MAY YOU NEVER BE FOUND
SIMPLY PUNJABI TRAVELS TO AGYAAT VAAS IN HIMACHAL PRADESH TO DECIPHER WHAT MAKES THE METRO JUNTA GO CRAZY ABOUT A PLACE MORE THAN 10,000 FT ABOVE SEA LEVEL.
he mist that conquers the day makes everything look surreal. Pine-covered mountains promise a shade from the world’s chaos. Sunlight tries desperately to pierce through dense forests. The lungs that attempt to grab some thin air promise an alcoholic’s daydream. It is the place perfect if you are yearning for magic, desperate for a miracle. Agyaat vaas, the subtle place in Himachal Pradesh, 70 kms from Shimla, stands tall at 10,122 feet above sea level. Boasting of 12 cottages, the resort that started as a camping site for school kids now has a strong cult following among avid travelers who are looking to enjoy solitude and quiet, coupled with some adventure.
No wonder then the cottages are just about a decent and comfortable stay and don’t even have a television set. But, if you want hot water, you need to call up the caretaker (on the cell, they don’t even have intercoms!) and he will graciously bring a bucketful. The resort has no room service except for bed tea. But then, the place is not a hotel, something that prospective guests are clearly briefed about.
TIt is not effortless to reach the place either. The six-kilometer long narrow jeep road from Narkanda to the resort will test your driving skills to the hilt. And if you are the kind who assumes that driving is about speed and not strategy, don’t even think about getting behind the wheel. But this doesn’t discourage the ones who crave for adventure whenever outdoors. Once you get settled in after one of the caretakers tells that all guests eat together in the dining hall and food isn’t served in the rooms, it is time for some adventure activity. The staff will take you trekking in the forest and provide a tent in case you really want to rough it out. Request them to make a bonfire and they will happily oblige. Make the evening long as the wind flirts with flames.
With the majority of guests coming from Mumbai and Delhi, there are many who visit when the place is under a thick blanket of snow, which is five months in a year—November to February. “Even when the approach from Narkanda is all snowed under, people don’t mind trekking a long distance to reach the resort,” says Partap Chauhan, owner of Agyaat vaas. It is just eight in the evening, but feels to be the perfect hour to smuggle into the bed, and also to let the sounds from the surrounding forests exorcise all demons in your nightmares.