Spiti is one destination that is full of beautiful scenery that you’ve probably never laid eyes on — until now. Undaunted we proceed to tell you about one of the most visually stunning location in Spiti very few know about.
“Seek and ye shall find”. The biblical wisdom holds true when a traveler seeks for his next secret destination. For nothing can be more endearing than exploring the unexplored.
How many of us have wondered in getting to a location that gives the best perspective of the place? Balari Top (also known as Palari Top) is the highest vantage point that boasts of an incredible panoramic view of the entire Spiti valley. This is the only location from where you can spot 18 Spitian Villages. A short, two-hour one-way trek (from Demul Village) is all it takes to reach a near 16,250 feet high plateau top. This is one far-fetched location which has remained off the radar of the tourist hustle.
The views from the top are incredible. Looking down gives an astounding view of the Spiti river system as it coils its way through a wide valley. One can see Lingti and Pin rivers merging with Spiti River. The two confluence of these rivers appears like a big congregation of snakes.
If that is not enough, spot a high rising Buddhist Citadel towards the left flank of the confluence of Spiti and Pin rivers. This is the famous Dhankar Monastery. Unbelievable!
Look towards your right side of the valley and retrace the Spiti River all the way to Kaza. Above Kaza you can see its hilltop plateau. Behind this lies the famous green pasture grounds of Langza. Behind Langza you can easily spot the famous Kanamo Peak. Below Kanamo is the old Kibber Village.
Looking back, Demul Village looks sweet. Towering above Demul are the highest snow clad mountain ranges. Towards the extreme left is the famous Chou Chou Kang Nilda Peak followed by Mt. Kuwa and Shilla Pass.
Standing at Balari Top one can absorb Spiti in its entirety. It is the best spot from where one can see, comprehend and appreciate Spiti.
How to do Balari Top Trek
For starters, one has to reach Kaza, the administrative headquarter of Spiti District. Kaza can be reached either from Shimla or Manali side. The Manali route is the fastest option. The 202 Km journey takes 12 hours in a local HRTC Bus or 10 hours Jeep ride from Manali.
Kaza to Demul Village
One can either trek (2 days trek) or drive to Demul Village. Demul is now connected via a motorable road. There is no local transport available from Kaza. One can hire a local Jeep from Kaza to Demul.
Demul can be reached via a 32 km road via Lidang or a longer Hikkim – Komik road. If you start early in the morning, you can trek to Balari Top and return back to Kaza by the evening. Though we advise a night stay at Demul.
Demul to Balari Top Trek
The trek from Demul to Balari Top takes about 3 hours. The gradient is nontechnical but strenuous for beginners. The elevation gain from Demul to Balari Top is approximately 600 meters.
One can shorten this distance by driving till a white Stupa* next to the road head. The Stupa is located at the top of the scissor bend from where one gets to see Demul Village for the first time. From here one has to walk up the ascending ridge. The route is straight forward. It takes about 1 to 2 hour to reach Balari Top.
Photos courtesy of Hiramani Kashyap as our featured Photographer | All permissions obtained.
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