The details of my vacation are slowly beginning to slip away from my mind, which apparently follows an automatic prioritisation system. Amidst work and other day-to-day stuff, the wonderful images of snow-capped mountains and beautiful valleys already seem slightly faded in my memories. Which is why, it has become all the more imperative for me to record them here as soon as possible!
I left off at Dharamshala, didn’t I? Next on our itinerary was Dalhousie, another scenic hill station in Himachal Pradesh. It is built on and around 5 hills, and is situated at 6460 feet above sea level. Dharamshala, on the other hand is only 4780 feet above sea level. So we were all terribly excited about going to a much colder place, as it hinted at the possibility of there being snow! 😀
We had to cross a few mountains and traverse 120 kms to reach Dalhousie; and this we did on a warm sunny day! To us southern people, the warm sun felt glorious on our skin after just a couple of days of shivering underneath 4 layers of clothing. 🙂 It took a little more than 5 hours to reach there; until we were almost there – just 15 minutes away from our hotel at Dalhousie, the sun kept shining relentlessly down on us. There seemed no sign of a nip in the air, let alone snow! 😦 We were beginning to feel terribly disappointed, until as we turned a hairpin bend.. the white patches started.. small and sparse at first, but growing in quantity by the minute! 😀
We were overjoyed and started whistling and shouting in the car! But the surprises did not stop there.. once we landed at out hotel and went inside to check in, we found that the whole area was covered in sheets of feet-deep snow. Sheets of snow hung from the roofs of hotels and shops, gently dripping down on to unsuspecting heads. Our hotel, it turns out, was so covered in snow that it looked like it had a snow garden in place of a grassy-green garden. We obviously did not miss our chance to have a snow fight right there! 🙂
We actually had a nice North Indian dinner and played a game of Taboo that evening. However, we had the opportunity of seeing a couple of other beautiful places in and around Dalhousie when we visited Khajjiar the next day. Since this post is dedicated to Dalhousie, that’s what I’m going to tell you about now! 🙂
When we were descending the mountain to go to Khajjiar the next day, we came across this beautiful we suddenly spotted a pristine aquamarine lake at the bottom of the valley. We didn’t get a chance to actually visit this lake or go boating in it, but that is probably for the best – I believe that this lake is best viewed from atop a mountain, because this blue body of water amidst the brown mountains is like an oasis in a desert. I literally couldn’t get enough of it! We later learned that it is called the Chamera lake.
While on the way to Khajjiar, we came across one more body of water – this is somewhere along the Ravi river in Chamba district. It was magnificent even at a distance, and we stopped there at once. At that time, only a thin flow of water was seen, and there were multitudes of rocks surrounding the river. We climbed down a hazardous path with some difficulty and reached the rocks. Well, anything for a photo op right?! 😛
After an extremely satisfactory and unforgettable vision of the blue of the water merging with the green of the trees which in turn merged with the golden brown of the sunlight falling on the mountains, we came away with amazing memories. I’m afraid I wan’t able to capture that beauty.. did I mention that a camera can never equal the human eyes?!
As it was already late evening and we were shivering in the chill air, we went back to the hotel, where the owner arranged a warm private bonfire for us. We rushed to the warmth like moths to a light, and had a happy evening with awesome company, a few breezers, good food and a warm fire! 🙂
However, our vacation was nowhere near over yet. Apparently, we had saved the best for the last! And that, children, is something I’ll tell you in the next post! 🙂
To be continued…