Chandigarh to Aadi Himani Chamunda Devi Via Kaza

“A guest post from one of our field contributor, we decided to share the content as it is… 🙂 “

Chandigarh to Dharamsala via Kaza

The Making

October 8, 2011I’d been looking at the posters of Kaza terrain in one of the washrooms of Sector 34, Chandigarh for a long-long time and read more on only over the internet.

Then after 3 years came a moment when I decided to stop gazing at the posters and visit Kaza myself in practical. I searched on the internet about travel options, distance and choose my mode of transport and routes.

Fixed October 14, 2011 as final day to check out for Dharamsala (Aadi Himani Chamunda Devi) via Kaza from Chandigarh. Then I asked some of my friends if they would like to join me on this trip.

All declined with the excuse of beginning of cold weather in Kaza and which eventually set my mind also to postpone my Kaza excursion and instead head to my home.

Chandigarh to Kaza- Day First

As the days neared to October 14, I searched again on internet if it was rightdecision to visit Kaza in October but found no response. Then I tried some forums
contributed by various travelers on internet, I joined them and put my question about visiting Kaza in October….but there too I got no response from senior members.Well then it was the morning of October 14 and I was in the market of Sector 22 Chandigarh getting prints of some photographs for home and after getting the prints, something made me to reach my room as soon as possible.

Upon reaching my room at 04:05 PM, I searched the internet for the contact number of HRTC Dept in Chandigarh and called them to inquire which and when bus to Kaza will leave Chandigarh.

The representative of HRTC told me the bus will leave at 06:00PM sharp. As I was staying at a distance of about 1 hour of travel from ISBT Sector 43 of Chandigarh (Since all buses to HP, Jammu and Uttaranchal depart from Sector 43, except for Delhi, Ambala that depart from Sector 17 ISBT of Chandigarh) I hurried and packed up backpack with my laptop, one jacket and other stuff and was ready to leave room by 05:05PM.

At the bus stop the local bus showed up by 05:15 PM and I was not sure if I would make it to Sector 43 ISBT on time….and as I’d assumed, the local bus dropped me at Sector 43 ISBT at 06:10 PM.I felt the bus might have left already….and walked to the platform from where buses to Shimla leave and was surprised to see the bus to Kaza still there, but it was already almost full and I was looking for a window seat on left hand side.

Still happy to see the bus still available approached the ticket counter only to find out the last seat was already taken a few moments ago :\ … As I thought it was the only and only one bus to leave for Kaza in a day….went for advance booking for the other day….and there the representative informed me that there will be another bus up to Reckong Peo leaving at 07:30 PM.

Hearing that I decided to wait for 07:30 PM and board the bus up to Reckong-Peo. In the mean time I inquired more and found there were at least more buses that leave at the interval of 2 hours up to 04:30 AM from Chandigarh up to Reckong Peo!

At 07:30 PM I lined up to board the bus from Chandigarh to Kalpa near Reckong Peo. But the conductor gave me the ticket up to Rampur and the ticket cost was INR -270 and he told me from Rampur, we’ll have to change the bus to Reckong Peo, and from Reckong Peo I need to change another bus for Kaza.
Well there started my maiden trip to newer districts of HP beyond Simla.

Chandigarh to Kaza- Day Two in Reckon Peo

As I read in internet fellow travelers complained it was not easy to travel in regular buses for 14 hours up to Reckong Peo and further up to Kaza….some suggested a deluxe bus service up to Reckong Peo and a shared taxi from Reckong Peo to Kaza.

But I felt no unease on traveling more than 12 hours in a regular bus (probably because of my curiosity of new place and a night travel) wearing only a T-shirt and jeans (though I was carrying a jacket).

As the bus entered Parwanoo in Himachal from Kalka, we were stuck in the traffic for about 1 hour as some irresponsible truck driver had parked his truck in the middle of the left side lane, blocking the traffic flow coming down from Simla.

Further to my surprise after getting out of the traffic jam….the HRTC bus driver held mobile on his left hand and steered the bus with his right hand and to my surprise no one complained to conductor and neither the conductor stopped the driver from using mobile.

