The small MF Hussain in me has always drawn painting of a house with corrugated roof nestling in the cleavage of two mountains with a glistening and roaring river flowing next to it. It was three decades post my coming into being did I find something similar to my dream house – Tirthan Anglers’ Retreat. It was an impromptu plan made with a group of avid travellers. I had never heard about the place and I don’t regret taking the leap of faith. A fauji brat and a corporate honcho gave it all up to start this little paradise tucked in the serenity of mountains in Himachal Pradesh. Far from the din of Delhi, its six rooms give you a breath taking views of the lush green mountains.
The first day we were greeted by rainladen clouds, which it seems had descended to earth just in our honour. The tiredness of overnight bus journey vanished in a jiffy as we made 800 metres trek to reach our destination. The Palachan River, a tributary of Tirthan, orchestrated a symphony with the thundering clouds to serenade the diners having breakfast in the morning. After soaking in the nature’s bounty, I got into my bed and was lulled into a deep sleep while looking at the view through the glass windows.
One of the new options in the place, I had not thought the travel would provide me the endless possibilities of activities. One can go hiking, angling (and have the pleasure of cooking the fish one caught) or just sip a cup of tea while doing just nothing. The place is right next to the Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage. So, I would suggest plan a longer stay in the place and undertake the trek through India’s newest national park.
Well, I opted for a trip to Jalori Pass while hoping that the clouds would clear away to make way for a bonfire in the night. The luck did not elude us here too as a beaming taxi driver pointed us towards snow-peaked mountains that were experiencing fresh snowfall. Turning to me, he said: “Snowfall in May. You are very lucky!” Well! What awaited us at 10,258 feet is difficult to be described in words. But someone who has experienced a sheet of fresh snow enveloping the whole meadow can understand the emotions very well.
The next pit stop was the memorial of Penelope Valentine Hester Betjeman, daughter of Field Marshal Lord Philip Chetwode. Penelopewas a passionate traveller who made Khagan (a place 15 minutes away from Jalori pass) her home. After having tea there we started our race with the Sun to reach the resort in time for a couple of sundowners.
Two nights passed rather quickly. But I did not leave without saluting the sun, getting my share of two lungs full of fresh air and twisting all my muscles though a one and a half hours long Yoga session with the in-house yoga instructor. And my bucket list for the next time was ready with Kullu Dusshera in October, a ride to Bijli Mahadev and river rafting in Beas.
Ms Ritu Sharma has been a journalist for nearly a decade. An Air Force wife, she is also a travel aficionado