Stranded across the Rohtang

Travel time: October 1995  |  by Roshni P.

Visiting Tabo

It must have been the excitement in the air that woke us up early in the morning! While we were relishing the breakfast, Capt. Zadu decided to boil some potatoes and eggs to carry - this would be our daily routine from now on as there were no restaurants available on the way.

The river along the way was beautiful – blue all the way, you could even see the coloured stones if you walked up to the riverbank. We stopped to finish our boiled potatoes and eggs, taking care not to leave anything behind.

We drove to Quirik a small village before Tabo. Our aim was to find a place to put up camps for people visiting Tabo the next year (The Kalachakra of Tabo was to be presided by his Holiness - the Dalai Lama).

We found the right place and settled a deal with the family who agreed readily. The beauty of this village was in the fact that there was only ONE tree standing amongst the patches of yellow!

The man left with his animals to go to the 'jungle' - which was basically a patch of small shrubs for the animals to eat!

We carried on to the Tabo Monastery. After finding shelter, we quickly went to bed as we decided to attend the morning prayer at the Monastery.

Early morning Sweety (the ever resourceful guy - there wasn't any village where he didn't know a person!) woke us up with bed tea! We silently entered the monastery where the prayer was going on.

The seating was hierarchical. The head Lama sat at a higher seat followed by his subordinates. Then there were 2 rows of monks facing each other. Behind these monks were the little lamas who were more interested in putting sand in their neighbour’s robes! Every now and then the head lama would look at the boys making mischief.

In between the prayers, there would be a small break where everybody was offered some gur-gurcha (butter tea).

When the prayer finished, a monk, Lama Thupten Phulzung, took us around the gompa. When were came in front of the assembly hall, we saw a Lama pull up the robes of the little Lamas making mischief and whacked their bare backs.... the poor kids rang to their chores rubbing their sore butts!

We were told that only the eldest children in the family stays with the parents and the rest of them are given to the monastery.

Later we visited the old monastery that is caved in – they were excavating this. I don’t remember seeing much except that it was interesting to explore the complex, as there seemed to be so many chambers inside. It was scary and fun at the same time as the chambers were dark and they could crumble easily.

After looking for guesthouses that were likely to open up due to the incoming tourist business we returned to our room to sleep for the night. This was only the 2nd year that the region had been opened up to visitors so there was hardly anything infrastructure there.

© Roshni P., 2003
You are here : Overview Asia India Visiting Tabo
The trip
On a recce trip to the newly opened Spiti valley, I learned why mountains are nobody's friends! From there on, no matter where I go, I am always prepared for the worst!
Start of journey: Oct 12, 1995
Duration: 14 days
End of journey: Oct 25, 1995
Travelled countries: India
The Author
Roshni P. is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 18 years.