I was star struck, no literally, this time at Batal in Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh. You might have noticed that I vanished for a week, the plan was to visit Chandratal, the stunningly beautiful lake close to Batal. I managed to reach the lake this time though the blue skies eluded me. However, at Batal, for a brief period the weather gods were kind to me. They lit the sky with a million stars! I was so thrilled that I did not leave my tripod behind!
This is what I could capture and I have to say for novice at night photography, I am happy with it. Also it was not so cold that I would freeze to death when I stayed out. I do not enjoy freezing to death on cold nights at all. A good down jacket and I was fine outdoors. In fact, I actually enjoyed staying out and turned in only when clouds covered the sky.
No accommodation can beat staying in a tent under a starry sky, at least for me. There would have been a moon rise at some point but then the clouds obscured it! Though, I am not complaining at all.
We went in a jeep up to Batal. There is actually a jeep route all the way to Chandratal but on the day we were going the road was closed. I am probably happier that we walked about 14 km in the stunningly beautiful region. The very next day while coming back, the jeep could come in 9 km ahead as they were repairing the road.
I am really happy that I managed to sneak out to the mountains in the end. It always leaves me a much happier person. So, tomorrow while driving if I demonstrate more patience you know why!
I trekked with Rama Kant Sharma who is a responsible trekking guide and family friend as well. I will leave you today with the pictures but of course the tales will follow.
I tried my hand to click the night sky at Hail Himalayas this time. The night sky had about a million more stars at Hail Himalayas than I see in the cities. In the city sometimes I have to search really hard to find even a few stars. I have always been fascinated by the night sky in smaller places but before this trip near Shimla I was never able to click them properly. I started drooling as soon as it became dark and the stars came out. However my first attempt was to click the camp at night. As I said before, Hail Himalayas has tented huts. I wish I was skilled enough to click the night sky along with the tents. But this time I got the tents and the stars separately.
It was difficult to be out at night for a long time as it was cold in December in Himachal Pradesh. Everyone at home was apprehensive as to how would I cope with cold. But I managed fine as there was a blower in the tent and they would light a bonfire in the evening. So this is how the camp looked at the night. I was in the second tent of the first row. The bright lights you see are the lamp posts.
These were the millions that came out every night while I was there. I was so happy that I could see once again that how beautiful the night sky looks when there are no harsh lights. Now that I have got a basic hang of clicking the night sky, of course I am going to try it out more and more. I clicked many shots but some I took while I stood close to a lamp post. That is not a good strategy. The 2-3 shots that came out well were those where I went and clicked away from any bright source of light. Also, I thought the camera would not catch the electric wires at night. Of course that was stupid reasoning and I was wrong. Can’t wait to get away to other such places where a million and more stars come out at night.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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