Day 4 & 5: Kaza, Spiti Circuit

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Day 4 and 5 of my Spiti Circuit to Kaza

After traveling almost every day, we decided to have a two night halt at Kaza.

Before I start, One thing to note is beyond Kalpa, it is only CellOne (BSNL / MTNL) that would work until Kaza. The access would be good (2G) in places like Tabo / Kaza / Dhankar Village, however, you might not get good signals while you are driving to any of these places or on road.

Please read Day One, Two and Three here:

Spiti Circuit – Day One   Spiti Circuit – Day Two  Spiti Circuit – Day Three

Day Four:

We started from Tabo and started our journey to Kaza our destination for the next couple of days. Relatively, this is the shortest and easy one with good roads mostly.

With a total distance of roughly 66 kms to be covered, we planned to start around 0900 hrs and did some sight seeing of Tabo Gompa before starting and started around 0930 hrs towards Kaza.

Google was recommending the travel time of less than two hours (we took around 3 hours with the detour to Dhankar Gompa.

Tabo to Kaza
Tabo to Kaza (detour to Dhankar Gompa on the way)

A few pictures en-route Kaza / Dhankar Gompa:

Roads to Kaza, Spiti Valley
Roads to Kaza
Farming at a local land in Spiti Valley
Road alongside Spiti River
Road alongside Spiti River
Road alongside Spiti River

The road to Dhankar Gompa was slightly narrow and challenging if a vehicle comes in the opposite direction. Dhankar Gompa was a good visit and a wonderful decision to visit this place while en-route Kaza.

It took around 40-45 mins of drive from Tabo to Dhankar Gompa, took my time taking into consideration the narrow roads and uphill.

Welcome to Dhankar Gompa, Dhankar Village
Dhankar Village, Spiti Valley
Dhankar Village, Spiti Valley
Know about Dhankar Gompa

I had a cab diver help me here as i was a bit nervous to reverse and took his help in having the vehicle reversed and parked. He was helpful to get this vehicle in place so that we start back post our visit.

Once the vehicle was parked, we moved on to visit the Gompa, it was such a serene place and a calm one. Someone who visits these places might be enticed and would want to settle down here.

Dhankar Gompa on a Cliff
Pin and Spiti River view from Dhankar Gompa
Worship Room, Dhankar Gompa
Prayer Room in Dhankar Gompa
Monk working on having the lights and prayer diyas ready
Tenzin HomeStay, Dhankar Village
Dhankar Gompa Guest House, Dhankar Village

After a wonderful visit to the Dhankar Gompa, we started and had a couple of back-packers ask for lift. we were glad to welcome them and were interacting on where and what are their experiences. Having come from Delhi, one of them came to Kaza via Manali and is back-packing the Spiti region for almost 15 days. We started back to Kaza and encountered a rude cab driver while getting down the ghat road. He came right in front of our car stopped in a very haphazard way and started arguing with me. We had to put in some sense in him, take a reverse and wait for him to leave and this was not before talking to the people in the car on how rude their driver was.

After coming to the Kaza main road, our back-packing friends bid farewell and shared more on the Manali route, precautions to be taken.

We continued ahead to Kaza and reached Kaza in around 45 mins time. Did some turns and searching for the hotel before calling our Hotel person who was more than glad to guide us. We reached our Hotel for the next two nights.

The Old Monk Kaza – Our hotel in Kaza

We reached around 1400 hrs and after checking in were surprised to know there was WiFi available at this place. We then asked our hosts to help us with something to eat and they were glad to offer us Vegetable Maggi.

Vegetable Maggi @ Old Monk Kaza
View from our room in Kaza
Map of the villages around Kaza
Another view from our room
Sun Set in Kaza
Sun Set at Kaza

After taking some rest, we set out to the local Kaza market, did some shopping of toys for the young traveler with us and had some Momos and local drink (Herbal Tea).

The Himalayan Cafe, Market Area, Kaza

After having some Veg. Momos and the herbal tea (made from Sea Buck-thorn) which is a specialty in the Himalayan region we went back to our hotel.

We finished our dinner around 2030 hrs and retired to our rooms to open all curtains and watch the skies and the stars it had to offer.

Day Five:

Woke up early next day morning and after breakfast, started our trip to Ki Gompa (also called Key) which was around 15 kms and took around 30 mins.

Ki Gompa.jpg
Kaza to Key Gompa
Ki Gompa, Key Village

Ki Gompa is one of the biggest #budhisttemple with over 300 monks in the #SpitiValley is a must visit, the #HerbalTea which the #Monks welcome you with is such a wonderful welcome to keep you #Mesmerised and learn about the vast culture and learnings it has to offer, different #prayerrooms, H.H. #dalailama room in the #Monastery are something you should not miss in this trip.

We spent close to 90 minutes at this place, photography is prohibited and Monks were kind to explain the different prayer rooms and its importance.

Once we completed our visit, we started back to Kaza and found the I Love Spiti (in collaboration with #Spitiecosphere which is a major initiative for tourists to understand the importance of Responsible Tourism by not using Plastic and ensuring we do not spoil such a wonderful nature.

I Love Spiti by Shivya and SpitiEcoSphere

We reached back to Kaza and did some sight seeing and visiting nearby places. We had a couple from Kolkata who were also following the same route map and were planning to go to Komic and Hikkim and we tagged along with them rather than self-drive in the second half of the day.

Komic – Highest Village in the world with a Motor-able Road

We returned around 1800 hrs in the evening to have an early dinner at 1900 hrs and retire for the night was we have a long and daunting day tomorrow on our journey from Kaza to Chandratal Lake which i have heard from everyone on how difficult is it and how stressful could it be due to the bad roads..

Until i write my Day Six Travelogue, i would sign-off with a few pics of the Worlds highest Fuel station where we had an opportunity to fill diesel for our onward trip on Day Six.

IOC Retail Fuel Station
XUV 500 with the backdrop of the IOC Station and Kaza Stupas
IOC Fuel Station

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