by: Satyam Kumar (ECE Final year)
Two travelers with twenty NITians left the college campus and began their unforgettable journey of 2016. “Chalo Badka Ji!”
Day 1: Kangra Fort Conquered!
We started our journey early in the morning. First we went to Kangra Fort. It is the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the oldest dated fort in India. A long and narrow passage leads up to the top of the fort through the series of gates. At the top, it was very foggy and one can get the views of good snow clad mountains. We clicked some photos and after spending about an hour, we left for Dalhousie.
Two kilometers before Dalhousie, there is a waterfall named Panchpula. Waterfall is shrouded by green blanket of Pine and Deodar trees and enfolds refreshing water streams. It is a nice spot, where we spend some time and enjoy the loveliness of exotic waterfalls and the refreshing streams. A monument has been built here in memory of the great freedom fighter, Sardar Ajit Singh. The monument is built near the streams and has amazing craftsmanship. Nearby this waterfall there are few food and tea stalls where we had some snacks and started the trek of 1.5km to Ganji Pahadi.
Ganji Pahadi gets its name from the bald patch of the Barkota hills of the Himalayas. It provides the most amazing views of the surroundings. The freshness in the air at the top of Ganji Pahadi is intoxicating and is a perfect spot for an outing. The trek was little prostrate but after reaching the top we feel more enthusiastic and energetic, and it takes much less time to down-trek.
We checked into a hotel at Dalhousie, put our luggage there and went to roam at mall road. Then we had our dinner at some restaurant. At the hotel we spent the night playing Dumb Charades and Cards (UNO and Playing cards). Cards are the best way to interact and chill around. We were laughing and shouting so loud that the hotel people received complaints from others.
Day 2: Bow down to Pohllani Devi
We planned to start the day by first visiting the Dainkund Peak. On the way, we came across DPS (Dalhousie Public School) having maintained peaceful gardens and air force campus where it has a Airplane, a Tank and a ship. We stopped there for a while and click some selfies and then proceeded towards Dainkund. Dainkund is known to be the highest peak of Dalhousie with a height 2745 m above sea level. We found some snow there and there began snow fight among us. We tried to make some structures and had all sorts of fun one could have in snow. Then from there was a trek to Pohllani Devi of 2kms. During the trek we interacted with a local girl who carried a rabbit named Chiku with her. It was so cute like Awwww (Girls’ Reaction :p) and we captured some snaps with it and then we proceeded towards the next destination.
On reaching there, it provided a magnificent panoramic view of Pir Pranjal ranges and its valley. It was a breathtaking experience. The view was totally awesome. There was a Kali Devi temple at the top where no one was allowed to go except for the “Poojaris”. But for our satisfaction and the myths that we had heard of, we climbed up above. We had maggie and tea there. Maggie is always a part of trips in Himachal.
During the return journey, we covered Kala Top Wild Life Reserve. We had heard so much about it like it houses a plethora of various fauna such as the Himalayan Black bear, Pheasants and Himalayan black marten etc. But we unfortunately didn’t find anything like that and without spending much of time there, we left for Khajjiyar.
On the way to Khajjiyar, there was a road jam because a car had fallen down in the trench a few hours ago. It happened because the roads were slippery due to deposition of molten hard snow. We along with some localities tried to make the road a little rough so that vehicles could pass through it. After sometime we succeeded and headed forward.
At Khajjiyar we first had dinner and then booked a hotel. We had a bonfire with horror stories and goose bumps. There was a small village uphill to our hotel. Some houses were visible to us from our bonfire point. Suddenly at the middle, one room’s light started blinking with awkward voices and the heartbeats of many were fastest at this point. But then we realized it was electricity fault and the voice was that of monkeys. The night was spooky. We were completely involved in the horror stories when suddenly Sagar played the audio of a screaming woman in his phone. Two of us freaked out at once. Then we went to our rooms, took some deep breath and went for sleep as it was already very late (2 am).
Day 3: Mini Switzerland of India!
After waking up from last scary night, we first went to Shiva Temple which has 81 foot Lord Shiva Statue. Then we went to the famous Khajjiyar Ground which is often nicknamed as Mini Switzerland of India. It was a stretch of green land with a water body (Khajjiyar Lake) in the center and the closer look at the water made us squirm, it almost looked like a sewer. With pine trees all around it is picturesque and perhaps would look even more beautiful with snow. It offered various activities like horse riding, paragliding, zorbing etc. But these activities were a bit costly and most of us had already tried all these activities. So we decided to invoke the childish memories and we played chain-chain, ice-water, kho-kho and ate cotton candies. Sweet! This was something more amazing and we felt like if there is paradise on Earth, this is it. We enjoyed Khajjiyar at its best.
After travelling some distance there was a point where famous Bollywood movie “Gadar” was shot. We stayed there for a while and left for Jwalamukhi Temple which has highly mythological importance. Under the gaze of the Dhauladhar range and set amidst the undulating hills that character sub-Himalayan Himachal Sati’s tongue is believed to have fallen at Jwalamukhi and the goddess is manifest as tiny flames that burn a flawless blue through fissures in the age old rock. We reached there by 8 pm so luckily we were able to attend the “Aarti” and get the “Prasad”.
Finally the saga of exhilarating journey with my dearest English Club had come to an end. Probably this was my last trip with the club, but nothing less than an ultimate safari. I thank them for those precious and unforgettable moments. Each and every moment spent with you guys have been imprinted on my heart. I am going to cherish every moment throughout. Your companionship is ineffable for me and perhaps I won’t be able to find such good Jungoos…Friends to be precise. 😦
I am not crying like Sagar for half an hour…but it’s like I am going to miss this phase of my life.