Parvati Valley- Malana, Tosh, Kasol, Kheerganga

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“I had no words for that feeling, nor had I ever had it before, which comes from the knowledge that one is far away from all humanity, alone in a thousand square miles”-On the move by Oliver Sacks

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Photo of Kheerganga - Sunshine Himalayan Camp, Khir Ganga, Himachal Pradesh, India by Abhinav Sharma

‘It is about 2 am in the night, I am at a village named Kalga in Parvati Valley. The power went off sometime back and it is turning out to be real windy outside. The wind beats against the wooden walls of the room with some anguish, some determination, with the sole purpose probably to disrupt my sleep. I reluctantly wake up, find the candle amidst the sporadic thunder light and sit down and write. I write because, this has been a trip like that, unplanned, unexpected, and I just went with the flow, getting lost and found in the Parvati Valley’

Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Abhinav Sharma

To be on a bike is an amazing kind of freedom, probably it is this freedom which often propels me to ride, pushes me to test my limits and puts me in frame of mind where it is just the dug dug dug of the bike, the road and me. While cars burn petrol, for a biker it is sheer enthusiasm. I am on a mission of my own, I have ridden 600 km solo one way to reach the Parvati valley, completed two treks, made new friends, experienced a new culture and spent some quality time in the nature. When I look back on this trip, it feels like the epitome of those trips where I have allowed the nature and time to take its own course. I think this was one trip where every day I just woke and things happened, this is that kind of a valley, serene beautiful and it is meant to be enjoyed in that same frame of mind, cool calm, just go with the flow.

Photo of Bhuntar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Abhinav Sharma

Lost and Found:

I got lost in the jungle, on the route from Kheer Ganga to the Rainbow congregation. I deviated from quite a straight forward path to get lost and then found. Sounds quite philosophical, right, but it was a great experience, to be scared and amazed at the same time. I realized like any other great experiences in life it had to be a mix of both. I will always remember the first human face I saw, thanked my stars and carried on

Photo of Parvati Valley- Malana, Tosh, Kasol, Kheerganga by Abhinav Sharma

Hospitality: food by the river

As soon as you move from bhuntar to the road for kasol, there is a small dhaba by the river. You have to park your vehicle on the top and then move down to have food by the river. I ventured down for breakfast and believe me I experienced the very local cuisine by the river. Some trips to remember some meals to cherish

Photo of Manikaran, Himachal Pradesh, India by Abhinav Sharma

I did the Malan trek to experience a totally different culture. Situated at around 30km from Kasol, the trek from base to the village takes about 4 hours. I was lucky enough to spend good time in the village. However the high point of the trip was to experience the rainbow congregation at Kheer ganga. It happens only for a month where people mutually survive by teaching each other skills and community living. Imagine spending a month in a tents experiencing a unique culture and then coming back to your own lives.

Photo of Malana, Himachal Pradesh, India by Abhinav Sharma

Making new friends

Out of nowhere, having breakfast in the morning, I met Anshul, an army helicopter pilot. He too was looking for company to do the Malana Trek. I did the trek with him and shared so many stories. One must always once in a while interact with people from different backgrounds for it opens up our perspective in life.

Photo of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Abhinav Sharma

Some dance at kasol

Spent the first night at Kasol in a hotel I had pre booked. Since I was traveling solo, I just went to the terrace and read the book over some old monk. I befriended the cooks and was invited to the kitchen. Not only was the kitchen warm and cosy but also was their hearts. We shared some Old Monk, good food and yes some dance too.

Photo of Parvati Valley- Malana, Tosh, Kasol, Kheerganga by Abhinav Sharma

At worst, one is in motion;

And at best,

Reaching no absolute,

In which to rest,

One is always nearer by

Not keeping still

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