Since the road on which the driver was using one hand drive is accident prone with hundreds foot deep slide, I was concerned but could not gather the courage to ask the driver to stop using mobile on drive and he continued for more than 2km with one hand drive on night and then he put the mobile aside.

Well we stopped at Sonawaar for dinner and arrived Simla new ISBT at 01:25 AM. I was welcomed by all new ISBT of Simla in Tutikandi….and saw some fuming passengers there,  who had no bus to reach the old bus stand of Simla about 7km from new ISBT. Since I was wearing only a T-shirt and jeans felt the cold of Simla and had second thoughts about the weather in Reckong Peo and Kaza ….but even then did not brought out my jacket.

At 03:30 AM the bus stopped somewhere in a shop for tea….and there I’d to pull out my jacked from bag….as I didn’t wanted to spoil my trip with cold that gets severe on me mostly.  At the outside of the shop I saw an aged driver bathing with cold tap water….seeing that gave me some courage to face the cold.

I could not sleep all night not because it was cold but because I was more enjoying seeing the dark woods and mountains silhouette out from the window of my seat.

Then came the sunrise and we were still on ride….and as I was sitting on the left window side and down the road which was amazingly carved out of the solid mountain sides could see the river flowing.

You will be surprised (If you visit for the first time) to see how the personnel of Border Road Organization have cut out the road on mountain sides  and only a professional can drive here….!

But the drivers of HRTC are more competent here and some were driving as if they were on an open wider Broadway. Though I’d been riding (bus ride) on such roads from childhood but these were the extreme sort of and giving me more of joy than fear.

As the bus was moving up and down some time slow, some time fast….I was just enjoying the beauty outside and had the desire only if I could get down the bus and feel the surroundings myself for a little longer.

But we were on constant move and reached Rampur of district Kinnaur around the morning of 06:30 AM. At 07:45 AM from Rampur, I boarded a private bus up to Reckong Peo with ticket cost of INR 110, the bus stopped at Jeori stop for breakfast from where on right hand side there is another road for Sarahan with a distance of around 17KM, another interesting point with temples of Bhima Kali and more.

Further from Jeori the views outside are just amazing and for some like me an open invitation to come again. The road gets more adventures (If you can manage own vehicle, it’ll we more of more adventures, but please do not throw garbage).

I saw new faces of Kinnaur region and noticed that here men also use eyeliners.
We crossed many villages, bridges but the river was constantly flowing on the left hand side. I was amazed to see how the electricity wires were put up from one point to another point with thousands feet of depth and across the wide mountains.

After climbing another 1000 feet we reached Reckong Peo around 12:00 PM. As there is only one bus leaving to Kaza early in the morning by 06:30 AM so I headed to Kalpa and after returning from Kalpa stayed in a guest house and next morning woke up early by 05:30 AM.

Chandigarh to Kaza- Day Third in Kaza

Since the bus leaving to Kaza is the only one so there is good crowd.

I reached Reckong Peo bus stand at 06:15 AM, but the bus arrived at 07:00AM half an hour late. After getting the ticket to Kaza for INR -260….I witnessed the sun rays slowly kissing the mountain series above Reckong Peo.

Well the bus started off at 07:30 AM. Prefer a seat on the right hand side window as 98% views are on the right side with calm and constantly flowing Spiti river and here too the road is well engineered by Border Road Organization though in most of points the work is still in progress rest the road is in good condition.

Not to mention here, also on this route the HRTC driver was careless or overconfident as he was using mobile while driving….and this time inside the bus I noticed a number 09459100100 where anyone with complaint on driving or traffic violation could send instant sms.

I sent a text about the driver but lucky for the driver I was using a private mobile operator the service of which is not available there and the sms landed on outbox instead of sent item box 🙁 and since the driver was using BSNL mobile  he was enjoying his chat.

