over dry leaves and twigs…
a few drags and swigs……
but the place wasnt…
quaint, silent, stuck in time…
tales of many travellers to tell…
the deodar kept
secrets like none !
It all sparked off when Amareshbhai showed us a picture in his mobile as we all sat around the heater (called Bukhara in Himachal) in the dining area of the campsite at night on 27th deciding where to use the next 2 days before the rally started.
Dyara Thatch (pronounced as Thaj) is a green meadow with a backdrop of snow peaks, basically it is a huge green pasture land in the middle of the mountains, to reach you must trek about 10 kms from Janglik the last locality before you leave for the higher altitudes, Dyara comes on the way to Kinnaur District via the Buran Pass, however Buran pass is another 3 days sojourn so we stuck to Dyara Thatch. Also slightly off track on the way to Buran Pass is Chandra Nahan, a group of 7 lakes from which the Pubber River flows, it is claimed by all and sundry as a very beautiful place, but you needed atleast 2 days to do Chandra Nahan.
We got delayed leaving Shimla as we had to meet the organisers of the MTB and we left Kufri at 12.30 to Chidgaon (spelt Chargaon) via Rohru. Rohru is about 110 kms from Shimla and it took us almost 6 hours to do that and as luck would have it our bus broke down in Rohru and it had to be repaired so we reached Chidgaon at 8.30pm.
Already all the locals seemed to be quite high on the Marijuana and Madira on the streets and all shops had closed. Apparently the apple season had just finished and so all the locals were rich atleast for the time being and well the streets were shady and scary for the soft hearted. The locals were intent on having a communication with you the moment they saw a backpack ! However our associate Mr Mahavir as instructed by Mr Amresh had booked a room for us, but it was messy and smelly and amazingly it was warm and there were mosquito’s !!! This was the first time I saw mosquito’s in Himachal !
We didn’t want to stay there and we insisted we find a camper or a pick up or something on wheels to drop us to Tandlu about 22 kms from Chidgaon which is the last motorable point on route to Janglik, where our guide Pankaj awaited us. However Mahavir, who was the elder brother of Pankaj insisted we don’t do it at this hour as we would reach Janglik late and there was no one to take us to Janglik, but the Mosquito’s and our desire for adventure prevailed and my friend Prakshal found a camper who would drop us to a Lakdi ka Pool (Wooden Bridge) from where we would have to trek about an hour uphill to the village.
Unfortunately the 20 year old kid who drove us decided to stop a lil bit earlier than the wooden bridge and insisted his car will get stuck if he came any further. He also managed to spook us when he took shots of marijuana in his cigarette twice on the way. Infact we requested him to do whatever he felt like but after he dropped us. BTW I didn’t mention about the 22kms from Chidgaon to Tandlu,it took us 2 hours to reach Tandlu, there is actually no road although local people call it a road. It is the most bumpiest, roughest, toughest and bone jangling ride I have ever had in my life !! It was impossible to sleep on the ride. Even impossible to bring the cigarette to your lips… it would shake so so much !
Eventually we were dropped on the pitch dark forest area at 11.30 pm where our kind young driver showed us two bulbs on a hill saying that is Janglik. Lo…!!! :|
Between the bulb and us stay a climb down to the river Pubber that flowed violently & noisily through the rocks, a quest to find the wooden bridge to cross and an uphill climb on a moonless night !!!
I think it was the first night of Navratri and I could imagine my wife sitting in the stalls and munching American corn and watching the handsome hunks whilst I grappled with the rough terrain and who knows what animals. Suddenly I felt the visit to Kufri zoo the day earlier wasn’t such a good idea ! We had seen the size of the Himalayan Black Bear and the great Himalayan Brown Bear too !!! The leopards were small change !!!
It sounded down right stupid to get down and pay the guy Rs. 1000 and bid goodbye! It would have been much wiser to tell him take us back to that shady hotel in Chidgaon and then I pay your money !!!!
Strangely no one spoke about their fears, I had mine but I kept them to myself. Either my friends weren’t scared or they were driven by the want for adventure like me so we set about walking and groping with our torches and walking… as silly as it might sound I was carrying my laptop too :-/ and that didn’t make the trek any easy :-/
Even before we reached the bridge we did manage to lose way twice however eventually we all reached the bridge. The scary feeling that you got when you lagged the other two and were left a lil far behind still raises my hair. There was absolutely nothing around us, no crackles, no animals, nothing and yet the fear of the unknown in my heart kept me alert !
As we crossed the bridge we heard a siren followed by a LOUD sound as if a huge Bomb had gone off… we wondered what it was… only later next day we came to know that there was Land blasting happening as they were trying to make the road !! Thankfully we weren’t near the blasting area !!!!
Many times I would think if my wife came to know of what we did if we didn’t reach home safe and sound… BOY!
The temperature was around 3 degrees and yet we sweated and wetted our T-shirts both out of the stress involved in climbing and the fear of the unknown !
It took us almost 2 hours to reach the village and we entered one house which was open, amazingly people here in the hills rarely lock their houses, and asked if it was Pankaj’s house. Imagine someone walking into your house and asking for someone else! What would your reaction be at 1.30 in the morning !!??
Well this poor guy got up and said it wasn’t Pankaj’s house it was a lil more uphill, he got up and then offered to drop us as the dogs in the village would trouble us if we went alone. No we weren’t courteous enough to deny, we were just glad he volunteered. We reached Pankaj’s house at 1.30 and chatted for 15 mins.
He was mighty impressed at us city goer’s doing this trek in the night ! We felt relieved to have found his house to say the least !
It was only on our journey back during the day that we realised that we climbed a pretty stiff cliff in the night, infact the darkness was a blessing in disguise, since we didn’t know how steep or difficult it was in the night we managed the feat, had we known the slope in advance, we would have probably not gone ahead with the adventure.
We had to get up at 5.30 the next morning as we had to leave after breakfast at 6.30 for Dyara Thatch. We fell on the bed in Pankaj’s house like rocks and 5.30am was clocked in an instant !
The trek to Dyara Thatch cannot be described in words… it was tough but unbelievably rewarding as we crossed the pine forests and reached the grazing lands… here are a few pictures of Dyara Thatch for you to relish. The entire meadow had only 4 humans, us !!!! Not a spot of plastic nor a noise other than that of nature. The wild horses would graze and some cattle that the villagers leave uphill during this period. The cattle automatically returns to their house in winter as snow starts. This entire meadow is covered under 6-7 feet of snow in winters, the entire range is also snow clad and its like a fairy tale in the pictures during winters, we were lucky we had the sun out for half the day making our trek easy. It rained in the noon and it wasnt pleasant and it got very cold !
We just lay in the grass for about an hour before we returned. The Griffin Vultures hoped we would break down but we proved to be a disappointment for them ! Anyways enough of my story here are the pics !
I have never seen this blue a sky in my city !
and finally my looks seemed to have helped me for once !!!!!!
p.s : For any of you who want to travel this terrain can mail me and I can provide all the details.