A Walk to Pulga Village, Parvati Valley

One of the days at the homestay in Kalga, when it was nice and sunny we decided to walk to the nearby villages of Pulga and Tulga. The distance was hardly 30 minutes away and the path was mostly downhill. Before reaching Pulga, we came across a small bridge from where we joined the main road from Barshaini. To avoid confusion, someone had scribbled Pulga Village on a rock with a direction pointing straight.

Pulga Village
The first bridge that we crossed on our way to Pulga village. Incidentally this is also where the road also ends if one is coming directly from Kasol.

On the way, we met a few locals who were going to Barshaini to attend some function. The lady was dressed in a traditional garment and was sporting the well known Himachali shawl. After a bit of an uphill climb, we saw a few signboards indicating homestays in Pulga village and there was also a pulley supported to a tree. Another small bridge was crossed and we had reached the market square of Pulga.

Also read : Jibhi & Chehni Kothi : A Travelogue

Pulga Village
In hindsight, I wonder if this was the path to Tulga!

Pulga; like Kalga also appeared to be a traditional Himachali village. There were 3-4 general stores in the village square and it gave the feel of being a sizeable community. An old woman with lots of piercings sat at one shop and I asked her if I could click a picture of her. She happily obliged, I tried to speak more to her but the language barrier meant I could not. A few naughty kids ran around and tried asking for toffees; it immediately made me feel that Pulga has seen a lot of tourist traffic over the years.

Check : Nature’s delights, from a secret village in Parvati Valley

Pulga Village
The trail is well marked and one can’t lose the way to Pulga.

There was also a café cum restaurant in Pulga, in addition to two basic chai places. We drank chai at one of those and were told that there are many different entry points to reach Pulga.

How to reach Pulga village? One way is to reach directly from Barshaini. Another one is before Barshaini, the road goes down to the dam and the road at this place, from there the walk to Pulga begins across a bridge. One, of course is the walk from Kalga – that we had taken and had crossed many bridges to reach Pulga.

Pulga Village
To the left side of the photograph, Barshaini village is visible across the road.
Pulga Village
We met this lady just before reaching Pulga village; notice the colourful shawl !!

There were paths leading to all the directions from the village square. We started walking in one of the directions and were pleasantly surprised to see the greenery reappear; swaying wheat crop interspersed with guest houses. We went up to one of them to check out the scene and were quite surprised to see a properly commercial setup. The guest house had dj speakers and it wasn’t a very pleasing sight in the tranquil environment of Pulga village. Even the price quoted was in four figures which was unheard of in these regions!

Check : Photo Story of Kheerganga Trek

 

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Different moods and landscapes of Pulga in Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh.

And when I spotted beer bottles, I decided to get out of there and not get more disappointed. There was another homestay that was being built, but it was closed for that moment and we were back in the village square. It was time to head in the other direction. We crossed a colossal structure to our left that looked like the village temple. As with so many other places in Himachal Pradesh, I was aware that entry for outsiders may not even be allowed inside the temple and therefore I didn’t even bother with the keys although it looked like a really old building.

Pulga Village
This was the final bridge we crossed before reaching Pulga. The path to the left descends from Sar Pass Trek and most probably goes to Bandak Thach meadows.

We continued on the uphill path and were pleased to see some prettily built homestays. I’ve always had a preference for the local wood and stone homes because thats what sustainable and responsible tourism is all about. It simply means continuing the lifestyle of the locals and incorporating it to provide enriching tourism experiences so that the traveller also appreciates the local lifestyle.

Pulga Village
‘End of the world’ feel homestay in Pulga. Definitely a grander view than Kalga village.

There was a path going to a hidden homestay that indicated ‘follow yellow arrows’ and it seemed so mystical! Another rock had the words ‘fairy forest’ scribbled on it; I had seen the same while walking to Pulga from Kalga and had immediately grown curious to find it. Towards the left after the nice wooden homestay; there was a monstrous concrete building howling out even with a lovely snow capped mountain was in the background. I decided to do some research and went up to the ‘hotel’ in Pulga village!

