Saturday, October 6, 2018


Every weekend there are some people known to Neera ji and Rajiv ji, who come over to stay with them at ‘Prem Sadan’, Lansdowne, largely from New Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, and other parts of the National Capital Region (NCR). We ourselves were there for the extended weekend of October 02--Gandhi Jayanti and had yet another fantastic trip. This piece largely enumerates the views and experiences of Rajiv ji, which I am sharing with you in the hope that, like us, you might be motivated to take a de novo look at your life in order that the years ahead of you are as healthy and rewarding as those gone by.

 In recent times, we have been noticing an increased level of stress, hypertension and other ailments afflicting many young and middle-aged persons, males and ladies, mainly due to work pressure, lack of adequate sleep, family problems and other issues. ‘Prem Sadan’, it seems, has become an unwinding retreat for their Lansdowne trip, having comprehended the mantra of Rajiv ji of eating and going to sleep and when tired of sleeping, getting up to eat, and going to sleep again.

Prem Sadan, Lansdowne

With there being nothing much to see in Lansdowne, the lovely weather throughout the year, green and serene environment are the key attractions. Playing board games like ludo, snakes and ladders, chess, cross word, money ply, carom, cards, uno, and badminton, besides chit-chatting and sitting around a bon fire in our large campus are activities people enjoy, going for a walk apart. Many of them get rejuvenated by simply lazing  in the open on a mat in the front or rear part of the bungalow under the sun, watching and hearing a variety of colorful birds chirp, the cool fresh  breeze making the use of a blanket imperative. The fact is that we all wish to lead the kind of life Rajiv ji particularly is leading, but just cannot get out of the rat race. Also, most persons seem to forget that they were playing when Rajiv ji and his wife, Neera ji were working and now they are playing whilst we slog.

It is said that old age, disease, and death are inevitable. After residing in the mountains for the past decade, having spent in the plains the first half of their lives, Rajiv ji now believes that while old age and death are bound to come, disease could be averted to a large extent by living in the hills. With the passing of youth and mid life, old age sets in, till a person departs from this world. Whoever comes has to go. That is God’s plan. However, those born in the hills and living there with some gainful employment, or people, who move to the mountains in good time, without carrying any chronic ailment, can indeed alleviate disease. Here’s why and how.

Health is of paramount importance to life and necessitates the body and mind to be in good shape, irrespective of age, gender, background or vocation. We all wish to lead a healthy, long life, bereft of disease. You feel lousy when you even have a headache, cough, cold, mild fever or an upset stomach. Just think of people, who have cancer. You can well imagine the condition of lepers, who we all wish to keep at bay.  I had no shoes and I grumbled until I saw a man, who had no feet, is an old saying. Those of us bestowed by the Lord God with a healthy body, mind and soul should feel ever grateful instead of complaining about the little things we don’t have.

Given that backdrop, let us briefly spell out what constitutes good health .Well-being entails:

-Clarity about goals and purpose of life
-Sense of feeling good about ourselves
-Having control and freedom over our lives
-Ability to deal with ups and downs
-Coping ability to overcome challenges
-Making the most of opportunities
-Feeling of connection with the community and environment

Most children are born with all they require to grow into vigorous adults, with teenage years being somewhat difficult due to rapid physical and hormonal changes. Adolescence is an impressionable age.  It is best to acquaint and discuss with your child, the repercussions particularly of smoking, drinking, drug abuse and unsafe sex.

Adulthood is a time of robustness. A young man thinks he will never die. However, to keep oneself in ship shape, regular exercise is imperative. You need to have a balanced diet and yet keep an eye on your weight. Take alcohol, if at all, in moderation. Studies reveal that consuming up to 60 ml per day liquor is good for health as it peps up the heart. It does not, however, mean consuming alcohol is a must, the danger being that one peg leads to another and another.
A healthy adult develops healthy habits while still a teenager. Physical fitness consists of:

-Cardio-respiratory fitness, meaning elevated heart rate for a sustained period
-Muscular strength, that is, ability of muscles to exert force during an activity
-Composition of the body or the relative amounts of muscle, bone, fat and water
-Flexibility in terms of range of movement across a joint
Physical strength is achieved through proper nutrition, physical exercise and adequate rest. Besides maintaining physical fitness, it is important to keep your mental and emotional health in check. Accept change as a fact of life or else you will have problems not only with those around you, but also your own self. Conflicts are easy to get into, but hard to resolve. Neither criticize any person nor listen to criticism. Why carry someone else’s dirt on your head?

