Jul 232012

If you are in Spiti, then one of the recommended thing to do there is a 4-days trek between Langza and Dhankar with night halt at Komik, Demul and Lahlung Villages. We were short of time during our visit and had only 3 days for this trek. My initial plan was to start this trek from Komik rather than Langza with night stop at Demul and Lahlung.But weather there was colder than I expected and Nidhi was not interested in this 3-days trek. Without any other choice, we decided to do a single day trek to Komik Village. Komik, situated at the height of 4587 meters, is famous for its old Buddhist Monastery

We enquired about the trekking route and route conditions from a local Lama at Kaza Monastery. He suggested us to route via Hikkim village. But later, when I spoke to a restaurant owner in Kaza, she suggested to take the trek route just above the Kaza town. She said that she often used to trek to Komik in less than one hour, so we could do it in maximum 2-3 hours. We made up our mind for second suggestion.

Trek route suggested by Lama @ Kaza Monastery

Trek route suggested by the lady @ a restaurant in Kaza

But there was a twist in this trek tale and that was the option of third trek route. While coming to Kaza by Kaza bus first time, I saw a sign board on the road showing Kaza-Kakti-Komik connection. That board was just 600 mtrs away from Kaza Bus Stand. Before proceeding on the second route suggested by the lady, I wanted to check that board also.

The sign board of our bad luck

We finally climbed on this route

We went to that board (first mistake) and found that the third route was 13 kms long and routing was via Kakti village.  It was clearly written on the board that the route was under construction. I thought this route is under construction for a vehicle,not for pedestrians and we need only two feet wide stretch to trek and that should be available.second mistake.  We started our trek towards Komik Village. The under construction  road was good and we did not face any problem.It was only after two kilometers, when we realized our third mistake. We forgot the water bottles in the hotel room. Now,we were 3 kilometers away from our hotel room, so we did not want to go back.I thought (fourth mistake) in next 2-3 hours we would be in a village, where we could easily get the breakfast and water. Spiti Valley and the mountains around us looked so beautiful that we forgot about the water and lost in the heaven spread around us.At that point, We did not know that we were going to trapped in this cold desert without water for next 7 hours.

Spiti Valley

Nidhi enjoying the beautiful valley

Kaza Town in the Spiti Valley

Spiti River

We moved further. A strong chilled wind with a mysterious sound was blowing at that height. Sky was filled by the black clouds and we were unprepared for the rain. There were no place to take a shelter in the case of rain.Our waterproof camera bag was the only positive thing. But, to our good luck there was no rain until we returned to Kaza in the evening. The clouds disappeared soon and the sky was clear. Weather seemed to favour us at least. Nidhi was tired very soon, so we made frequent stops for long durations.

Clouds over the Spiti Valley

Clouds over the ice-capped peaks

After 2 hours and 5 kilometers of walking, we met the first person, appeared suddenly in the middle of hills, descending down to Kaza Town. I asked him about the distance of Komik Village. He was surprised and informed us that we were on the wrong way. He told that our route was closed after 2 kms ahead. When I asked about the alternatives, he told us that we should descend down to Kaza town to follow the second route suggested by the lady. But it was too late now. I decided to continue further.I thought he might came from any other village on the hills, if not from Komik. So there would be at least a village on my route, where we could spend some time. I did not confirmed this with that person. Fifth Mistake.There were electric wires all the way to the top of the hills, so we were sure about the existence of a village beyond the hills.

After 2 kms of further walk the main route was closed, but there was still a narrow path going upwards. We walked on that path and continued moving for next 2 hours. Around 11:30 AM, when we reached on the top of the hill, we saw another valley on the other side. There were only one house, alone the valley and electric wires terminated near that house. No existence of a village. Beyond that house there was a mountain pass in the middle of two mountains.  We were very thirsty. Nidhi was very tired and she did not want to walk further. Finally, she agreed to walk up to the mountain pass , so that we could see if there was any village beyond that. Otherwise we would return from that point.

