And that’s how I reached Sangla: The story continues!

Sangla

It’s definitely true that destinations less trodded are little difficult to deal with: in terms of less available information. But there is a best part associated to them too. These unheard and less travelled ones receive fewer footfalls and hence are luckily preserved in their original form. I love visiting such places. The fragrance of purity is a charm to deal with. Sangla is such a beauty to fall in love with and I, once again, tightened my shoelaces to encounter the fantasy.

The early morning Volvo bus from Delhi took me to Chandigarh in around 5 hours. I satisfied my hunger buds with some light breakfast and further proceeded with my journey towards Narkanda, which would have been my halt for the first night.

The route followed through Shimla and Kufri.

For lunch, we stopped at Shimla for a while. The weather was pleasant and I could see chunks of snow here and there which would have melted the next day leaving no signs behind. The chilly breeze outside freshened my senses and thoughts. The journey further continued with climbing up the heights of Narkanda. I reached there at 4:30PM.

After resting for an hour in the hotel room, I decided to set foot outside and enjoy the pleasing aura of the hill station. Walking a bit towards the central area, I could spot the Shivalik ranges distantly. The highest peaks covered with snow and formed a cluster all together looked no less than a serene white structure with an icing over the top.

I bought a cup of tea to impart some heat to my shivering body. The owner of the tea stall took me into conversation with and told me how the place is fully packed during the skiing season. After taking a stroll, I came back to the hotel and took some rest.

Next day I got up bit early to contain the excitement of visiting Sangla. I did some usual yoga and meditation on my own followed by breakfast. The plan was to visit the Sarahan Bhimkali temple which is renowned for its architecture, on the way.  And it was different indeed. The wooden crafted structure with slopes on its head represented a creative masterpiece on display.

After lunch, the drive further took me further through Baspa valley. The prettiest valley with the scenery no less than that of a painting, so picture perfect. The season allowed flowers to bloom and add to the spellbinding charm of the place.

I reached Sangla at 5:30PM and the place explained the rest. There was no sign of tiredness or exertion on my mind/body. It seemed like Sangla absorbed it all and blessed me with its divinity and purity. I checked-in to the camp and enjoyed my rest of the evening in the surroundings, surrendering myself.

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Turtuk Valley – The amalgamation of perfections (Part 2)

Turtuk valley

Turtuk had slowly took a hold of me. I felt like being home. And with a whole day ahead of me, I decided to make the best out of it by rolling out and exploring some places nearby. While talking to the villagers, I came to know that the village was comprised of 3 parts:

Chutang – The lower portion of the village and most of the families moved there during the winter season.

Yul – The oldest area of the village. And the 2 mosques were located there.

Farol – The area where the guesthouses and the old monastery were located.

I decided to visit the historic mosque first. There was a local shop outside which had the stone carvings of animals on display. That was unique and probably the first time I had seen something of the sort. Apart from that, I spotted varieties of organic dried apricots and walnuts. I bought a packet of apricots to save the taste for sometime later during the memories phase.

While roaming around, a local told me about the monastery which was at some 10 minutes hiking distance. And I was all set to pay a visit. There was nothing unusual about it, a calm and quiet place rather. I came back and decided to have my lunch.

The hosts served me with Kissir with Grangtur (sort of buckwheat pancakes with some green veggies).

I enjoyed the meal and then continued with talking to the villagers about their cultures and traditions. They shared their stories and experiences which proved that they had a perfectly simple life and a healthy life style which they enjoyed. Of course the winters were deadly at times but they had been accustomed to it now. When it came to following the muslim customs, they followed everything, even the fasting in month of Ramadan.

I took some pictures of the captivating views, sunset and of the people whom I got friends with. I dint want to waste a single moment of my presence there, that’s what Turtuk village had taught me.

In the evening, I played cricket with the children which further filled me with lots of more positive energy. I spent some time in the open spaces where the chilly winds blew and it had a different fragrance associated, the smell of untaintedness and originality. I wanted to pack it all, the moments of amazements, the surroundings so pure and the warmth of the people.

And that’s how Turtuk treated me.. with a big and happy heart and some unforgettable lifetime memories.

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