Living in the mountains is like a task in self-purification. When man reads holy texts and scriptures, and is in the company of non-materialistic persons, he practices inner cleaning. He could develop discretionary intellect through the grace of God. He gets down to removing self-conceit from within, tries to get over the dualities of nature, namely, joy-sorrow, profit-loss, heat-cold, pain and pleasure. He, who realizes God’s will, knows the secret of the Lord Master of the world. On the brow of men, who meditate on God, good fortune is pre-ordained. Many utter His Name, but few enshrine it in their heart. You cannot be clever with the Almighty, the heart Searcher, who knows all.

For your own good, perform virtuous deeds and feel lowly. If you do no wrong during the day, you will get the much-desired good sleep at night. Burn the poison of pride. Fanning your ego is a chronic disease. Let your speech be sweet since it soothes everyone. Meditation, arduous toil, self-restraint, contentment, and faith are the essential traits of a happy and healthy person, for they bring in their wake, peace and bliss. Dedicate yourself to almsgiving of at least ten % of your income, as the scriptures mandate. It is the duty of those of us, who have received a lot from society, to give back whatever we can in return, howsoever little.

He, who does what pleases the Lord God, obtains the fruit of his heart’s desire. Search your heart everyday and wander not in perplexity. Without love for God, man is ruined. Meditation on the Supreme Being is the door to salvation. The ignorant person is engaged in worldly love and attachments instead of thanking the Creator of the universe for having given him this precious human body. Seek the Sustainer’s grace and be the dust of the feet of the saints or slaves of God. To every individual, He reaches sustenance. So why entertain any fears? However, there is a limit to need, but no end to greed.

In the mountains, in relative solitude, man realizes that in our hands lies nothing. It is God’s world and His will solely prevails. The Creator is only one. We are mere users of things given by Him. He is the Doer and the Cause. Remembering God constantly while going about the tasks that fall into our lot in life is the real work and reward of man.

With regard to basic health issues, we find infants, pre-school and school-age children suffering from lack of Vitamin D in the cities in India. In the mountains, not only children, but elders too, get free sunshine in abundance. The urban lifestyle is sedentary. There is lack of open space. Pollution is high, with both fog and smog, the Union Territory of Delhi being at the top of the chart world-wide. An average person in the metros In India leads a stressful life with long working hours. A lot of time is spent daily commuting to and fro office via any mode of transportation. Obesity is high with packaged ready-to eat fried snacks, potato chips and aerated drinks, high on sugar, fat and calories being impulsively consumed.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, New Delhi as recent as of September 16, 2018, diabetes in young adults is assuming alarming proportions and obesity takes the cake. Children of 15 years first develop obesity and eventually diabetes strikes them at the age of 20-22. This is particularly true of urban areas, with social factors being responsible to a large extent. Parents in nuclear families pamper their kids and keep ordering outside food for them virtually at the snap of a finger. A nutritious meal cooked at home is given no priority. Perhaps, it is easy and suits both mothers and their children to call for a burger, pizza or butter chicken. The youngest population in the world could soon become one of sick youngsters.

The large cities also have negative psychological aspects, including addiction to exercise, shirking problem, fatigue, excessive competition, peer group pressure, increasing consumerism, and self-centeredness, in addition to pre-occupation with muscularity, diet and body image. You should exercise for yourself and not to show others.

