For me, the idea behind going to a place and it’s key destinations isn’t merely to tick the to-do or to-see list. It’s interesting to see why the locals want to show you, a particular place, as an outsider.
Especially in a place like Spiti, where man-made buildings or attractions are almost non-existent, the locals turn to their gods and the Tibetan culture to showcase their land and it’s stories. The fact that these monasteries or gonpas are built so beautifully and strategically are in itself a showcase of the ingenuity of their people. So even though I am not someone who appreciates religious tourism, I was compelled to look and marvel at the incredible local wooden and mud architecture.
Almost all homes draw inspiration from the gonpas and bear similar color. One cannot miss the huge influence that Buddhist religion has over the people of the valley. Literally every adult has a chain of beads and is seen chanting “Om Mani Padne Hum” which loosely translates as ‘May all beings be happy’ as told to me by a monk at the Key monastery.

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