Seeking solitude in Shelapani, a beautiful hamlet in the Himalayas!

Tripoto
2nd Oct 2011

The Beautiful 'Dwarika Residency'

Photo of The Beautiful 'Dwarika Residency' by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra

Silver Birch Manali..we stayed here

Photo of Silver Birch Manali..we stayed here by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra

Sanju the cool guide

Photo of Sanju the cool guide by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra

The gentlemen at Dwarika

Photo of The gentlemen at Dwarika by Gargi Mitra

Naggar Castle

Photo of Naggar Castle by Gargi Mitra

Beas

Photo of Beas by Gargi Mitra

Ramleela procession at Manali Mall

Photo of Ramleela procession at Manali Mall by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra

Celebration of Nicholas Roerich' b'day

Photo of Celebration of Nicholas Roerich' b'day by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra

view from our room in Dwarika

Photo of view from our room in Dwarika by Gargi Mitra

Mrs. Dwarika Khimta

Photo of Mrs. Dwarika Khimta by Gargi Mitra

The beautiful playful Beas

Photo of The beautiful playful Beas by Gargi Mitra

Stairs leading to the room at Dwarika

Photo of Stairs leading to the room at Dwarika by Gargi Mitra

At Rohtang

Photo of At Rohtang by Gargi Mitra

Ryna....cuty

Photo of Ryna....cuty by Gargi Mitra

The roadside Dhaba where we had good 'paranthas'

Photo of The roadside Dhaba where we had good 'paranthas' by Gargi Mitra

Horse riding at the Rohtang

Photo of Horse riding at the Rohtang by Gargi Mitra

Hidimba Devi Temple

Photo of Hidimba Devi Temple by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra

The hot water

Photo of The hot water by Gargi Mitra

got bored and the result is...

Photo of got bored and the result is... by Gargi Mitra

Manikaran

Photo of Manikaran by Gargi Mitra

The handsome Raja 'Sidh Singh' of Naggar castle

Photo of The handsome Raja 'Sidh Singh' of Naggar castle by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra

Jagat sukh temple

Photo of Jagat sukh temple by Gargi Mitra

Following our guide Sanju

Photo of Following our guide Sanju by Gargi Mitra

@ Dwarika

Photo of @ Dwarika by Gargi Mitra

Bon fire

Photo of Bon fire by Gargi Mitra

Here we rested during the ride to Rohtang

Photo of Here we rested during the ride to Rohtang by Gargi Mitra

Solang Valley

Photo of Solang Valley by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra

@ Dwarika Residency

Photo of @ Dwarika Residency by Gargi Mitra

Nicholas Roerich Art gallery

Photo of Nicholas Roerich Art gallery by Gargi Mitra

Shadow of another mountain

Photo of Shadow of another mountain by Gargi Mitra

Road heading towards Rohtang

Photo of Road heading towards Rohtang by Gargi Mitra

It was birth centenary of Nicholas Roerich

Photo of It was birth centenary of Nicholas Roerich by Gargi Mitra

while approaching towards Rohtang

Photo of while approaching towards Rohtang by Gargi Mitra

The local children

Photo of The local children by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra

The Beautiful Beas

Photo of The Beautiful Beas by Gargi Mitra

The lawn at Dwarika

Photo of The lawn at Dwarika by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra
Photo of by Gargi Mitra

'Knowing the unknown, seeing the unseen'...was there all over me when I started for the Himalayas along with my partner. The serenity of the Back Waters, the depth of the seas left me feel fascinated so far. What mystery lies there in the Himalayas?...this feeling was driving me crazy since the journey was planned and I was not tired enough taking a quick look to the Himalayan travelogues which came handy. It was Shimla, Manali, Kullu beforehand......more travelogues consulted and more changes we observed in our plan....finally we halted to Shelapani 'Dwarika Residency' situated in the Shimla hills, an approximate 3 hours of drive from proper Shimla and 8 hours from Kalka....a place at the height of 7500 ft. where you feel more attached to nature and seek solace from its solitude! An ideal place for camping, trekking and walks through the jungle. The name 'Shelapani' means cold water and it is named after a cold natural spring water flowing nearby. Infact I would prefer to nominate it as 'best of rural and village tourism' in the Himachals.