Well then we stopped for breakfast and I took the opportunity to shoot some photographs. After the stop we started again and the views around were or are awesome and inspiring with each turn the bus went up a few feet more and more and some time were at a height of 2621 meter and then 2518 meter and 3624 meter. By 04:30 PM we reached the bus stand of KAZA.………to be continued

Stone Cold Mountains

Cold Stone Mountains

Mostly people refer Mountains as nothing but a heap of granite boulder and rocks…may be, but these days, it is opposite!

January, 1st, 2017, I completed my year’s first humanly solo hiking and hill-walk all the way to Billing and RajGundha, the gateway to Thamsar Pass, Bara Bhangal of high Dhauladhar Mountains!
By 02:00 pm I was back at Bir and boarded Anurag Bus service for Baijnath, as the passengers boarded along the bus, a tourist couple/friends (may be from Delhi/Gurgaon, as they later boarded Delhi bound bus) also boarded on the way (my guess they had landed after paragliding from Billing).

Then after some distance a local folk’s family boarded in and one of its family members sat on the empty seat by my side. The bus was moving to Baijnath and my mind still in RajGundha, still repenting for not having stayed over there and ending my solo-hike at Barot, which of course was not planned!

Anyway we approached Baijnath, the tourist couple/friend stood up to get off at the entry point of ISBT and in the process from the side pouch of the girl’s bag the empty water bottle jumped out on the bus floor, the girl though asked her friend to pick it up, but he ignored it and sidelined with a kick.

I was watching those moments but without much attention and the girl also stood up and moved on, BUT it was then my intuitive eyes saw something heavy also jumping from the seat where the girl was sitting, I felt it but almost ignored until when the local folk’s male member sprang towards the empty bottle. At first I thought “wow, he might hand over that bottle to girl”! But wait, he got hold of something like a FAT pouch! Wait that pouch turned out to be a really really FAT wallet

The local folk quickly picked up the wallet and rather than calling on the girl, he changed the seat side and perched over the wallet like some “Bald Eagle on the ground tries to defend its fresh prey with its wide wings by covering it!”
The couple got off the bus and as the bus was about to enter farther inside ISBT, I gentally asked the male folk to “hand over that wallet to the girl”, to which he angrily and very arrogantly in abusive manner said “Why is this, your wallet? / Kyun ye tera purse hai” (You/Tera type of Words are insulting, specially if used with angry expressions) and further said “I will hand it over to her later”. Which actually meant he will not, as the couple was moving to the outer opposite perimeter of ISBT, probably waiting for the Delhi bound bus! I again asked him for the wallet, so that I could hand it over the couple/friends, but the local folk just denied.

I stood up to get off the bus and decided to call them and noticed the conductor and told him about the girl and the wallet!

To my surprise even when the conductor was asking for the wallet, the local folk repeatedly kept on saying “I will hand it over to her later” LOL.

Ignoring them I moved at normal but long pace towards the couple, as I was certain that they will not be going anywhere for next 10-20 minutes. But then the conductor outpaced me by running toward them and handed over the wallet to the girl and as he turned around, the girl was saying “O thank you, thank you” and then I also told them (what may sound to be rude) “Hey brother, you did not picked up the bottle but at least should have picked up the Wallet”. The girl again “O thank you”.

That wallet was sure FAT! 😀

I bet the local fellow was cursing me like hell! Well not an issue with that curse, as already have plenty of and I moved on and was really hungry after around 35 to 40 km light weight hike (just 3kg Camera set, an self defense symbol and water bottle) that I gulped in two plates of Chole Poori and also got Jalebis and continued on with RajGundha and Snow Clouds over Thamsar Pass of Dhauladhar Mountains, still possessing my heart!

I was wondering how fast humans have changed and that too just for paper/metal/digital MONEY!

These very humans stab their own blood relations and kick out the mother cow just for property and money, which ultimately will be of no one’s!

For this money their hearts are becoming like solid lifeless, dramatic, Granite, while the mighty Mountains may have the skin of Granite with harsh appearance but with the core of a soft heart, which is more ALIVE and attracts, refreshes everyone, that too without asking for money!

So who’s Cold Stone?

