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India's 'Middle Kingdom' faces winds of change

Tourism and climate change threaten way of life in scenic Himalayan valley

A woman carries freshly harvested barley in Nako village. (Photo by Tom  Vater)

KAZA, India -- "There are more cars than potatoes now" sighs Chhering Angrup, slowly turning a prayer wheel below a framed portrait of the Dalai-Lama at his home in Kaza, the main town of the Spiti valley.

Now in his late 70s, the stocky, leather-skinned Angrup was born in Tashigang, a hamlet 20 km above Kaza, when the British ruled Spiti, a high-altitude desert in the North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

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