TIRTHAN VAL­LEY

A story to un­ravel.

Woman's Era - - Contents - Aatur Sharma

When­ever we think of plan­ning a va­ca­tion out from our 9 to 5 sched­ule what des­ti­na­tion do you get on mind ex­cept for Manali, Shimla, Mus­soorie or Naini­tal? Over­crowded des­ti­na­tions like these makes plan­ning a va­ca­tion so dif­fi­cult that we spend more time on think­ing for the des­ti­na­tion than ac­tual ex­e­cu­tion. Some­times just think­ing about the jams forces us to stay at our homes rather than invit­ing more headache. But don’t worry. There’s still a lot which is yet to be ex­plored around us. One of these less trav­elled roads leads to Tirthan Val­ley of Hi­machal Pradesh.

Tirthan Val­ley is a serene hill sta­tion hav­ing a less crowded sur­round­ing. It has a low num­ber of houses and even lower num­ber of shops. The des­ti­na­tion to stay in Tirthan val­ley is Gushaini, hav­ing a num­ber of homestays and even camp­ing sites. This place is around 40 kms from the Delhi-manali high­way. As soon as we got to know about this place we loaded our three bikes and got the han­dle in the di­rec­tion straight to­wards Gushaini. For this trip we took our camp­ing equip­ment, safety essentials and other ne­ces­si­ties.

Day 1

To run from the heat of May in Delhi we pulled off at 4:30 in the morn­ing to set the tar­get of cross­ing

Chandi­garh be­fore the sun started to thrash heat on us. We took a short break at Kar­nal and con­tin­ued to reach Anand­pur Sa­heb Gu­rud­wara from where the Manali high­way starts. Anand­pur Sahib Gu­rud­wara is one of the largest Gu­rud­waras of coun­try pro­vid­ing a 24X7 lan­garsewa (free food ser­vice) where we had our lunch. Be­ing the first bike trip of some in the group we took a num­ber of halts due to sheer pain. Mak­ing our speed slow, we ended up rid­ing in the dark for 30 kms which is not rec­om­mended at all and we had to stay some­where overnight in be­tween the way. So Aunt it was on the Delhi-manali high­way from where the Gushaini was still 40 kms. We took a dor­mi­tory for all six of us cost­ing ` 100/bed and that guy man­aged all our loaded bikes to be parked safely. Plan­ning to wake up early next day and com­plet­ing the jour­ney ASAP we tried to re­gain the en­ergy by clos­ing our eyes to back crack­ing pain.

Day 2

Against our thoughts of wak­ing up early and com­plet­ing our jour­ney soon, we were all re­ally tired and forced our­selves to leave bed at nineish. The weather was some­thing mem­o­rable at that place with a cold breeze go­ing through our hair and the sun­shine in just the ap­pro­pri­ate amount to not let the breeze be felt as cold. After one hour’s drive cov­er­ing 10 kms from Aunt to­wards Gushaini my bike showed the sign of re­serve petrol and I had to ask a num­ber of lo­calites to know about the petrol pump ahead, but what I got to know is that there was no petrol pump any­where ahead from that point. There were just shops keep­ing a stock of petrol and sell­ing them in black. So I told my mates to take a halt for lunch, mean­while I trav­elled back to Aunt got my tank full and got two cans of five litres filled up. Then, with­out wast­ing time, we started jour­ney we ahead and, cross­ing some great scenic points, we were get­ting close to the des­ti­na­tion.

Be­fore reach­ing the des­ti­na­tion, the essence of it was mes­meris­ing, it was the Tirthan Val­ley, an ex­am­ple of peace in the moun­tains Gushaini. And we fi­nally reached the des­ti­na­tion which was so calm and serene that it made us feel the worth of rid­ing till that place. We found our place to set up our tents and parked our bikes just be­side us. This lo­ca­tion was just two me­tres from stea­dity flow­ing Tirthan

TIRTHAN VAL­LEY IS A SERENE HILL STA­TION HAV­ING A LESS CROWDED SUR­ROUND­ING. IT HAS A LOW NUM­BER OF HOUSES AND EVEN LOWER NUM­BER OF SHOPS. THE DES­TI­NA­TION TO STAY IN TIRTHAN VAL­LEY IS GUSHAINI, HAV­ING A NUM­BER OF HOMESTAYS AND EVEN CAMP­ING SITES.

River. Within 10 min­utes of us set­ting up with our tents, a heavy rain­fall wel­comed us, we found our­selves sleep­ing in­side our tents for three con­tin­u­ous hours. After the rain stopped we col­lected some woods to lit and went to find some good place to eat. We found a small restau­rant for food. There was a very sar­cas­tic didi who pre­pared and­ab­hurji for the din­ner. With a stom­ach full of well cooked food and enor­mous tries to light our bon­fire, our night ended with the stars be­ing cap­tured on our cam­eras.

Day 3

Gushaini is the base camp for a num­ber of treks like Shrik­hand Ma­hadev (5227m) through the Great Hi­malayan Na­tional Park. But our jour­ney was for the less tir­ing, find­ing peace and chal­leng­ing the roads ex­pe­ri­ence. To ful­fil the rigour of driv­ing, there is a way from Ban­jar (10kms from Gushaini) from where one road goes to Delhi-manali high­way and the other road takes one to Shimla, mak­ing it a longer route. In be­tween this longer route comes the Jibhi- Shoja-jalori pass way which is con­sid­ered worse than the roads of Kin­naur. Roads to Jalori pass were harsh enough to make two out of three bikes stop and the pil­lion had to drag those bikes for long­est two kms. No doubt about the beauty of the moun­tains but the beasts them­selves sur­ren­dered in front of them. These paths took most of our time to travel just 30 kms. We cov­ered this in around four hours. But reach­ing the top was noth­ing less than an achieve­ment and made us feel alive. The rajmachawal at Jalori pass was the best I’ve ever had in my whole life. This stretch forced us to get our camps out and strike the pins over there only. This was the night when all our wool­lens and jack­ets were utilised well.

Day 4

Just like all other days, we planned on mov­ing early to reach Delhi on time but as usual we got late in pack­ing up the bikes. From Jalori Pass it was 180 kms to reach Shimla which was only hilly roads where bike go­ing on even 60 seemed to be re­ally fast and we were plan­ning to reach Delhi by 7 in the evening as one of our bikes was rented and we had to reach be­fore the time of drop. We trav­elled all the way to Shimla and thoughts about stay­ing at Shimla, for one more night took over our minds but think­ing about the week­day works to be com­pleted, our en­gines kept revving. Driv­ing on our paces we lost co­or­di­na­tion and 7:30 we had a mu­tual halt at Chandi­garh. From where I left the com­plex around 8:45 and in a rage to see home I parked my bike at home be­fore the mid­night with one halt in be­tween. The oth­ers took an­other hour to reach. With some stor­age full of mem­o­ries and crack­ling butts we reached our homes safely. Some ac­ci­dents might have hap­pened due to the bad roads and worse driv­ing skills, but for­tu­nately we all were safe. We

BUT REACH­ING THE TOP WAS NOTH­ING LESS THAN AN ACHIEVE­MENT AND MADE US FEEL ALIVE. THE RAJMACHAWAL AT JALORI PASS WAS THE BEST I’VE EVER HAD IN MY WHOLE LIFE.

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