Saturday, 4 February 2012

Day 3 - Himachals in Winter - Narkanda - Snowed Under


We woke up the in the next morning with a surprise. By chance, I just glanced outside the window and found the lawn and all the surrounding areas covered with snow – last night experienced a severe snowfall at Narkanda.

The scenery was breath-taking and jaw-dropping whereas the cold was bone-chilling. As far as we could see the hills became white, the trees became white the roads and the valley too were under the white carpet. The ice was glittering under the shining sun.

We quickly got ready, had our breakfast in the room with crispy Aloo Paranthas and Pickle served with a fuming hot cup of coffee. We set out to venture into our planned expeditions today. Our plan was to trek to Hatu peak in the morning, then come back to the hotel, have lunch and sightsee to Tanni Jubbar Lake.

We went down to the market to look for a mode of transport for the sightseeing to the lake later in the day but here we had our first series of setbacks.

Route to Hatu Peak – Not accessible due to extreme snowfall last night!
Route to Tanni Jubbar Lake – blocked, will take a day to re-open!
Route to Kotgarh, Thanedar apple orchards – blocked and will take a day to re-open!
Route to Shimla – blocked, will take half a day to re-open!

So Narkanda had lost contact with the outside world and become isolated for the time being. What to do? We had to drop off all the trekking and sightseeing plans unfortunately. Instead we planned to stroll across the Narkanda village at a leisurely pace.

So we started our small adventure walking down the route towards Hatu Peak to check if we can really walk upto the top. The cliffs and gorges at the side of the roads were covered in really deep snow. The woods were so dense that sky was not easily visible and naturally the ice could not melt. It was a dark but serene, really serene atmosphere. Birds cooing, snow falling on the ground from the trees, a gentle whispering sound of the breeze and the sound of our footsteps – the sound of silence was at its best.

A villager passed us by and warned us not to stroll across down these roads since there were a couple leopards running loose in the forest since a few days!! Fantastic, what more could anyone ask for?

The snow was also becoming thicker by every step we took forward and it was difficult to move further ahead – we were not pro and avid trekkers! I don’t think there are many people who would like to trek in that ambience in their honeymoon anyway so you can't really blame us for escaping from that opportunity.

It was already lunchtime so we returned to the main market crossing. We devoured a pot noodles from a roadside shop – which was truly mouth-watering, I can still remember the taste.

We went back to our hotel and took some rest. In the afternoon we came to the lawn to spend some more time with the nature. The ice was fading away but the prettiness of the place wasn’t. The backyard of the hotel was covered thickly – literally more than a feet deep – in snow. The roof of the PWD bungalow at the valley below was also covered in snow. Everywhere on the trees and the peaks – wherever we could see, the white ice made us spellbound. We understood what the word 'snow-white' means, literally!

I chatted with the hotel manager and he mentioned that normally they get real bored with such snowfall every year as there would be nothing to do. But for us it was so refreshing as well as different experience that we felt like we could spend our whole lives in the heart of Narkanda.

Next day we had a plan to move back to Shimla so we started praying that roads would open the next day.

Will our wishes be fulfilled??? Check the next post if you are interested

Pictures -

View from the room

View from the Lawn

PWD Bungalow from the Hatu room

Trees

Backyard of Hatu

Path from Hatu to main market

Valley down

Snow has fallen

Snow covered path to Hatu

Snow has fallen - 2

Snow has fallen - 3

The Biker has left his Bike

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