Life often pushes you backwards. This happens with me usually as the trekking trails, I passed through in my past years often attract me as if inciting me to come, all over again. One such amazing experience was in Barot valley in Mandi District of Himachal Pradesh. With a plethora of Places to visit in Barot valley, the experience can be life remembering for you, if you come to this divine land once in your life.
Journey to Barot valley
There are two main routes to reach Barot. For people coming from Palampur, a diversion from Joginder Nagar can work. The other way is from Mandi which can be reached via Shimla and Delhi easily. I chose the Mandi route since this fell on my way.
The road to Barot diverts from Ghatasni and the place is popular for its small eateries that offer steaming paranthas. I had hardly taken a bite when suddenly the Badagran bus which had a stopover at Barot came over. With Parantha in one hand and luggage in the other, I climbed the bus virtually fighting for the window seat as I knew that impeccable views of places to visit in Barot valley could be cited from here easily.
Passing through twists, turns and bends, the Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus seemed evidently lost in thick deodar forests as it passed through Tikkan and Jhatingri.
The Rajgunddha trek
The bus reached Badagran and so did the road end. It was a unique experience to be at a place beyond which the bus could go no further. So was the time to begin the Barot valley trek but with day almost getting past noon, the better idea was to make a stopover at Badagran. Luckily I had an acquaintance in the area and decided to spend the night at their home.
I was in Chota Bhangal region, one of the most tough trekking areas of Himachal Pradesh but the young blood in me was so excited to begin the climb that I could have make a trek to Bara Bhangal too, if the resources permitted.
Walking parallel to Uhl River, I made it to Rajgunddha village. The thatched houses, smiling people and nature at its best were the most unique moments of this Barot valley trek that I still remember as if with blink of an eye.
The experiences of Lohardi Village
There is another village by name of Lohardi in the region. If you are confused on the thought of what to do in Barot valley, a visit to Lohardi will ease all your discomfort.Travelling in the hills is not only about exploring places but the experience should go a step beyond including an insight into the local culture and cuisine and this is perfectly when you will experience in Lohardi village.This is another among the places to visit in Barot valley and with three home stays operational in the village; the experience of being in this special land can be indeed mesmerizing. I seriously enjoyed the sumptuous meal of rice and local rajmah as did I enjoy the conversation with locals who gave me an insight into their culture. You can even buy some traditional shawls from the local market which are woven in the shop itself before your eyes.
There is much to see and experience in Barot Valley and these were just few insights of the inroads, I have been able to make in the wilderness of Himachal. The state is much beyond the tourist towns of Shimla, Manali and Dharamshala and I am happy and contended that I could explore the unseen and unfelt at a time when these regions were far away from the modern day technologies.
More on the region, some other day!