A Rendezvous with Bharmour, in Winter

We wake up at HPTDC’s Hotel Iravati in Chamba and decide to leave for Bharmour by an early morning bus. It is winter, we have celebrated Christmas the previous evening sipping wine over a bonfire in Chamba. The weather is already cold and promises to be much chillier in Bharmour. The distance from Chamba to…

Exploring Tirthan Valley in Snow – Bathad Village

We make our first stop before reaching Gushaini in Tirthan Valley at a dhaba and have food. It is still raining continuously on the Gushaini-Bathad road and someone tells us at the dhaba that even worse weather has been forecast for the entire week. We are excited, snow is exactly what we have come for!…

A Snowy Sojourn : Shangarh in January

The first snows in the mid-reaches of Kullu Valley were forecast around 15-18 January. I, along-with 3 of my friends had made a flexible plan to explore some villages and enjoy the fresh snow as we did so and Shangarh had turned out to be first on our wish-list of places to see shrouded in…

The Pristine Village of Sharchi in Tirthan Valley

After spending a peaceful couple of days in a remote paradise close to Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Sainj Valley and attending the Deori village festival, I along with a friend wanted to explore a Sharchi village (Pronounced Sharchi, although the post office denotes it as Sarchi) which had eluded me 2 times on…

The Goodness of Strangers : Travails & Joy in Gada Gushaini

Names of some places strike the mind as mirages. Not because they might be difficult to reach physically, but rather due to the fact that hardly anyone from the mortal world has been there. And hence when unplanned wanderers like me happen to inadvertently land in obscure and little known hamlets like Gada Gushaini, it…

Himachal’s Newest Offbeat Secret : Thachi Valley

It must have been 2 years ago, in 2016 when I had first heard (or read) the word Thachi. I’d reached Balichowki on my way to Gushaini and was having paranthas at a small eatery when I saw a bus with Thachi written on it. I asked the dhaba uncle and he said the road…

Mateura Jari : Timeless Village in Parvati Valley

It had been a strange sort of a day in Parvati Valley. After having enjoyed solitude in Grahan, we had made our way to far away Kutla. The descent from Kutla and the subsequent arrival in Tosh, waiting in the rain in Barshaini and then wasting time in Kasol (in the dust and diesel fumes) had left…

Going Offbeat : Kutla in Parvati Valley

There are places that you make elaborate plans to visit and then end up visiting. And then there are places you rarely think about but destiny takes you there, and you can’t help but thank your stars for the random decisions and the twists and turns. Well, Kutla was one such place where we ended…

Wanderings in Lahaul : Gemur Gompa (Monastery)

It had been a strange sort of a day. The sun had played hide and seek till the afternoon and the clouds had their way thereafter. I was acclimatising in Keylong, and was exploring monasteries of Lahaul (Lahul) for good measure. It must have been good fortune that day, because I had already seen Wanderings…

Grahan Village Trek from Kasol : Happiness and More

I was returning to Parvati Valley in 2018 after a year long hiatus; chiefly because of the crowds that I’d seen around Kheerganga on an earlier trip. I must have thought of Kalga though when a trip was planned with friends. When we boarded our HRTC Himsuta Volvo from Delhi to Bhuntar, there was no…