This is going to be my first ever attempt to write a travel diary. I haven’t tried anything like this before and don’t know how it’s going to come out. I think writing one single post for each day spent will be the right way to do it. Anyhow, here it goes :)

 

I wanted to go on a solo trip somewhere for a long time and 1st week of April seemed like a good opportunity.  But I had no idea where to go until last week of March. All I knew that the place should be mountainous and not crowded.  McLeodganj seemed to be a good enough place and after thinking about it for a bit I chose it as my destination. Getting there from Delhi takes approximately 12 hours by road. I took a Volvo bus which was full of tourists from all over the world. It wasn’t very comfortable journey but I managed to doze through most of it.

I woke up as the bus stopped at the town’s bus stand just before 6 am. As I opened my eyes, I was greeted by the sight of mountains covered with lush greenery and dozens of crows cawing loudly. Unlike their city cousins, these are a bit larger and completely black.   Gathering my belongings, I got out of bus and stretched my limbs. First thing that hit me was the cool breeze. It was colder outside than the air conditioned bus ! That’s one of the reasons why I love mountains. <3

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The incident which I’m about to talk about here happened a long time ago, when I was 12 years old and even more stupid than now. I’m from Jammu, somewhat famous for it’s Vaishno Devi Temple.and a bit too famous for terrorist related news. The attention is entirely undeserved for the 2nd part though.
So it happened that I was in Ramnagar for a week during my summer vacations in 1996-97 when I was 12-13 years old. It’s an old historical town nestled among beautiful hills famous for it’s well designed forts. Apart from that it’s an excellent location for trekking. The hills are covered with pine trees, houses are few and far in between and the weather is much cooler than the cities in plains.

 

A similar place elsewhere would have been developed and made famous in to a hyped tourist attraction, but a lot of things(which I’d rather not explain here) have prevented that till now. Anyhow coming back to the topic, I had two other boys for company, Manu a year younger than me and Vicky, 2 years older (Names aren’t real). Vicky like me, had come in to spend his holidays in Manu’s house. We spent our days collecting wild berries and playing cricket, marbles etc. It was all great fun for 5-7 days after which some monotony started to set in. So one day we were lazing around on the roof of Manu’s house when I noticed a white temple on a distant hill top. I asked Manu about it and he said that he had no idea.
Not to be discouraged so easily, I asked another question, “How long does it takes to get there ?”Continue reading