Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley

Tripoto
13th Nov 2016
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Day 1

Waking up early morning to the view of calm Rewalsar and still asleep fishes within , on my second Day through Himachal I headed to the bus stand for my return journey to Mandi. Waiting for the bus I would continue my lessons on slowing down the pace of my actions and my thoughts.

The bus ride back to Mandi with a beaming Sun would now open up glimpses of all that I missed in my ride the day before as it was completely dark then. Sharp bends in roads, tiny homes tucked between hills like secrets shared by those lived here for long, the pine trees defying gravity in various angles until the view is filled with bridges and stacked houses of Mandi.

Bridges tying together two ends of a valley,Mandi

Photo of Raj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India by rahul raina

The Beas flowing through the heart of Mandi

Photo of Raj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India by rahul raina

Reaching the Bus Stop, I looked for Raj Mahal Palace Hotel which I had read decent reviews of and was in the centre of the town as well. In the walk from the Bus Stand to the Hotel one crosses the bridges over the River Beas. The glimpses of various temples in this place, also known as 'Little Kashi' give a person of faith enough places to visit to make Mandi a place to visit for much longer duration. For me the sight of the bridges and homes around the river were enough. I had to head to my next destination Barot sooner than later.

Mandi Clock Tower

Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina

Heading towards Barot with the greenery intact.

Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina

Reaching Barot from Mandi

There are many buses that leave from Mandi towards Joginder Nagar, Baijnath (taking the NH154) any of which can be taken and one needs to get down at a stop called Ghatasani. From Ghatasani a bus leaves for Barot Valley every one hour or one could hire a taxi for approx 600 Rupees. The ride in the bus is a ride you would pay a thousand bucks for the thrills in a big metropolis, as the driver takes turns on those sharp cliffs pausing only for goats and sheep to have their way. And for an odd passenger to get down in the middle of nowhere. I clung to the rod overhead with my dear life while being enamoured by the pristine water of River Uhl floating down the valley.

Ghatasani on NH154, 25km further and you are in Barot Valley

Photo of Ghatasani, Kasba Ghatasani, Himachal Pradesh, India by rahul raina

It so happened that I accidentally got off the bus a bit earlier than my destined stop in a place that looked as beautiful as I had seen Barot to be in pictures. This tiny village, called Tikken is right in the middle of the 25 km it takes to reach Barot. While walking through this village waiting for the next Barot bus I made conversation with some locals who laughed at my trepidation for the steep mountain roads of Barot instead asking me to check Kinnaur Valley roads instead to get the real deal of things.

After spending a little while more I took the next bus and was in Barot around 3 PM. I walked along the river encapsulated by the sheer beauty of the valley, the play of shadows between the Sun and the Deodars, until I got a room in Multhan area. The place was quiet thanks to the season having not yet started.

By the River Uhl

Here is where I lived one of my favourite fantasies. To be a stone by the side of a river and watch everything slide away into silence.

From : brainpickings.org

Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina

For all my musings while laying still on a rock by the river, gathering warmth of the Sun like a lizard I would use another day and another place. But the truth is that in this world of HD TV and IMAX if there are places that take your breath away by just simply existing and not even trying to impress than Barot is one such place. As I type this , the images of the valley flash in front of my eyes so vividly as if I had dreamt it all up.

Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina

I stayed in Barot till afternoon the next day. Biding my evening by sitting around bonfires with the locals making conversations about the currency bans, the production of hashish this season, the treks that one could take from Barot to Biling or Rajagunda (preferred by locals when they want to take a break from all the tourist rush ) . Conversations about cleanliness in the face of onslaught of plastic and beer bottles, the whims and will of travelling and so on.

The night temperatures dropped closed to 0 Degrees, but my dinner was accompanied by a couple of pegs of Royal Stag offered to me by strangers who were happy to know that I was travelling alone through Himachal. ( This is the short version of the story, the longer in due time )

A few more photos that I could not help but capture in my amateurish attempts to make the moments and quietude last.

Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina

Dil Dhoondta hai phir wahi fursat ke raat din

Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina

All I wrote in my journal was, Nothing. Emptiness.

Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina

And there is always a dog to show you how to relax

Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina

A glass of tea while waiting for the next destination.

Photo of Wandering through Dev Bhoomi-Mandi ,Barot Valley by rahul raina
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