In search of Solitude #BestOfTravel

29th Jun 2017
Photo of In search of Solitude #BestOfTravel by The TwinTrippers

It was the month of June, and the heat in Delhi was becoming unbearable. After shortlisting a few hill stations, a friend of ours suggested Mcleodganj as he has a farmhouse in Palampur located in Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh.

We stayed in Palampur which falls between Mcleodganj and Bir. The popular hill station of Dharamsala is around 30 kms from Palampur and Bir, the Paragliding Capital of India is situated 35kms from Palampur.

This tea capital of North India reminded us of our state Assam, the simple houses, bamboo gates in front of the houses, the greenery around, the dump wells, orchids and of course the tea gardens.

Day 1:

We started off from Delhi at around 12.30 am and made our "mandatory" halt at Murthal for our Parantha-wali dinner. We then headed straight to Chandigarh and after a cup of tea, drove straight to Una for a light breakfast even as the Mercury started rising.

From there, we started off for our destination -- Palampur, where we were welcomed by bright sunshine. The temperature was around 30 degrees, not the usual weather in Himachal in the month of June.

We landed in the friend’s farmhouse where Panditji, the caretaker had already filled the swimming pool with fresh water. It took us a moment to unpack and dive into the pool...and trust us it felt Awesome.

We enquired Panditji whether there will be dip in the temperature at night; he said it’s the usual climate here. The air at night is cool but the temperature does not fall below 25 degree Celsius.

Now let us take you for a tour of the farmhouse. So it was surrounded by thick pine trees and the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas -- which can be viewed from the verandah of the farmhouse but only in the morning when the sky is clear.

We spent the day in the farmhouse by having a barbeque party by the poolside before ending it star gazing at the terrace and a game of Uno.

Day 2:

Woken up by the smell of the yummy paranthas, as soon as we opened the door, we were greeted by the cool breeze of the morning and the view of beautiful Dhauladhars in the front.

Day 2

As it was a long weekend, Bhagsunag fall would be too crowded, so we decided to take everyone to a not-so-crowded waterfall in Naddi village.

This was our third trip to Mcleodganj but this time, the place was exploding with cars and tourists. All thanks to the Delhi heat.

After an hour in the traffic, we finally reached Naddi viewpoint. From Naddi viewpoint we trekked for an hour or two to the waterfall which can be viewed from the viewpoint through binoculars.

Photo of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by The TwinTrippers
Photo of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by The TwinTrippers

One can also trek to the Guna Mata temple which is another 3-4 kms from the waterfall. While sipping coffee and satisfying our tastebuds with a hot bowl of maggi, we asked the lady in the shop about the place.

They call this place ‘Bal ki khand’ or Bal village. We tried searching it on Google but in vain as there is no mention about this place.

Bal ki khand is bliss! This place is cozily wrapped around the lush green cover of Deodar trees and the water body that flows is an enthralling beauty. The vagaries of the weather were a sight to behold. Watching the sun and the clouds play peek-a-boo, listening to the gushing sound of water splashing against the boulders and the wind singing its own song is what we called “life among nature”.

Photo of In search of Solitude #BestOfTravel by The TwinTrippers

You won't find a lot of eateries there except a couple of tiny maggi joints to refill yourselves. While enquiring the lady at the shop, we got to know there are also a few lodges near the watercourse.

Photo of In search of Solitude #BestOfTravel by The TwinTrippers
Photo of In search of Solitude #BestOfTravel by The TwinTrippers

The day went by enjoying the cloudy weather and taking dips in the stream at frequent intervals. We left the place when the clouds became dark and grumpy enough to burst out anytime soon. It already started to drizzle when we started our return trip.

We somehow reached the Naddi viewpoint all drenched in rain at around 5 o’clock in the evening.

Photo of In search of Solitude #BestOfTravel by The TwinTrippers

From Naddi we planned to refill ourselves with the famous wooden oven pizza and Lasagne in Dharamkot but unfortunately all our plans were poured cold water by the heavy traffic in Mcleodganj.

So we decided to skip and instead made our way back to the farmhouse where we treated ourselves to my (Indrani's) speciality -- Thai Chicken with hot boiled rice...even as our never-ending chats continued till very late into the night.

Day 3:

A trip to the famous Chamunda Devi temple was in our list and we decided to leave early in the morning and pay a visit to the temple before heading for Delhi.

The next morning, it started pouring heavily and as everyone woke up late, we couldn’t visit Chamunda Devi temple because the gate was closed before we reached.

So we headed towards Delhi as two of our friends had their train back to Lucknow the same evening. Since no one was in the mood to get back to Delhi, we decided to visit Jwala Devi temple and Anantpur Sahib Gurudwara.

After a lot of discussion we finally convinced our friends to cancel their tickets to Lucknow.

Day 3

After taking blessings from Jwala Devi temple, we started for Anantpur Sahib. One of the holiest places of Sikhs, Takht Shri Keshgarh Sahib in Anantpur Sahib is where Khalsa was born. The white Gurudwara stands tall and was spread around a huge area in the city of spiritual bliss. One of the cleanest pilgrimages we have ever been to. One can also view Naina Devi peak from the porches of the Gurudwara.

Photo of Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India by The TwinTrippers

On our way back, we decided to stop by the concrete gravity dam across the Satluj river i.e Bhakra dam and also took a dip in the river.