Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Magic Treks in Magic valley , Parvati

                                           Malana - Little Greece of India        

Malana , you call it a little greece , or a stoned village , or the Trekker's paradise , or anything you like.. there are lot of other names  been given by the lovers of this beautiful hidden valley which is a 10000 feet high and is a recently discovered(1977) ancient civilization that has its own democracy. People of Malana  did not go the cities till recent and had contained themselves in this beautiful village , a remote primitive village in the Parvati valley which is situated aside Malana River . As one of the story goes, they are supposedly descendants of Alexander. Some men from his army chose to remain here forever in this village and spend their lives. lot many other stories like this are prevalent. whatever the case is , this place has an addictive effect without any doubt, such is the beauty and calmness.
Whole of the Parvati valley is known as a place for seekers of peace and positive vibrations. Malana is one of the most known destinations in the recent times in this valley for many different reasons.

As you reach to the base of Malana after trekking through Rasol village and crossing the 11000 feet high mountain (Ofcourse you have another option of taking a direct Cab from Kasol or Jari). Bus is also on the go and is very cheap, if you are lucky to get one. By lucky , i meant, the bus goes only once in the day and the same bus returns in the evening. from here , you need to cross the Malana river , and start your trek to Malana . Malana is considered sacred to the people nearby and tourists just need to know this thing before planning a trip to Malana. climb is steep , and may take 45 mins to 1.5 hrs for you to reach there (depending on your walking speed)

Reaching Malana.: Its very difficult to define people staying here, only thing i would say is, they are calm and Lovely , but they too expect you to be Cool with them . Giving bold looks to the outsiders , who look totally different ,(sometimes westerners) is common ,  take it light, its completely ok. Just follow the basic rules there (dont touch any temple, or sacred place).
Do not touch jamdagni rishi temple and dont go near to the area where Jamdagni Rishi has his House. I think there is no reason why we can t follow these simple rules and respect them.
Most guest houses are at the top and start after the village ends. You get a mesmerizing view of the valley from Cosmos Guest house , which is at the Hill Top and this place has got the best view in the area. There are other options too  , with better hospitality. Televisions too have recently discovered Malana  and also , you get 3G network for Vodafone , Airtel , Idea , Bsnl . This means, you can work on your Laptop if you are planning to stay here for long duration.If you want to stay inside the village ,Suresh at Jamdagni guest house is the man. Also , its the cheapest guest house i ve come across in the parvati valley(room rent- 50 Rs  , banana pancake -30 rs)

Places around malana : Magic valley , Chandrakhani Pass,  Rasol and kutla village are possible Through Trek  . It is okay if you plan to stay in your tents anywhere , you will get those suitable places easily.        

                                Kasol - The Little Israel

Kasol : Its Probable that whenever you go from one place to the other in Parvati region , you will find kasol on your way , firstly because of its location , and also,  its the junction where you get all sort of transport services and all of your necessities in the Market .thats the reason why everyone wants to take a pitstop here every 2-3 days(during treks).you can also hold your feet in Kasol for the best food in the Parvati region and enjoy the evening with this easygoing town  amidst himalayas. You can enjoy Free Pool and good food at Casablanca, new kasol at reasonable Prices. Pasang is a cool person to deal with(owner).If you don't mind spending more , you have Options like Bhoj Restaurent , and Little Italy , where you will find things from anything to everything on the Menu card. They too have pool , also, you can also join people playing indoor games like chess and carrom. There is an ATM in kasol now and unlike earlier , when people used to swipe their credit card and get cash(to the shopkeepers who charged heavy service charge) it is no more required. You will get almost everything you need to live happily during your travel. Medical stores, Internet cafe, Booking houses , All India taxi , and adventure tours offices etc will be easy to find in Kasol .


Manikaran , which is just 3 miles from kasol can be reached either by taking govt. bus or by trekking . Bus which goes to varshaini(Last bus Stop or Dead End) will drop you at Manikaran within 10 minutes from kasol .Here you can enjoy Hot springs and swim in the natural hot water pools. Also, you can request for  private pools which are there in almost all decent day , or 5-6 hours are enough to see Manikaran and go back to kasol to your Hotel  or take the Bus towards interiors of the parvati valley, i.e towards the Last Bus stop  and here starts "The Great Himalayas.


After you get down at Varshaini bus stop , its  unbelievable Himalayan beauty which will welcome you and has been witnessed by only few in the world. Now , you are at "the end of the road" and only your feet can take you further.
Kalga , Tulga , Pulga, 3 exceptionally beautiful villages , on your right , with each sitting on the top of adjacent mountains seem to attract you every second after you get down of the Taxi or bus.
There is one more village Tosh which you will be able to see when you move further for 300 metres from the bus stop. Its not easy to recommend any one out of the 4 as they all have very different sparks of the beauty and are equally fantastic.So, its upto you to decide on how much you want to stay at each of them after you reach there. Climb is easy and wont take any fit person more than an hour


Sunset time at Kalga

Near Khirganga Holy Hot water spring

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Bhutan Through My eyes

Takhtsang Monestry , Bhutan , A Junction for Peace

Bhutan has been one of the most amazing place  I've been to , in so many years. The wave of Bhutan , as I call it , entered inside me as soon as i entered the land of Buddha , in the lap of great Himalayas. Truely called as the Land of buddha , as Siddhartha is  present everywhere in the Nature here in this Kingdom Nation.I felt like being in a different world altogether where there were less people , but almost everyone was happy with their life. A strive towards being happy is the culture of this land. well dressed girls and boys, clean streets , organised markets etc will definitely attract your attention and especially if you have come from India as you will be questioning yourself on why you are so late to be here. I assure you it would be much much more than your expectations if you have just read about bhutan on internet or books .
Bhutan is a No smoking country , and hence there are No cigarette shops across the country.  so I would suggest  smokers Either not to smoke or take their Quota of cigarette from here. India is just 5 mins away where cigarettes shops are in plenty just for the same reason. One can buy 200 sticks for the trip at a time. But at the same time , But I would love to say that as soon as I entered inside this beautiful country that wave which grips you will drive off all the Cravings and attract love for Nature than the Matter.
Welcome to the Land Buddha........................


After checking in , you pass through a narrow passage and enter Bhutan land, you reach the first town of Bhutan. Phuntsheoling . Having Shared border with India , this town holds a importance in all terms for the people of Bhutan.Most of the trade activities takes place through this border. Finding rooms is not so difficult here and you will get rooms even if you reach there at midnight. Most of the hotels have fix rates , so i would not recommend you to bargain much. This also applies to other things all across Bhutan. People are generous and its very rare that someone will try to fool you , or charge for making things easier for you etc(That would be strange for indian visitors but thats a fact).  This town is Alive till 10 30 , which is maximum in Bhutan. All the outlets and Cafes are closed but you can roam around if you like walking . There are no security issues. 

Drive from Phuntsholing to Paro