On Christmas, when people bring Christmas trees to their houses for decoration, we ‘the wanderers’ ‘the Nature admirers’ had something different on our minds.
Instead of celebrating Christmas the usual way, we thought of going to the Christmas tree house itself, the Conifer Jungle. Hence, an idea of a day trip took birth. The engine roared, we got on our grand ride, delighted wishing for pleasant surprises on the way. We only knew which direction to go, the road up to a point was familiar beyond which it was the never-taken-one!
The starting point of the journey being Solan- the mushroom city, destination was not at all known. We kept swaying with light music of our car, the eyes honestly on a look out, for something unusual, something worth applying the breaks for.
We started off late and on the way stopped many a times to savour the beauty of the nature in its different moods, varying shades (mostly with our eyes, my phone camera has its limits 😊). There is a descent from Solan till Yashwant Nagar where you reach the level of Giri river. Once the bridge is crossed, you enter the territory of Sirmour district. The tarrain initially is dry. As soon as you start ascending the hill, huge almost nude mountain ranges surround you as far as the eyes can see.
There is hardly any vegetation. Probably these are the grasslands, and because this is Winter season, the grass has already turned pale, nicely camouflaged. As we moved ahead the vegetation started appearing as glistening Pines, dense Oaks, and huge cover of the Christmas Trees.
So a whole lot of diversity is visible once you go on this side of the Himachal. The topography is such. We even saw snow-laden peaks from distance. The villages along this road still present a traditional look. There are bunches of Slate-covered houses, and the freshely ploughed stepped fields.
A sight which is very attention-grabbing. You cannot remain seated inside your vehicle. Many points along the way call for halt, witness the moment and capture the beauty as much as possible.
The road however is not very broad but it is reasonably good. I have never gone through this side, therefore, it was kind of a new and exhilarating experience for me.
How it differs from my own hilly aboad? The height of mountains is Colossal here. We were travelling right through the middle of a mountain, the peak of which is visible only if you raise your head as much as you can, at the same time it’s scary to look down.
On the way, there are certain points where houses are located on a ridge overlooking the forest of Pines on one side and Cedrus on the other. It is really unimaginable for the people who have a habit of living in a crowded concrete jungle, how the life could possibly be here in this real Jungle! There’s no doubt, it is slow but I met people smiling all around with innocence on their face and a satisfaction; they don’t seem to be in any kind of hurry. They seem happily content.
On the way, huge rocks are held by the mountains in a manner just like a mother holds a child from falling. Looks like they could fall anytime but they don’t. This period is considered to be the driest in the Hills, but still many waterfalls adorn the place beautifully in an eye catching, refreshing way.
Our first stop was the Rajgarh town which has some connection in the history with the Rajput settlers from RAJASTHAN.
It is also famous for the temple of a local deity Shirgul Devta which is considered to be a reincarnation of Lord Shiva.
Rajgarh is a small town yet it has all the basic facilities, a pretty big market, School, Hospital, College, to name a few.
The longing to explore wasn’t satiated yet, so we continued. Next we reached Nohradhar after crossing dense forests. Once there, the Nature unfolded another layer, and we were left in wonderment, ‘is there any end to these mountains and valleys?’
Nohradhar is a tiny hamlet. It serves as the starting point of the famous Churdhar trek-a moderately difficult yet mesmerizing Himlayan trek. Churdhar is the highest peak in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh as well as in the entire outer Himalayan ranges standing tall at 11965 feet. The peaks of this range are visible from far off places. Churdhar is also the original seat of the deity Shirgul Maharaj.
There are few hotels, and a PWD restaurant in Nohradhar. The place is being developed considering the increasing interest of the trekkers in mind. Paid Parking facility is also there so that enthusiastic climbers can ascend the height without worring for their rides’ wellbeing.
The sun was getting calmer, we had a long way back home. After gazing the snowy peaks, Mr Coolhead looked at me. I knew what he meant. The peak was calling but we both knew ‘it was not the time’ we weren’t ready! Holding Snow’s tender hand, and gathering all the Christmas memories, we returned back, joyous, grateful, and nurtured by Nature itself.
No matter how big we become in life, there’s is always someone bigger, and mightier…This is what I have learned from these mountains.
PS. Do you want to know more about life uphill? Click here.