A timeless souvenir from a tour of Spiti
Langza village is a beautiful meadow at a height of 4,400m in the breathtaking Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh. But, millions of years ago, when the earth was young and the Himalaya still a twinkle in the eye of the maker, it was beneath the sea. Incredibly enough, a casual stroll around the area still reveals fossils of sea creatures. I brought back these clay replicas of ammonites, an extinct group of marine mollusc animals of the class Cephalopoda. Decades ago, Langza used to be the main source of mud pots in the valley. But over the years, as plastic and metal stamped their dominance on the markets, the potters of Langza turned to other occupations. Today, the sole active potter here depends on creating artefacts like these replicas to eke out a living. The timelessness of the fossils and of the art that births these replicas makes these the perfect souvenir to preserve from a tour of Spiti.