View of Chau Chau Kang Nilda from Fossil Village Langza

View of Chau Chau Kang Nilda from Fossil Village Langza

Millions of years back, India as we know it today, drifted towards Asia in the Tethys Ocean. Upon collision, the silt from the ocean bed rose and gave way to the majestic Himalayas, and there evolved the Spiti Valley. In these valleys there stands a village known as Fossil Village Langza. Walk through the village and you will find a surplus of marine animals and plant fossils.

The Village Langza lies immediately at the base of Chau Chau Kang Nilda peak (20,679 feet), near village Kaza of Spiti Valley, India. The peak acts as a sole water source for the village, throughout the year. So, every summer some villager goes upstream to check the water stream route to be unobstructed and clear. From there started the interesting tale of Chau Chau Kang Nilda Peak.

Chau Chau Kang Nilda Peak from Fossil Village Langza

Chau Chau means Young Princess, Kang means snow-capped mountain, Ni means sun and Da mean dawn. So, this princess snow-capped mountain shines both during sun and moon. It is also known as “Guan Nelda” or “Blue Moon in the sky”.

Check: Spiti Valley in Photos

Story of Chau Chau Kang Nilda Peak

Every summer in order to check the water supply and as a tradition, one villager by turn had to go upstream, and this time the work was given to a lazy flute player Landup. Without heart and lazing around here and there, he went off to the base of the mountain to check the stream. After checking, he sat at the base of the mountain and started playing his flute. Whenever he used to play he used to get lost in his own world and the similar thing happened this time too.

Fossil Village Langza in Spiti Valley, India

As he finished playing, he opened his eyes and saw an ethereal beauty standing right in front of him. With a broad smile and transfixed gaze, she requested him to play it again. He was so impressed by her beauty that he couldn’t refuse and started playing again.

And then she said – “I am Chau Chau Kang Nilda fairy princess. Come here often to play this tune and I would love listening to it”

He turned back home and started waiting for the next summer to go back upstream. He went every summer upstream and played flute there. With following seasons princess and Landup fell in love with each other. But the fairy laid a condition that their love had to be kept secret and for that Landup agreed.

One winter evening when Landup was drunk and lazing around, his wife asked him to go and do some work. Listening, this he got furious and replied that it is better to be with Chau Chau Kang Nilda fairy than to be with you. His wife ignored him thinking to be totally drunk and asked him to stop dreaming.

Night Shot of Chau Chau Kang Nilda Peak from Fossil Village Langza

Next morning, Landup woke up covered in boils and pain. He remembered the last night conversation and fairy words but couldn’t do anything because of extreme winters. So, he started waiting for summers to come. As summers approached, he ran to meet his fairy love. He played the flute, called her, confessed his love and mistake; but nothing worked. Fairy never turned down to see him. Indeed after that every time he went close to the mountain, the weather turned nasty and cloudy.

Even today, it is believed that whenever a man tries to climb Chau Chau Nilda Peak, the weather turns bad. Fairy’s wound has still not recovered. She is still nursing her heart and will never let any man come nearby.

If that is the one mythological story then there are true stories of mountain expeditions too. The Chau Chau Nilda Peak was first climbed in 1939 by James Roberts, who crossed Spiti from Kullu.

Fossil Village Langza

The fossil Village Langza in Spiti Valley is located at height 4400 meters or 14,500 feet, 16 kilometers from village Kaza. The place is guarded by beautiful peak on one side and the huge Buddha statue on others side, to keep the evil spirits away. The bowl-shaped flattened valleys around the village are divine, and completely untouched.

Fossil Village Langza at the base of Chau Chau Kang Nilda Peak

A small remote village usually cut off from the civilization has just 35 houses and a total population of 150 people. It is divided into two parts- Upper Langza, known as Langza Gongma and Lower Langza is called Lnagza Yongma. The village remains snow covered in winters whereas turns completely into green pastures in summers.

