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This Bluehouse By The River, Hidden In The Hills Of Himachal Is An Instagrammer's Dream Come True


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Photos of Bluehouse By The River, Pekhri, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Sonalika Debnath

The air is thick with the sweet scent of the mountains. A river babbles its way through the blessedly quiet valley. A throb of cicadas resounds through your ears, as your eyes hurriedly wander over the dense canopy. The psychedelic trance of the mountain score dwarfs the Bollywood beats flowing from the radio in your jeep, as you start approaching the striking, yet lonesome blue door to the house.

Photos of Bluehouse By The River, Pekhri, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Sonalika Debnath

Bluehouse, a lonely cottage draped in traditional pahadi architecture, placed delicately and very deliberately by the Tirthan River in the Banjar Valley offers a slice of the mountain life without the jazz of a hill station. As you stick your head out of the car window on the drive up to the house, imprint into memory, scenes upon scenes of the valley that are punctuated with fruit orchards, thatched cottages, small ramshackle shops, and rosy-cheeked Tibetan children walking down to school.

The Himalayas demand that you wake up early. And, rightly so. Every morning Banjar Valley wakes you up with chilly sunshine and chirping magpies. And through your stay at this home, it's a given that you will be spending hours on end by the river that will turn sea-green when the skies are awash with clouds and an inky black with silver ripples during a full-moon night.

Photos of  1/4 by Sonalika Debnath
Photos of  2/4 by Sonalika Debnath
Photos of  3/4 by Sonalika Debnath
Photos of  4/4 by Sonalika Debnath

The luxurious riverside retreat offers the comfort and familiarity of home, as well as the thrill of a brand new place, and brand new people, making it perfect for every kind of traveller. The homestay is also ideal for bird watchers, anglers and those simply looking for some solitude. The staff, who are warm and welcoming, serve home-cooked meals according to the cuisine desired by their guests.

Space:

The cottage has four double occupancy rooms.

Cost:

From ₹23,990, per night.

Where:

Badi Ropa village, Banjar, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh

How to reach:

By road: Take a bus for Manali from Delhi and get down at Aut. From Aut, board a taxi or a bus directly to Banjar. From Delhi, a direct drive to Banjar is about 520km can be completed in 12hr.

By rail: The nearest railway station is in Shimla. Taxis ply to Banjar from Shimla.

By air: The closest airport is in Bhuntar in the Kullu district. Buses and taxis ply to Banjar from Bhuntar.

Sights:

Around 1500 years ago, this kothi/ fort was constructed at the Chehni Village for the erstwhile Himalayan king, Raja Dadhiya. With 10 storeys, the fort towers over the Krishna Temple nearby.

The Shringi Rishi Temple situated in Bagi, has a large statue of Rishi Shringi and intricate wood carvings epitomising 24 different Indian gods.

Photos of The Great Himalayan National Park, Mashyar, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Sonalika Debnath

The park is home to brown bears, mountain lions, jungle goats, musk deers and around 200 odd species of birds. The park also offers a variety of treks ranging from easy to strenuous.

Photos of Sainj, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Sonalika Debnath

Around 3km from the Aut village, lies the Sainj valley, which is the base for many treks and also a charming destination for camping.

Things To Do:

Birding

Hidden from the cacophony of the bustling hill-stations, the Badi Ropa Village is a refuge for a motley of birds that come in an array of colours. You could be a city-weary soul or the odd ornithologist/twitcher, but a peculiar calm overcomes you when you observe the birds, their flight paths and listen to the beautiful medley of sounds.

Unwind by the Tirthan River

Photos of  1/1 by Sonalika Debnath

Keep aside an afternoon to simply unwind by the crystal clear waters. Try to spot the flying trout fish, take a dip in the river or along with your favourite book and a steaming cup of coffee, deposit yourself on a rock till sundown.

Mountain Biking

Photos of  1/1 by Sonalika Debnath

Bike through the sweeping valleys and dense forests from Aut to Jalori Pass. Along the way you will come across a cornucopia of green meadows and botanical gardens. The staff at the cottage can arrange individual or group tours as per your requirements.

Angling

Tirthan Valley is a hotspot for anglers and all year round, tourists and professionals flock to the river for a catch of the rainbow and brown trout fish.

Trekking/Hiking

Photos of  1/1 by Sonalika Debnath

There are a number of trekking and hiking trails from the Great Himalayan National Park:

An 8-day trek crossing the two valleys of Sainj and Tirthan. You will come across the peaks of Neuli and Shakti and the Dhel meadow. This trek includes a day hike to Jogni, and then to the Guntarao Meadow. From Dhel, head to Shilt and then to Gushaini.

A relatively easy 3-day trek to Rolla, from Gushaini, and then to Shilt. Along the way, you will also come across the Chhordwari waterfall and a magnificent bamboo forest.

A highly strenuous 7-day trek through birch forests from Jiwa Nala to Parvarti River Valley. You'll come across the Manu temple and the Kandi Galu notch along the way.

Book a stay at the gorgeous Bluehouse today.

Photos of Jiwa Nalah, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Sonalika Debnath

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