Around the tellus in Khajjiar

by ABHA RIBIAWALA

I was very close to the signature page of my diary and since it was the last week of October I was anticipating I would not have to run for stationary before the new year eve.With calculated amount of coffee in my drawer I lay still surfing YouTube when my mood is disrupted by a not so frequent call.I received a warm call from home and no sooner had I learnt the recent chalking of our Himachal trip being scheduled than I had pulled out the coffee jar into the dustbin.Well,cozy family time was and will always be preferred over solitary comfort confined to the corners of my single bed and laptop .So without further adieu ,bags were packed and enthusiasm was geared for the trip that promised loads to us and a bucketful to me in particular.

I would particularly like to throw light on a part of my Himachal excursion which attracted me the most. After a journey of about 8 hours from Manali ,in the 12 seater bus that we had taken along for our trip, we happened to reach Dalhousie at 8:30 pm. It did not take much long to find a decent hotel to spend a couple of days. Yes, that is what local tour guides in Dalhousie say: A stay of 2 days is sufficient to explore this place to the fullest. Two main spots to visit here are Kalatop & Kalatop forest and Khajjiar. This mesmerizing scenic beauty became a favourite shooting spot of Bollywood. Many Hindi films, including 1942: A Love Story, Vinashak, Gadar, 2013: Lootera(at Kalatop), were filmed here. Having taken refuge at Hotel The Spring, we started feeling the pang of hunger. The freshly cooked delicious hot meal served at this hour of night could not be a better alleviation for our tired bodies. The pleasure in traveling consists of the obstacles, the fatigue. What charm can anyone find in an excursion where he finds all the ease and comfort he can enjoy in his own home. Amidst the jam-packed bus, we were all set to head-start our day and long lost stories from past that were being served with spice and gossip. A short drive of 45 minutes had put us in the considerable heartbeat of Himachal which locally goes by the name of Khajjiar. Guarded with an endless stretch of cliffs and mountains,aesthetically essenced with screeping conifers,with a soil that blessed almost every plantation and a sky who would call for Shakespeare to vividify what it conveyed,Khajjiar did an absolute justice to being the Switzerland for India.

My surroundings had engulfed my attention to an extent that google had to be my guide .It mesmerised me to be in a circular 5 km region that concentrated into itself the entire vitality of the area.Like other aesthetic wonders of Himachal that accounted to 9.75% of tourism GDP, Khajjiar had it’s own drop-beat to discover .Willy blazer,vice chancellor and head of chancery for Switzerland had rightly labelled Khajjiar as one of its minions like the rest 160 places in the world likely.But unlike the previous places loaded with traditions and mouthwatering cuisines,this tiny saucer shaped plateau within the lush meadows had not much to offer .The high altitude and scarce transportation benefits offered us less on flavour cravings.Nevertheless,negating economic drawbacks,the adventurous quotient of Khajjiar was breathtaking.

I have been a witness to jaw-dropping ventures of soaring on a sky-scraping ride that could nauseate even the healthiest for a moment.Looked and felt dangerously magical to move up and down a tower with a crazy velocity and unprecedented pattern.The next moment of recovery has so much in store beyond imagination.That was my n numbered attempt to ride a horse. Yes, I cant remember the count because for a traveller like me,riding on a horse’s back is not a prodigious activity. Yet, walking just sucked away my adrenaline and enthusiasm, so with a strong resolution and a promise from a trainer to keep me from death,I ranged at a relatively higher speed ,across the borders of the greenery through the forest and the pillar like trees.I admit hurting my bones and pelvis seamlessly the next morning but I presume for a college student benched for 6 hrs in a row,this was an out-of-the-box attempt which I proudly confirm to encounter voluntarily again. The horses had galloped ,and with it taken away my every remaining ounce of energy when i noticed rabbits on my mother’s head.It was seated like a crown prince in front of the camera,synchronised with the beaming smile of my mother.I made sure I was the next in this joint family venture where everyone posed as an ardent rodent lover.

Though it seems stupid and inarticulate to mature audience but being the age that the place and company demand has been my asset.I love to try the smallest of details,however insignificant just to fill in the pages of exciting life I have .The rabbits followed flower baskets and shimmery pahari costumes and that brings me to the best part of trips and making memories; “photographs”.They relate and convey.They bridge almost every gap over the years and between the clans irrespective of how weird and untidy it seemed when it got clicked.Crooked faces,jocular actions everything summed up in a 5X7 span of paper that portrays almost the whole of who we were and now relatively.Well ,literally,gathering dozens of those personified sketches is worth the wait and the pain. Just when the sun reached it’s pinnacle before it could set for the day and settle all the hustle,making the calm as quite and peaceful as William Wordsworth describes it to be,it was time for me to reflect upon what not was yet done enough to make myself a better appreciator of the great.Evidently,we had concluded to the aura of the most beautiful set of lives and hives explored. Khajjiar had taken just a plan and gifted a lifetime.places big or small,hunky dory or downtrodden,never fail to surprise because they are not divided by mentalities but just some invisible borders that travellers like us are oblivious to. Indeed, Mountains are the beginning and the end of all the natural scenery.

Plan a trip to grassy meadow Khajjiar called “Mini Switzerland of India” ad enjoy the grassy medows and dense forests. Don’t forget to share your travel experience in travel blogs.

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