Langza, Spiti Valley

A high altitude village in the Western Himalayas of India that is made up of a small group of people living in Tibetan styled mud and stone houses and who are surrounded by snow capped mountains and the rolling hills of the mighty Himalayas. Now, imagine their mountainous land being the home to a rich array of fossils of marine animals and plants from millions of years ago. Sounds impossible right?

Well, such a village exists at an altitude of 4400 metres above MSL in the high Himalayas of Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh. This village called Langza is a picturesque village that lies at the base of the Chau Chau Kang Nilda peak and that is just made up of a few hundred people.

The interesting thing is that Langza and most of Spiti valley was under the ancient Tethys sea many millions of years ago and it was home to many ancient marine flora and fauna. The entire mountain landscape that we see today was all under a huge ocean before the tectonic plates shifted leading to the Indian subcontinent shifting itself from Africa and banging against the Eurasian continent. And which led to the birth of the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau.

Today, the Tethys ocean is no more, but the fossils of these ancient marine animals still exist in and around Langza and quite possibly other parts of Spiti valley too. All you need to have is a keen eye to spot these fossils or take the help of a knowledgeable local.