Spiti Valley-Manali adventure: A whisker away from a landslide

The next day, 11th August 2021, we drove along the Hindustan -Tibet Road to our next halt at Sarahan. The construction of the Hindustan-Tibet Road which runs along the Sutlej River was started in 1850. The road has been repaired and re-constructed at many places so the drive was reasonably comfortable.

At Jeori we took a diversion to reach Sarahan where we spent the night. The Bhimakali Temple, a magnificent structure made of wood, is located here. It also has the palace of the Bishahr Kingdom. The former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Shree Virbhadra Singh, is a member of the Royal family. He does not stay at the palace which was not open to the public when we visited. We took a short trek to go to the Bird Sanctuary but this too was not open to the public in August as it was the breeding season.

As we drove towards Jeori we heard that there was a massive landslide about 20 kms ahead that took the lives of 13 people along the national highway. A bus and a few cars had been washed away by the falling debris. Our journey was not interrupted as we spent the night at Sarahan.

We had no idea if we would be allowed to go ahead past the landslide zone towards Chitkul our next halt. Sandeep drew up plans to take a n alternate route by passing Spiti Valley if it was forced on us. However, traffic was allowed passed the landslide area in a regulated manner the next day and we crossed the danger zone one car at a time with our hearts in our mouths.  It was a relief when we crossed the danger zone and drove on to Chitkul.

Just after we left Sarahan, we stopped at a wonderful café for breakfast. The ambience was excellent as we were served on a terrace that had a beautiful view. By then we were reasonably sure that we would be allowed to carry on with our original plans and this allowed us to enjoy our halt and the sumptuous breakfast of omelette parathas and masala tea.

Author: hari008

Business Leader , Mentor and Executive Coach with a long track record of achievement , developing high performance teams and mentoring team members who now hold responsible positions in several leading companies

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