A survey revealed that over 70% Indians in mega-cities are over-weight or obese, the worst-hit being in their twenties and thirties. About 50% of urban Indians with access to the internet showed Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25, with those beyond 23 being considered obese.  India has the second highest number of obese children at 14.4 million across the globe after China according to a study published in The New  England Journal of Medicine.
The outcome of urban lifestyle is:
-No time for exercise
-Eating fast foods at odd hours
-High Blood Pressure
-Unsatisfactory Lipid Profile including Cholesterol

One-fifth of deaths in the nation are from coronary heart diseases and India is regarded as the ‘diabetes capital’ of the globe. Annually, there are 1.7 million deaths due to heart diseases in India. Surprisingly, despite all these warning bells, accelerated urbanization is projected as per the 2011 Census in India, with more people migrating to urban areas, primarily in quest of employment and education.

According to a press report, of the 16,000 villages in Uttarakhand State, about 3,600 are lying vacant. There is not even a single person residing in many of these villages. This trend of exodus from the hills needs to be reversed. With the mercury soaring in the NCR, the day is not far when the human body and skin would be unable to bear such high temperature and people would want to seek the comfort of the Valley of the Gods in Uttarakhand.

The correlation between residing at higher elevation and relative disease-free living and longevity stems from the following numerous factors:

-Cool, refreshing, light air
-Lungs breathe in Oxygen in the form the human body badly needs
-Healthier hear-longer life
-Fresh water
-Unique local organic vegetables and fruits
-Good appetite and digestion
-Happier and healthier living in the midst of clouds
-Low temperatures
-No sweat
-Lesser pimples and blackheads
-Better hair
-Active lifestyle
-Keeping trim
-Morning and evening strolls
-Unique driving experience
-Adventure sports, namely, trekking, hiking, rock climbing, biking, skiing and rafting
-Being close to nature
-Free intake of vital Vitamin D by sitting in the sun
-Beautiful scenery
-Lively trees with walking amidst pine trees mitigating stress, hostility, and depression
-Flora and fauna
-Breath-taking views
-Snow clad peaks clearly visible in winter months
-No water clogging despite heavy rains as water drains down and soaks into the ground
-Boost to energy levels
-Development of a positive outlook
-Mood disorders and swings low
-Mental relaxation
-Introspection and reflection on oneself
- Yoga practice
-Meditation in tranquility
-Less traffic
-Low air and noise pollution
-Clear blue sky during the day
-Night sky, an astronomer’s delight
-Adequate time to pursue any passion
-Close knit local community to rely on each other in the event of need

Vigorous physical activity and exercise has positive effects on mental health in as much as it alleviates controllable depression. Improvement in self-image, esteem, and social skills reduces anxiety. Confidence and well-being both improve in higher altitudes. So does sexual satisfaction. Living in the hills increases assertiveness, confidence, emotional stability, independence, intellectual functioning, memory, and perception.

People with higher fitness levels have fewer chronic ailments to fight with in later years of life. The chronic diseases primarily are heart problems, obesity, asthma, diabetes, strokes, cancer and Alzheimer’s. In the mountains, many a person has ever visited a Doctor or gone for a medical check-up.

In the 20th century, the average life expectancy moved up by about 30 years, the highest benefit in the past 5000 years. During the last decade of the past century, centenarians increased by over 50 %. The prime reasons for this were advances in health, education, disease prevention, and treatments. With 10% of the world’s population living in the mountains, they already enjoy the multiple benefits of fitness, good health and longevity.

There are 20 mountain ranges in India from the State of Jammu & Kashmir in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south, of which 7 are the main ones. The Himalayas are the largest comprising of Kanchenjunga, Nanda Devi, and Shivalik ranges, besides the eastern Himalayas.

There are about 200 hill stations in the country with a fourth of them being better known. Hill stations are high altitude towns used especially by European colonists to beat the summer heat and dust of the plains during the British Raj in India. After the 1857 revolt in the country, the British sought to move away from the disease-ridden plains to the Himalayas in north India and Nilgiri Hills in the south. By the end of the 19th century, many hill stations were well-developed.

