“I’ve learned much from the land of many gods and many ways to worship. From Buddhism the power to begin to manage my mind, from Jainism the desire to make peace in all aspects of life, while Islam has taught me to desire goodness and to let go of that which cannot be controlled. I thank Judaism for teaching me the power of transcendence in rituals and the Sufis for affirming my ability to find answers within and reconnecting me with the power of music. Here’s to the Parsis for teaching me that nature must be touched lightly, and the Sikhs for the importance of spiritual strength….And most of all, I thank Hinduism for showing me that there are millions of paths to the divine.” – Sarah Macdonald

Travel Route: Dhankar – Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komic


Dhankar is a fort village, perched high over the intersection between Spiti and Pin Valleys.  At the top of the hill, we found a great spot to meditate.

Kaza, the capital of Spiti Valley

The word ‘Spiti’ means the ‘middle country’ – a name given for its location between India and Tibet.  Spiti Valley is a high-altitude desert, bare, rugged, and inhospitable.  It has been only about 20 years since foreigners were allowed permits to visit Spiti Valley. The government allocates priorities and allows major subsides to the Valley.  As it is often the case, locals are ambivalent about the changes.  On the one hand, a desire to advance their life’s quality and on the other hand, they want to maintain their environment and old-style way of life.  In his novel, ‘Kim’ Rudyard Kipling called Spiti Valley: ‘a world within a world’ and a ‘place where the gods live.’

Langza, Hikkim, and Komic

Three small villages, Langza, Hikkim, and Komic, are situated over 4000m in altitude. It’s an image of a desolated beauty, and indeed the villages have been in practical isolation for centuries.  They are a cluster of whitewashed mud-brick homes situated amid barley and green pea fields.  Spiti Valley has had introvertive culture, and life has remained focused around its several monasteries.