The Wayfarer Diaries: Incensed Mornings

22-01-2017, 0830 hours, Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India:

A very important part of the morning rituals (apart from warming up the water and boiling the milk) is the lighting of incenses at two different areas of the house. Dried up cow dung is first lit in the ‘tandoor’, and it is then distributed among two different incense burning holders. While one has just the dried cow dung in it, the other has ‘Shuppa’ , which is a shrub that grows in high altitude and gives off such a good smell that it relaxes you instantly. The “Shuppa” incense holder is kept near the temple while the other one is kept outside the house. I have seen this shrub in the wild and it has even helped us a lot during one of my previous treks to Mantalai.