Saturday, 7 June 2014

Sarahan : An ancient little world in itself

I read it somewhere "The gods were generous when they gave Sarahan it's settings. " 

And indeed, the gods were generous when giving Sarahan it's location and its people. Time seems to have rolled back atleast by a few decades when you enter this little town. A place where there have no police, no crimes, where you can roam about in the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister's bungalow with no guards around,where there are no locks, where homestays have the friendliest, the most warm-hearted and down-to-earth people, meeting and talking to them fills you with a infinite kind of joy. 

The first sight

But what guards all the people there? Talking to a local, he told me  " We don't worry about such things.We don't need police here. Anyone who does something wrong or commits a crime is taken care of by our local deity , Bhimakali Mata." Seems out of the world, doesn't it ? But yes, such a place exists and Sarahan it is, famous for the beautiful Bhimakali Temple. 

Sarahan is small town in Himachal Pradesh, located around 150 km from Shimla. You can reach by taking the NH-22 upto Jeori (Stop for a lunch break at Jeori, awesome Thalis ) via Rampur. From Jeori begins the most beautiful part of the journey. The 17 km one-way road up to Sarahan is a heaven in itself. Lots of streams rush past and its a scenic route. The first look of Sarahan is 'love at first sight'. 

The Bhimakali Temple

The wonderful ancient architecture of the temple, the houses, the dwindling roads, the surrounding snow-clad peaks are enough to steal your heart. 

And Sarahan is a treat for the bird lovers and photographers. The Monal, Tragopan and the Magpie can be spotted here. 
The architecture of the temple, the houses and the roads is a wonder in itself.

Nice Places to Stay  

The Bhimakali temple premises has the temple rest house which is the best place to stay in Sarahan. It can be booked directly at the temple , but advanced phone booking is advised.
( Phone no. : 01782-274248)

There is also the Shrikhand hotel, with a nice lawn and beautiful views of the Shrikhand peak and the apple orchards. Booking can be done online at the HPTDC website.

But if you are a backpacker,  it's not luxury, but budget on your priority list, go for a local homestay. There are many neat and clean homestays, with wonderful people,  where you can get accomodation for around Rs. 100-150 per night or maybe even lesser :) I remember 5 of us staying in a large spacious room for Rs.500.

Sarahan is also a  base and starting point for many treks and peaks, and a gateway for the Kinnaur region. 

If you haven't already been to this wonderful little town, do it soon before Sarahan loses it touch of purity by interference from 'the other world' . 
You trip can possibly be Shimla-Narkanda-Sarahan  or  Sarahan-Sangla-Chitkul-Kalpa , or a combination of both if time is not an issue for you.

Have you been to Sarahan? Great !! Kindly add any other places or tips in the comments as it would be really helpful to travellers. 

Next :

Chitkul : The last village of India

The scary night at Sangla Valley