Langza is a village situated at a hieght of 16,500 feet or 4400 MSL. At that altitude, things are not the same. For one, there are no trees (as you can see). We saw only one or two trees during the four days that we spent in Spiti Valley. Also, oxygen is very thin at this altitude. This makes breathing difficult and even simple activities require extra effort. Think about how it feels like wading in water. That is how you tend to move about in Langza. But astonishingly, people have lived here for centuries. Small kids are as active as any other. Big people go about farming like in the plains. It is mostly us travelers who huff and puff just to move our butts out of the bed.
I took this photograph at half past five in the evening, just before our vehicles entered Langza. We were to halt in the village at a home-stay, for the night. The drive up from Kaza was breathtaking, as we gained altitude by negotiating narrow and sinuous dirt roads. Langza is on a plateau and I was relieved to see flat land. The village is surrounded by green fields. We stopped the vehicle because the skies cleared for a brief moment, giving us an opportunity to take photos of the houses with the Cho Khang Nilda peak visible in the background. If you look closely, a statue of the Buddha in seated position overlooks the West. Of course, the tall snow-cad mountains dwarfs everything. In my lifetime, I may not get to see Shangri-la, but this view of Langa is probably a good substitute.
See more Himalayan landscapes here.