The most awesome sight to be seen on these hills is the vision of the sun from behind pristine white peaks, the blue and grey shadows on white creating magic, until the sun begins to glow halo like from behind the peak. Sitting amidst several such peaks, Sangla Valley is a fairly busy town with a reasonable number of visiting tourists. Having woken up at 4.30, we had a head start and both my better-half and I went for a walk, stopping many a times, taking pictures, posing against the snow-covered mountains and admiring the breath-taking visuals.
By the time breakfast was done, we were packed and ready to leave. If you google the distances, the time estimated to reach Narkanda is shown as 5 hours. By then, we knew how bad the roads were. Therefore armed with Ipods and MP3 players we set out on that 8 hour journey.
The journey was quite uneventful but for a minor road block created by shooting stones that took about an hour to clear. In this time, the stones were removed and cars, jeeps and buses began to ply the path while a few soldiers and helpful civilians who kept a watchful eye for when the landslide restarted, beckoned us to drive past quickly. It took us about 3 ½ hours more to hit good roads. From there on, it was smooth sailing and suddenly we realised we were hungry.
Funnily enough, there didn’t seem to be any eating joints in that part of the state. Even as the mood within the vehicle began to change, we finally found a roadside eatery. Amar Bhojnalay it was called. The food was rustled up in a jiffy and the simply awesome vegetarian fare made everyone very happy. By 3.30 we were at our next destination – Narkanda.
We left almost immediately for Hatu Peak. The road up to the peak is so narrow, only one vehicle can ply that way at a time. The roads are thoughtfully provided with niches within the rock so that a vehicle can make space for oncoming traffic, if need be. The Hatu Peak temple in a small shrine atop the hill. Apart from being of religious significance, the view from the peak is beautiful. We returned to the guest house afterwards and spent time on the lawn, admiring the Kinnaur range which we had left hours ago. Somewhere among those awesome peaks, were the various places we’d visited in the last three days.
Finally as the day got over, we packed out bags in readiness for our return to Mumbai. There was a beautiful crescent moon out that evening, as were a million stars. And although we couldn’t have enough of them, we were very tired. It had been a long day. And then there was that thought – our holiday in Himachal Pradesh was coming to an end the next morning.