The place to find your inner peace
I’ve heard people saying that journey is the best part of your trip. Well it definitely was for us as we started out at night time heading towards Dharamshala. Staring out the window with songs plugged to your ears and you get to go places even before your trip begins. I still remember the song that was plugged in.
Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
And I will try to Fix You..
Those blurry images of the road signs to Dharamshala with the backdrop of deodar trees and the soft melodious songs together formed perfect heavenly combination for soul peace.
Reaching Hotel and trekking to Shiva Cafe
We were a bunch of college kids who planned a trip to the hills. We did an overnight journey on a privately hired bus and technically we should have been tired, but the view of the mountains from the hotel balcony was just too magical to get our energies up.
On the way to Shiv Cafe on the FIRST DAY, we went to the majestic Bhagsu waterfall. Walking along the shore listening to the rippling flow of the water was the best music my ears heard as we mounted our way towards the Shiva Cafe.
The path was rather thin to walk on but it indeed was adventurous.. We went upto the Shiva Cafe and smoked a hooka or two and had mouth watering Maggi. The food was bit costlier as compared to our hometown cafes but we never minded the costs as I couldn’t complain sitting around all the nature. The view from up there was so magical especially because the air made me feel like I was in some kind of movie with my hair all over my face.
Exploring the local area
The SECOND DAY, we broke from our slumber and took bath by turns as we were sharing the rooms. But most of us preferred not to, because the cold was cruel that day. Nonetheless, the excitement got all lazyheads ready. We chilled at the hotel terrace for the fog made the landscape look even prettier.
Then went walking, exploring the area and reached the Anglican church of St. John’s which was only 20 minutes walk away from where we stayed. The first thing we noticed were the graves of the British people. FYI they died in 1905 AD during the violent earthquake that destroyed everything in Dharamshala.
The most noticeable one was of Lord Elgin , the British Viceroy who perished here in Dharamshala. The church had a Gothic touch to it and the coniferous trees add the eeriness to the place. Meanwhile I sat in a corner where the entire city was visible from the slope and closed my eyes to the chirping of some melodious bird I couldn’t see.
We continued our exploring and the next stop was Dal Lake which wasn’t much of a scenery. But the walk towards it had us enjoy the captivating sunset from this height and the smell of wet mud as we walked in the drizzle. So to say the journey towards the lake was better than reaching the place.
We were too tired, as we had actually walked the entire day in Dharamshala. But there is this one thing about these Mountains. It doesn’t matter how exhausted you are at the moment, you would still want to explore more and more of the vast and beautiful nature around. But we had some great plans for the next day. And so we slowly walked back to our hotel and I slept remembering everything I did that day in Dharamshala.
The Triund Trek
The THIRD DAY again had us trekking from Mcleodganj to Triund where it had rained the previous night. It took us 7-8 hours to finally be there. We stopped a few times to catch a breath during the trek. We regretted not carrying eatables and water as their price kept rising with the rise in the height of the trek.
Lesson learnt – Always carry enough water !
We reached there just before sunset and nothing in this world seemed more worthy than that view. Some camps, a bonfire and a group of friends to reminisce the magnificence; and you’ll have one of the most memorable nights of your life.
I had never seen so many stars in the sky like I was seeing from here lying on the cold wet grass. No noises, no pollution. Just the stars and me. I was shivering a bit as it was jacket cold and I had only foolishly carried a thin sweatshirt. But the place made me forget all.
We camped overnight and lit a bonfire to stay alive. There is a shack that serves ginger tea and some basic food too which we ate sitting around bonfire and sang songs.
The next morning was just another mesmerizing experience. It was still shivering cold, to even step out of our camps but I could not leave this chance of capturing more and more of the memories of this beautiful land.
I could see my best friend standing, staring and smiling at me. I think he knew I was going to pen down all these memories someday, for which he gave me a perfect smile to capture.
I could see the sun emerging from the back of Himalayas in front of us. Slowly and gradually going high in the sky, making us feel a little warm. this was just so beautiful. A few of us went further up where there was no one till where we could see. We sat at the edge of the height and meditated to the silence of the hills. I don’t know why people at times say, mountains are scary, nature in its purest form is dangerous.
But i felt safe, I felt home.
Lets sleep a bit day
Trekking downwards to Dharamshala was less tiring than the upwards journey but it took half of our FOURTH DAY. The rest day we slept as we had no such sleep during Triund trek and ended the day with some booze party at the hotel we were staying.
We danced to the beats of rock and then had dinner at a nearby local restaurant called German Bakery. It satiated our stomachs and we slept soundly after a round of Truth and Dare in our hotel room.
Visiting the Temples and Market
The FIFTH DAY we spent our last hours collecting souvenirs of this memorable place, Dharamshala and visiting the Dalai Lama Temple where flags adorned the ceilings. It was another calm and beautiful place to visit.
And one thing i cannot forget was the two cute twins we saw playing there.
The markets at Dharamshala have a lot to offer to the fashion lovers and the soul lovers too. Dream catchers, mineral rocks, kurtis, yin yang jewelry, Tibetan bowl, good luck chimes and what not. You can take a lot back home from Dharamshala even with limited bucks in your pocket.
We had our lunch at a Tibetan cafe. It was a small but very tidy place. We chose to have Thukpa and noodle soup, both were equally delicious and stomach filling.
Recollecting the Wanderlust within
Soon it was time to leave this magical place. The metro city could never give me the inner vision that the pious nature around Dharamshala let me have. And this was how our trip came to an end. But i believe Dharamshala was a start for me, a start that made me realize that nature could be my home, a place to rest my soul. And so i decided that i would keep this wanderlust for nature alive within me for lifetime.
The journey back was filled with quite peace among us and memories of the Wonderland we had been to……