The path sloped up from the banks of the Baspa and narrowed down to the houses in the village.Not many people could be seen around,the village seemed to be still in slumber as we walked our way up the path.Or were we too early?Only a few small shops were open,who helped us with the direction of the temple.
The apple orchards shielded the temple from our view.There was silence in the air.Few lone villagers could be spotted busy with their daily chores. But the temple door remained wide open.This was the intricately carved temple of Badri Narayan Ji. The temple was no less than an architectural marvel .Moreover with the beautiful scenic location ,the place lent a very serene feeling.
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There were carvings of Shiva,and other Hindu Gods and Goddesses along with Guru Nanak ,Swami Vivekananda,and Jesus. Carvings of erotic figures also formed a panel on the walls.The temple gate,or the carvings on the walls of the shrine in fact, give a very secular feeling.
We met Roshan Lalji ,who could be seen busy at his workshop,carving more panels for the temple. The temple was a very old one but was destroyed in a fire in 1998.So it was slowly being rebuilt and hence the very new look. Roshanlal Ji patiently takes the onus of giving back the temple its same glory.
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Our successfull itinerary to the Kinnaur Valley of Himachal pradesh
|The influence of Tibetan Buddhism is marked here|
The village of Batseri can only be accessed on foot.So we had kept the car waiting at the bank of the river as we walked through the village.
This particular Himalayan village seemed to be a little congested than the others that we visited ,nevertheless, the paths were strikingly clean .Among the houses that lined our paths a good number had embraced modernity with concrete houses while the others preferred to continue with the traditional stone and wood structures .It seemed to me that this village was a little older than the other places we had visited.
Firstly an invasive attack by the neighboring Himalayan country of Nepal who captured many places of the state,followed by the British interference to expel them ,these regions of the valley had gone through a lot of political activity,with the people in the rest of the country hardly knowing about it.
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..And then the infusion of people from Tibet with a different culture , had all left behind marks that defined the landscape of this village today. Be it a very old temple of The Badri Narayan,or a monastery hundreds of years old ,such evidences of inhabitation and existence of a well structured society since long, urge us to learn more about the place.Though we could not spot it but it seems there is a prayer wheel in Batseri which is rotated by the waters of a flowing stream.
|The monastery at Batseri,a little disappointing though to see the present neglected state.|
Very noticeably the villages in the Kinnaur Valley were well off financially.Apple being the major cash crop here,the population with a very high literacy rate here are employed in the apple cultivation or the allied industries.
Batseri is a village in the Sangla valley if the Kinnaur district of the state.It is only 7 kms from Sangla ,and lies on the opposite bank of the Baspa.Though Batseri has many camping options,a stay at Sangla is recommended as the stay options are varied there. Batseri can be visited on the way back from Chitkul or Raksham. Initially we had not decided to visit Batseri,so we had to take the detour while on our way to Kalpa.
The best time to visit the place would be around September,to see the trees with the apples and the landscape takes a pink hue due to the buckwheat cultivation in the region.