Single house in the valley, where electric wires terminated

A view of the mountain pass

Beyond that valley, there was again a wide road towards the mountain pass. It gave us a hope that there would be surely a village after the pass.We reached mountain pass in next 2 hours. and then Nidhi refused to move further. So, I advised her to stay there for some minutes,so that I could go to check the road beyond the mountain pass. I walked for about 1 km further and that wide road also terminated. There was still no sign of any village beyond that pass. I returned back towards Nidhi, and surprisingly found her in a deep sleep on that rough-rugged stoney road.

Nidhi sleeping on the road

I woke up her to start our return journey towards Kaza. But first we were in the great need of the water, so we went to that single house in the valley. There was a lady working in the fields. She offered us the tea, but we were interested in the water only at that time. We chatted with the lady and she informed us that the only  man who met us earlier is her husband. He went to Kaza town to bring some vegetables for the dinner (about 7-8 kms descend for the vegetables only and they do it regularly !).  She also told us that there is indeed a way  to Komik village beyond that pass. But we were too tired to think about Komik now.

We asked her about Kakti village, that was mentioned on the sign board near Kaza. She informed us that her house was the only house of Kakti Village. We took water and it gave us some energy to restore our senses. In our tiredness, we forgot the beauty of nature around us. and when we realized the landscapes around us, it was a pleasant feeling. The landscape near the pass was very similar to the one I have seen in many movies of Utah Desert of USA. I captured many pictures there.

A local lady working in the field

Her house and a view of the pass beyond the valley

This is not a waterfall, but frozen ice on the rocks

Beautiful landscape around us

Beautiful landscape around us

Beautiful landscape around us

After spending about 45 minutes there, we asked her for any shortcut route to Kaza. She showed us a way going down from the hill. We moved ahead from there on that route, but after 2 kms the path was very narrow with a deep valley below. A single mistake could prove fatal there and it was very risky too. So, we again returned to that house and returned via the same route, we had taken earlier. When we were about to reach Kaza, we saw a little boy climbing on the hills. He informed that he was going to that house of Kakti village and would be there in 30 minutes only! We were walking on the same route from last 10 hours! He and his brother was studying in Kaza and they usually go to Kakti on weekends. The lady, we met there is her mother. We returned back to Kaza at 18:00 PM.

We did not dare to cross this stretch

A local boy while returning from Kakti

Beautiful landscapes around us

It was our 11-hours long, failed trekking attempt to Komik Village.But, whenever we see the pictures of the landscapes of that trek, it still give us a great pleasure that we at least spent some time in lap of the nature with beautiful surroundings.


  31 Responses to “Our Unsuccessful Trek to Komik Village”

  1. WOW !! I would have died of panic if I got lost like that . ANyway I would not have ventured without a guide. Hats off to you people for trying this. I am sure you cam back stronger for the experience. Great photos!!

  2. Wow, my nerves were on edge as I read this. These high altitude villages of Spiti are incredible and the people are so warm. Btw, great photographs.

    Hope you like checking my Spitian experiences too 🙂


  3. I am so glad, I came across this blog as I was struggling to find some info on this trek route 🙂

    Like the saying goes, sometimes the journey is important than the destiantion. Requires a lot of will power to keep going considering you guys did not even have water .. Wow !!! Also happy to read that you guys got back safely to Kaza.

    I am planning the trek route Kaza-Komik-Demul-Lalung, in the month of August 2016. But my only concern is the altitude.
    Do you have info regrading this. Are these villages above 4000mts of altitude or lower. I have trekked to 4500mts earlier, but never stayed at such an altitude after a trek. I have stayed at Tsomoriri earlier (4500 mts) but this was via a road trip and not a trek.

    Would be great if you could guide me on this.

