Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India, 17 September 2017, 1645 hours:
I reached Kaza late last evening and am staying at the tranquil Sakya Abode, our usual home in Kaza. It was quite a journey from Manali and I dozed off on the way but also managed to take in the experience and sights.
It’s raining a bit here in Kaza, but that hasn’t dampened the festive feeling. Last-minute preparations are on for the 7 pm inauguration of The Spiti Festival 2017. Started in 2012, this annual festival is a cultural event and I am very excited to be here to cover it for The Mountain Walker. While I may not be able to get any photos or videos out till I return to Manali or Shimla (due to connectivity issues), I am able to report back to our desk with some initial information.
The Chief Guest for today’s inauguration is H.E. Yomed Tulku Rinpochen of the Sanag Chhoeling Gonpa, Kungri, Pin Valley. Guests of Honour include Meme Nawang Tashi, Teng Gon Lhundrub Tse.
Apart from the local dignitaries and guests from around Spiti and Himachal Pradesh, the event is also being attended by dedicated personalties well known for their media and development work in Spiti and Himachal Pradesh, such as Vishesh Suri and Tsering Bodh of Incredible Spiti, renowned Himalayan photographer Himanshu Khagta, and accomplished climber and mountaineer Bharat Bhushan.
By the way, the rain has stopped and there has been fresh snowfall in the mountains above Kaza town! Stay tuned – I better get ready for the event myself!