Tirthan valley - A weekend at a mystical place ensconced within Himachal,the "khol khol" sound of the river flowing from behind the cottage where we put up was like a melody playing in the background, mists came and went like in an enchanted dream, and air so fresh you start feeling energized already, stray horses peep out to look at strangers and wild flowers springs out from every corner, food so fresh I can still feel the taste in my mouth. A place which really inspires !!
But reaching this place from Delhi, was not really an easy drive through winding highways and scenic hills in the distance offering photo-op at every nook. In fact it was just the opposite taking us almost 20 hours to finally reach the guesthouse. The long weekend (independence day weekend on 15th August 2014) and the rains can definitely be blamed for the traffic jams we encountered, it was definitely tiring. But how cool is it to wake up from a comforting sleep and open the door of your cottage and take in a sight like the picture below. Hills playing hide and seek with fogs, a happy wind trying to blow away a bit of the fog - nature at play. A stream flowing right ahead, and the sound along with those of birds and insects blend together like in a melody. It was love at first sight, literally ! (We reached after 12 at night and since there were power cuts, I didn't actually see anything the day before)
Tirthan Valley, gets its name from Tirthan River- flowing through the valley- originates from the Himalayas. It is one of the virgin locations in Himachal, still untouched and non-commercialized. So unlike other locations, the air here is fresh, food organic and at times roads are non-traversable, or atleast difficult to explore. For a tourist who is always in a hurry or likes to be on the go, this is definitely not the destination to look forward to. This is an off-beat location for nature lovers who love to go on treks. During season time one can do a bit of angling and trout fishing, but for most part this is a place where one generally has no particular agenda in mind except relaxing. A place where you can just sit down with your novel or music and see how nature changes every few minutes.
The first day was a super lazy day, the way vacations are supposed to be- you don't rush, you don't plan, but just go with the flow. We woke up late, we had a late breakfast at the super awesome cafe run by the owner of the Cottage we were put up at. The cafe is attached to the guest-house and not the cottage, but one can order in. I preferred the 1 km hike downhill. I have never see anyone as attached to nature as our owner. He has a cow who apparently gives 25 liters of milk everyday, and depending on the number of people the guesthouse is accommodating on a daily basis, the rest of the milk is made into cheese and ghee, which is then used to prepare food served in the cafe. He prefers to grow his own organic vegetables (which unfortunately due to the rains this year was destroyed by snails and slugs). He is also an heirloom seed conservator and grows everything from millet's to rice. Even the jam we had with the pancakes was prepared in their kitchen; and of course the fruits are home-grown. Tempting, isn't it?