Fossil Village Langza
Source

The white and red painted mud houses here are typical Spitian mud houses. They look small and widely spread from each other but are equally spacious inside. The houses are warm, cozy and they gel well with the surroundings. The roofs are covered with a lot of thatch and fodder for insulation. Every house kitchen of fossil village Langza has installed Angithis to beat the extreme cold temperatures. The kitchens have small cloth covered entrances and floors are decorated with colorful yak mats to keep them warm.

Tip: Do remember to remove your shoes before entering the Spiti Kitchens.

Kitchen of Spiti Houses -Fossil Village Langza
Kitchen of Spiti Houses

Food and accommodation options are limited in fossil village Langza but who can beat the hospitality of upper Himachali’s. They treat you like Kings and can surpass everything to give you comfort. The yak tea with local puffed chapatti is what they can treat you with on a small conversation too.

The Toilets in Langza Village are mostly dry pits toilets, outside the houses.

Birds & Animals around Village Langza

Many national International tourists visit fossil Village Langza in winters to spot the big cat – Snow Leopard. The other animals which can be seen in the months of December, January are Tibetan wolf, Blue sheep, the Himalayan griffon, Yellow-billed Chough, and rock pigeon. And during any time of the year, one can see yaks and sheep roaming freely in herds or with the shepherds.

Herd of grazing Blue sheep in Spiti Valley: On the way to fossil village langza

Also read: A must visit Fairyland- Chandratal Lake

Attractions of Village Langza

  • The village has an ancient Lang or temple 1000 years old, regarded as the headquarters of all the Deities of the Spiti Valley.
  • Various trekking routes and trails start from village Langza
  • One can also visit the high altitude lake –Tsonyeti and Chumo Tso. These lakes are around 3-4 hour hikes from the village which is difficult for travelers like us, owing to the low oxygen and high altitude of the region.
  • The village is a pivot for fossil lovers. The local name of fossil here is ‘chaudua’ and can be easily found in and around the village. The fossils are Cephalopoda. Do visit the fossil center, also known as Chauda Centre.Cephalopoda fossils of Fossil Village Langza, Spiti ValleySource
  • The other main attraction of Village Langza is Zama Pottery done with black soil collected from the valley. The villagers make Zama pitchers, pots, decorative items, animal figures, sculptures, penholders, lamps, paperweights and clay fossils. These can be seen displayed in their homes for sale

Earlier Zama pottery used to be the main source of income for villagers, but now they have earnings from agriculture too.

Zama Pottery of Fossil Village Langza
Source

How to Reach Langza Village

The fossil village Langza can be reached by hiking, own car, hitchhiking, or by bus (which leaves on particular days and timings).

Route: While driving to Rangrik from Kaza, there comes a bifurcation on the right side which takes you to the village Langza. The fossil village Langza can be done in a circuit with village Hikkim and Komic.

Roads: The roads are narrow, perfectly paved with continuous ascent and descent. There are few bad patches in between. In winters expect snowfall on this route.

Also Read: 10 days itinerary for Lahaul Spiti Road Trip

Expected Temperature

In winters, days are cold and windy the with a temperature between 0 to -5 degree Celsius. Evenings are extremely chilly in winters and temperature goes to -25 degree Celsius. Don’t wait for night photography here, as you may suffer from hypothermia.

In summers, days are warm but the night temperature goes below 5 degree Celsius

Best Season to Visit

May to September but if you are crazy like us, then winters too is good, as you will see the different face of this snow land.

Spiti River view on the way to Fossil Village Langza

Important Points:

  • Food and accommodation options are very limited.
  • Only a few homestays are operational in winters
  • Avoid driving after sunset as roads are really narrow
  • Do spend a night with locals to experience the local traditional culture
  • Buy some local craft, Zama pottery, for locals earning and livelihood
  • Visit Spiti Valley and Langza village in winters, only after planning.

View of Chau Chau Kang Nilda from Fossil Village Langza

So, the village is a charming beauty with ancient buildings, old monasteries, snow-capped peak Chau Chau Kang Nilda, green meadows and bowl-shaped plains. Also, the land takes you to the prehistoric era, when Spiti valley was submerged under the Tethys Sea.

