16-09-2017, 0814 hours, Gramphu, Lahaul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India: 

We have reached Gramphu after descending down the other side of Rohtang Pass. The road conditions have improved a lot on this side about which I am really glad. But it has started raining and bad weather is what you should seriously look out for in these parts of the Himalayas.

As the road is made along mountainsides with loose rock and sandy soil, a land slide can occur at any time and at any place. I still remember my first visit to Spiti in July 2016. Upon reaching Tabo, we discovered that the road up ahead between Tabo and Kaza had been closed for two days due to rains. And that people in Tabo had been without electricity and essential supplies (which come from Shimla, Rampur, Reckong Peo and Manali) for 4 days (which is quite usual apparently). And it happened due to a massive landslide, which in turn was triggered by half an hour of rain. But if you look at the mountains here one can make out why it is so.

As I sit here, sipping my tea, I can’t help but think that one thing hasn’t changed in years: The road from Gramphu to Kaza. As soon as one takes the diversion at Gramphu towards Kaza, the ‘road’ is one that seems composed of rocks, mud and drains formed by small streams of water that come down the mountain passing through the road itself, depositing the eroded rocks and sand making it very difficult to drive on.

But still the beauty of the mountains just makes you forget all about the difficulties. Can’t wait to get to Chattru soon for breakfast cause I am starving.

WM Gramphu 01

Gramphu- The first station one reaches after crossing the Rohtang Pass, where passers by stop for food and supplies. The road to Kaza bifurcates from here; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Gramphu 02

The driver of this truck coming down from Rohtang Pass must be heaving a sigh of relief after reaching Gramphu; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Gramphu 03

The road towards Kaza from Gramphu; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal


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