Pin

The Pin river meets the Spiti River to flow down the Spiti Valley to join the Sutlej further downstream at Kinnaur.

Crowned by a Dharma Chakra, a gateway welcomes visitors to the majestic Pin Valley and the Great Himalayan National Park, home to the Snow Leopard and its prey the Siberian Ibex.

A cluster of chortens mark ground zero of the confluence of the Pin and Spiti Rivers. On the left perched 1000 ft above the confluence is the Dhankar Monastery.

The Earth's crust folded vertical in the massive tectonic crush of the Pin Valley.

Like a life giving umbilical chord, a suspension bridge across the Pin River connects Pin's only road to remote villages in the Pin Valley.

Brilliantly painted images of the Four Heavenly Kings guards the entrance to the Kungri Gompa, Pin Valley's largest and most revered monastery.

The Kungri Gompa belongs to the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism and was built around 1330.

A glacier melts down between monumental jagged spires lining the Pin River.

A tiny village sits among a fantastic backdrop of crushed tectonic plates and snow clad peaks.

A bridge across a tributary of the Pin River connects Mikkim village with Sagnam village in the Pin Valley. Visible in the distance is the Kungri Gompa.

Located on the banks of the Pin River is the village of Sagnam, one of the major areas of cultivation in the barren and harsh environment of the Great Himalayan National Park.

Taking a sharp bend the Pin River widens at Sagnam village and forms a vast oasis of greenery and farmlands in an otherwise barren cold desert.

Villagers of Sagnam take a break from cultivation in the fields surrounding the village. The cultivation season is short and possible only during the summer months.

Fantastic multicolored canyons escort the Pin River. Such Canyons have formed over millions of years of erosion by rain, snow, and wind.

A signboard announces the village of Mudh, Pin's largest settlement and the terminal of the road from Kaza, neighboring Spiti's headquarters.

Donkeys return to Mudh village with the days collection of fodder for livestock.

The village of Mudh marks the end point of the road into Pin Valley and is used as a base camp for the strenuous trek to Manikaran which goes across the 5319m Pin-Parvati pass.

Fields of barley and buck wheat around the Mudh village. With extremely harsh temperatures and poor soil, it is a great challenge for the villagers to practice agriculture. It is possible to grow just one crop during the summers.

A chorten located on the banks of the Pin River marking the Mudh village.

A caravan of donkeys cross the Pin River on a simple suspension bridge. Such packs are crucial to carry supplies for the many treks that originate from Mudh.

Description

Pin Valley National Park is located in the cold desert area of the Spiti valley, in the Lahaul and Spiti district within the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Declared a National Park in 1987, Pin Valley is located in the cold desert region of the Spiti valley. With its snow laden unexplored higher reaches and slopes, the park forms a natural habitat for a number of endangered animals including the Snow Leopard and Siberian Ibex. Steeped in history, the influence of Tibetan culture is prevalent in the area surrounding the park, visible in the Buddhist lamas, shrines, monasteries and culture of its residents.