Himalaya's Dhauladhar range is home to numerous gateways and such was the small village I was walking to, past tall pines tress, magnificently built hotels, old church and the schools of Palampur. When you have left the city behind, you can hear the gush of the brook and birds chirp with of course few vehicles passing by leading you to the village Bundla. The village treats you with utter contrast of green orchards and farms to white sheet of snow on mountains and alluring blue sky.
This place gets it's name after the Bundla stream which further means 'The one which drips all year round'. Why this name? Since the weather here changes unexpectedly and it can start raining any time of the day or night and it did happen with me!
Why visit Bundla?
- For stay in the orchards/farms overlooking snow capped mountains: There are quite a few home stays with all basic amenities serving home made food. The hosts generally have their own orchards and farms with cottages or tented accommodation to offer and you will find majestic snow capped mountains looking at you. The quietness of the place is deafening and yet so peaceful. The people are very humble and generous and mind to their own business unless you choose to chat with them and it is cherry on the cake.
- For hikes and treks: Bundla stream tenders a small forest area, a haven for birding. Pine cones and bit rocky trail leads your way. Avoid going here during monsoons. You can also choose to walk to Neugal Bridge on Neugal Khad (also known as Bundla Chasm), which is the only reminiscent of once a famous tourist spot called 'Saurabh Van Vihar.'
It was a nature park built in memory of a valiant soldier from the town, Saurabh Kalia. This park was destroyed due to cloudburst in upper area and thus flash floods in Sep. 2018. All you can see now is vast area of sand and mud along with big rocks and few parts of the building which was a cafeteria. Local people are still sentimental about the place and will fondly share their experience, if topic is brought up.
One can also choose to do a 14 kms. trek to Old Vindhyavasini Mata Temple or drive through road. The trek trail is moderately difficult due to slippery rocks and snow in winter. Another renown place is Jakhni Mata Temple which is approximately 5 kms. uphill with only access through road, so one can choose to drive or walk up. These temples offer you up close view of the snowy mountains as if you can run up to them and hug, but no, not that easy! If you are lucky then you can also witness snowing up on the peaks which get partially covered in mist and then no longer, you will be drenching in rain.