A Perfect Relaxing Escape From The City Life: 'Kalga-Pulga-Tulga'

Once the travel bug bites you then there ain't any medicine to treat you. A few months back, I got an opportunity to travel to my love,...

Once the travel bug bites you then there ain't any medicine to treat you. A few months back, I got an opportunity to travel to my love, Himachal Pradesh. I wonder why I am a Kashmiri, who has never been to Kashmir and not a Himachali. God's plan!

I must say that Himachal is the best thing that has ever happened to Delhites. A long weekend comes and Himalaya here I come.


I had no plans for trekking this time. We simply boarded a bus from Delhi to Bhuntar. Final destination was supposed to be decided on the road. This time I had a company which prefers 'chilling' instead of 'trekking'. So we decided to go to this village called Kalga.
Kalga is one of the villages scattered on the mountain peaks of the Parvati valley near the famous Kasol.

How To Reach:

So it goes like this...

Delhi → Bhuntar → Manikaran → Barshaini → Kalga


Beautiful Bridge of Bhuntar ( Ignore the Polythene)
Although, it has an airport too. Still, the buses remain the easiest and cheapest way to reach Bhuntar.

Day 1: ( Reaching Kalga)

Boarding from New Delhi, the bus dropped us early in the morning. We were 2 people, who had to pass time for an hour because our other friend was joining us from Chandigarh. We thought of passing the time near the beautiful Beas river that runs nearby. As we walked on the bridge over the river, the piercing icy-cold winds whispered in my ears, "Dare you! go near that river".

A glimpse of the conversation between me and the winds :D
Shops were just opening up, the small city was warming up for the day when I spotted my favorite tea stall. I had a sip of tea while fighting with my friend and waiting for Nipun to arrive. There was a brief moment of silence until he finally showed up.

Afterward, get a bus from the local bus stand in Bhuntar to Manikaran.

If hungry! Grab a plate of veg momos and omelet at Manikaran
Momos were scrumptious!

From Manikaran, either wait for the bus or hire a shared cab to Barshaini. We took the cab to save time in just Rs 300. But if you want to wait for the next bus, try and visit the 'Manikaran Saheb' which has the hot water springs and serves the most delicious langer. I remember as a kid when my parents brought me to this gurudwara. People used to boil rice and chickpeas in the boiling water. We stayed there for a few days, the taste of the langer is still fresh in my head.

Reaching Barshaini, you have walk a bit, crossing the newly constructed Pulga hydro dam. You will have to hike up for a km or so to reach your destination.

Such a cute and warm welcome!
The moment you will find the 'KALGA' board, you can be relaxed but the journey is still not over as you have to now decide-

Where To Stay?

Kalga is less populated and the houses are far from each other. Not that far, but more scattered than what you will find in Tosh. You won't hear late night trance music playing. It is calm yet vibrant both at the same time.

Traditional wooden houses- So many options to choose from, to be your home.
The place is full of cafes and houses converted to homestays. Beautiful, traditional mountain houses completely made of wood. We walked in search of an ordinary yet extraordinary, serene and beautiful place to call our home for the next 3 days. We took a look inside a few of them but nothing seemed 'yes, this is it!' until this place captured our hearts- Raju valley view. 
My Inner Yogi awakens on day 2!
Lavender colored house, a complete balcony all to ourselves, a cozy room, clean washrooms, a beautiful flowered garden where you can practice yoga & meditation, a backyard with apple trees, hammocks, snooker table along with a magnificent view of the white peaked mountains and the mellifluous sound of the river flowing somewhere nearby. What more one could have asked for!

Bathing issue:

They have a geyser so there was no problem to have a shower. After little strolling in the backyard, breathing and consuming in the place. Why not do your favorite pastime- have a nap amid this beautiful surrounding? I got ready for the day but only to sleep.

During the night, there was nothing much to do apart from chilling with Raju bhaiya in the cafe, warming up your body in front of the tandoor when you wake up after 3 hours.

Fiery solace to the cold nights
Raju Bhaiya can speak non-stop for hours. Topics for discussion can go on from politics, nature, cultural and philosophy. He is an interesting man. You just need to ask him for anything. Just don't mention 'maal' 😂 Though a very open-minded person in general and about that too. He does not like himself as a drug dealer. One of his favorite jargons:

" Ram, Ram ji "
"Dekhiye! bhaiji. Na maine aapka kuch lena and na aapne mera. Choti si zindagi hai do bol pyar se aur meri jaan hazir hai aapke liye" .

Other best places to stay for a better experience-
  1. South Indian Spice
  2. Kalga Homestay

Network Connectivity:

No problem. All network work excellent over there. So all those "ghar pe nahi bata k aayi hun" can relax here with no tension.


Day 2 (Trek to Kheerganga...almost!):

Last night, we made a friend while we were chilling in our room. He opened the door and stared at us. We named him Batista! Next morning, he was again at our door. Bhaiya brought us our morning tea and told us they call him Pagal.  I didn't understand why at that time. 

