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|26th October 2009, 17:49||#47|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Gurgaon/New Delhi
Thanked: 512 Times
|26th October 2009, 18:06||#48|
Day 5 Part 2
After a ten minutes rest, we started for the bird sanctuary. The gate to Pakshi Vihar was about a half or one kilometre from the main bazaar.
From the gate of the compound, one can get a holistic view of the temple complex.
Shrikhad peak is visible from everywhere.
And, there is this small "Me too" Temple.
From the gate one needs to hike up a narrow monkey trail to the top of the area where the birds will be.
We initially presumed that this was a bird sanctuary (Pakshi Vihar) and we would observe birds in the tress (Viharing). Hence we made very slow, careful and silent progress while watching all trees in the visible range.
We did not see any bird. However, the trail got more and more difficult (for me).
We took some rest near this "Hair-pin" bend!
Another fifteen minutes of hike, and we will be there.
The trail actually is nothing much, but fitness level bestowed it with great honor!
Upon reaching the top, we understood that it was actually a hatchery and birds are kept in captivity.
From here, our Bheemakali temple looked so small. I got very happy to know that we have indeed climbed this much, that too on foot.
We were jsut more than ready to be served the birds, i mean to our eyes. However, we saw more flowers inside the Vihar.
We reached this cage - supposedly belonging to Lata and Seema. But the girls weren't there inside.
Some more flower and little bit of asking around later,
We met this gentleman! Jajurana is he called -
A little while later, he decided to gracefully turn back and let me take some photographs.
This is the main species of these regions.
Another prime attraction of this region is the Monal.
The monal looks very beautiful but has kind of a sinister appearance, reminded me of the velociraptors of Jurassic age.
These birds are available only in India and Pakistan.
This is the only hatchery in Asia where these birds have successfully bred in captivity.
Got a lot of birdy information from the main caretaker and another important looking person there.
After spending about 45 minutes in the Vihar, we started our way down. The bird guy told us not to forget clicking the temple from there. Although I had clicked plenty earlier, couldn't dissapoint him.
Outside the gate, we spotted this - the Indian Shephard. Local it may look, but its growls wold chase dobermans away.
On the way back, I clicked some more snaps of the majestic Shrikhand.
Someone told, another peak named "Ghisupisu" also was visible from there. I guess this is the one - not sure!
Some more Shrikhand -
And we walk back to Hotel, with our hearts content and minds occupied with the majestic himalayan birds we saw.
|26th October 2009, 18:23||#49|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: May 2007
Thanked: 119 Times
Sen good to hear from you after a longtime and good to see that you are reclaiming your life nicely along with The King
Keep the pictures rolling and hoping to see few pictures of your King with the nature.
|26th October 2009, 18:27||#50|
Actually, after I got my King and could set out to reclaim, my boss started reclaiming my life!
But, as they say... where there is a will, there is a way.
Lotsa stuff coming up.. stay tuned.
|26th October 2009, 18:43||#51|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: City of seven islands.
Thanked: 203 Times
It was very inspiring to see your photos and read the travelogue. However, there was one thing jarring in a couple of photos. Sorry if I'm rude. I feel that it would be better, if we don't post photos where smoking is shown, and I find you with cigarettes in a couple of photos. As a responsible BHPian, my humble view is to promote good / clean practices. Can we avoid photos (smoking on films/ ads etc is being viewed seriously and even star actors are asked to refrain from them) that show smoking from such public forums.
Once again, it's my humble viewpoint and I hope it hasn't offended you.
Keep it flowing. Very great travelogue.
|26th October 2009, 19:02||#52|
Thanks for your interest.
I completely agree with your view on this.
It so happened that I forgot to hide the stick while someone was clicking, and in that some really nice moments got smoked.
I'll try to refrain from posting such snaps as much as possible and in advance request for pardon from all Team Bhpians.
I wish you would pardon this small irritation and continue to enjoy my travel story.
|26th October 2009, 20:20||#53|
Day 5 Part 3
Back to the hotel, took a bath, freshened up and left for chitkul.
The scenery slowly morphed into a more rocky terrain from the lush green of Shimla as we approached the kinnaur district.
Spotted this waterfall far across. It looked really slim from far and it swung like a pendulum by wind.
The rocky mountain and the deep gorge of the river made the idea set for some fabulous car shots.
The Sutlej flew furiously down there.
The mountains are more masculine now.
And the road is nice.
We reached the border of Kinnaur District, the Kinnaur Dwar after a short while.
Took a longish break there, as my wife was kind of feeling nauseus from all those twisties.
While ladies walked around, I asked mom to take a pose with the car.
After taking the snap, I showed her to this bridge, down below.
I told her that the motorable road ends at the kinnaur gate, and from here we would drive down the mountain using 4 wheel drive and will cross that bridge. Mom took a closer look...
Looking at her face, I could just keep myself from bursting out in laughter. I could not hold for long, and soon everyone joined me....
Mom remained grumpy on me for this joke for a good two hours.
