Lahaul is a world in itself. The culture, people and places are so different that you would feel in a different world, every time you venture into this unique land. My day in Keylong began with a different feel altogether. The fresh cold air of morning was buzzing past, even though it was a morning of early October.
Enjoying hot paranthas at a small local Dabha run by Thupstan had almost become a ritual for me. I was there to meet my friends and spend some days in solace of mountains or the Himalayas as I had always wanted to venture into the wild, almost not becoming a monk. A week’s sojourn every year gave me this opportunity to explore myself and this unique land.
Coming back to the paranthas (though they were nothing special) I still enjoyed munching upon them, for who would else cook for me! By the time breakfast wound up, it was the time to take a stroll of market which was just opening up. I did love the smell in the air as did I the traditional artifacts which were displayed in numerous shops which lined up the market.
Visible distinctly was the unique landmark of Keylong,”the lady of Keylong” a glacier peak which has become popular owing to its unique shape and size. The Gompa of Kardang and Shashur also line up opposite peaks of Keylong, as if offering their blessings to the people residing in this sleepy town which also happens to be the district Headquarter of Lahaul and Spiti.
It was then time to catch up with Amar Singh and pay a customary visit to the Pragya office, the Non Governmental Organization from where I had begun my professional journey in Social Development Sector.
Remembering old times, we all laughed, pondered and thought on the fact that life has brought us so far in the past 17 years. Something which has not changed is the sleepy town of Keylong and in 2019 also we could feel the same vibes, the place had offered us in 2003. This is the beauty of mountains and you will never find it in the bustling city life. The people are simple, the mountains are serene and the ambiance is impeccable.
Life goes on as unsual in these mountains and the hard working ladies not only look after the household chores but also tend to the fields doing most of the agriculture work, We used to bump into ladies working in fields often carrying a bowl of Chang (the locally brewed beer) though I never had the courage of asking them if they drank it during day time).
Keylong as a town does not have much to offer to a visitor though you can make a climb to the Shashur Gompa and understand more about Buddhist culture. The adventure lovers definitely should go to Jispa some 30 Km from Keylong while the religious bent should make a trip to Udaipur which is known for its temple.
More on such adventure trails in the coming blogs.