Some take inspiration from their loved ones, some measure it through stardom and for some inspiration lies in the surroundings. For me a small village mounted at the top of a mountain recently became an inspiration to explore. This small village that I am talking of is very close to the ‘Indian Switzerland’ – Khajjiar in Himachal Pradesh. At a trek of about 2 km ahead of Khajjiar, is Mystic Village, a community village, which turned out to be the most inspiring destination I have come across in a very long time. It left me spell-bound and wanting for more. The name in itself has so much mystery that I was naturally drawn to unravel the experience.
The bitter-sweet journey
I wouldn’t say that Mystic Village is a destination, I’d rather say it’s a bitter-sweet journey. We started around noon from Chamba to reach Khajjiar. Being born in Chamba, I had had the opportunity to savor picnics in the lush green meadows of Khajjiar all throughout my childhood but little did I know that I’d return to this place after a gap of 8 long years to be revealed to the most beautiful and adventurous getaway near Chamba and Khajjiar – Mystic Village. I kept questioning how such a beautiful village could be unknown to me all this while. I soon realized that it wasn’t that it was kept hidden, but that it had been sprung to life by NotOnMap (a travel based start-up) quite recently.
The journey to Khajjiar from Chamba only took one and half hour by car. I’m sure there are shared cabs and local buses which are budget options to travel in. Unlike a lot of tourists who flock around Khajjiar and Dalhousie, we didn’t waste a single second to do touristy things in and around Khajjiar and straight away went to our destination- Mystic Village. The trail to Mystic Village deserves a highlight as our ‘super easy’ trek had turned into a ‘challenging task’ due to the hail-storm that had hit the area the previous week. Even though we chose a bright and sunny day for our short getaway to Mystic Village, the condition of the trail had become a challenge for us.
Though I am not much of a trekker or a mountaineer, having climbed Triund top and Amarnath, I knew 2 km hike would be easy. But as funny as it may sound, I was shitting in my pants in some parts of the trail. Trust me, its an easy one but with the trees that had fallen on the track being uprooted due to rain and snow, the obstructions caused some trouble. We had to detour at some points, climb up and then come down, cross over the trees, jump a few gaps, get under the trees to cross, walk on the snow for a tiny patch, slowly tread to cross the slippery areas and so on and so forth. To me, the helping hand given by a caretaker named Anoop, who had come down to Khajjiar to receive us and help us through the trail, was surely a blessing in disguise. Not just helping us cross-over the obstructions, he also turned out to be a great conversationalist distracting me from the little fear that I had in my heart.