Know How for Kareri Lake Hike

Kareri Lake Trek

Kareri Lake Hike

Kareri Lake or Kumarwah Dal, is a high Dhauladhar Mountain shallow water lake….what more of so appears to be a huge pond extended to be like a lake by the locals.

The reason why it appears to be extended by humans is that…the there are water exit points which are raised with a mixture of stone blocks and concrete.

Because of this, the restricted flow of water of Dal or Lake, the lake water is not suitable for consumption or bathing…reason…this November end we observed (without microscope) micro organisms floating in lake water and there may be more of nano organisms.

Kareri Lake is not a Fresh Water lake because it is not suitalbe for drinking, as of the shop near lake temple…that shop itself gets it’s part of drinkable water via a PVC plastic pipe which goes through the lake and is directly connected to inlet point from which fresh water flows in to the lake and avoiding any contact with lake water.

Between October to December, you are not supposed to camp by the side of the lake and the reason for that is (except if you have proper and standard stuff to purify the water), the water source of lake goes below ground…and the PVC pipe runs dry and whatever water is flowing is either almost stagnant in nature or is not suitable for consumption even after boiling and don’t even think of bathing!

By mid or end of November you can see shallowness of the lake and with in 20 meters of lake center you can notice boulders with grey grass clearly, which forms the base of the lake.

Also one more thing the if you are on hike then do avoid drinking the water of Lyund rivulet that flows by the side of the trail and all along the trail and at the point where once you cross the Lyund rivulet and once more after the metal sheet bridge.
The reason why, same…the water comes directly from the lake and nowadays the locals have set up a toilet with its outlet right on Lyund rivulet. So if you/anyone poop in that toilet…the “stuff” directly mixes with water and further pollutes the water which is already full of micro organisms (tiny snail head type and other tiny worms)!

We were once joined in by a local family from Salli village and they helped us to identify the water points, which are Clean for consumption….and those points are as follows >

  1. After you take on the main trail from road concrete bridge, you cross the Lyund rivulet via huge boulders and will climb a step trail and face an open stretch and further climb up to see the trek/trail with sandy composition…keep on walking and will notice one water point by your left side, skip that one and continue walking…
Kareri Lake Trek post Lyund Stream

Kareri Lake Trail post Lyund Stream

after around 10 minutes walk you will notice another water hole to your left, but this one has sitting arrangement around it…this is the first water point which is safe for consumption…refresh and refill here.

  1. After this keep on walking and you will see Lyund rivuelt to your right fall be alert here and safe…keep on walking through boulders and turn left and then right to cross over the metal sheet bridge and pass the shepherd campsite marked with goat/sheep droppings and a boulder cave…you will see another water stream flowing from the right side of the trail and the cave…so you can use this individual water stream for consumption….but do avoid Lyund water which is on to your left hand side. There is a suitable camping spot as well….and just a little further there is a tiny water source flowing by the side of a small tree…this is the second good clean water spot (look out for step trail and water flowing to its right).

  2. After this campground keep on walking for another hour or more and you will walk up, down and notice a shepherd hut across the Lynund rivulet…keep on walking up and then straight…you will also notice water flowing under boulders to your right…skip that and after more of walking you must notice water gushing out from the boulder wall to your right…this water spot is the last Clean water spot….and you will experience its being clean and refreshing just by the touch of the  water, because it is comparatively more colder and flowing at fast pace. So if you are thinking of overnight camping by the side of the lake between Nov to Dec then better refill your bottles and campers from here. From here the trail to lake is just 30 minutes walk.

We Wish You A Safe, Clean and Green Hike, you may or will notice trash all along the trail and by the side of the lake and temple…but please do not throw your part of trash/garbage…keep it in a spare bag and please bring it back to Dharamsala for proper disposal…Mother Nature and Dhauladhar will be glad to see your responsible behaviour!

Lam Dal Trek

The long trail to Lam Dal

Lam Dal Trek

Lam Dal the longest lake of Dhauladhar Mountains is in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India.