Unlike the State of Himachal Pradesh in the north, an individual can purchase up to 300 sq. yards land in the State of Uttarakhand. If Dehradun, Mussoorie, Nainital, and Ranikhet in Uttarakhand have become over-crowded and expensive, the pilgrim centers of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri , Yamunotri, Haridwar and Rishikesh apart, several beautiful places like Almora, Bageshwar, Binsar, Chakrata, Chamoli, Champawat, Chopta, Dhanaulti, Dharchula, Gopeshwar, Joshimath, Kanatal, Kausani, Khirsu, Landour, Lansdowne, Marchula, Mukteshwar, Munsiyari, Pangot, Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi are open to re-location, their outskirts being equally pleasant and affordable.

Let us take up Lansdowne in the District of Pauri Garhwal of Uttarakhand State as a concrete illustration. Many of our friends, like us, are regular visitors to ‘Prem Sadan’, Lansdowne since several years. It is one of the hill stations closest to the NCR. It was originally known as Kaludanda- Kalu (black) Danda (hill), later named Lansdowne after Lord Lansdowne, then Viceroy of India, in 1887. Lansdowne was founded by the British and presently houses the Command Office of Garhwal Rifles Regimental Center (GRRC) of the Indian Army, the principal activity of which is recruitment and training of soldiers.

A Cantonment, Lansdowne, is fast becoming a hot tourist destination, largely due to the internet and word of mouth. Stressed out guys, principally from the NCR, visit Lansdowne during weekends for rest and recuperation. Spending even a Saturday night at Lansdowne helps them relax, with extended weekends being a bonus. Of course, the months of May and June are the peak season, when families come with their children for summer vacation.

Lansdowne, well-connected by motor able roads and rail up to Kothdwar, where from it is an uphill drive of 40 kms., is at an altitude of 1700 meters above sea level. It is surrounded with thick oak and blue pine forests. The weather is awesome during the entire year. It has one of the single best views of the snow-clad Himalayan range for the six winter months from October. The sunrise and sunset are a visual treat. The starry night sky is an astronomer’s delight.
Neera ji and Rajiv ji live at this prime old family property known as ‘Prem  Sadan’  on the Mall Road at Lansdowne Cantonment . They have not taken ill any time in the past decade. Except for two local residents, who had cancer, they have never gone visiting anyone there, who has fallen ill. An average person walks 5 kms   or more daily in the mountains. The nutritious food gets automatically digested. This is called disease-free living and we believe, people living at Lansdowne, which is a one of the sixty-two well-maintained Cantonments in nineteen States India, are all blessed.

St. John's Church, Lansdowne

Mountain living is like a dream for most people.  To turn dreams into reality requires prioritization, and courage to move away from an existing comfort zone. Mall walkers of the metros could get bored in a day in the silent mountains. They would not know what to do and how to pass their time. Living in the mountains is difficult as there is no social life and doing the daily chores poses a problem with domestic help not easily available.

Collecting dry twigs for evening bonfire

Relocating from urban areas to the hills poses its own problems such as a shift from a fast-paced to a laid-back life style, drastic change in environment from jungles of concrete to jungles in reality, lack of good sources of entertainment, education and health-care. Above all, to digest solitude is not everyone’s cup of tea. Only those who are at ease and happy with themselves and wish to pursue some passion such as social service, reading, writing, painting , bird watching, gardening and such hobbies can live in the hills. And, of course, man’s eternal quest of seeking God through meditation can be best pursued in the quiet of the majestic mountains.

It is not essential to set up a resort to stay in the hills unless you have that kind of money to invest or are into asset creation. Why not manage an existing one? There is an acute dearth of talent in the relatively small but growing hospitality industry in Lansdowne for instance. Likewise, is the dire need for school teachers in all subjects, be they for primary, middle or senior classes.
The simple local people own vast tracts of land in the hills, but have hardly any skills. They have very limited financial resources, but are able to survive due to their needs being few. The problem is one of marketing and managerial deficiency even if they set up home stays. Growth and development of hilly areas in India can be attained through a combination of tourism and education. This is where people from cities can step in and make it a win-win situation for both.

