The Valley of Clouds
- Spiti -
an article published by Associated Press
An original track to accompany the photo essay
For centuries, the sleepy valley nestled in the Indian Himalayas remained a hidden Buddhist enclave forbidden to outsiders.
Enduring the harsh year-round conditions of the high mountain desert, the people of Spiti Valley lived by a simple communal code — share the Earth's bounty, be hospitable to neighbors, and eschew greed and temptation at all turns.
That's all starting to change, for better or worse. Since India began allowing its own citizens as well as outsiders to visit the valley in the early 1990s, tourism and trade have boomed. And the marks of modernization, such as solar panels, asphalt roads and concrete buildings, have begun to appear around some of the villages that dot the remote landscape at altitudes above 4,000 meters (13,000 feet).
read more here.