One trail for Lam Dal is from Dharamshala, Ghera and Gaj Pass, second is from Dharamsala, Ghera, Kareri village, Kareri Lake, Minkiani Pass and Lam Dal, third is from Dharamsala, McLeodGanj, Dharamkot, Gallu, Triund, Lahesh Cave, Indrahar Pass, Nag Dal and Lam Dal, and the fourth one is from Shahpur, Baleni Pass and Lam Dal and one more from Dharamsala, Ghera, BhimGasturi Pass and Lam Dal. The other two three are from Chamba side.

 

Girls Cow Bulls Boy and Nature

“SHIVA loves and observes Nature!”

Girls Cow Bulls Boy and Nature

Well directly this is off-topic post but if you observe, it is related! We are not comparing India with any-other country!

India the land where SHIVA-SHAKTI and every god praise Women and Girl, SHIVA observes NATURE the form of SHAKTI.

Where our oldest scriptures say that “A land where women and Nature are respected, remains prospered”(Something like that).

India where most of us claim Worship Cow, Cow is like our Mother and many other quotes!

Quotes!! Yes just for saying! What we’ve observed, there is plenty of similarity between the conditions of Women, Girls, baby Cow and baby bulls!!

99% of we the Indians do sex determination while the baby is unborn and most of the girl child are either killed before birth and who so ever is brought in to this World half of them have hell like lifestyle and have constant threat of mistreatment from various elements of the well behaved “Society”!

To the contrary if the child is a boy, he becomes the “Prince” of the family!

If a family in India has a girl child and a boy child, then in 90% families there is major difference in their upbringing! That is irrespective of educational status of the family!

Also when it is about boys, they can have pre-marital phyical relationships and even after getting married, they continue with “girl friends” though the family is aware of it, they make no fuss about it.

But if a girl has some boy just even as a friend, people start making judgments about her characterstics.

Well now come to baby Cow and baby Bull! Cow is our Mother!

Now if the newborn baby is a to be Cow, then that baby is treated like a doll, well taken care of until she is ready for “Milk Production” and is treated well as long as she is able to produce “Milk”.

Once Cow is unable to produce Milk, she is kicked out off the shed to streets and left to survive on her own! There may be few who keep the old cow with them for good!

No wonder we see so many, so many unclaimed cows on streets and roads.

As of baby bull, the life of this fellow is good only to the age he is dependent of Cow milk and after that baby bull is lifted on truck and is shipped to far off streets again to survive on his own or are sold for leather production

They become the “Live” garbage disposal living beings; you can see them eating anything from plastic to rotten vegetables thrown!

Now comes Nature, we (both NRI and Resident Admins of this site) don’t claim ourselves as the only saviors of this planet, mountains and Nature, but we do our part. India is running on the track of development come what may!

We have built infinite types of Micro Dams over free flowing rivers to small rivulets, constructed roads through mountains and forest; have deforested plenty of lands to construct hotels, shopping malls and housing societies!

Though roads are necessary just like housing societies but with that have increased easy deforestation and killing of Wildlife and forced wild animals to come in to human settlements and eat away crops!

To add to it our media and we blame wild animals for the damage they do, which is indirectly forced upon them by, we the humans.

We Humans are responsible for instigating wild animals to attack humans, so be that a wild elephant on fields rampage or wild leopard killing domestic dogs or human babies!

Even officials associated with concerned departments e.g. Forest Dept, Land and Revenue Dept are hands in glove with high profile loggers, corporates and miners!

And beside this we the tourists (most of us highly educated) are also not responsible and don’t even behave like educated! We go to the places of interest and throw our trash on trails and in open…and we even teach same behavior to our children also!

So we don’t respect Nature also!

Now about SHIVA! SHIVA without Religion

“SHIVA loves and observes Nature!”

We are not blaming…this has been going in our minds from a long time…so we decided to post now. We the administrators of this page honor and respect every religion and for us and our first most religion is of Humanity and being human!

