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Things To Do In Kaza
A tranquil little getaway on the plains of Spiti Valley, enough can’t be said about the beauty and charm of Kaza. Winding roads, meandering crystal clear lakes and rivers, majestic snow-capped mountains, monasteries and Gompas, all have made Kaza a dream destination for tourists. Photographers, trekkers and campers flock here to live their dream and be a part of this magical little place. That is alone proof that Kaza has so many wonderful things to do. Read on for details.
Kaza and its neighbouring areas offer incredible opportunities for trekking. As the largest settlement of Spiti, Kaza has the last ATM and petrol pump that tourists have access to before moving further upwards. For Pin Paravati and Kanamo trekkers their Day 1 itinerary includes Kaza. Those trekking in the months of July and August can attend the Ladarcha Fair that is hosted in Kaza and is extremely entertaining. The Key Monastery, Chandratal Lake, Kibber, Dhankar etc are all trekking zones. Trekkers are spoilt for choice and blinded by the beauty of each of these spots. It is also the best way to explore Spiti.
Camping in the open under the clear blue skies amidst the rugged landscape of Kaza is an experience of a lifetime. The best season for camping is in summer from late May to October. Apart from Kaza, some organized camping sites are Kunzum La Pass and Chandratal Lake. Camping in these unpolluted and almost uninhabited locales offer solace and an opportunity to rediscover one’s own self. Camping is combined with trekking, bird watching, biking and other adventures activities.
For photographers, Kaza and its vicinities offer ample opportunities for photography. The sparkling clear water of the lakes, the picturesque hamlets and towns, the winding mountainous roads, the towering mountain with their snow capped peaks, the rugged and barren landscapes, the flora and fauna, there is no dearth of subjects for the photographers. So take out your cameras and off you go in search of those beautiful shots!
Exploring Flora and Fauna of Pin Valley National Park
Located higher up in the mountains, the Pin Valley National Park has lots to explore. From endangered species of flora and fauna to Siberian Ibex, snow leopards, Tibetan gazelle there is much for entertainment here, and time just flies.
Visiting the Monasteries
A religious and cultural centre for Buddhists, Spiti has a fair number of monasteries. The peace and tranquillity that prevails here is infectious. The chanting of the lamas creates a soothing music for the frayed nerves and souls. You could spend time visiting these monasteries, studying their architecture, the murals and paintings adorning the buildings or just meditate and enjoy the peace that prevails here far from the madding crowd.
Interacting with Locals
Another interesting thing you can indulge in is interacting with the locals. The inhabitants in these areas lead a life that is far removed from the hectic, competitive world we live in. Minimal usage of gadgets, no malls for entertainment; they lead a very simple life and are a warm bunch of people. Interacting with them gives an opportunity to know more about their cultures and practices, their lifestyles and rituals. Exploring the areas and interacting with the local inhabitants is the best way to know a place.
Tasting Local Cuisine
A small town tucked away in the lap of the Himalayas, Kaza does not offer too many options when it comes to food. The Indian and Tibetan cuisine that is available here is enough to warm the souls. The restaurants and cafes do not offer fine dining but the steaming hot food is full of flavours. The Chandra Dhaba for example is a small brick room warmed by the heat from the stove. A bowl of hot noodles packed with veggies is nothing less than a delicacy here. Momos and Thukpas are readily available here. Some of the popular eateries are The Himalayan Cafe, Taste of Spiti, Sol Cafe etc.
Shopping in Kaza
One cannot expect to find shopping arcades or malls in a small place like Kaza. This however does not mean that you have nothing to take back from the picturesque little town. By virtue of experiencing very harsh winters, it is quite popular for the woollen shawls and garments that are found here. You can find some beautiful woven carpets here as well. Ceramic utensils, local jewellery and stone gems are also extremely popular and you can pick some up before heading back. The government-run handloom centres and cooperative shops are best for shopping. The market area of Kaza is very popular as well. It is strewn with Tibetan and Buddhist handicrafts which you can take back as souvenirs of the memorable trip.