Among all the fun, I spotted this weired looking tree. It's barks were just like a reptile skin!
A final shot of Sutlej, and we're back on the road.
This is a makeshift kind of bridge. Each plank of wood sounded their presence while we crossed it.
We kept stopping here and there. We were just loving kinnaur. This was the real "Kinnaur Dwar" for my Safari.
The road slowly deteriorated and the sheer drop on the river side increased.
We saw this monkey trail on the other side. Must be some trail! Now, my mom said - I should be sent there! To her disappointment, we laughed more.
The dust increased and the river slimmed down. Little up ahead, and we saw this barrage kind of thing.
It was some gigantic Hydel project. The tunnels on the opposite side looked like they went inside to the sets of Terminator 3.
We crossed the rest of the hydel area and reached karcham among great dust!
|26th October 2009, 22:08||#54|
Day 5 Part 4
We dodged hordes of heavy vehicles, trucks, earth movers to finally reach the turn off at Karcham. I saw one especially interesting Volvo truck. They were hauling clay from the river bed!
Once beyond here, the mountain gets back its glory and the road from Karcham to Sangla is simply beautiful.
There are some rocky features which I thought we saw in Lachulung La! Must be my mistake - geographical features here and there can never be similar.
We reached Sangla around 4 o’clock. Today also we missed lunch. Nobody felt particularly hungry as we had eaten ample puris at the temple, but I needed some tea.
We went inside a stinky tibetan cafe at Sangla market. It was the most stinky little place in all of Himachal. We suffered the stink for half hour and came out without tea. I guess they were not interested in serving anything apart from doodles of stinky noodles.
We decided to give the tea a miss and press on to chitkul instead. However, after driving ahead for 30 odd minutes, we came across a very nice river crossing.
It also had nice car parking facility.
Ideal place to inaugurate our primus cabsons and elephant bag.
The tea was made and had with much frolic while all soaked the tranquil beauty of the surroundings.
Post tea break, my wife tried to hike around a little, while we cautioned her from falling and in general watched in amusement.
We moved on with a broad smile. Soon the Sun was to set. And I got my moment of "when you look back..."
We reached Chitkul around 6 o’clock.
We had booked into a hotel named Panchali resorts for Rs. 1200/- per room. We were told that this was the last resort on the motorable road. And infact it was the last hotel on the motorable road. It was nearly dark when we reached there, so I couldn't be really sure. In fact I could see a structure further down the road, but it was purely dark.
Although it looks plain from outside, the interiors were good.
The rooms large and well lit. All these mattered as we would be staying two days here.
We got two rooms, one at a corner. The views from the corner room was awesome. We could see two snow capped peaks and the whole of the valley!
It became very cold after sundown and we mostly stuck to indoors. The dinner was great to our taste as this was a completely Bengali owned and operated hotel. I later figured that the cook was nepali, and our impression of food taste was heavily influenced by the Bengali manager’s tall claims.
Prasenjit, the manager, told us that there was a festival in the village and some important Himachal ministers were also coming. We decided to give it a pass.
(Prasenjit is a smash hit mega film star of Bengal. Our guy Prasenjit kept an identical hairstyle and spoke in a very filmi dialect. This item piece some 3000 Kilometers from Bengal caused much amusement to us)
Post dinner, I got out and took some shots of the night Himalayas. It was a semi full moon night and the view was awesome. I could capture very little of what I saw.
The last shot it of my car, parked at the Hotel Court yeard. I seriously felt sad to leave it out in the cold with the sole company of the moon, while I walked upstairs to my comfortable room.
|26th October 2009, 22:54||#55|
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Delhi
Thanked: 5 Times
Brilliant write up and pics. Even though I had to Chitkul this April but your pics are still presenting a new and mesmerizing side of it to me.
Keep up the good work. ( The night shots are simply amazing )
PS - Did you go to the river side near helipad of Sangla?
|27th October 2009, 12:03||#57|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: UP 16
Thanked: 152 Times
And this is the stream flowing towards the road...
Last edited by lordofgondor : 27th October 2009 at 12:07.
|27th October 2009, 12:12||#58|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Thanked: 5 Times
Am glued! looks like the whole tbhp is heading towards Leh/Ladakh..
Lordofgondour, you were able to go to Leh in Baleno? Did you face any problems? Am curious because am torn between buying a SUV for Leh/Ladakh am planning next year or use my Corolla itself for the trip...
|27th October 2009, 12:16||#59|
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Thanked: 14,831 Times
Aah the river crossing. Its here the service light first came up. I had driven down the dir trail, for a few pics, and after coming back up, near this river, the service light lit up, and the white elephant went into limp home mode.
|27th October 2009, 12:29||#60|
Looks like this river crossing has won many a fantasy! It was nice indeed.
I did not explore Sangla. We were told Chitkul is more beautiful hence we decided to go straight there.
The tour was planned in such a tight schedule that we had to miss a lot of really good stuff.
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