Indian Railway and Clean India Campaign

Indian Railway Vs Clean India Campaign

 

This is a no blame game post and we know our India indeed is Great, so don’t take it “Personal or Political or don’t compare it with Religion or Propaganda Stunt.

First we thought it was a big mistake by cancelling our about 3 hour’s flight from Bangalore to Dharamsala Airport and board an Express Train of Indian Railway.  On single day we’d have touched Dev Bhumi had we not cancelled our direct flight (with one stop at Mumbai).

But then as they say sometime you can gain something by loosing something.  So here is our 3rd but first enlightened experience of travelling with Indian Railway.

Though we have “Practically” been contributing with the Slogan “Keep Your City Clean”, but with the shout out of Indian Prime Minister we thought around 99.99% fellow Indians will also act practically, rather than just for “Selfie” Clean Up (though we agree and believe there are some fellows who do act practically)

By default Indian Railway should have their own garbage collection system from every coach, irrespective of AC to Sleeper to Unreserved, so that they can dispose off the trash at particular stop for proper disposal!

But what generally happens is that every single passenger toss off everything from the window and doors be it Plastic wafers or paper cups.

We kept our part of trash on separate plastic bag, still were helpless. But what more surprising was and which totally blew off the shout out of honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi was from Pune Junction.

At Pune, we boarded another Express and this time were accompanied by a group of Engineering Students guided by their teachers…they were on trip to Shimla, Kullu, Manali and The Golden Temple of Amritsar.

We hoped at least they will support Clean India Campaign…but ;(( again it was like everyone doing. As like everyone they too had flashy gadgets but were like…!! Again no bad feelings! Even when some cleaner cleaned the coach, it was again trashed the very moment it was cleaned!

What was more contradicting that they even made fun of us for keeping our garbage on separate bag…and said something about PM (The Right to Speech)!!

The more we saw outside of the train coach window, we felt as if were in hell….and as we neared Agra…cold air pierced up to our bones…but that was nothing, against what we witnessed a head.

Agra, we saw people with bottle in hand and sitting out in open (wherever they could find the spot) to respond natures-call! The shout out Clean India, Digital India and Incredible India simply vaporized in Thin Air!!

We discussed why Indian Govt has added Swachh Bharat Cess! Now we were within the vicinity of New Delhi and hoped at least this stretch up to Railway Station would be somewhat clean…but no…rather we saw heaps or say small hills of trash with people residing very nearby!

The only spot where we had a sigh of relief was the small area of bus stop of railway station and ISBT Kashmiri Gate (may be because it was recently renovated)!

This was a reality of our Clean India and Swaccch Bharat Campaign (no word is made up, but is put up as it was experienced)! Our not only of India but World-Wide rating hungry media (similar to movies like “15 Minutes” and “NightCrawler”) show only neat clean area, where so called VIP’s stand with a broom in hands and posing in front of camera for popularity and to “Selfie” and to impress!

Even our own Himachal Pradesh, Dev Bhumi is getting buried in heap of Garbage! On our last Kareri Lake trail clean up, our volunteers witnessed a huge dump of Campers trash again contributed our Indian tourists!

We again apologize to whoever felt hurt or took it personal, while it is not targeted to any!

How to Trek to Langha Mata

How to Trek to The Temple of Langha Mata

Langha Mata with temple site in the lap of Green hills looked over by Dhauladhar Mountains in Palampur side. This is an easy Day Hike trek, so we advice start early in the morning.

Trek But Please Do Not Throw Your Garbage on Trail and near Temple premises, carry an extra bag to put your garbage in.

To reach the starting point of trail to Langha Mata temple, you need to reach village Nanahar, which comes after Village Kandbari and Village Khas Bari.

You can board a Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation Bus (HRTC) leaves Palampur ISBT around 07:30 AM and goes through Old Palampur Bus Stand and bus stop near Punjab National Bank at 08:00 AM (keep a watchful eye if you decide to board from Old Bus Stand), this bus will drop you near Govt Sr Sec School and Primary Health Center of Nanahar and by the side water filtration system, the starting point of this trek.

For more Read Here at triundhill