    • Hi, These all are high altitude village (Komik- 4587 mts, Demul- 4320 mts, Lalung- 3658 mts and Dhankar- 3894 mts). But the positive side is that every village has accommodation and food facilities, so no need to carry loads of supplies. It makes your walking comfortable on the trails. It’s not that much difficult. You should enjoy this. 🙂

  4. Solotrekkers man what a journey you had, I was mesmorizing the beauty of spiti valley through your words. mistakes ( not actually though), time, will-power, nature, trail, help ( you received ). You did fantastic job by trekking this place and living trails. thanks for sharing I wish, request in god to give u & Nidhi luck, will-power, opportunities and ever happiness, stay blessed always 🙂

  5. hi an interesting read indeed
    ive done this trek ,its considered an easy trek by most…i noticed in your pics Nidhi is not wearing the right shoes ,also why wrent you carrying a tent on a three day trek but i must must say the pics are amazing …all the best

    • Thanks Saurav. We wanted to stay at the homestays, that’s why we didn’t carry the tent. Yes, it is considered as relatively easy trek and we, too, took it lightly, that’s why we didn’t prepare much as you pointed out the shoes. But, overall it was a nice experience indeed.

  6. Awesome Bhai!! Salute to both of you.

  7. It good to get lost once in a while, you get to see things that other people don’t see 🙂
    I think it was quite funny that everyone you met duiring the trek belongs to the same family 😛

  8. thank you so much for this info…..i read all ur articles on spiti….i am planning a trip to spiti by the end of this month..yourarticle helped a lot….best wishes for your future journeys

  9. beautiful pics.Fully agree with Ranita singh.Helped in discovering a trek.Liked gand canyon type pic.hv seen one near Varanasi.

  10. thanx for this wonderful info, this is very useful to me because we r going there next month.

  11. Though u call it a failed trek trip yet i would say that an wonderful experience through the beauty of nature..ur description of the trip and the photographs touched my heart..really wonderful..

  12. Top of the range, very interesting and lovely post about the Kaza and its magnificent and spectacular places of interest.

  13. That was a very beautiful essay from a very beautiful place! I hope you do complete that trek someday and even blog about it later… so that I can enjoy it virtually through your pictures and words. 🙂

  14. Though unsuccessful, but you guys seemed to have a great time 🙂 Thanks for sharing this amazing journey 🙂

    • Thanks for the visit Tes. Whenever we see the pictures of this trek, we really feel very good. It was a good trek, though we did not reach the destination.

      • Is it possible to go Komic village by bus from Kaza?

        • Hi, Bus service is not available for Komik village. However, you can check for a shared jeep near Kaza bus stand. Local people comes to Kaza for the shopping and other necessities. They returned back to the village in the evening. You can get a shared jeep. This way, you can commute between most of the villages in Spiti Valley. 🙂

          • Thank you for the info! Actually, me and my wife are planning a trek between Langza and Dhankar village. We will go to Langza by wheels and then go by foot. The rout is Langza-Komik-Demul-Lhalung-Dhankar. Do you think it is possible to do in three days?

            • Hi, It’s possible in 3 days, but 4 days will be more comfortable. Consider 1 day between each pair of villages, so it’s like Langza-Komik, Komik-Demul, Demul-Lahlung and Lahlung-Dhankar. Else, instead of starting from Langza, you can start from Komik. You can walk on the trail between these villages comfortably then.

              • Thanx.One more question. What is the weather in Spiti Valley in second half of September? Isn’t it cold and rainy?

                • Hi, Spiti Valley is considered as the cold desert. You can expect very less rain in this area. However, you may expect heavy rains in other areas of Himachal Pradesh, while approaching to Spiti Valley. But, by the second half of September, monsoon season almost gets over in India, so the rain shouldn’t be a concern for you. During day-time, it’s not that much cold. Expect warm sunshine during the day and chilly wind in the evening/night. Your timings to visit Spiti Valley is perfect. 🙂

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