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Also Read:

A walk to the Nako village, Himachal Pradesh

The Sangla Valley, Kinnaur



55 thoughts on “View of Chau Chau Kang Nilda from Fossil Village Langza”

  • I love that you start the article with the fairy tale! It looks like a beautiful serene place to visit. Since I love fossils, it is a place I would love to check out someday. The mountains look impressive and it seems like it would be quite the trek to get there. Thanks for sharing the tips on etiquette, like taking your shoes off in the kitchens. Little points like that are so helpful to fellow travelers.

  • The Spiti Valley looks like an amazing place. I love the story of the fairy princess and, I think I have met her wrath on many trips I attempted. I would love to come here with somebody who could speak the local language so I could truly immerse myself in the culture.

  • Wow, this looks like an incredibly beautiful and interesting place. Thanks for sharing the fairy tale — that adds so much more meaning to visiting there. And it’s fascinating that you can find fossils from marine creatures way up in the mountains like that. This post definitely sparked my wanderlust!

  • I’ve never been in India, so it’s so interesting to read about all these great sites like the Fossil Village Langza. It looks incredibly beautiful and very peaceful. I hope to make it to this great country someday.

  • What an interesting story of why the weather turns bad whenever anyone tries to climb the peak! I love how in India, they have a little story behind every little phenomenon that they cannot understand. Spiti Valley has been on my list for a long time and recently, after reading several of your posts, I have been thinking about doing it seriously. Planning my next trip home around this! Your pictures, as usual, are pretty awesome. Love the view of the valley from the Buddha statue above.

  • What a cool location. I’ve always wanted to hike in the Himilayas. I thought it was a lot colder there than you mention. Good to know the hoses are really warm, especially if you have to take your shoes off when you enter. Maybe I can make it there in 2019.

  • That scenery is just breathtaking. It’s interesting to see how other people live, and I’m glad those houses are warm and cozy. I can’t imagine, though, what it would be like to live in such a tiny town of so few people.

  • Chau Chau Kang Nilda looks so unbelievably beautiful! I love the sweet sentiment of the name (or should i say names). Those fossils are unreal! So beautiful and in tact! I’d love to visit!

  • that was such an interesting tale of mountains. In my country, we love listening and learning about old stories like that, too! This fossil village langza is truly beautiful, and although takes a while to reach even the lakes that I would consider to see. Staying at homestay at locals houses is one of the best options here, to know the people and culture deeply. Such an unforgettable experience too have!

  • Beautiful pictures. Thanks for this post and introducing me to Langza village. I have not yet explored this region of India and most probably will go there this year. Your post will definitely help me plan my itinerary. I will try to stay here. Amazing views.

  • What a truly fascinating place to visit. I love the fairytale story at the beginning of the article. The pictures of Spiti Valley are simply incredible. It looks like a very spiritual place. I hope to visit India at some point soon!!

  • Oh wow, Fossil Village Langza is located in such a stunning part of the country – I can definitely see how such a majestic landscape would have inspired legends and fairy fables. It sounds like there is quite an incredible change to the landscape from winter to summer – we would seriously love this area, we’re big fans of wildlife, hiking, and archeology, so the idea that the region is rich in fossils is exciting. Thanks for this post!

  • I’d love to visit Village Langza and learn about the culture of the people there. And the view of Chau Chau Kang Nilda from the village is simply breathtaking. I’d love to see it in both seasons – winter and summer. And how awesome would it be if a snow leopard was spotted. What an incredible place!

  • Fossils! I’ve never experienced anything of the sort before – it sounds like such an adventure! I love your photos – they really capture the essence of the place. I am a huge wildlife lover but would love to learn more about archaeology and fossils themselves 🙂

  • Wow, Chau Chau Kang Nilda is an impressive little mountain. I kept waiting for the fossils to show up in your pictures. I love places that one can see and find fossils. Do they find any other fossil than Cephalopoda?

