Diary

The Wayfarer Diaries: Life In The Cold Batseri

13-01-2018, 1548 hours, Batseri, Sangla Valley, Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India:

Upon reaching Batseri (a small Hamlet in the Sangla Valley), I realised how it really is in the villages on the left bank of the river Baspa. Snow can still be seen in the fields, forests and along the road up till the peak of the enourmous mountain towering behind it. (Though it had snowed 12 days ago on the 1st of January).

While I had to take off my jacket in Kamru and Sangla with the sun making it feel like summers there, as soon as we reached Batseri the jacket and the cap came back on instantly. For the people here, the sun had already set it seemed as the residents were in their respective houses while a few could be seen on the roads. I was then informed by the locals that the it’s only sunny from 8 in the morning till about 1-2 in the afternoon. I could not help but wonder how difficult it is to live here without the warmth of the sun in the winters let alone doing other activities such as farming, keeping cattle, or anything else for that matter.

Besides, being very near the river also adds to the cold around the village. Everyone here is fully packed head to toe to evade the formidable cold the valley offers. And yet, the people have adapted very well to the conditions and seem quite content with their lives.

When I think about my life in the city with the better amenities and facilities and opportunities, it makes me wonder if I am as contented there as the people are here …

Kamru Fort

The Kamru fort as the sun shines bright in the sky; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

Batseri Village

Snow from the previous snowfall accumulated in and around Batseri; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

Batseri

The enormous snow clad mountain behind Batseri village, Kinnaur, Himachal; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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