Prayers in the Souvenir Shop

16-09-2017, 1520 hours, Lossar, Lahaul & Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India:

After facing the cold winds at Kunzum Pass, I was wide awake and able to capture the views as we made our way down to the other side. We have now stopped at Lossar and up till now, this has been our longest halt. This is the first village we arrived at after crossing Kunzum Pass. It is a hamlet with a few shops, dhabas and hotels. Everybody stops here for breakfast, lunch or dinner as the next halt is at Batal, which 3-4 hours away from here or Chattru which is even further. There are no shops on the road in this circuit except for a few at different villages along the way till Kaza. Chattru and Lossar are the two major stops between Gramphu and Kaza. Accommodation is available at Lossar while there are some small dhabas at Chattru where one can have food and relax for sometime.

Being just 19 kms from Kunzum Pass and 59 kms from Kaza, Lossar village is so deep inside the valley that during winters getting here is very difficult (as we had experienced during our winter trip in January 2017 when we could only get to the Halder plains). As there was plenty of time at hand on this particular break, I went about to take a look around the village. The entire convoy had stopped here. While some of the tourists indulged themselves drinking tea, some were busy buying souvenirs for themselves. There were two souvenir shops in front of me and in one of them I noticed a man who seemed to be in his late 60’s, sitting peacefully and reading a holy Buddhist book. This is something that I have seen in my previous visits to Spiti and is something most of the people spend their free time doing i.e. praying while reading religious books. On the other hand, the other shopkeeper who was a young lad around 30 to 35 years of age and he had earphones in his ears and was engrossed in his phone. All in all everything was peaceful and tranquil. The weather was clear but cold as the sun got closer to the horizon.

The good news is that after crossing Kunzum Pass, the road has finally gotten better and this is a big relief to my back. We are now moving along the Spiti river which will eventually lead us to Kaza.

WM Lossar 01

The view as the descent from Kunzum La begins; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Lossar 02

The first sight of Spiti river as we reach the valley floor; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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The distances of known places from Lossar are just numbers, for travelling on such treacherous roads take much much much longer than expected; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Lossar 03

Villagers processing and collecting barley for consumption till the next harvest; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

WM Lossar 05

A small establishment for housing tourists and travellers at Lossar, with authentic architecture typical of this region; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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One of the make shift souvenir shops at Lossar; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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A shop keeper reading some holy Buddhisṭ text while sitting in his shop at Lossar; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal