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Old 26th December 2015, 14:54   #31
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Default Re: The Dak Bungalow Trail - Himachal Travelogue

Wonderful thread!
In the 1960s and 70s I have stayed at some of these TBs (travellers bungalows) as these relics of Empire were also called in south India.

They were mostly built of stone with tall doors and windows, high wooden ceilings, and set in vast gardens. The furniture was often antique too. Despite the basic bathrooms with leaky taps and non-functioning water heaters, they oozed character.

My best memory of one such place was a dak bungalow on the bank of Chilka lake in Odisha. It even had a ceiling fan in the bathroom! The view of the sun rising over the lake was unforgettable. No pictures unfortunately.
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Old 29th December 2015, 06:35   #32
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Default Re: The Dak Bungalow Trail - Himachal Travelogue

Oh my God! What a thread, full of Raj pearls.

I'm quintessential traveler to these rest houses for last 50 years. In childhood - with my parents (that image of an ambassador with luggage on roof carrier lumbering along narrow hilly road). Now with my family and yes, with a SUV, a small honda genset and electric duvets - not blankets which are insufficient when its really cold (can't use those damp/ musty 'razais' in some FRHs which occasionally harbour some 'creepy beings' as well - like in Shoja and Chowai).

Forest rest houses are best location wise compared to PWD. The Forest Inspection Huts are really in deep forest areas and have no peers at all. Facilities wise, Electricity board rest houses are better.

On your trail you missed some really beautiful FRHs - Gahan (near Narkanda), Gopalpur (in Daranghati under DFO Wildlife, Sarahan) and Nichar (Kinnaur).

For your film, did you consider the Dak-Bungalow at Champawat (Uttrakhand) where Jim Corbett had encounter with ......

".... Another scary episode took place when Corbett was on the hunt for the Champawat man-eater — the first documented one in Kumaon in the 20th century. He reached a rest house close to the village following the suggestions of the tehsildar who claimed the tigress had returned to kill in the area. After a day spent in a wild goose chase, Corbett returned to the bungalow to find the tehsildar waiting for him. They spent the evening discussing his future course of action, but at night the tehsildar began to insist on returning home through an area infested with leopards and tigers, along with the infamous man-eater on prowl. Corbett was taken aback by the man’s strange commitment to undertake such a dangerous route; little did he know of the horrors in store for him later that night.

Corbett wrote about that night in Man-eaters of Kumaon: “I have a tale of that bungalow but I will not tell here, for this is a book of jungle stories, and tales ‘beyond the laws of nature’ do not consort well with such stories.” But according to the legend, the next morning he woke up outside the bungalow in the forest shivering in fear and cold. Martin Booth, his biographer, describes it as an eerie experience: “Quite what happened was something about which Jim was forever reticent. That he had a night-long brush with the supernatural is without doubt for...”

That Dak-bungalow is on my list of summer vacations trips for many years, but Himachal does not lets me off the hook .

Last edited by DwarkaDelhiWala : 29th December 2015 at 07:03.
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Old 29th December 2015, 16:12   #33
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Default Re: The Dak Bungalow Trail - Himachal Travelogue

Very nice travelogue with a mission. But it would be an icing on the cake if you add a picture of a multitasking person like cook or khansama-cum-manager-cum-caretaker of these Dak bungalows. Because they are the real heroes.

We all must appreciate the courage to fight the loneliness of these places of these real heroes. They not only preserved these bungalows but kept them worthy to live today. Just imagine that you have to live on those places you visited for years. Now you got my point gentleman.

All the best wishes for your movie. We all hope that after watching your movie, we should remember Alfred Hitchcock movies. Take care man.
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Old 29th December 2015, 18:41   #34
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Default Re: The Dak Bungalow Trail - Himachal Travelogue

wow! Just when I was thinking, where to next?

Really liked your narration. And yes, looking forward to your film's release.
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Old 31st December 2015, 04:01   #35
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Default Re: The Dak Bungalow Trail - Himachal Travelogue

Hey ads1485
This is a great thread and a very useful travelogue. I guess all such different types of threads contribute to make this forum as good as we think it is !!

Your data on the HP PWD Bungalows are awesome. And the snaps very nicely complement your writing!! Overall a very good one , many thanks for posting .
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Old 2nd January 2016, 13:17   #36
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Default Re: The Dak Bungalow Trail - Himachal Travelogue

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkrishk View Post
Wonderful thread!
In the 1960s and 70s I have stayed at some of these TBs (travellers bungalows) as these relics of Empire were also called in south India.

They were mostly built of stone with tall doors and windows, high wooden ceilings, and set in vast gardens. The furniture was often antique too. Despite the basic bathrooms with leaky taps and non-functioning water heaters, they oozed character.

My best memory of one such place was a dak bungalow on the bank of Chilka lake in Odisha. It even had a ceiling fan in the bathroom! The view of the sun rising over the lake was unforgettable. No pictures unfortunately.
Yes, gkrishk...that's the thing about these bungalows - despite not having the best of facilities, their character and vibe totally makes up for it all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DwarkaDelhiWala View Post
Oh my God! What a thread, full of Raj pearls.

I'm quintessential traveler to these rest houses for last 50 years. In childhood - with my parents (that image of an ambassador with luggage on roof carrier lumbering along narrow hilly road). Now with my family and yes, with a SUV, a small honda genset and electric duvets - not blankets which are insufficient when its really cold (can't use those damp/ musty 'razais' in some FRHs which occasionally harbour some 'creepy beings' as well - like in Shoja and Chowai).

Forest rest houses are best location wise compared to PWD. The Forest Inspection Huts are really in deep forest areas and have no peers at all. Facilities wise, Electricity board rest houses are better.

On your trail you missed some really beautiful FRHs - Gahan (near Narkanda), Gopalpur (in Daranghati under DFO Wildlife, Sarahan) and Nichar (Kinnaur).

For your film, did you consider the Dak-Bungalow at Champawat (Uttrakhand) where Jim Corbett had encounter with ......

"Corbett wrote about that night in Man-eaters of Kumaon: “I have a tale of that bungalow but I will not tell here, for this is a book of jungle stories, and tales ‘beyond the laws of nature’ do not consort well with such stories.” But according to the legend, the next morning he woke up outside the bungalow in the forest shivering in fear and cold. Martin Booth, his biographer, describes it as an eerie experience: “Quite what happened was something about which Jim was forever reticent. That he had a night-long brush with the supernatural is without doubt for...”

That Dak-bungalow is on my list of summer vacations trips for many years, but Himachal does not lets me off the hook .
Hi DwarkaDelhiWala. Glad you liked the thread! Yes, I missed many good bungalows; as I had mentioned, there are supposed to be around 350 such bungalows in HP itself!

The story about the Champawat Bungalow is really fascinating - I'm filming in Melghat, Maharashtra, but this bungalow is something that I definitely have to check out as soon as I have the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandeepk View Post
Very nice travelogue with a mission. But it would be an icing on the cake if you add a picture of a multitasking person like cook or khansama-cum-manager-cum-caretaker of these Dak bungalows. Because they are the real heroes.

We all must appreciate the courage to fight the loneliness of these places of these real heroes. They not only preserved these bungalows but kept them worthy to live today. Just imagine that you have to live on those places you visited for years. Now you got my point gentleman.

All the best wishes for your movie. We all hope that after watching your movie, we should remember Alfred Hitchcock movies. Take care man.
Hi ksandeepk. I'm glad you liked the travelogue and thank you for the good wishes about my movie

As for the Khansamas - not only do they deserve a special mention, but one could probably write a book about their eccentricities and the experiences that they have endured/encountered, especially the old timers who lived in these places when there weren't even proper roads connecting these bungalows to the outside world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
wow! Just when I was thinking, where to next?

Really liked your narration. And yes, looking forward to your film's release.
Thanks, Dry Ice. I think it will make for a very interesting trip - as I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of other unexplored bungalows - some of them still have relics of the Raj, such as old hunting trophies, books, photographs and even guest books. Do keep a lookout for stuff like that - it might make the trip even more fascinating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TechNomad View Post
Hey ads1485
This is a great thread and a very useful travelogue. I guess all such different types of threads contribute to make this forum as good as we think it is !!

Your data on the HP PWD Bungalows are awesome. And the snaps very nicely complement your writing!! Overall a very good one , many thanks for posting .
Thanks TechNomad. Really happy you found it a useful and interesting read
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