Our journey started on 1st October from Kolkata flying to Delhi and from Delhi approaching to Kalka with an expectation of getting confirmation in any of the Toy Trains towards Shimla, the next day. But unfortunately or fortunately (unfortunate because we didn't experience the Toy Train ride which we heard was pretty interesting and fortunate because we had the privacy to enjoy the ride amidst beautiful picturesque road through the mountains) , in any of the Toy Trains we didn't get confirmation to board. So we asked our host at 'Dwarika Residency' Mr. Sudhir Khimta to arrange for a pick up from the Kalka Hotel early morning of 2nd October. We started at 6.30 in the morning and while our progress we experienced a thrilling journey. At times it seemed that there is a dead end, at times seemed that the road will lead us to eternity....the more we approached we were gradually estranged of the city buffs. The best part of this ride was halting by a roadside Dhaba and satisfying our appetite with some delicious 'aloo/ paneer/ muli paranthas'. An open air sitting arrangement gave us the opportunity to enjoy the sunny blue sky and the chill....the road was a little bit of hectic at the end but while we entered the Residency, we forgot the tiresome journey. We were given the best of the rooms which is in upstairs. The property is equally beautiful as the graceful lady (Late Mrs. Dwarika Khimta) after whose name it is christened. About the staff...courteous staff (they were so humble) and in every conversation they concluded 'koi nahi ji'...

Stayed there for 3 nights. Walked through the jungles with our sweet cool guide Sanju...enjoyed sitting by the edge of a cliff...collected some memoirs...I specially enjoyed one thing while getting down from our jungle trek....slipping through a shortcut way instead of walking...indulged in the north Indian delicacies....with an aroma of the 'Kasuri methi' almost in all the recipes.....cooked when got bored....

View from this place was equally mind blowing....the riot of colours...the clouds, the sky, the space between the mountains with various shades of colours you can imagine...while the sun plays hide & seek, you get to see the best of the mountains....the night falling slowly on the pine, birch plantations over the mountains.....night view of other mountains....you see lights tinkling there and you start wondering who might be staying there...what is that place, what are people doing there....and that sort...There were no other visitors while our visit so it gave us some favourable time to roam freely in this little hamlet.....Once the owner's relative visited and we were acquainted with a beautiful little girl 'Ryna'. We enjoyed the bonfire with her a night...I would love to visit this place if I get another opportunity....infact our attraction for 'home stay' started after visiting this very place.

 While our return we visited Manali and stayed there for 3 nights. If you are a sight seeing buddy kind...you surely visit Manali and then go for......Manu Rishi Temple, Jagatsukh, Manikaran, Hidimba Devi temple, Monstery, Naggar Castle, Nicholas Roerich Art gallery, Club House Solang Valley....visit the famous 'Rohtang Pass'...take a walk through the local markets.....We stayed in Silver Birch Cottage in Manali.....they arranged the sight seeing for us...and Mr. Khemraj the landlord and Mr. Khemraj the driver....they are so humble....Driver Mr. Khemraj is a very humorous guy who made or ride more special to Rohtang Pass....as the snowfall was still a month away...so we were able to continue our journey till the pass but were unable to get the snow...it is said that during the snow fall you might be only able to visit till the 'snow point' as the roads are blocked there after.....Hidimba Devi temple is a place where you might be knowing the song 'Roja janeman' from movie 'Roja' was filmed! It is really a vast and picturesque place.... I loved the 'Raja' of the Naggar castle.....we were really lucky enough to know about Mr. Nicholas Roerich.....you will be amazed seeing his paintings of the Himalayas! So many shades of the mountains were observed in his paintings.....his observations of the different colours, moods of the mountains reflected there in his paintings....I must say it is a visit worthy place.....and then you see the beautiful playful 'Beas' all along your way.....we even came by a procession of 'Ramlila' arranged by the locals..

It's only a part visited and many more are there on my wishlist....Lahaul Spiti, Leh Ladakh, Kinnaur, Keylong....and so on....Just wish to continue until am done...

We stayed at the Airport Inn hotel in Kullu for the early morning flight next day to Delhi....

I propose for all the travelers to try at least a visit to Shelapani and get rejuvenated....in an attempt to connect with nature, learn about the flora and the fauna, get time to see the rural life closely, get balanced and return to your daily chores....

2 Comment(s)
Sort by:
Thank you Sudhirji. It was indeed a very memorable trip for me as well starting from the hospitality, the location, the ambience...and everything!
Wed 06 01 16, 09:07 · Reply · Report
Dwarika Residency Shelapani Shimla hills welcomes your post . I Sudhir Khimta from the core of my heart thank you for this mind loving article and sincerely would welcomes you as a super guest ..Thank again Regards
Tue 05 31 16, 17:14 · Reply · Report