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Old 23rd May 2009, 22:16   #1
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Default Micro Travelog | Crossing Through Malling

As the travel forums start getting abuzz with talk about passes opening and plans for Ladakh and Spiti, thought I would share an episode from the infamous Malling pass which acts as the gateway to Spiti which I visited two Septembers ago: So in the spirit of twitter and tumblr, here is a micro travelog:

The newly constructed road towards Malling is as smooth as butter
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The switchbacks hugging the river make for an exhilarating drive
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We fly past a small temple and a buddhist shrine to take a turn and suddenly the tarmac top disappears, road narrows, small pebbles roll down the hillside
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Trouble! a truck heavily laden stalled in the middle with traffic building up on the other side
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I leave the innova and wander off on foot to take photos of the infamous Malling dropoff and see how close to the edge I would have to drive
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I analyze what lies beneath in case someone slipped
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And then meander across the middle where a fast flowing stream has created a rut filled with shiny pebbles
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And then look up at some falling pebbles to see what lies above (notice the bus?)
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An hour of the truck crawling inch by inch with the truck driver removing the airfilter (to allow the truck to suck more air), the cleaner shoving stones below the tyres and using a crowbar (to leverage the truck forward), and my man friday sitting in the cabin stomping the accelerator (someone has to drive the truck!), it finally makes it to the other side
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We run back to the car and pay our respects at the shrine
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And move on to experience the greatest reward of all: Spiti!
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Still sends a thrill down my spine when I look at the photographs, and I trust this is enough incentive for you to plan a trip out there and experience the rush!
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Old 23rd May 2009, 22:52   #2
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WoW, Amazing Photographs, Thanks for sharing this Genesis, i do not know when i will drive to this place, but it certainly motivates and creates an urge to include this in my "places to visit"
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Old 24th May 2009, 15:54   #3
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It was much worse when I went last Sept. Nice pics but unable to replicate the true terror of that place. Im sure the picture in your mind will last you a lifetime though.
I llove the pic of that bus. Truly shows how miniscule, non existent and unimportant a human is in these majestic massive mountains.
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Old 24th May 2009, 16:02   #4
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I llove the pic of that bus.
+1 to that!

Nice pictures genesis.
A little more information on where is Malling, How to reach, etc would be helpful for geographically weak souls like me!
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Old 24th May 2009, 17:16   #5
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@jaysmokesleaves: Malling was on its best behavior that time after being shut down during the August floods in Himachal
I did meet family from Kanpur in Spiti whose innova had some love bites from the rocks of Malling

@pulsar56: One does not visit Malling, one prays that they pass through it as quickly as possible .

But in all seriousness, Malling Nullah is an infamous stretch on the road to Spiti when you come from the Shimla, Kalpa route in northen himachal pradesh.

Very treacherous and slippery mountains of uncertain temperament. The new road was built a few years ago after being closed for over an year when a landslide wiped out the earlier one.

When the road was closed for extended times, goods and sometimes motorcycles were winched across the chasm to get to the other side.

More Spiti images from my trip are at

Genesis - soumya.org: Surreal Spiti (Click on the thumbnail for more photos)
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