Spiti Stories

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Postcards on Cloud 9: Highest Post Office

by Joan Pollock
Highest Post Office

The Spiti Valley is a remote valley in the Himalayas bordering on Tibet and known as one of the highest places in the world in which to live. In 1849 when Spiti was integrated as part of India by the British, they set up post offices in villages throughout the valley. This enabled the local […]

The Grass is Greener on the other Side

by Joan Pollock
Women cutting grass hand

In the mountainous Spiti Valley grow coarse blades of grass, long enough to hide all the secrets you wouldn’t want to get out. Fortunately for the animals in the Valley – cows, yaks and donkeys – this means something to put the spring in their step. Food glorious food! The animals are important in the life of the valley, needing […]

The Ancient Art of Shawl Making

by Joan Pollock
Lady spinning wool

It’s safe to say the Spiti Valley is a hidden treasure, not at all short of talented craftsmen and women! A fundamental craft within the Valley is the art of weaving, a cultural heritage that has since played a natural part in Valley’s life dating back years. The fine material used in weaving is obtained […]

Apples glorious apples!

by Joan Pollock
Spiti Apples

Once travelling to Spiti in winter, the weather was challenging, heavy snow made the going very slow. The jeeps wheels kept getting clogged up with snow and we had to stop frequently to clear it out from the mudguards. This slowed our progress and once it gets dark its too dangerous to travel on the […]

Spiti Projects and the International Eye Foundation

by Joan Pollock

Spiti Projects has been very fortunate in be introduced by a supporter, to the International Eye Foundation (IEF). The IEF is working with Rotary Hospital Palampur in Himachel Pradesh, Operation EyeSight were also working there. Thank you to Raheem (from IEF) and Santosh (from OE), they have been extremely helpful and we look forward to […]

Audience with the Dalai Lama

by Joan Pollock
Audience with The Dalai Lama

In May this year, Zena the photographer and I went to Dharamsala to interview the Dalai Lama about the culture of Spiti for the Documentary Film, by a BBC producer, about our work in the Spiti Valley. His Holiness was most helpful and gave us some of his precious time to answer our questions on […]

Burning Wood in Winter

by Joan Pollock
Burning Wood

On our way back to Manali with our group, we passed a wall of cut trees and a lorry loading wood for fuel for Lahaul & Spiti. The driver told me that they had cut down 280, eighty year old trees.  Fifty lorries would be delivering this to the Lahaul & Spiti valleys as firewood […]

Concrete vs. Earth in the Spiti Valley

by Joan Pollock

Kaza is a remote mountain town – at 3,650 meters and 10 hours off-road from Manali – which demonstrates the complexity of modern and traditional ways of living and building in the Himalayas. The harsh conditions of Kaza include lows of -35˚ C and as much as 2 meters of snowfall during the winter season, […]

Good harvest

by Joan Pollock

Jeet in Spiti says the barley harvest has been great this year. The weather is lovely blue sky – bright sunshine.  The work is now over and its party time, weddings, birthdays, and a time for celebration before the winter sets in.

Snowing in Spiti

by Joan Pollock

I spoke to a friend in Kaza today, it was snowing at the time. This has upset the farmers as they are preparing the land to plant peas, their mail cash crop.Chairman of Spiti Projects is about to travel to Kaza to plan our summer projects.  An architect wiil accompany her with a view of […]