Tribute to tribal clan

written by Pramod Viswanath on October 5, 2010 in blog and Landscape Photography and Photography Expedition and spiti valley and thoughts and ruminations and Trans-Himalayas and Tribute with 5 comments

Kinnaur being one of the smallest districts in India, it enjoys a temperate climate. Conditions conducive for pears and apples!

Spiti valley comprises of a high altitude cold desert region housed in the himalayan mountain ranges in the Himachal Pradesh ( N.E. India ). Predominantly a Buddhist community, the state abuts itself with Tibet. My visit to the Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti districts was altogether a different experience as compared to my previous visit to the Ladakh. Lots of learnings and personal experiences accompanied the package this time.

Highlight of the trip was that we got to experience both best and worst of the weather conditions  of this season. That apart, we got to experience the harsh living conditions of the people of the region. Being an high altitude area, both mental and physical toughness is what is expected of every human being who either wishes to live here or want to travel. Unless one is extremely motivated and passionate about travel, it is tough to navigate through this tribal triangle. It is the local public works department, border roads organization and national highway authority of India and primarily the people working in these departments are those who made our trip possible. Without them, this barren land just restricts any movement of every human being.

Tribal People

Most of the people who work in tandem with the above mentioned departments are local tribal people making a living mostly out of on daily wages. Their job is to keep the roads and passes open for traffic, tourists and for vehicles that ferry essential commodities!

How does it feel when you are stuck behind a landslide and you simply cannot move? Only the experienced can feel the ‘heat’. For the uninitiated and inexperienced ‘alien’ dweller, this land simply kills. Every single day, when we started off with our outings, my mind kept on thinking about these local tribals who work on these roads. At times, the places are extremely dangerous and unpredictable interms of weather and landslides are fairly common. Life threatening landscape is what this place is all about. I felt a deep sense hurt inside looking at these people and their children being exposed to such harsh living conditions, let alone the region is high altitude cold desert! Responsible eco-tourism is what is the need of this hour that can improve directly of indirectly the living conditions of these people.

Through this post of mine, I just want to convey my deepest sense of regards and respect to the tribals of spiti valley without whom this trip of ours wouldn’t have been possible. Sometimes, the strongest of the emotions are tough to express in words. Just respect prevails and nothing else matters.

Hail Himalayas! Bows to people of Spiti valley.

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