Kalpa 7/5

Kalpa is a tiny village in the Kinnaur Valley perched 8 km above the district capital Rekong Peo. According to lonely planet, this was the winter home of Shiva. Now I don’t know how they found that out, but it conjured up for me a ridiculous image of Shiva backpacking down the mountains, snakes and all, perhaps to escape the cold in Kailash. Whatever his reasons, he chose a really wonderful spot – Kalpa has a 360 degree view of the snow capped mountains, the most significant one being the Kinner Kailash, and we spent the entire day ooh-ing and aah-ing over the views from every point in the village.


That’s kinner kailash and on the right is anushka on top of the world who seems to have lost focus.

This was also our first sight of apple trees in total abundance, which was a relief, because we were worried we’d go back from Himachal without having seeing a single one! We spent the last two weeks asking everyone we met, “but where are the apples?” It’s not yet apple season but the trees are in full bloom now with gorgeous white and pale pink blossoms, so I’m quite satisfied.

Don’t particularly like photos of vast apple orchards (psst we don’t have one) so here is one of the lovely apple blossoms.

Kalpa calls itself a heritage village, possibly because most of the houses are preserved in the old style wood and stone construction with slate roofs – many of the houses seem to have a Buddhist influence so the roofs are not just slanted, they have that inward curve that’s very monastery-like. It’s funny, because the one thing neither of us were terribly interested in when we set out were old monuments and buildings, yet we spend a good amount of time, mostly when we get away from the big towns, looking at old houses and constructions. It’s actually quite fascinating.

Oh and here is the unofficial map of kalpa

We ate all our meals at this restaurant, which turned out to be the most happening one, with all the locals constantly coming in from a quick drink of the local apple liquor. It seemed like they had just completed some local body elections, so there were many happy celebrations while we were there.

No that’s not apple wine, sigh, we don’t consume booze while travelling, we binge once we return to “safe” places. But yes its outside of that lovely restaurant making do with some tobacco instead

It rained during the day for about an hour and though the sky cleared up pretty soon, the weather turned bitterly cold – so I went from being in my half sleeve kurta in the morning to putting on every single layer I’m carrying with me by evening. Normally in that kind of cold I’d have just stayed put under blankets and refused to budge, but the night sky was so vast and so deliciously filled with stars that we had to get out and see it. Here is one of our very useless attempts at capturing the night sky. Just remember that we spent half hour in teeth-chattering, bone-freezing cold to take it. (And if anyone has any advice for future attempts, please share!)

there were a lot more stars. Really really there were. Or maybe they were cold too and wrapped themselves in black blankets. Ooh black blankets black blankets try saying it fast.

And since we are on night shoot topic, here’s a photo taken during the lunar eclipse from rashmi and rakesh’s terrace in good ol madras

And here are some random photos from kalpa

We saw this spray painted on a few walls, cant read it very clearly but loved the way the stencils been cut

anushka tells me she has seen this before but I haven’t. love the rooftop parking concept. Makes quite a lot of sense actually. =)

no caption here. Doesn’t it look like its going to start laughing or get up and walk off?

And finally hows this for a playground =)


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