    I could spend all winter here looking for snow leopards. I would love to see this cat. They are such an amazing creature to watch.

  • Your photos are beautiful, i adore mountain photography and would love to go to the Himalayas. I also love the fairytale. All our mountains here in Scotland have names that means something in Gaelic, but nothing as quite as romantic!

  • I have never heard of the Fossil Village Langza. It must be fascinating to see the fossils. Thanks for sharing the ancient tale of the Chau Chau Nilda Peak. Always interesting to know local folklore. The views you got of the mountain peaks were stunning! I would definitely want to visit when I can see the Snow Leopard!

  • That looks like a true place to get off the beaten path! It’s incredible how diverse India’s geography is- I don’t think many people think of soaring mountains when they think of India!

  • The views from the fossil village langza of the Chau Chau Nilda Peak is really breathtaking! What a lovely legend, too, albeit heartbreaking in a way. The village sounds like an amazing place to go to for a stress-free and relaxing trip! Their Zama pottery looks pretty creative too. Do they have classes of some sorts where you can try creating some pottery?

  • I love a beautiful view – and even more when there is a really interesting story behind it! I would really love to see more of India – I’ve only ever been to Kerala (which was beautiful) and would love to get to the mountainous parts. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • That is an interesting story of why the weather turns bad whenever anyone tries to climb the peak! These fables make the visits more memorable. I am really curious about the fossils, are they for sale? Did you buy any? Your pictures are so beautiful!

    • Yes you can buy fossils from the small kids; selling on the road. No we didn’t buy any. Indeed our guide if you just keep in wandering her for an hour or so; you will find them yourself

  • Such a starkly beautiful region. Thank you for the wonderful stories and pictures. I loved the Fairy story and hope that one day she smiles and forgives. Warmth and sunlight would be a welcome part of seeing the mountains. I hope to get there one day.

  • What a gorgeous mountain range. What a fun story about Landup and bad weather if men try to climb Chau Chau Nilda Peak. 🙂 Interesting that there are ocean fossils on the mountain, kinda gives credence to the story of Babylon. That’s an impressive Buddha statue and what a view!

  • I’ve always adore mythology stories since I was a kid. And this one about Chau Chau Kang Nilda tickles my curiosity too! The combo of remote area, old monastery, ancient history and stunning landscape made me put Chau Chau Kang Nilda straight on my bucket list. I really love this article and the gorgeous photography. Thanks so much! 😁

  • I’ve read so many amazing things about India lately, and fossil Village Langza is definitely one of them. Although I know that I’ll have problems at over 4000 m altitude, I definitely would like to visit.

  • I really love this post, thanks for sharing! It is nice to know about the story of why is the weather gets bad if someone would like to try to reach the peak.I really lovr yhe gorgeous views and the fossils looks really cool, very interesting.

  • India never ceases to amaze me, so diverse, different wherever you travel, and it surprises me to see places with so few people! Your Pictures are absolutely stunning! I am back in India at the end of the year, I think Fossil village will be on my list, thanks for sharing!

  • The Fossil Village Langza sounds quite amazing. Seeing this region of India, the incredible Himalayas, is certainly on my future travel list. Love learning the story about the fairy princess, so much beauty in this extreme environment.

  • The creation of the Himalayas always makes fascinating reading. That the Fossil village Landa has traces of the Birth of the Himalayas makes it a unique place. I was really fascinated by the tale of the Fairy and Landau. What a romantic and yet tragic story it is. The views from the village are indeed something to die for.

  • You know what, Langza is the most beautiful village in the world. It is most photogenic. When I reached there, I was enthralled to the core. I so much want to be there again and again.
    Thanks for making me recall the fairy tale. Loved this article.

  • I loved reading about the legend of the village. Quite a story. And the village itself is quite interesting. Glad you shared the images of the homes for it makes it even more intriguing. Those fossils are quite something too. A beautifully narrated post, Suruchi

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