Cleanse your Soul, visit Hanol- the best kept secret of Uttarakhand.

Tripoto
12th May 2018

Every life is sacrosanct. Sacrifice your ego and not anybody else's life.

Photo of Cleanse your Soul, visit Hanol- the best kept secret of Uttarakhand. by Jitendra Kumar
Day 4
Photo of Mahasu Devta Temple Hanol, Hanol, Uttarakhand, India by Jitendra Kumar
Photo of Chakrata, Uttarakhand, India by Jitendra Kumar

The very idea of a road trip fascinates each one of us. However, it is easier said than done. No road trip is complete without surprises. They may be positive ones and/or negative ones but both of them test our resolve to challenge our comfort zone. Road trips help us acquaint more with the world out there as well as the world inside us. If you are young and free, it is better to go on an unplanned trip than a planned one. It will give you a true sense of freedom. It makes you real strong. I prefer to go on unplanned trips and often to destinations which are offbeat and where one can really get to mingle with the locals and enjoy authentic local cuisines. My motto thus is- 'the best plan is to not have a plan'.This approach gives me real flexibility and the feel of being a traveler and not a mere tourist. I have realized that I explored more when I had no specific plan to travel but only a rough sketch as in which direction to go to. Sometimes, it is really rewarding to wonder aimlessly. Also, I prefer not to use GPS or modern navigation system. I believe in old school and a road atlas does the work for me. And sometimes I internalize the map in my mind. This way I rely more on my intelligence rather than the smartness of the "smartphone". An action as simple as asking for directions from the locals opens a host new set of windows and opportunities. If we are good at making connections then we may even be invited for free food and free home stays. The essence of traveling lies in living like a local even it is only for a day or two. I was in Rishikesh this summer and I really wanted a break from the maddening crowd of the city life. As I had traveled extensively before throughout Uttarakhand and Himachal, I was not very sure that any untouched and serene place in these states was left to be discovered by me. I later realized that I was foolishly wrong. Uttarakhand is vast and has lots of pleasant surprises in its kitty especially for the maverick bikers.I was looking for a place which would be located amidst the hills on a riverbank and which would have a really serene feel where one can relax and contemplate on the meaning of life. As summer was at its peak and people from Delhi had made their way to the popular hill stations to escape harsh summers, the chances of finding an offbeat paradise seemed bleak. Nevertheless, I decided to embark on a road trip hoping against hope that I would be able to find my offbeat paradise.I decided to skip the overcrowded Mussorie being well aware that it would burn a pretty big hole in my pocket. I decided to visit Chakrata, a cantonment town not very far from Mussorie. However, it  also failed to meet my expectations. I rode for another half an hour and was delighted to find beautiful cottages amidst white wild flowers in full bloom. To my surprise, the cottages were available for a very low price and were the perfect pick for budget travelers like me. I later got to know that due to the poor condition of 15 km stretch of road from Chakrata to Koti, very few travelers frequented this place and that's why the hospitality business was down. However, for me, it was a blessing in disguise. The owner of the cottages provided me great hospitality and delicious home made food. I experimented with my gastronomical skills by preparing raw mango chutney and I reaped the benefits by being offered free food for the rest of my stay as the chutney touched the heart of the cottage owner. He was a very humble person connected to the roots of his village. I made friends with him. He advised me to visit Mahasu Devta Temple, the local deity of the Jaunsar Bawar region. I decided to give it a go. This go would go on to become the one of the most memorable road trips ever undertaken by me.

Photo of Cleanse your Soul, visit Hanol- the best kept secret of Uttarakhand. by Jitendra Kumar

The cottage I stayed in.

The naturally grown wild white flower in full bloom.

Photo of Cleanse your Soul, visit Hanol- the best kept secret of Uttarakhand. by Jitendra Kumar
Photo of Cleanse your Soul, visit Hanol- the best kept secret of Uttarakhand. by Jitendra Kumar
Day 2

The green meadows near the cottage were a perfect place to engage in deep reading and thinking.

Photo of Chakrata, Uttarakhand, India by Jitendra Kumar

The Road to Hanol is a picturesque one with hills on the one side and the pristine Tons/Tamsa rive on the other.

Photo of Chakrata, Uttarakhand, India by Jitendra Kumar

The Tons/Tamsa river which confluences with the mighty Yamuna during her downstream journey.

Photo of Chakrata, Uttarakhand, India by Jitendra Kumar
Day 3

Intricate art work inside the temple speaks about the deep thinking that went into the designing and construction of the temple in the olden times.

Photo of Mahasu Devta Temple Hanol, Hanol, Uttarakhand, India by Jitendra Kumar

The "no-longer-to-be-sacrificed" goat. The ritual of sacrificing goats has been down away with. Also, women are now given entry inside the temple.

Photo of Mahasu Devta Temple Hanol, Hanol, Uttarakhand, India by Jitendra Kumar

These stone structures are unique to this region and are said to have mystical properties. They have withstood the test of time and still stand erect and fascinate the travelers by their sheer white brilliance.

Photo of Mahasu Devta Temple Hanol, Hanol, Uttarakhand, India by Jitendra Kumar

These wooden structures carry religious value for the tribal people of this region. They are mysterious in ways more than one. They attract the attention of the visitor almost instantly.

Photo of Mahasu Devta Temple Hanol, Hanol, Uttarakhand, India by Jitendra Kumar
Day 4
Photo of Mahasu Devta Temple Hanol, Hanol, Uttarakhand, India by Jitendra Kumar

If you are really interested in visiting a place which has got a strong heritage and mythical value, Hanol is a place to go to. This has got everything a traveler and a bike rider can aspire for. This is located far far away from the maddening city crowd. It is located on the border of Uttarakhand and Himachal. It is located on the banks of the pristine Tons river and taking a dip into it definitely cleanses the soul. There are all kinds of accommodation available here. Budget travelers can even stay in homestays in Tiuni, the nearby town. Bikers should give it a go. It is ideal for the solo rider. It is a place of deep meditation and contemplation. Happy Voyaging.

1 Comment(s)
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Wonderfully weaven in words by this writer. I loved his way of narrating story and engaging the readers to pack up this very moment and to hit the road.
Sun 12 09 18, 00:02 · Reply · Report