Sunday, June 28, 2009

on the road

~A local village house with the traditional slate roof. Fagu is along the crest of the mountain behind, above the left gate.~

Driving through Himachal has been something that I have always loved, especially exploring the back roads where one might see some really beautiful and unspoiled spots. On our trip to Mashobra, we took the Bekhalty road to go to Narkanda instead of going on NH 22 via Kufri. The Bekhalty road was the original alignment for the continuation of the railway line beyond Simla, which eventually never got made, so it is completely level and is great for walking as well.

~The Oberoi's Wildflower Hall Spa and Resort is the white building with green conical roofs at the top of the hill~

The road starts from Mashobra bazaar and joins up at Bekhalty on NH 22 just before Theog, from where one goes along the crest of the hill towards Narkanda. Incidentally, this is the same ridge as the Simla one and is the continental divide. Toss water down to one side and it'll end up in the Bay of Bengal and the other down to the Arabian Sea.

~Thick forests in this area and very steep hillsides. Can you spot the house hidden amongst the trees?~

The total drive on this road is 17 km from Mashobra to Bekhalty, which is a decidedly longer time than it would take on the main road. Interestingly, the total distance from Mashobra to Narkanda turned out to be exactly the same from either route, since we went one way and came back the other. There was a good amount of construction on this road, albeit in the few patches that opened up in the forest. Many were weekend homes being constructed by city dwellers and probably a few small resorts as well.

~The next valley, which is much wider and flatter, with agricultural fields. There is lots of construction going on in the area.~


hitch writer said...

Lovely snaps... I just went there last year.... and it really re-kindles my memories... This year I havent had a vacation still... hope to go on one soon !!!

Patricia Torres said...

Oh my ... what lovely pics!!! Are these places safe during the monsoons?? I so want to go away on holiday..

Shalini said...

Hw, thanks! June really wasn't the right time to visit this area, but it was better than nothing. Glad you got to relive your trip!

Patricia, Oh dear, I promised you a post on travel options in July, didn't I? I completely forgot :-(

This area is safe during the monsoons, but one must be prepared for landslides etc. Also, some days the rain carries on and on, so one can end up being housebound.

Lakshmi -Celebrations said...

Lovely pictures shalini dear.I am not come back after the vacation in kerala.Still at home dear.the vacation to mashobra will be done by me.will ask you for lakshmi

Shalini said...

Lakshmi, I'm getting so excited to see your photos.....come back soon and start posting!

Do visit the area, but June is really very busy out here....I'd recommend early to mid September.

shilpa said...

I love the idea of a quiet, quiet, looking into oneself kind of vacation - just let the little one be a little older, I'm leaving the hubby in charge and taking off ;)

beautifully written :)

Shalini said...

shilpa, thanks! I like my vacations to be a step back from daily life, to relive childhood days when vacations were a much simpler affair. When I go on vacations with my parents, we always try to find places where we can walk and go for picnics.

She's going to love to travel with you too....and will learn to enjoy traveling right from the start.