Thursday, January 1, 2009
Well travelling for me is like the tonic to boost up after tiresomely messing up in city life of Delhi. This time I want to live in the lap of the nature for a week holiday. I had experienced place of divine connection named as Himalayan Country or adobe of God, its Himachal Pradesh. This was really an unforgettable trip I enjoyed with my close friends from Delhi to Keylong, district headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti.
I had observed the map of Himachal Pradesh and taken advices from my uncle who has done lot of biking expedition through these rout. I packed my bags and want to give advice to every tourist to be honest with full of thermal wears, cap, mountaineering shoes, mobile charger and sunglasses according to season and most important a handy first-aid kit and off course don’t forget a good camera to capture the panorama invented by nature.
This is better we hired a cab who has experienced driver. After crossing Ambala, city beautiful Chandigarh and then Kalka we had first glimpse of mountains. This is the end of day one at Shimla. Our journey actually starts from this summer capital from the times of English rule, which has served as one of the popular tourist place and about 370 km from Delhi. It has popular Mall Road, Church, Lakkad Bazar, Ridge and historical Indian Institute of advance studies off course scandal point and the beautiful sceneries full of Pine Mountains.
As we were moving next day ahead through the roads I surely feel more enthusiastic and dreamt of unscathed beauty still to come. We crossed through the beautiful legacies of Kufri and Fagu the green mountains start with tropical trees looks greeting us with the fragrance, local peoples enjoy this place like the chopati in Mumbai. We stopped for the tea at Theog sipped tea and curiously ask about the apple trees in that area to shop owner, he said, badi mehnat ka kam hai ji isme roj spray karna hota ho nahi to kaharb ho jaate hai, he told how to pluck an apple safely.
We saw the sign of destruction at Matiyana where a hut is shattered by the big rocks falling from upside hills due to land sliding two months ago but we aspect good weather and road condition for next five days.
Now first I should describe about the natural resources of Himcahal first is surely tourism industry and second hydro projects. These rivers are the friend’s as float in the valley and road side. Major rivers of Himachal Pradesh are Chandrabhaga, Rabi and Satluj which has number of tributires which always seen splashing.
Our next stoppage for the day will be the Manali, for which we accept the challenge through the extremely beautiful villages like Ani, Shoja, Banjar (known for its trout fish) and Bhuntar the gateway to Kullu district is one the popular airport of the Himachal region. This was really an entertaining rout through Jalori pass. Our driver told about near by Shikaridevi Wildlife Sanctury, we were excited. I observed that old handmade houses with the stones and clay look as the caves on the mountains. It is said that some of the carved wooden houses are hand made and doesn’t have single nail on its joints. These houses has specialty as protective for the all season.
The Kullu region looks very busy in these days as it is popular for its qualities of apples, on the sides of the roads the short trees bend over with the weight of the apples. We stop by seeing these trees to eat one or two but standing person advice us not to enter in apple garden but surely God helped us as a villager pluck some apples for us. It is the kind hospitality which we will never. The ripe apples were packed into cartons and waiting for their turn along the sides of the roads, we relish the aroma of fresh apple. In the middle big groups of sheep’s makes us to stop for while and wait, we only make request to their possessor to clear the road.
Kullu is on the banks of river Beas which has vedic name Arjikiya rises in Pir Panjal near Rohtang pass and flows in the vast areas of Himachal Pradesh. This place is famous for its quality of shawls, muffler and caps which we saw in the shops. It has mountaineering institutes and water sports. Kullu is amalgamation of history and it is world famous for the Dussehra festival as two big grounds known as Dhalpur. Local participant with us told that it started in 1637 AD in the ruling of Raja Jagat Singh. On the first day goddess Hidimba of Manali comes to Kullu in strong royal protection and idol of Raghunathji placed on chariot
In Manali we entered in the evening which is actually two old and new Manali, we had booked rooms in old manali. We got to know that Manali means abode of Manu as old Manali has Manu temple. All of us gathered and make time to visit historical Bhima and Hidimba temple and a very good market.
Next day we have to cross the toughest part of the journey as we sail through the well cultured roads. We had rout of Palchan, Marhi, Rohtang pass and Tandi. Marhi is the place from where we eat tea and paranthas as it is main camp before Rohtang pass. The road condition at is full of dirt and white snow peaks were clearly noticed. The caravans of the trucks are moving slowly to the Leh national highway.
We faced fresh snow on the Rohtang La, in tibetan language La means ‘pass’ which is 13050 feet above sea level; Indian Army is worked as a helping hand to us. The only courageous activity I had saw is by the Border Road Organisation (BRO) in the chilling atmosphere, truly deserve our salutes. We play with the ice bowls throwing on each other but soon we irritated by the shine of the ice into eyes and trembling on the legs.
In way to destination I saw some coulourful Buddhist stringing flag which inscribes with holy hymns. More hoist white flags with the stone placing around are called chorten or stupa which is somehow for receiving blessing of the holy spirit of Himalayas peoples faith in spirituality we crossed Khoksar from a bridge which is very sensitive and shaking where vehicles passes slowly one by one and river Chandra looks evident. At the road to Dalang we saw sacks of potato because this place is well known Potato cultivation. At Tandi we were amazed to see the last petrol pump enroute to Leh indicating board next petrol pump after 365 km, better we fueled our car.
We reached in Keylong and have a good time to visit the most happening market. In far mountain Keylong looks as small nest in the bushes of trees. Chandra and Bhaga which sail through Lahaul and Spiti named Chenab at Kashmir region. I visited main market of Keylong (district centre of Lahaul and Spiti) that was full of lives; the blend of culture, tradition, language and hospitality. Peoples were talking about the blocked Leh highways because of heavy snow. We feel blows of chilling winds of Himalayan Mountain.
An old woman whose has wrinkles on the face curiously glimpse to me and in a minute smile greet in local language ‘Jule’, which means hello and welcome. When I start taking photos of the women wearing local costumes one of them calmly said ‘what you will do with our photographs’ as they are shying of it. On the other hand I look myself as an accused who is interfering into the world which is blessed with the rich cultural legacy and its surplus natural history.
Hospitality given by localities will in be my fond memories and teach me how good can human be. I am always thankful of the nature which is so pure and teach me a lesson of always giving by both the hand.