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In Town

We are in Udaipur...

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Full Bloom

A colourful shrub in full bloom...

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Basking

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

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Innocence

Two kids in their inoocent best...

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Holy Mother

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

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Of a by-gone Era

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

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Exterior View

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

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At the Doorstep

Mitali at the doorstep of the Holy Mother...

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Fulfillment

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

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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"...

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Trotting Back

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

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Amidst the Forest

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

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Serene Setting

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

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Sausage on the Pan

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

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Refreshing

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

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Suspended

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

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Raja Ghepan

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

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Standing Out

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

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Distances

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

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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.

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Holy Communion

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

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

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Fill it, Shut it, & Forget it...

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

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Tanking Up

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

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Guru Ghantal Monastery

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

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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.

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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 Comments (0)

See As We Saw - Kullu Valley - Part I

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...

9 °C

Part I of this photo essay coveres our travels starting from Sundernagar, our 1st halt, via Mandi, Kullu, Manali, Rohtang Pass, Koksar till Keylong, where we halted for the 2nd night.

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1st Halt

Raja Hotel near Sundernagar where we stayed the 1st night arriving from Mumbai via Chandigarh on way to our Himalayan safari...

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Anticipation

Mitali waits in anticipation as we are about to start off from Sundernagar, Himachal Pradesh

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Distances & Routes

Facing a jam as we entered Mandi in the backdop of the overhead signboard giving us directions.

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Meandering Along

The peaceful view of the Beas meandering along peacefully in Kullu

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Holy Mother

We bowed our heads at the Durga Temple near Kullu, praying for a hassle free trip ahead

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Behind the Wheels

Thakur Bhai behind the wheels of his Tata Sumo as we move ahead approching Manali...

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Mountain Bridge

We move across an elegent bridge in the back drop of green mountains as we approached Manali...

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Civilization

A view of the Kullu Valley with the quiet Beas flowing along...

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The Road Ahead

A view of the road as we approached Manali...

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Sweet Manali

We stopped at the entry point of Manali for our lunch, Rohtang Pass was 52 Kms away...

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Azure Water

The waters of the Beas frolicking across rocks and boulders at Manali

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Palchan

We crossed by Palchan as we approached Rohtang Pass...

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Cute Cottage

A cute cottage stood amidst the serene surroundings near the sleepy Kothi village...

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Flocking Together

A flock of sheep grazing together near Marhi in Himachal Pradesh...

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Historical Gulaba

We passed by Gulaba as we apprached Rohtang pass...

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Free Falling

We saw lot of parasailing activities near Marhi...

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Rahala Falls

Signpost of the Rahala Falls near Marhi at the starting point of Rohtang Pass...

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Magical Rahala

The Rahala Falls near Marhi as we approached Rohtang Pass...

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Colours

A spectrum of colours emanated in the barren mountains near Rohtang Pass...

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Milestone

Another 14 kms to Rohtang Pass...

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Horses & Mountains

Horses lazing around as we approached Rohtang Pass...

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Rising Clouds

Clouds were rising high in the backdrop of the blue sky near Rohtang pass

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Misty Mountains

Mist blew all over the magical mountains near Rohtang Pass

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Amazed

I sit amazed in these pristine settings near the Rohtand Pass....

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Dazed

Mitali too is dazed as we just sit quietly near the Rohtang pass ...

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Speechless

I just stand speechless...

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Inspection

Thakur Bhai inspects the rear tyre as we waited near Rohtang pass since landslide ahead blocked the road...

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Whatz Ahead?

Captured the road ahead which as if ends as we waited near Rohtang pass for the road to clear...

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Whatz Below?

The small hamlet of Marhi seen from below as we waited near Rohtang Pass...

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Waiting...

We waited and waited before reaching Rohtang Pass as work was on to clear the landslide that blocked the road...

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Mesmerizing

Horses trot by the mesmerizing settings near Rohtang pass...

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Awesome

We stood awe-stuck viewing the snow-covered Himalayas at Rohtang pass...

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Mountains and a Road

With mountains all around us at Rohtang we simply stood at the road as icy wind was blowing across our faces...

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Lonesome Highway

A lone truck slowly approaches the Rohtang Pass in these heavenly settings...

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Within Handreach

The snow peaks were as if within hand-reach at the 13,050 feet high Rohtang Pass...

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Breathtaking

The views at Rohtang Pass was breathtakingly beautiful...

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Heavenly

As evening was setting in the views of the mountains at Rohtang Pass in the backdrop of the deep blue sky with scattered clouds were heavenly indeed...

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Divine

Divine is perhaps the right word to describe...

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Raw Nature

The rugged Himalayas as seen at Rohtang Pass, 52 Kms form Manali...

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The First Village

After crossing over from Rohtang Pass we halted for some refreshing tea and snacks at Koksar, the 1st village of Lahaul, enroute to Leh via Keylong and Darcha...

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Scenic Keylong

A scenic view of Keylong in the early morning light....

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High & Lofty

Lofty barren Himalayas as visible from Keylong...

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Nakedness

The Himalayas stands up naked as seen from Keylong

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Destination Unknown

Two local Lahauli ladies waits in the Keylong Bus Stand to move ahead to their destinations...

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All Set

Mitali all set ot venture out off Keylong on our 2nd day towards remote Udaipur through the Pangi Valley in Himachal Pradesh...

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Blue & White

The snow-capped Himalayas in the backdrop of a deep blue sky at Keylong...

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Welcome

A colourful arch - Welcome to Lahaul - greets us as we move out of Keylong into the Pangi Valley making our way towards Udaipur & Trilokinath via Gondla & Tandi...

Posted by sabyasachi 05:10 Archived in India Tagged landscapes mountains snow Comments (0)

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