Thursday, 30 October 2014

A sudden trip to the meadows of Prashar


It was Friday, around 10.30 am and i was in the middle of a boring lecture. Harsh was sitting on my right . I casually asked him if he was interested in doing something better with his time than learning about process control and stuff . And he was more than interested. Rajat was on my left. He heard us and was immediately curious. I already had in my mind the beautiful Prashar Lake since a few days. I told them the place but it didn't matter. All that we wanted was to go. And this is how the plan was made. 

Prashar is a small town around 50kms from Mandi  in Himachal Pradesh. Legend has it that the sage Prashar meditated here for all his life, surrounded by snow-clad peaks on all sides.  Also, the Pandavas are believed to have spent a large part of their exile in Prashar. 
The temple is said to be built by a child from the wood of a single tree. The depth of the blue waters of the small lake is unknown till date. 

The Prashar Lake and the temple

Coming back to the trip, we booked the bus tickets for Mandi from the HRTC  website. And we were in the bus at around 6.30 pm . It was a long 12 hour journey to Mandi with 2 stops, at a dhaba for dinner and another one a few kilometers before Mandi for tea. The journey was good, with some interesting people on the bus. One of them was a trekker and a school teacher near a town in Kullu. We talked about our travel stories, education system , india and he had some nice things to share. Another one was a guy living in near Mandi, working in Delhi. Rest of the time was spent reading The Secret of the Nagas

We reached Mandi around 7 am in the Morning. It was a lovely morning with the fresh sunlight. We had our breakfast and inquired about the bus to Prashar. The last bus was a 8am. Perfect !

The  bus journey from Mandi to Prashar  is something one should experience at least once in a lifetime. The little magical road in the lush green mountains leading to the small heavenly town. 

On the way to Prashar

The bus took around 3 hrs to reach Prashar, stopping at various beautiful villages on the way. The route is so amazing that it can be shot into a 3 hr movie without the need of editing :D . Jokes apart, but this is definitely a journey one must take. 

As soon as I reached Prashar, i knew i was coming back again....and again...and for longer durations. The large grass meadows, the calm and slow moving life, the women grazing the sheep, and the overall dullness and beauty of the simple life will win your heart. 

The PWD Rest house in the cloulds

We went to the temple and the lake, and spent some time listening the historical tale. After a hearty chat and marveling the great architecture of the three-storied temple, we went to the forest rest house. 

Wow ! What a wonderful location. The path which leads to the rest house is just amazing, that i even shot a small video of it. You can see it here.  
The evening sun fading behind the rest house, with 3 small benches offering the most spectacular views of the Himalayas, one wishes he could stay there for the rest of his life. 
We had tea and then did a small 2-3 hr trek exploring the place around. 

The forest rest house

We then cooked some food,( boiled potatoes, dal and rice) along with the caretaker of the rest house. What delicious food it was. Simple yet Mouth Watering.  

Cooking and having the awesome dinner

The bedroom with views to die for

The best part was still to come. The night sky. !! Unmatchable ! It seemed like all the stars of the universe were visible that night. The countless shooting stars, the constellations, the milky way....i have no words to describe that feeling. Sitting outdoors in the chilling night, just gazing at the sky...trying to understand how vast the universe is and what a tiny space we occupy in it. 

Early, next morning, we left to explore the dense forest and the still higher, and remote villages to experience a 360 degree view of the himalayan ranges. The loud sounds of the birds, the large rocks, the flowers, the towering trees with darker than brown barks, and greener than green leaves  in the forest fills one with a sense of peace and satisfaction. 

The morning trek

We had a hearty and delicious brunch after coming back to the rest house. After chatting with the locals for sometime, we left for Mandi, the 3-hr picturesque journey.  We then took the evening bus for Delhi, again back to the same life but maybe a slightly better person.

PS : Back here in Delhi, thinking of Prashar, it's a feeling of homesickness for a place which is not my home, or maybe , it is. :)