Budget, Culture, Himachal Pradesh, India, Offbeat, Responsible Travel, Solo Travel
Comments 13

Travel Tales From Spiti: Entrepreneur at 12.

In the desert mountain landscape of the Trans-Himalayas, it’s easy to forget the color green. On my way to Komic, the highest inhabited village in the Himalayas, the unassuming village of Lhangza enchants me. Blue, green, brown and white are the predominant colors; the foremost of the clear sky, the latter three alternating among the bare, snow-capped & surprisingly green mountains.

As I make my way up to a rocky hill atop which is perched a Buddha statue, I wave at a herd of children screaming hello from a nearby rooftop. A little girl comes rolling down with a big empty canyon used to carry water. I ask her her name and age, and her chubby cheeks glow a dark red as she points to her school atop another hill. In her timid voice, she tells me she studies Math and English, and her voice drifts away in shyness with the rest of the subjects. She happily agrees to pose for a picture, then hurriedly carries her water canyon to the water tank at the base of the hill.

I reach a vantage point on an abandoned rooftop and seat myself down, overlooking deserted green hills, small streams, and a dozen, white, flat-roofed, bamboo-covered houses. Colorful flags symbolic of Buddhism flutter in the wind, as does my hair. It’s moments like these that inspire me to travel, I think to myself.

langhza, spiti valley, villages, offbeat travel, travel, himalayas, trans himalayas, mountains, india, lahaul

langhza, spiti valley, villages, offbeat travel, travel, himalayas, trans himalayas, mountains, india, lahaul

As I get up from my beautiful throne, a giant hawk graces the azure sky and flies a few feet away from me, leaving me in awe. Suddenly, my little friend appears out of nowhere and tugs at me. She opens her little fist and reveals a beautifully carved ammonite fossil that she found up in the mountains, and offers it to me. Seeing me marvel at it, she asks me for some money in exchange. I’m at conflict; buying fossils is the extreme opposite of responsible travel and a major conservation hazard, and yet, how can I say no to such a cute kid and such a lovely fossil? My heart wins, and we exchange big smiles in parting.

Understanding the subconscious wants of a traveler and being able to deliver on them has to be in the nature of an entrepreneur, even at 12.


Also read:
Travel tales from Spiti: Once a nun.
Travel tales from Spiti: The legend of the moving monasteries.
Travel tales from Spiti: Kaza’s garden lady.

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Shivya Nath

I quit my full-time job in 2011 with a dream of travelling the world. Two years later, I gave up my home, sold most of my possessions and embraced a nomadic life. I'm passionate about going off the beaten path, solo travel, sustainable travel and veganism. Let's connect!


  1. manchitra says

    Shivya, beautiful post. Seems your are enjoying your travels. The description says it all. beautiful pics too.

    • Thanks Chitra, I am 🙂 I must say the pictures hardly do justice to Langhza though.

  2. Lovely pics and captivating describtion. Reminds me of my own experiences as a hiker. The innocent and cute children from mountain villages with their beaming smiles and sparkling eyes who often ask for some money and empty bottles or cans. We always make it a point to carry some candies and giveaways for the expectant eyes. Their lives are so simple, expectations and wants so naive yet takes so little to please them or bring a smile to their adorable faces.

    • Very true. It seems the less you have, the less you need to be happy. Life is strange that way. Thanks for sharing that mountain experience 🙂

  3. These pieces on Spiti are lovely, especially how you’ve almost romanticized the life of a nun. Vivid writing.

  4. Pingback: Travel tales from Spiti: Kaza’s garden lady. | The Shooting Star

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  8. There aren’t many who write such raw posts about their journeys. I loved the simplicity of this one. Great post!

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