Mountain Walking

The Wayfarer Diaries: A Flat-Roofed World

18-01-2017, 1015 hours, Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India:

As soon as I stepped out of our home stay (we had reached last night at 0130 hours), I felt a peace in the silence of the surroundings. It had snowed about 2-3 inches last night and people had started clearing the snow on the roofs, which I find is necessary as the roofs here are flat and the snow doesn’t come off as easily as it does in most of the houses in the hills which have an inverted V kind of roof (the slant helps to get rid of both snow and rain easily). Now the question is why do houses in Spiti have flat roofs? The reason is that it snows too much here and it becomes difficult to get out of the houses, as the accumulated snow outside the house can reach up to 8-10 feet (which includes the snow that people shovel off the roof). This snow also takes a lot of time to melt. So people clear the roof, and use the roof to bask in the sun and do other important activities.

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