A Place called Batal

by Mridula on July 22, 2014

in Canon D550,himachal pradesh,India,Photography

I was taking the Manali-Kaza Road after seven long years. In 2007 my husband, my elder nephew Dilip and I trekked in the Spiti region. This time Dilip and I were going back to visit Chandratal. In 2007 I so wanted to visit Chnadratal but neither Dilip nor Seshadri were willing to give me company. I was not much of a solo traveler then. This time the original plan was to visit Chandratal and then trek in the region. But I had to let go of trekking so that I can go to Thailand (yet again!) later this week.

There is a road which goes quite close to Chandratal but I was told by my guide Ramakant ji that it was not open. That did not deter us one single bit! All of us were willing to walk for 14 kilometers to reach the lake. But before we could head to Chandratal, we were pitching tent for a night at Batal.

Batal, Spiti

Batal, Spiti

All through the way, the sky was overcast. I was really lucky that the weather at Batal cleared for a few hours, for it refused to clear again in the entire trip! The boy standing on the stones is my nephew Dilip. He is not the same who goes on with me to the foreign trips like Sri Lanka and Maldives. That is his younger brother Sunil. Both are excellent traveling companions, mischievous and always ready for an adventure.  I remembered Batal as a big flat valley that was incredibly beautiful and I was right. It is still a big flat valley that is incredibly beautiful. It is famous as a pit stop for lunch on the way to Kaza.

Dhabas at Batal, Spiti

Dhabas at Batal, Spiti

These are the dhabas at Batal. Seven years ago there was only one, Chandra Dhaba. It is always good to get inside Chandra Dhaba as you immediately get out of the wind. In June 2010 the owners, known as Chacha and Chachi (uncle and auntie) gave shelter at Chandra Dhaba to stranded tourists. They have the cuttings of the news paper stories even now. Always happy to feed you Chacha and Chachi are quite popular with the tourists on that route. Chacha always says it costs 1000 rupees for anything you ask! The warmth they generate in that cold place is really amazing.

The Bridge at Batal

The Bridge at Batal

Dilip and I were standing at the bridge across the Chandra river when he asked for my precious, my camera. He pointed out to a small staircase and said he was going down. He assured me that he would be careful. It was only later that I saw this wonderful shot he took on the bridge. Next time, when I go to Batal, I am going to be a copycat, dirty rat. I am going to take the same shot with my feet dangling from there.

Chandra River, Batal

Chandra River, Batal

As the day was beautiful we walked along the river for quite sometime. And no, we don’t have any false bravado, we know we city slickers can’t even dream of being reckless with a fast flowing river. Heck, we can’t even be reckless with a slow flowing river, any kind of river, period. We maintained a safe distance and went to the shore with utmost caution. Dilip could throw flat stones and make them skip on the river. We had a nice time. We were told to come back to the camp before sundown and we kept that promise.

Camping at Batal, Spiti

Camping at Batal, Spiti

The blue tent that you see was home for me for two nights, one of the best accommodations that I can ever dream of staying in. I know I have posted starry pictures from Batal before, but I could not resist posting one more. Dilip and I also promised that we would not let another seven years lapse before we head out on that road again. I have all intentions to keep this promise.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Bhasvantraz July 28, 2014 at 8:01 am

Where the mind is, there we are and the rest immersed in the eternal present. The shot of the Chandra River is simply superb.

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Mridula August 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Thank you so much!

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sindhoooo July 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Breathtaking views Mridula! I am still wondering how did your nephew captured it!

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Mridula August 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Sindhu he was sitting on a broad ledge. :D

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Anu (Country Hopping Couple) July 23, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Looks like a piece of paradise that’s waiting to be explored by many! Great find Mridula..I have never heard of this place before!

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:20 am

Anu this is on the way to Kaza in Spiti. It is a difficult terrain but we love it.

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Maniparna Sengupta Majumder July 23, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Breath-taking photographs Mridula ! …and as I read this account of yours it was almost a virtual tour of the place…. The staircase shot is wonderful..Dilip deserves the praise though… :-P :-D

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:23 am

Thank you Maniparna :D I will convey the praise to him as well!

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Rachel of Hippie in Heels July 23, 2014 at 8:58 pm

You’re one of the only Indian bloggers I follow and I love checking in. You always show me places I haven’t heard of before in India!

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:28 am

Thank you so much. You should check out Spiti, or have you already done it? Batal is on the way to Spiti from Manali side. It is quite like Ladakh but less crowded.

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Deepa Gopal Sunil July 23, 2014 at 8:51 pm

The camp pic at night is my FAV!!!! Awesome clicks :)

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:29 am

Thank you Deepa. :D

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Prasad Np July 23, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Breathtaking……that staircase shot is really for the brave heart to take.

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:29 am

Prasad it just looks unsafe, it was not really or else he would not try that.

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Indrani July 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm

I am stunned by the views.

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:32 am

So was I Indrani!

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Bikram July 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm

WOWWOWO I envy you everytime I come to read a article..

beautiful pictures oh what a life it would be to go where one wants to go :)

Bikram’s

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:33 am

I know Bikram, and I want to see it all!

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Bushra Muzaffar July 23, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Loved the clicks…a distinctive style in these pix.

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:40 am

Bushra the place is very beautiful so it is easier to click.

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Niranjan July 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Looks so beautiful. Well described and photographed.

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:41 am

Thank you Niranjan.

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Seeta July 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm

I saw some of these pics on FB.. this place is mind blowing! I so envy you! :)

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:42 am

Seeta do go if you can take bad roads! :D

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Chaitali Patel July 23, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Such a warm, straight from the heart piece. Enjoyed every bit of it. Lovely photos, especially the last one.

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

Thank you Chaitali.

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Krishna July 23, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Loved the starry picture. Nice to know about Batal.

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

Thank you Krishna.

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yogi saraswat July 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

you are in Himachal ! the ‘jannat” ! everything , which is in front of u in Himachal looks attractive and beautiful . colorful pebbles in chandra river r looking very nice.

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:44 am

Thank you Yogi, Himachal is my favorite state too.

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MP UPPAL July 23, 2014 at 10:29 am

GREAT PICTURES AND INSPIRING CONTENT!

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:45 am

Thank you so much.

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Tushar July 22, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Whats approx. temperature at day time and night?

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Mridula July 24, 2014 at 11:46 am

Tushar it was not too cold but as there were clouds and a light drizzle almost always I did need a thick jacket even in the daytime. Hope that gives you some idea.

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