Excessive liquor intake is a major problem in the hills. It is not because of the cold weather or low temperatures, but more due to idleness, be it due to lack of job opportunities or not wanting to work, even if available. And, you simply cannot motivate people, who do not wish to work. It is much easier to hit the bottle even during the day, drinking after sunset being virtually a must. In the mountains, most men folk drink, ladies work and the children don’t study. That’s the way of life.

If you wish to settle in the mountains, you must strike a chord with the local people. There are small villages all over the State of Uttarakhand. The residents there look upon outsiders coming from cities as a threat to their survival. They are largely shop keepers living there since decades. Instead of stepping on their toes or throwing your weight around, help them improve their standard of living. Stay away from the local politics. The smaller the village, more is the internal strife among the residents. When there is conflict between them on even small issues, how do you expect them to even listen to you, till they realize that you have no axe to grind and are one like them? Remember, if you have a big ego, they have a bigger one and they care two hoots about anything or anyone. You have to realize that they are relatively less educated and lack exposure.
While better the earlier you decide to move away from the disease-ridden, stressful big cities to the mountains for your own fine health, it is possible that, like us, you might be unable to do so owing to various commitments, be they due to serious illness of your aged parents, your jobs or good education for  children. Perhaps, the best time for you to consider shifting from an urban area to the mountains is when your children have completed their schooling and moved to college for further studies in the field of their choice. They can stay in a hostel or find suitable paying guest accommodation.

It is not at all a bad idea to purchase some land with a clear title in the outskirts of a hill station of your choice. But, it should be near a motor able road in an inhabited village, close to a source of water and power. However, build the type of accommodation you need only when you are willing and in a position to shift and stay there. Otherwise, it will be just another house lying locked and no one to take care of it. Whenever you get time to visit, you will just about end up cleaning the place. You cannot remote control a home in the hills from the city. A local person will only convert the place into an alcohol center and misuse the place.

 You need to do your homework thoroughly before taking the plunge. Pay major attention to minor details. The moot point is that you cannot eat the cake and have it too. You cannot enjoy the facilities and conveniences of urban areas and the intoxicating cool fresh air and disease-free living of the mountains at the same time.

To help you have a memorable holiday and improve your health has become the mission of Rajiv ji, in particular, with his wife, Neera ji, a Kathak and Folk Dancer, spending a major part of her time at Gurugram pursuing her artistic passion. Rajiv ji is busy doing nothing in the midst of beautiful people he gets to meet. Friends, while we surely are travel addicts, we are neither qualified Doctors nor trained in health care.  We can only tell you that like that of Neera ji and Rajiv ji, our life would certainly change for the better change if we were to re-locate to the mountains as they did a decade ago.  Rajiv ji is care-free and lives in a perpetual state of inner wellness. Perhaps, he has become a better human being.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ramgarh - The mountains are calling and I must GO!!!

I have been to Ramgarh a couple of times earlier and everytime I go, the love for the place deepens. There's nothing much to do in Ramgarh except for the long beautiful walks. We stayed in Neemrana's Ramgarh Bungalows. 

I somehow love their properties. They call their properties "NON HOTEL HOTELS". There are no T.Vs in the rooms and no telephones either. For us, this is a perfect recipe for a peaceful holiday. 

Ashok Vatika, Neemrana Ramgarh Bunglows

Ramgarh is a small beautiful hill station ahead of Nainital on way to Mukteshwar. The air is fresh, the weather is lovely, the crowd is less and you get unobstructed view of the snow-capped ranges of the Himalayas. 

          Green structure is AshokVatika

The map shows you the location of Ramgparh. Ramgarh is around 360 Kms fromP Gurgaon and if you leave early around 4 am, you should reach your destination by lunch. 

Breakfast With A View

We love eating out in the sun and with views like this who would want to sit indoors!!!

