Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tirthan Valley - A Paradise in Himachal

I am a person of the mountains and of open blue skies. I know I cannot stay away from them too long. Mountains have always left me feeling renewed, content and more positive. I found one such place in Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh. Tirthan is gateway to The Great Himalayan National Park and is blessed with immense beauty. It's still not crowded, you can sit alone in the lap of nature and talk to yourself with no one disturbing you. Tirthan Valley borrow its name from Tirthan River, a tributary of Beas river which originates from the Himalayas.

I went there in start of June 2013. Green was the prime colour of the valley with clouds flirting with the mountains.

Round trip from Gurgaon to Tirthan is close to 1200 kms if you take the more secnic route from Shimla side and then crossing over Jalori Pass to enrter into Kullu.

Route taken was-

Gurgaon- Ambala- Dharampur- Kumarhatti- Chail- Narkanda- Ani- Jalori Pass- Jibhi- Nagini(Tirthan Valley)- Aut- Mandi- Ropar- Chandigarh- Gurgaon

For the less adventurous or if you want to avoid Jalori Pass you can take the following Route -

Gurgaon- Ambala- Ropar- Mandi- Larji - Nagini(Thirthan Valley)- Larji- Mandi- Ambala - Gurgaon

Started  from Gurgaon to reach Dharampur by evening. After a good sleep I started the journey ahead to reach Tirthan but nature had its own plans!!! As I reached Narkanda, the rain started to pour heavily. I decided to stay in Narkanda as climbing Jalori pass becomes very difficult when its raining.

Tented accommodation in Himachal Tourism Hotel Hatu

 They have many rooms but just one tent and its beautiful. The tent is big and is neat and clean. You will not find it on their website and hence will not be able to make on-line booking. The only way is to get there and hope its not occupied.

After settling my stuff in the tent I ventured out on a small trek around the hotel. It turned out to be a rewarding decision. I got some beautiful views of the snow capped Himalayas.

I did nothing but rested, enjoyed the surroundings as someone has written beautifully , "Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time"

Got stuck on way for more than an hour due to landslide.

Jalori Pass is closed in winters and can be crossed over only in summers. It usually opens in Mid March and closed in December. The road going up to Jalori pass is tightly hair-pinned and has many sharp and blind curves. As many of you may agree, we men like curves and this is no exceptional case :) The views that you get from these curves makes up for what your car has to go thru crossing the treacherous road.

There are few restaurants or Dhabbas as we call them at Jalori Pass. They serve simple, basic but tasty food.

You can very well see the road condition in these two shots. It was still raining. I would strongly advice to be extremely careful while driving down and drive down on low gears specially is its raining.

Finally I reached small village named Nagini in Tirthan Valley which had to be my home for next 4 days. The shot above that you see is an evening shot taken from the rooftop of Khem Bharti Homestay called Hotel Trout Valley. Hotel Trout valley gets its name from the Trout fish found in adundance in Tirthan river which flows only at stone throw distance. It is said that during the british rule, the britishers found Tirthan River water so clear and thus suitable for Trout fish that they bought best seeds of fish from Scandinavian countries.

View From The Lobby

Isn't it Beautiful???

This was my room and what a view it had!!!! I had thought of hiking around but when I found my corner, It felt so complete.

Tirthan River

I loved Tirthan Valley more than I ever thought I would. The place is still not commercialised and acts as a base camp for some of the beautiful treks in the region. There are 2 beautiful waterfalls which can accessed by foot. I visited Tirthan around 2 years ago and never managed to finish the blog until one of my readers asked for a suggestion for a offbeat summer destination. Thanks Reader!!!

Places to Stay-

1. Khem Bharti Home Stay a.k.a Hotel Trout Valley - http://www.troutvalley.co.in/
    Mobile no - +91-9459101113

2. Raju Guest House, Gushaini.
    Mobile no- +91- 9418149808

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BOM BOM - Ristorantino Italiano

"I'll serve Carpaccio to you tomorrow for lunch" he said with his thick Italian baritone throat.

While I never knew how to pronounce the dish, however ! I agreed to it. What I figured later while relishing it that It's a culinary wonder made with ultra thin & raw meat slices submerged in olive oil & marinated with lemon... Served with shavings of Parmesan cheese. 

I hadn't ever ventured to raw meat ever  but it was scrumcious . I realised that knowng that it's raw meat, I would have perhaps not let it pass thru my one & only blessed gob ... Well, glad to have ventured & not miss savouring the flavour. There are many things that we don't opt to do or try only because we hold our own notions . Some one said it so right say " the biggest risk is not having to take one !!!" U Don't know what u r missing ?

Coming back to the BOM BOM ...The chef cum owner of this little Italy .. Or should I say culinary twinkle in Agonda, once had a restaurant in Italy. He wound up all and now runnning this shack named BOM BOM in Goa .. 

The restaurant is simple but the chef's perfectionism & passion surfaces in every dish you order ... be it sea shell Pasta or or pork or French roast chicken . 

         Chicken in white wine

           Sea Shells for Pasta

And the best was Tiramasu with cocoa sprinkles over ice cream scoops . Haha ..its a battle between your weighing scale over your taste buds :) .. Well He plans to double the size of the restaurant next year and add more options to the menu. Well while I write this my mouth is watering .. Catch u later .. I better finish my meal .. :) 

Bon appetite !!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Home For Next Six Days- Om Sai Huts, Agonda

                    Our Beach hut

              Sunset, Agonda

As soon as I mentioned to friends that this month we are going to Goa again, they said "why don't you buy a place in Goa?" Last month during New Years it used to get quite cold in the evenings but  whether has started to change.

This is gonna be our home, our beach hut for this week. 

           View from beach hut

A basic accommodation but with a view like this from our bed we definitely don't call it basic!!!!

The meaning of luxury is different to different people .. Just the way right now happiness means lazing around by the sea.. Replenishing energies with the provisions of nature is surely luxurious.

It's the serene concoction of the sparking sands,fresh blue skies, diluted with grand splashes coming from sea .. And a dash of the moist oceanic breeze..
 ... I say cheers to the world with most simplistic afternoon yet it could not get any more exotic than this. 

This time we choose to stay in OM SAI BEACH HUTS, Agonda, Goa. The place is right on the beach with a restaurant name Sweet Chilly. We definately  recommend this place to anyone looking for peaceful stay.