A solo trip to Kaza is all you need to get out of a routine life (at least that’s what I needed). Kaza is a place situated in a remote district of Himachal Pradesh called Lahaul-Spiti. The place is 750 km from Delhi and if you don’t have a vehicle, you’ll have to rely on tiny HRTC buses after Shimla. Commuting to Shimla from Delhi is an easy task as you’ll find many Volvos for this 10-hour journey. However, the real adventure starts from Shimla. Take a note here that there are only two buses from Shimla to Kaza and they somewhat look like this:
Comfy, right? Ohh, did I tell you it’s a 24-hour journey? Thankfully, you don’t have to complete it in one stretch. You can take 1 or 2 days’ halt at Reckongpeo (Kinnaur) which is 12 hours from Shimla and it would be totally worth it! Who wouldn’t want to wake up to something like this?
If there’s a heaven, it must be in a bar filled with free booze, but a morning like this is no less than that. Reckongpeo is a small town offering beautiful sights to see throughout the year. You can easily spend a day or two in this small town, enjoy local cuisine (I had Kinnauri Rajmah and it was delicious) and if you have time, you can also go for a trek. My point is, you won’t get bored here and you’ll be well rested for the journey ahead.
I remember writing earlier that the real adventure begins after Shimla. Well, I am too lazy to delete that line so the ‘real-real’ adventure begins from here. You will have to wake up early (5:00 in the morning) to reserve a seat in the bus going to Kaza. The bus comes from Shimla so there’s no surety that you would get a seat. Thankfully, people of Himachal are quite helping and even if you don’t get a seat, the conductor will adjust you somewhere. And then there will be a heaven waiting for you. Well, right after a stairway-to-hell kind of journey. Roads after Reckongpeo look like this:
Ignore my photo editing skills, I had an Xperia P back then. Look at the tiny road on the right bank of the river. That my friend is what adventure looks like. When a big bus (doesn’t look tiny anymore) goes through such roads, even an atheist starts praying. You’ll find many such small patches throughout the way but after a 12-hour journey, a mesmerizing view will be welcoming you.
What a beauty Kaza is! The place has no greenery whatsoever and it still looks as beautiful as any other hilly place, if not more. Just look at this place!
Who can say that it could have a happening market like this:
Okay, the word ‘happening’ was an exaggeration but still look at the fresh vegetables. I wonder from where they get it from as the closest big market is 12 hours away. People here are friendly and helping. You would get an accommodation here in merely 600-800 rupees. Food isn’t bad and alcohol isn’t too costly. The place offers many cafes and restaurants run by localities as well as foreigners. Also, you can brag to your friends by showing them this:
You can also visit a nearby village, named Komik, which is considered to be the second highest village of Asia. And the view from there is just too good:
You’ll easily get taxis for local commute at not-so-reasonable rates but it’s not that expensive either. You’ll find many monasteries here which are worth a visit. You can easily spend 3-4 days in Kaza and explore its beauty. There’s another way to reach Kaza which is via Manali but that road shuts down unexpectedly because of snowfall. Best time to visit Kaza is May-June or August-October. I would recommend you to go via Shimla and come back via Manali as it has some beautiful spots (Story for another time!) So what are you waiting for? Pay your doctor 500 bucks to write you a week’s bed rest, slide it under your boss’s cabin and visit this heavenly place!