The year 2020 have been testing time for all of us in some way or the other. Gradually we are adapting to the new normal way of leading life and I knew that it's been enough; need to go to the mountains NOW! But this pandemic is not completely over yet and thus I knew that I had to be extremely careful in choosing the destination. So I zeroed on Shangarh in Sainj Valley. A very small secluded village with bare minimum guest houses, far away from any crowd and commercialization. I could be as close to nature and enjoy the sound of nature and silence.
Along with my husband we hit the roads of Delhi on a Friday afternoon and taking pit stops at Mohali, mandi and some random places, we reached our destination on Saturday early morning. It is a 12 hr long journey from Delhi but we completed in 17 hours. The roads were in pretty good condition throughout but the last 10km stretch while entering in Shangarh in Sainj was in pretty bad taste. At some point I felt like if I have chosen the right place, how would the homestay be and all. But once we reached and checked in to our homestay, it was all worth it. The meadows of Shangarh was right in front of my eyes with tall peaks surrounding it. On the opposite side I could see tall pine trees and apple orchards. The day was spent at leisure soaking ourselves in the beauty of nature; after all this is the first trip to the mountains this year amidst the pandemic.
For the rest of our day we would set off to the meadows every morning for yoga session near the Sangchul Mahadev temple, sit there for some time in peace and then return to our homestay for breakfast. Post breakfast we would again set off to explore the many trails in the jungle which led us to some hidden waterfall or to some apple orchard. People of Shangarh are extremely sweet, friendly and always welcoming. Every orchard we visited, were welcomed heartily by the caretaker and then offered apples! Visiting such a secluded place where you can just go for long walks amidst nature, sit buy the flowing stream, discover a waterfall, pluck juicy apples from the orchard was so refreshing and rejuvenating. These 7 days were sheer bliss.
We returned after a week to Delhi fully charged up for the rest of this year I guess ;) before we decide to go back to the mountains.