This is about the latest love affair I had on my recent trip to Himachal. This is about sharing a slice of paradise, with you before Paradise is raided. But as of now it’s a little pill of ecstasy perched atop, one of the many hills of the Magical Valley, Parvati valley.This is about Kalga and what I happily ended up doing there.. which was not much.
Tosh had been good but not particularly engaging. Accessibility by vehicles and access to Hash,has brought the wave of ugly tourism to the valley and Tosh is falling prey to the situation. So the next day, after getting down from Tosh ,as I stared up at the little hill ahead and the neatly created steps along the slope, my heavily packed Rucksack in toe,I wondered , if it was going to be worth the ordeal.
But as soon as I reached on the top of the hillock, I could feel it right away…Kalga was all, that Tosh was not able to dole out my way.The vistas from the edge of Kalga were downright expansive and gorgeous, sweeping across the valleys and rivers.But that was not all.I cloud feel serenity just arriving at the place. As the bus had rolled on from Manikaran to Barshaini, I had witnessed little colorful houses popping atop the green ridges ,looking unreal and cute all the same. Little did I know I would end up looking at them up close.
Stooping below the apple branches and walking through the wet grass blades of the orchards, we finally found a place to stay. The guest house was humble and enticing both at the same time .Built as a traditional wooden house, with rooms on the floor above, the place looked promising in terms of the setting and the views out.As we walked onto the wooden common deck,I gasped looking at the horizons, the view was captivating and soothing. This was going to be therapy !i said to myself then. And that is what it turned out to be in the days I stayed there.
For the two days I was here, I pretty much spent my entire days whiling away time, sipping ginger honey lemon on the wooden deck, as I stared at the ever changing view of the valley offered at the horizon from the guesthouse. Moments to minutes to hours at length. All I did was breathe the freshness, deeper in my lungs , to store it away in some pocket of memory to salvage me in my stress after returning to the mad race again. The only moment I left the view alone was to catch up with the lanky manager Sanju, who used to be busy rolling a joint in the café shack attached to the guest house.
Nestled amongst Apple orchards that were drenched perennially , partly due to light showers and partly due to morning dew, this was a hideout I wish I could keep to myself.In the day as the Sun rose out, I wandered around Kalga , mindless foot fall , taking me down little pugdundees leading to other guest houses and cafes around.There are only 2 grocery shops in the village, that stack every possible thing they can.From Nuetella to Beers. The latter is a tad expensive and would set you back by 300/- a bottle.Dont expect a Kingfisher here.There was no dearth of guesthouses as I could sense, but fewer tourists seem to be around Kalga than Tosh. There was also a route that went to Kheerganga from the village here.
Kalga is a tiny village if one goes by the scale and that makes it all the more endearing.You can roam across the entire village in couple of hours max.There were Apple orchards with moist green apples,enticing me as I walked on the little mud trails passing through them.There were abundant wild flowers growing amongst the orchards ironically all bearing tiny white flowers of variety.There were cute little wooden sign boards pointing to guest houses.There are cafes that let you laze around on the comfortable matress seatings as you do your thing watching the changing clouds over the distance mountains. There was Soft Sunlight, Cloud draped mountains, Peeping sunrays and drizzling rains drenched with sweet scent of apples and moist earth. In a nutshell , there was everything you would want to induce you into sweet relaxation just being there.
Roll a Joint, read a book, play a guitar, Do your art, Sing a song or chat up with strangers around as Soft rock plays in the backdrop.Kalga might soon lose this peace as it becomes more invaded gradually and facilities start rapidly multiplying, but till now it has a virginal beauty to it, pouring through the apple laden orchards , the cloud shielded mountains ,the sweetness of the air after the light showers and the absolute calm with only nature Whispering to you.So next time you want a break , and want to court slow life, I urge you to enjoy the ethereal beauty and the sound sleep Kalga Offers.My version of Alice in wonderland for I found it to be magical.
Reaching Kalga: Located in Parvati Valley, one needs to take a bus from Bhuntar to Barshaini and walk uphill for 45mins to reach Kalga
Stay : Facilities are pretty cheap ranging from 300-600/- per basic room.