Photographer's Note

At last they entered a world within a world. A valley of leagues where the high hills were fashioned of mere rubble and refuse from off the knees of the mountain. Surely the Gods live here……………………beaten down by the silence and the appalling sweep of dispersal of the cloud shadows after the rain. There is no place for men.

Ranges of the Greater Himalaya enclose Spiti in a semi circular arc, separating it from Lahaul on the west, Kullu to the south and Kinnaur to the southwest. They also prevent the moisture laden monsoons from reaching the region, thus creating in Spiti, a bleak and arid landscape in common with Ladakh and Tibet, located beyond the Zaskar Mountains to the north and east.

Spiti valley is formed by its synonymous river which rises on the slopes of Kunzum la (4551mts) dividing the Lahaul and Spiti district, and ends at Khab where it meets the Sutlej. From NW to SE the valley extends for 140kms. Along its course the Spiti river traverses beds of clay and rocks, out of which rise peculiar rough monument like masses honeycombed all over with deep holes as if scooped out by a sculptor.

Soft-sediment deformation structures were observed in 120 m thick fluvio-lacustrine sediments exposed in the Sumdo area in the lower Spiti valley.The deformation structures include over-steepened stratification, diapiric flame-like intrusions of clayey material or complex-type recumbent folding of flame-like nature, pseudonodules, large-scale soft-sediment folding, faulting (small scale) associated with folding and sand dykes. These structures are restricted to single stratigraphic layers separated by undeformed beds and can be correlated over a large distance. The deformation of the soft sediments is attributed to the combined effects of fluidization, liquefaction and shear stress, and can be related to past seismic activity in the area.

The valley is also known as the “Ajanta of Buddhist art” because many of its monasteries and Gompas have priceless specimens of Buddhist art. The most important of these are Kye, Dhankar and Tabo.
Along the way you’ll meet the handsome Kinnauri & Spitian people, among the most colorfully dressed of Himalayan inhabitants, and follow trails lined with some of the most exquisitely carved mane stones in the Himalaya.

I invite you to visit this beautiful land and soak yourself in its beauty, culture and people.

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Additional Photos by Mrityunjoy Chatterjee (mrichat) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 145 W: 19 N: 243] (1755)
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