Trip To Sarhan via Jalori Pass – H.P, India

It all started over a cup of coffee. Its was time for biking again. Having taken no breaks for over six months prompted me to urge my friends to join me on a trip to explore three most exotic regions of Trans Himalayas. Getting the basic plan to work was not easy.  Uncertainties are  part of any adventurous trip, but weather irregularities could damper the whole trip.

While planning a trip is difficult, executing it is altogether a different ball game. Initial enthusiasm shown by my friends died down quickly as the the dates neared. In the end it was just two of us. Over the past few years, I have understood and coped with realities of travel. Only the most adherent travelers manage to take time out of their lives to travel, for the rest it is just a passing fad.

Route: Manali -> Kullu -> Aut -> Banjar -> Jalori Pass -> Luhri ->Rampur -> Sarhan

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To Keerganga & Kalga – H.P, India

Sometimes, long deserved rest makes it as interesting as cat on hot tin roof. I never thought of a vacation as time spent just sitting idle and doing nothing. For the first time in my life I learned the art of sitting idle and enjoying nature. How does one feel to get up one morning with neither plan or aim? Will it make sense? Am I a hippie? These were some of the questions that went through my mind as I walked up to a small village named Kalga close to Barshanni. The first sight of the village took me by surprise. It was not a typical Himachal village I was familiar with. It looked like a big farm with guest houses spread across randomly. There were hardly any locals around, which made it weird. Few orthodox Jewish settlements apart, I hardly found anyone.

On the way to Keerganga

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Trek To Chandrakhani Pass – Part 2

Read the first part here………

Time to Go!

We got off to a late start. Our plan was to cross the famed Chandrakhani pass. We were told that the pass is very misty and had to be careful while crossing it. Quick breakfast followed by packing, set the tone for the day. Walking along rugged landscape provided glimpse of little secluded villages that are not connected by road. Standing at 3660m, Chandrakhani pass promised spectacular trek route. We hardly spoke during the trek as we were captivated by sheer beauty of majestic lush green mountains. Our guide suggested that we revisit this pass during late winter. According to him it would be heaven on earth. Perhaps one day we would revisit this pass, as for now it was the journey ahead.

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Trek To Chandrakhani Pass – Part 1

It started badly for us. Anxious white lady wanting to meet her injured husband, frustrated foreigners and chatty honeymooners all stranded sipping hot tea in middle of nowhere. The rains came down hard on us dampening our plan. The casual onlookers found it amusing at the sight of people running around helplessly seeking help. Casual tap on my shoulders and a reassuring look on my friends face convinced me that I need to forget about everything and take a nap in the bus. I was woken up by my co-passenger who offered me mixed nuts as I have not eaten all day. This kind old lady was stranded like rest of us due to land slide on the way to Manali. She was in a hurry to meet her husband in hospital at Manali who had a major motorcycle accident.

Landslide en-route Manali

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Opera, Opera!

Certain types of music are acquired taste. Opera falls into that category. I have been listening and watching Operas for a while now and I have falling in love with that form of music. Apart from music the sheer visual presence of performers along with the orchestra is breathtaking.

As a rookie Opera fan, I was excited at the possibility of witnessing an Opera performance in Bangalore. I was overly excited that I booked my seats in advance. However there was one little thing that slipped my mind which caused enough embarrassment later on.

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Bhimbetka – An Ode To Stone Age People, M.P, India

Oh! That sinking feeling, ephemeral sorrow of that living creature caught in the lure of temptation, tormented by the thought of warm vapors gently brushing against the body on a cold rainy day met its oily doom. Seeking an unholy union with oil rich pot of unpleasant odor, the poor creature going against its own judgment sealed its fate. Perhaps it had the same honor to protect as the Japanese WWII pilots. The Kamikaze fly flew right into my oily paneer butter masala yelling faintly “Why are you eating this crap?”

Bhimbetka Caves

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Sanchi – Ashokan Wonder – M.P, India

Mahendra, son of Ashoka is said to have visited his mother in Vidisa who took him up to the beautiful monastery of Vedisagiri built by herself.  The above lines found in the Chronicles of Srilanka remain the only testament to the connection between the Maurya’s and Sanchi.

The foundation of the great religious establishment at Sanchi can be attributed to Ashoka (273 – 236 BC). Selection of the hill top to build the stupa might be to give a concrete shape to the newly aroused zeal for Buddhism in the emperor, who is said to have opened up seven out of eight original stupas erected over the body-relics of Buddha and to have distributed the relics among innumerable stupas built by himself all over his empire.

Preservation efforts for this World Heritage Site started in the 19th century. Most of the monuments had to rebuilt with scattered remains. I found the site to be clean and well maintained.

Stupa 1

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