Mysteries of Manali Leh Highway – Ghost Drinks Mineral Water

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Blessed by God not just with beautiful locations but also with clear waters and flowered valleys which make Himachal Pradesh one of the most attractive tourist destinations in India.

Ladakh is vividly described in eloquent terms as land of passes, land of endless beauty and so on. Picture perfect landscapes, surreal skies, stretches of unending loopy roads, smiling people and placid lakes all seem to say, this is where Shangri La is, this is where heaven meets the earth.

While traveling on the Manali-Leh highway in Himachal Pradesh, India at an elevation of 17,000 feet is situated a pass named Gata Loops. It is a series of twenty-one hairpin bends that takes you to the top of the 3rd high altitude pass on this highway, Nakeela. People believe that there is a place on this road where they have seen a ghost, where people offer mineral water bottle to the ghost.

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Story Of Ghost

Several years ago it was late October when a truck with its two travelers, the driver and a cleaner, crossed Rohtang and moved on its way towards Leh. It had already started to snow at a few places and the driver was warned but he had no choice. He had a time-line and had to reach Leh. It was the last truck to cross Rohtang as it snowed heavily the very same evening at the top and the pass closed.

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Kunzum Pass was already closed weeks ago and there were no vehicles coming from Kaza as well which means that it was the last truck plying on Manali Leh highway.  The driver managed to bring the truck safely all the way to Gata Loops but this is where disaster struck. On one of the loops, his truck broke down and came to a complete halt. After trying for hours, the driver couldn’t fix whatever was wrong with the vehicle.

They waited and waited but no one crossed them by because they were the last vehicle on the route. so the driver decided to walk to a nearby village and get some help. Cleaner however was ill and not in a condition to walk. The driver walked and walked for miles until he found a tiny village but Alas, there was no mechanic there. He somehow managed to make a phone call to Manali to get someone to come and fix the truck but to his bad luck, while he was still waiting at the village, the weather closed in.

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It started to snow heavily and became impossible for the driver to get back to the truck. It took several days for the weather to clear and he was stranded in the village all this time. Finally help came from Manali and they all hurried back to Gata Loops, to the spot where the truck broke down only to find the cleaner dead. Poor chap was left alone on the road for several days in freezing temperature, in poor health, with no water and nothing to eat and eventually died of thirst, hunger and cold.

The driver drove the truck to the village he was stranded in and waited there until it was possible to drive across Rohtang and return to Manali. The body of the cleaner was buried at Gata Loops by the villagers, right at the spot where he died.

Next year when the highway reopened, people started noticing a strange thing. There was a beggar at Gata Loops who would waive at the passing vehicles to stop and begged them for water.

In order to pacify the ghost, the locals set up a small temple at the spot where he was buried and made offerings of water.  Since then, whoever passes by and is aware of the story leaves some water at the temple, as an offering.

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Now this place looks like a shrine adorned with Prayer Flags, Bisleri bottles, zen stones, Beedis, Marlboros and Goldflakes of the world and lots of presents for the this Samaritan of a  ghost!

And those who are unaware of the legend associated with the place will be surprised to find that a small house situated atop a hill is dwelling to a surreptitious ghost. The people passing by, make it a point to shower gifts such as cigarettes and mineral water at this site.

It is regarded as the most treacherous pathway in the world. In winters, the road is blocked due to incessant Snowfall.

Article Via: http://vargiskhan.com/log/ghost-gata-loops/

Kunzum Pass – Majestic Gateway to Lahaul and Spiti Valleys.

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Kunzum Pass is a name among the several high altitude passes amidst the Himalayan peaks. It lies at a height of 4,590 m or 15,060 ft and offers a stunning view of numerous Chandra-Bhaga range peaks at the top. The Kunzum Pass separates Spiti and Lahaul Valley and is situated at a higher altitude than Rohtang Pass. It is one of the most popular and widely used passes by tourists visiting Lahaul, Spiti, and Manali.

This pass remains open merely 3 to 4 months in a year from late June to late September or early October. It is at an approximate distance of 95 kilometers from Kaza, headquarters of Spiti valley, and 125 kilometers from Manali.

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The Bara – Sigri glacier, which is the world’s 2nd longest glacier, is another major attraction of the place. The pass even offers an inspiring and enthralling view of the surroundings. Adventure lovers can even trek on the Kunzum Pass.

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At the top of the pass lies a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga and it is considered auspicious to do parikrama of the temple and get blessings before going further in the journey. It is actually quite a sight at the top with beautiful and colorful Buddhist flags fluttering amidst the snow capped peaks. A little further from the top, towards Batal, lies the 14 kilometers long road to the beautiful and mesmerizing Chandrataal. There is also a 9 kilometers trek to Chandrataal from the top of Kunzum Pass.

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Dhankar Monastery – Spiti Valley

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Dhankar Monastery, also referred to as Dhankar Gompa, is a Buddhist temple situated in the district of Spiti & Lahual in Himalyan region of Northern India. It is situated in Himachal Pradesh state. This Monastery is situated on a cliff between Kaza and Tabo. An amazing view of the Spiti river can be seen from here. This Monastery has a statue of ‘Vairocharan’ displaying four statues of Buddha seated in the 4 directions, along with ancient paintings, murals and texts.

The Dhankar Gomba is over 1000 years old and is connected to the rest of the valley through a Motorable road, which is good for small vehicle only. There is a new monastery in the small village of Shichilling below the old monastery. The old monastery is associated with the Great Translator, Rinchen Zanggpo, and its complex comprises a number of multi-storey buildings perched together.

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History

Dhankar was the traditional capital of the Spiti Valley Kingdom during the 17th century and has some features dating back to the 12th century. Dhang or dang means cliff, and kar or khar means fort. Hence, Dhankar means fort on a cliff. It was the place of the early ruler of Spiti, the Nonos, who has the right to promote the government lands nearby and were necessary to keep the fort in repair. They also gave justice to the people and were famous for their harsh penalties until the British replaced them. This Monastery is also widely known as the Lha-O-pa Gompa. This Monastery belongs to famous Gelukpa order.

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Daily worship is done at the Dhankar Monastery by the temple monks at early morning and everyone is granted permission to take part in the holy worship. It also includes Mantra Chanting which is done under the control of monks of Monastery.

Above Dhankar is a fresh water lake about 1.5 km from the village at a height of 13500 ft acting as the source of water supply for the village. Set amidst lush green pastures, the lake offers a perfect idyllic camping site but locals do not allow camping at the lake anymore.

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