Read : Tosh : Mellow Call of the Snowy Peaks

Pulga Village
Now that would definitely make for a great place to stay in this nice little village!! I love cute graffiti and paintings.
Pulga Village
The traditionally built structure that was locked; by the looks of it that looks like a temple. The pine forest is ubiquitous 🙂

The manager showed us the rooms on the first floor and said that the prices range between 600-1500 on the different floors. I was quite surprised to notice that there was hardly anyone staying at that time in all the guest houses of Pulga village – even though this was the month of May. Another realisation came to mind that while Kalga village had the comfort of homestays; Pulga definitely looked more commercial with more guest houses strewn around.

Pulga Village
The fields are yellow already in Pulga. Serene setting in some parts. Not all homes have been converted into homestays here; unlike Kalga where every home seemed to be a homestay.

Kalga was located at an higher altitude and felt like it was in a closed valley; whereas Pulga has an expansive feel to the village. Snowy peaks were always omnipresent in the far distance when we walked in Pulga village. The lower altitude and abundant sunshine meant that the crops were golden already. After walking for a few more minutes; we came across an old house that was being colourfully painted by someone.

 

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Slideshow of the Houses of Pulga Village : Traditionally built wooden structures

We went closer to notice the cool looking graffiti and paintings; and decided that the person should not be disturbed and started walking to Kalga. On the way back, I noticed a few homes that were tucked away from the world and we located on top of secluded mountain sides. I wondered if any of them had been turned into homestays because they would make for a great offbeat place to stay in Parvati Valley!

Check : Portraits that speak, from Turtuk

Pulga Village
The local lady’s portrait that I asked to click in the village square – Are they the original hippies with so many piercings!
Pulga Village
Another postcard perfect frame from Pulga with that gorgeous snowy peak in the background.

I also wondered where the village Tulga had been left behind. There had been many diversions on our path to Kalga and going by the names – Kalga, Tulga, Pulga – it must be somewhere in between. This time when we were going back; we took a different route and came across gorgeous looking guest houses and homestays in Kalga that we hadn’t seem while going. It reiterated the fact that I’d just lost my heart to Kalga and even though Pulga was so close-by and had largely the same setting it was just not the same.

 

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Have you been to these two villages located in the far end of Parvati Valley? Which one do you prefer among the two? I’d love to know.

Pulga Village
Nature lovers will love the walks and hikes around Pulga with the greenery around…

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. while reading this post I’m already dreaming myself there.. 👌👌👌👌

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    1. Thanks so so much Baadal for the wonderful comment.

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  2. Jazzy homestays and amazing portraits!!

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    1. Hehe, what a cool and concise comment! Glad to read this. Thanks.

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  3. Niranjan says:

    Gorgeous place despite commercialization sneaking in. Lovely post, Shubham.

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    1. Thanks Niranjan… Honestly I didn’t like Pulga much but maybe it would have been a different case had I not stumbled upon Kalga first! Thanks for checking 🙂

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  4. Pulga is a lovely place. Its snow-laden mountain and higher altitude vegetation backdrops have added so much in its beauty. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Sherab for the kind words. It was nice but the concrete buildings are just spoiling it a little bit.

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  5. Matt Demon says:

    Magnificent post.Love reading your post.Pictures are stunning.Thanks for the post.Keep sharing.

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  6. prabhu says:

    most of people does not know about pulga village, but this place now use for natural photoshot, thanks for sharing good experience about the village.

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    1. My experience suggests that many people know about Pulga village! Didnt know that it was used for photoshoots though! 🙂

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  7. I wanted to explore Parvati Valley, and soon I will explore it. You have done a tremendous job, you have visited a very nice place. As it seems very nice. Thanks for sharing this post.

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    1. Thanks Shubham and best wishes for your travels.

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  8. Haven’t been to Pulga yet, but Kalga is definitely beautiful with so many flowers and apple orchards.

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  9. neelstoria says:

    Another interesting read. Would love to visit someday. Beer bottles and DJ – what kind of people are they who need these things in such tranquil and serene places 😦 :(….loved the picture of the woman in the traditional attire and her jewellery!

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    1. Thanks so much for the appreciation. The situation seems even more bleak now as I passed through the region just a few days ago. The locals continue to amaze though. That lady’s portrait is one of my favourites too!!

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  10. Himani says:

    Thank you Shubham! I was waiting for someone to write a detailed blog on Pulga! Seems like I am visiting soon now 🙂

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