HATU PEAK @ 11,152 fts.
GODDESS DURGA TEMPLE AT HATU PEAK
BHIM KA CHULHAA (CHULHAA IS LIKE A GAS USED TO COOK FOOD)
I captured 11,152 fts, in a car dude!!! Hatu Peak is about 2 hours drive from Shimla. It is a beautiful place, situated on a height of 11,152 ft. I hired a car from the hotel and even had a naturalist on with me as I had planned to go on a treak around the peak. On the way, we passed beautiful towns and my guide Pawan told me interesting stories of the region. He told me how people walk miles in the mountains to travel for work, how inspite of the hilly terrain the people have done good farming and also about the people in the region. The drive was all through mountains and for the most part we were on national highway. If I had continued on this national highway, I would have reached Kaurik, the last town on the Indian side before Tibet starts. I would love to travel to Tibet one day. But there is still time for that so back to Hatu peak. After traveling for about 2 hrs we reached Hatu Peak. The last 7 kms journey is completely up hill, through dense forests and a single track road on the hill. I must admit it was pretty scary to ride on the road, even though I was just sitting in the back seat. Once I reached the top, all the scare evaporated as what stood in front of me were the magnificiant Himalayas. It was completely calm and serene on the top. This place was totally untouched by commmercialization. You could be one with nature here and no one would disturb you. No hawkers, no honking of cars and no unnecessary crowd of people. Gosh!!! What a breathtaking place it was!!!
As usual, I could not resist the sights in front of me and began shooting with my camera. I took many shots of just one single sight, just to make sure I do capture the beautiful sights in front of me. I know my camera would not be able to do justice to what my eyes saw but I did try. There was a temple of Goddess Durga on the top of the peak. We paid out respects there and decide to go on a treak around the peak.
We were going to trek to a place called Jog Bagh. First stop on the way was "Bhim ka Chulhaa". The story goes that during exile, the Pandavas had stopped at this place and Bhim had used this place to cook food for everyone. The trek was then through dense forests filled with trees like Cedar, Blue Pine, Brown Oaks among others. During my conversation with Pawan, I came to know that he is campion biker and cyclist. He had traveled from Shimla to Manali on bikes and cycles. He had participated in rallies and was also part of the MTV rally. The treak was great but at this height the air is thinner than normal. The body takes time to acclimatize and hence you do get short of breath here. But as they say, no pain no gain. After trekking for sometime, we reached our destination Jog Bagh. This was a lush meadow where people from the villages get their cattle and horses to graze. They normally get the animals in the morning, leave them here and go back home to do other work .In the evening, the animals find their way back home and we say only we humans are smart.
Jog Bagh was naturally a amazing place. Totally worth the trek. It reminded me of the my visit to Pahalgam in Jammu and Kashmir. It also has a similar meadow which was used for grazing animals. The place in Pahalgam has also featured in a lot of old Hindi movies. This is one the place where the hero and heroine run around trees singing melodious songs!!!! I wished to stay at Jog bagh but then we had to get back to our car and leave for ride back to Shimla. Till we reached our car, it was lunch time. The hotel had packed a nice picnic basket for me. I had a picnic at the height of 11,152 ft. Yipeee!!!!!
I was really happy to be at this place. I was so happy that I wanted to share this happiness with someone so I called all the people I love to share this happiness with. Happiness is to shared and so I did.