Meet Batista!
When we went downstairs, we were joined by more dogs. They were someone's pets. Batista attacked them for no reason. Might be some territory issue... but their owner was ready to attack him with a big stone. He pointed a finger at him and said, " Next time, You are dead". I felt bad for Batista. Maybe that is why they call him mad. Maybe he was ill but he gave me those ocean eyes filled with love.

A daily chore to test and try every hammock
You can sit all day long on the hammock reading your favorite books, order for chai and freshly picked apples from their own orchids. Play music, dance, meditate and just dissolve in your own thoughts. In winters, you can't enjoy outside for too long as the sun hides behind the mountains,  though there is still daytime, no sunlight makes it very cold.

Kalga is also the base place to start the journey to 'Kheerganga', a day-trek from the village that takes you to the natural hot springs Kheerganga is famous for.

Get lost in the enchanting sounds of the falling water.

We trekked till the famous waterfall(which is almost midway en route Kheerganga) and came back. Took us 4 hours.

1. A bridge that had to be crossed to go towards Kheer Ganga.
2. Another trekker
3. A tree with red leaves
4. A memorial cum an important message
On our way back
After entering the boundaries of Kalga, I met this beautiful lady,

Teji Aunty invited me for lunch at her place
It started raining as we got back to our guesthouse and soon it turned into a legit hailstorm. The temperature dropped to -3 degrees (well the Insta stories said so).

Locals were humble enough to lend me there raincoat,so that I can enjoy the rains

He had our dinner around the hot angeethi (furnace) while chatting with Raju bhaiya. The discussion went on for hours and we slept late.

After the rain stopped it was a clear sky and before going to sleep this is what I was able to capture.

My first ever- Astrophotography!
Inside the room


Day 3:( Other places to explore)

Day 3 started with mixed feelings. We had an amazing breakfast, chatted with a few housemates living in our cafe, tasted some Naga tea, cracked some jokes, and decided to do nothing.

Indulged in some self-love (with face masks)
But me being me, I decided to ditch my gang, to join a friend (who was also by chance in Kalga that day) for a walk to Pulga and Tulga village.

I found Tulga, just like any other normal village on hill whereas Pulga had a charm of its own, where you can find locals living their normal lives.

You can also go for Bun-Buni trek. It is a hard trek and needs a guide to take you there.

At a cafe in Pulga (meaningless picture)
You will find amazing pine tree down the slope around the Pulga village with a mesmerizing view.

Amidst the Pine tree.

I played Cricket with the local kids there. They were kind to me but I managed to play some good shots and got hit some sixes while I was bowling to them. It was fun.

Pulga evening Local Match Highlights
While returning back from Pulga you should spend time exploring the beautiful views around a small bridge which is on a water stream near Tulga. 

Doesn't this look like Window OS Wallpaper?
But the reality is:

Why people why?
There are some beautiful trees, like this one with red leaves.

Wow! A stand-alone redhead...


Day 4 (Hard Goodbyes!):

It was just me and nature today. No other noise!

Building some new talkless connections

In the morning, we decided to go on a walk around the village Kalga, just relaxing and having fun. We came across some nice little cafes with cool people, like the South Indian Spices cafe.

It is a cafe which was owned by a group of young south Indians who decided to settle down in this beautiful place. They had adopted dogs and cats and we found cute little 'mew, mew' kittens.

Kittens were so playful, they were running here and there. No one was afraid. They were good at camouflaging.
Can't we be more responsible?

After the stroll through the village, we packed and it was time to bid goodbye to our beautiful place, sometimes goodbyes are hard to say. You can very well see it on my face.

Bye bye, Kalga!

The plan was to walk till Barshaini and get a local Bus to reach Bhuntar, then get an overnight Volvo to Delhi. But it was not going to be that easy.

Dogs are always by your side
We had to wait for about an hour for the bus, but we managed to get into one and luckily found seats too. It took us almost 3 hours to reach Bhuntar. Then we waited for another 4 hours for our Volvo bus. 

It was a nice weekend getaway where I relaxed, walked, explored the villages, local houses and made a lot of lifetime memory.

Liked the write-up? Don't forget to comment below and say hi! It would mean a lot. Thanks :)

4 comments

  1. Nice write-up. If you can please share the contact details of Raju Valley View cafe so that people can contact him before visiting to book rooms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hellos!!
      Yea why not. Raju bhaiya no. is 9816784377.
      Do tell him, I said 'Ram-ram ji' :)

      Delete
  2. Hey, Nice article, got the gist. It was very informative. The trash dump made me more contemptuous of shitheads though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find such little corners of beer bottles, chips wrappers, chewing gums almost everywhere.

      I think we need a separate post on how to manage our plastic waste in mountains to make people more aware.
      And at the same time I believe people are aware, but it is the habit that has been inculcated to them from their homes. It needs to be changed step by step- one small baby steps by everyone will make a big change!

      We have to start from our localities.

      Delete

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