Kaza is the sub-divisional headquarters of the Spiti-Lahaul region, Keylong being the divisional headquarters. We entered via the downtown section of the town and saw a bustling market place teaming with people and vehicles. Facilities for tourists are considerably better than at Nako. Kaza boasts of the world’s highest petrol station. We made the mistake of leaving refueling till the morning of our departure only to find that the petrol station opens only at 8.30am. We were forced to wait as there are no further petrol stations along the way till we reach Manali. Nako too didn’t have a petrol station and we were advised to fill our tanks at Rekong Peo on our way to Nako from Chitkul. Kaza also has a hospital that can attend to emergency care. We were able to watch the England -India 2nd test match from our hotel TV and watched the historic win.
Mobile connectivity was very patchy as we approached Nako and the only service provider who enabled connectivity in this belt was Reliance Jio.
We stayed at a decent place called Hotel Winter White and Restaurant, a little away from the downtown area with more open space. The Manager Shahil was cheerful and helpful. Old timers in our group said that the elevation at Kaza would be less than at Nako, however the elevation was almost the same at 3650 metres. Kaza is snow bound and inaccessible from the middle of October till the end of March.
Our 2nd day at Kaza was spent attempting to visit the Pin Valley National Park, a sanctuary for several mountain species of animals including the Snow Leopard. We drove along the Pin River to the town of Mud but seem to have missed the path and found ourselves at a beautiful spot but a long way from the National Park. We decided therefore not to go to the park and returned to our hotel instead.
The mountains along the Pin River were majestic with amazing patterns created by fierce winds on the face of the mountains. The drive was along rough mud roads most of the time and was an arduous journey but the views were breathtaking.
We spent a day going to several interesting places near Kaza. Hikkim claims to have the world’s highest post office. Some of our friends sent postcards to their families back home and received them about three weeks later. Komic has a sign board that claims that it is the world’s highest village at 4587 metres. Langza was another quaint place. It was a massive stature of the Buddha and a nice little café called Space Ship were we had a sumptuous snack of cheese toast and lemon tea.
The view as we drove to these places was stark but awe inspiring. The roads were typically off-road and rough at several places.