The land to spend some time in solitude: Rangrik, Spiti Valley
Situated at a towering altitude of around 12,139 feet above sea-level is the village of Rangrik. It is considered to be the largest village in Spiti Valley in terms of area and population. The village of Rangrik is location around 8 km from the sub-district head quarters of Kaza.
The village is also referred to as new Kaza by the locals mainly because of its proximity to the town. Rangrik is located across the Spiti River and is connected by a log three kilometre straight road which resembles a airport run way.
There are multiple ways of getting to Rangrik the most economical way is to take the local HRTC Government run bus which leaves daily from Kaza. Private and shared pay per seat taxis and jeeps can be found in plenty to reach Rangrik from the town of Kaza.
On approaching the village from a distance a huge 25+ feet golden statue of Lord Buddha can be seen over looking the village from the mountain top. The village monastery is situated in close proximity to the statue. Once in the village of Rangrik the first thing travellers will notice is that the village has a very similar feel to the town of Kaza with the tiny lanes and the village setup.
Since Rangrik is located very close to Kaza the village has a couple of very good schools which attract students from all over the valley. The schools are situated right at the heart of the village and have boarding facilities for the children. Travellers can volunteer in these schools by teaching.
Like the rest of the villages in Spiti Valley the main crops that are grown in the village of Rangrik are potatoes, cabbage and spinach. Most of the cultivation farm lands are situated on the banks of the Spiti River. The houses in the village are on either side of the road and are built of mud and stone. The houses are painted in white with red paint around the windows and doors along with prayer flags hung around the house to signify the Buddhist influence in the village.
Even though Rangrik is very well developed it still does not have an ATM and a phone booth. The village has a couple of dhabas and a few guesthouses. It is advisable to avoid eating in the dhabas since the food served by these dhabas is really bad. The dhabas serve noodles, momos, parathas which are not really edible. The food served in the guest houses is a lot better.
The best time to visit Rangrik is during the summer months from mid-May to mid-September. Light woollens are required even during summers since the temperature dips considerably in the nights.
Rangrik is an extremely safe village even after dark with the crime rate being virtually zero but the locals claim that the cute, fluffy playful dogs from the village go crazy in the night and hunt in packs and have even killed cows and Yaks. Hence, it is advisable to avoid walking out on the streets in the night.
Rangrik is a village which does not have any tourist attractions but is a good place for travellers who want to stay away from the crowd in Kaza and not be too far from the headquarters.
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