The parallel rivers of man and nature, they live together and shape each other. One unfulfilled without the other.
These intertwined paths lead us in to a valley formed by the black river Gue. The mysterious waters have gathered over centuries from glaciers and underground streams. At the edge of their world, they were shielded from the stark austerity of the Spiti Valley. But as all juveniles aspire, they cut through the mountains that sheltered them. They made a dark narrow path that must run deep and turbulent through to the mighty river Spiti.
In this valley, at the foot of a massive mountain, lies the tranquil village of Gue. The people have guided these waters to spread through the village and irrigate their fields of peas, herbs and flowers. It runs through their houses and taps. They smile at each other and share duties as a community. For a 10 day period, each family is made responsible for communal tasks such as grazing the cattle, mending the water canals, tending to the crops, cleaning the streets etc.
The Mummy-of-Gue sits on a hilltop and oversees the well-being of this village. The residents collectively take care of the shrine dedicated to him. It is now being made in to a monastery.
Traditionally known as Ghiu, this place hasn’t always been so gentle. Like the cyclical nature of time, this hamlet had its dark days once. Just as its river had carved through to the outside world, its people had reached out and traded. It became a via-point for the lamas of Tibet to rest on their way to Spiti.
Currently only 4kms away from the Chinese border as the Himalayan raven flies, it is a meticulously guarded village.
(To be continued…)