Photographer's Note

On the route to Chandratal, we came across many Gaddi shepherds. These Gaddi shepherds migrate annually with their flocks of sheep and goats and some horses in search of grazing areas, a search that will entail covering mountainous terrain and crossing high passes for six months of the year.

Rohtang La

Rohtang means "a pile of dead bodies" in Tibetan and La means "pass". This photo might not do justice to its nomenclature but that is how Rohtang Pass is... totally unpredictable and surprising...

At an height of almost 4000 mts(13000 feet), Rohtang Pass separates the lush green Beas Valley from the barren Chandra Valley. It is one of the two gateways to the Himalayan deserts of Leh-Ladakh and Lahaul-Spiti from Kullu-Manali region. The Pass is closed due to heavy snow for almost 6 months in a year. In summer, when road is cut through snow and the pass is reopened, you travel between many feets high walls of snow on both sides, which is quite an experience.

Rohtang stands true to its notorious name. In Oct 2004, hundreds of people and vehicles were stranded there for a couple of days due to the sudden deterioration of weather and untimely snowfall.

The summit of the pass turns into lush green meadow in summer studded with violets and varieties of wild Himalayan and Alpine flowers. You can also see beautiful horses n sheep grazing on the pastures...

That is Rohtang for you...

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Additional Photos by Amol Herlekar (amol) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 82 W: 106 N: 214] (952)
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