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Photographer's Note

This is Langza - a small village in Spiti Valley, located at an altitude of 14435 feet, or above 4400 metres. It is a picture-perfect village with an exceptionally beautiful snow-clad mountain looking over it. A golden statue of the medicine Buddha sat high on a knoll above the village, warding off the illnesses coming up from below. In the background is the mountain peak, locally called Chau Chau Kang Nilda.

There’s a nice folklore from Spiti about this mountain…..Chau Chau means little girl or princess, Kang is a snow-capped mountain, Ni or Nima means sun and Da or Dawa means moon. So this is the princess mountain on which the sun & moon shine.

This story starts years ago. Langza village gets its water from this mountain’s stream so every summer someone was sent to check the stream & remove any obstacles. They also had to watch over the stream through the season.

One day Landup was sent to check the stream. Landup was a lazy man & rather enjoyed playing his lute. So off he went to the base of the mountain. After he had checked the stream he sat down by it to play his lute and was soon lost in its music. After finishing his piece he opened his eyes to find a beautiful woman standing before him. She stared at him transfixed and slowly said. ‘Landup I love your music would you play for me again.’ Landup couldn’t say no to such an ethereal beauty so he started to play again.

The beauty told him after he finished that she was the Chau Chau Kang Nilda fairy & she would like him to come often and play. Landup agreed and left at the end of the day. From then on he kept trying to get the job to check the stream. Over the season they fell in love and continued to see each other during the summers that followed.

It was during the winter a few years later that a drunk Landup was lazing about. His wife saw this and reminded him of some work he had to do. Drunken Landup got upset and shouted back that he rather be with the Chau Chau Kang Nilda fairy who didn’t ask him to work. To this his wife asked him to stop dreaming but by then Landup had passed out. In the morning Landup woke up covered in boils & pain. He then remembered what had happened the night before & also remembered that the fairy had asked him never to mention her.

Now he was really worried, the boils marred his handsomeness & he tried everything through winter to be rid of them. But nothing worked.

As soon as summer came & he was no longer house bound he ran to the stream. He played his lute, called out, cried & even screamed but the fairy didn’t come. He never saw her again. And every time he went near the mountain the weather turned nasty & he had to turn back.

Even today when a man tries climbing up Chau Chau Kang Nilda the weather turns nasty. It is said the fairy is still nursing her broken heart and will not let any man come near her.

So there goes the story...beautiful isn't it? :-))

I was not able to choose between this upload & the one in the Workshop. Your opinion as to which version you prefer would be, as always, valued!

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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