Blue Room

Our room had a huge bed and beautiful setting. Ashok Vatika has four room:-
1. Blue
2  Green
3. Yellow
4. Pink

We advise you to book either Blue or Green rooms as they have beautiful views of the mountains and the valleys. We had booked Yellow room but upgraded ourselves to Blue as it was available and much nicer.   

We clicked the above photo while one of our beautiful walks.

Sitout Area

The property has some beautiful sitout points which are ideal if you love to read. 

Out for a short drive

It rained quite a bit and we decided to head out for a small drive in the mountains. There were clouds all around as we drove half way upto Mukteshwar.

He invited himself for the drive!!!

As mentioned earlier there are few beautiful walks around the property which are worth exploring. You walk thru the villages and fruit orchids. 

Other properties in Ramgarh are:-

1. Welcome Heritage Taradale Cottage 
2. Seclude Ramgarh 
3. Cedar Lodge

Foggy Sunday Morning In Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary

As we drove on the unpaved roads inside the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, we were pleasantly surprised to see that we were in a jungle right in the middle of our concrete Delhi. The clock showed 8.30 am and it was still very foggy. 

We had come here for the Winter Bird walk organized by Mr Ishtiyak Ahamad of Conservation Education Center but the weather Gods had some other plans for us. It remained foggy almost thru out the day leaving little possibility  photography and sighting of birds. But to be honest I did not miss the birds, loved the drive and walk inside the jungle. We drove almost 14 kms inside the Sanctuary to reach the Bharadwaj Lake aka Asola Bhatti Lake. 


We did spot a few birds but were not able to photograph them because of low light.


Asola Bhatti Lake or Bharadwaj Lake

The sanctuary has many lakes but Asola Bhatti Lake is one of the biggest and most pristine of them all. A part of lake also has a beautiful sandy beach making it a perfect place for nature lovers to spend a day.


The sanctuary is home to over 200 species of birds. Many migratory birds also make the sanctuary its home during this season.

Crystal Clear Water Of Asola Bhatti Lake

As the sanctuary is not promoted much by the Delhi tourism, most of us are also unaware of the presence of  these beautiful lakes in our Delhi.

Walk Inside the Forest

The are many trails inside the jungle to explore. As there are no sign marks so its almost necessary to have an experienced guide with you.

Leopard Scratch Marks On Tree

As it was foggy and spotting birds was almost impossible so we went on one of the Leopard trails inside the sanctuary.


The terrain provides them perfect camouflage. They say as per the census there are close to 6 to 7 Leopards inside the sanctuary.

Down The Hill On Leopard Trail

Don't forget to bring a good camera or a binocular if you are a birding enthusiast. .


We came out around 1.00 pm and not before one of us had a flat tire inside and the gentleman had no spare tire too. The roads are unpaved and at places rocky too so make sure that the tires of your car has good rubber left on them. Also a car with higher ground clearance will surely help. Also bring your packed lunch and water as nothing is available inside.

To sum it all, I loved the experience and would encourage nature lovers to go and explore the little bit of Jungle left in our Delhi.  

Location :-

The entry gate is from Dr Karni Singh shooting range road , New Delhi. If you are driving from Delhi towards Faridabad on Shooting Range Road, you will see Asola Bhatti Sanctuary gate on your Right hand Side. 

How To Get In :- 

You have to take permission from the Delhi Forest department to get inside the sanctuary and that too a day or two in advance.  The best way is to contact The Conservation Education Center and they will arrange the entry permissions for you or you can also join their one the many Nature walks which they keep on organizing. Their contact details are :- 

Bombay Natural History Society,
Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary
Near Dr.Karni Singh Shooting Range,
New Delhi - 110044
Contact Number: 8800748967, 8800741864

E mail-

They are organizing the next bird walk on 14th Feb 2016. If you interested than following are the details :-

Date: 14th February, Time: 8.00 am- 10.30 a.m.

