July 17, 2016
Walking in these parts of #Spiti, having come through #Kinnaur, I feel as if I have been here in these #Himalayas several times before – it’s familiar. Part of me is wide-eyed since am seeing all these formations for the first time; and a part of me seems to be dream-walking, knowing what’s coming next … it’s odd but in a good way.
A year ago my wife discovered a really old studio in Shimla selling made-to-order prints of old photographs of the Himalayas. Knowing my affinity and connection to these mountains, she presented some prints to me of the Himalayas. Thereafter I kept discovering more and more… till I saw what I was sub-consciously looking for – photographs of the Formations in the Spiti Valley.
All of us dream, and many of us follow some of our dreams. I have been fortunate to have many dreams and an upbringing that has encouraged me to follow deeper into many dreams. The Spiti Formations have been an image in my mind for more than three decades and I finally had an image and a caption that gave me a location. That was all I needed to start studying nights (there is a tremendous amount of research done by Indian geologists, and foreign as well of course), a good bit is publicly available from the Geological Society of India, some of it is in books and papers.
From what I have learned, the Spiti Formations are of at least the Palezoic Era (which is between 540-250 million years old). While I knew (from school geography) they were Dolomites and Shales at first sight, what I learned was the intricate nature of the compositions, the presence of fossils, the layers and layers of history … pretty much going back to the age of Panagea and Gondwana land. A link back in time.
There are various kinds of these Dolomites and Shales with sandstone, limestone, quartzite and much more in Himachal Pradesh, and now I have a different kind of excitement building up in me. (Kaushal has no idea how many times we are going to stop and explore in the way ahead!).
Btw, the Formations have names, kind of identifying the nature and location range.