Venue: Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary

Fees: Rs 350 per head/- (Includes entry fee and expert guidance)

For Registrations contact: Mr. Ishtiyak Ahamad, Education Officer on 011-26042010 or 8800741864, 9868441983


Last date for registration: 13th February 2016

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tirthan Valley - A Paradise in Himachal

I am a person of the mountains and of open blue skies. I know I cannot stay away from them too long. Mountains have always left me feeling renewed, content and more positive. I found one such place in Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh. Tirthan is gateway to The Great Himalayan National Park and is blessed with immense beauty. It's still not crowded, you can sit alone in the lap of nature and talk to yourself with no one disturbing you. Tirthan Valley borrow its name from Tirthan River, a tributary of Beas river which originates from the Himalayas.

I went there in start of June 2013. Green was the prime colour of the valley with clouds flirting with the mountains.

Round trip from Gurgaon to Tirthan is close to 1200 kms if you take the more secnic route from Shimla side and then crossing over Jalori Pass to enrter into Kullu.

Route taken was-

Gurgaon- Ambala- Dharampur- Kumarhatti- Chail- Narkanda- Ani- Jalori Pass- Jibhi- Nagini(Tirthan Valley)- Aut- Mandi- Ropar- Chandigarh- Gurgaon

For the less adventurous or if you want to avoid Jalori Pass you can take the following Route -

Gurgaon- Ambala- Ropar- Mandi- Larji - Nagini(Thirthan Valley)- Larji- Mandi- Ambala - Gurgaon

Started  from Gurgaon to reach Dharampur by evening. After a good sleep I started the journey ahead to reach Tirthan but nature had its own plans!!! As I reached Narkanda, the rain started to pour heavily. I decided to stay in Narkanda as climbing Jalori pass becomes very difficult when its raining.

Tented accommodation in Himachal Tourism Hotel Hatu

 They have many rooms but just one tent and its beautiful. The tent is big and is neat and clean. You will not find it on their website and hence will not be able to make on-line booking. The only way is to get there and hope its not occupied.

After settling my stuff in the tent I ventured out on a small trek around the hotel. It turned out to be a rewarding decision. I got some beautiful views of the snow capped Himalayas.

I did nothing but rested, enjoyed the surroundings as someone has written beautifully , "Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time"

Got stuck on way for more than an hour due to landslide.

Jalori Pass is closed in winters and can be crossed over only in summers. It usually opens in Mid March and closed in December. The road going up to Jalori pass is tightly hair-pinned and has many sharp and blind curves. As many of you may agree, we men like curves and this is no exceptional case :) The views that you get from these curves makes up for what your car has to go thru crossing the treacherous road.

There are few restaurants or Dhabbas as we call them at Jalori Pass. They serve simple, basic but tasty food.

You can very well see the road condition in these two shots. It was still raining. I would strongly advice to be extremely careful while driving down and drive down on low gears specially is its raining.

Finally I reached small village named Nagini in Tirthan Valley which had to be my home for next 4 days. The shot above that you see is an evening shot taken from the rooftop of Khem Bharti Homestay called Hotel Trout Valley. Hotel Trout valley gets its name from the Trout fish found in adundance in Tirthan river which flows only at stone throw distance. It is said that during the british rule, the britishers found Tirthan River water so clear and thus suitable for Trout fish that they bought best seeds of fish from Scandinavian countries.

View From The Lobby

Isn't it Beautiful???

This was my room and what a view it had!!!! I had thought of hiking around but when I found my corner, It felt so complete.

Tirthan River

I loved Tirthan Valley more than I ever thought I would. The place is still not commercialised and acts as a base camp for some of the beautiful treks in the region. There are 2 beautiful waterfalls which can accessed by foot. I visited Tirthan around 2 years ago and never managed to finish the blog until one of my readers asked for a suggestion for a offbeat summer destination. Thanks Reader!!!

Places to Stay-

1. Khem Bharti Home Stay a.k.a Hotel Trout Valley -
    Mobile no - +91-9459101113

2. Raju Guest House, Gushaini.
    Mobile no- +91- 9418149808