The pandemic has made us nostalgic about our good’ol travel days. Oftentimes, while searching for some particular folder or a document, we end up bumping into our old photographs and videos, which in turn bring a smile on our faces. Being cocooned at home due to the coronavirus induced lockdown, as we aren’t able to travel much, many of us have gone back to time by revisiting the snaps of our unforgettable trips. Here’s Payal Dey, a lawyer from Kolkata, who narrated about recollecting the memories of the dainty hamlet of Bhagsunag near Dharamshala, which she had visited during her college excursion.
How It All Started
Hello, I am Payal Dey, a resident of Kolkata and a lawyer by profession. In the messed up pandemic situation, where we cannot even visit the favourite places of our own city to casually hang out on weekends, what refreshes us are the memories of our college days. And today I am going to narrate one of the best of them. So, on a Friday night, I decided to order a Cheese Burst Pizza after work, put on some light music and refresh some of the old memories. I plugged in my pen drive to my laptop and opened the folder named My College Excursion and within seconds, my mind was somewhere amid cragged roads and lush green mountains. I smiled as I scrolled down through every picture in that folder.
The Very Last Excursion Of Our College Life…
It was the year 2016 in the month of October. Just after our Durga Puja holidays, we packed our bags for the very last excursion of our college life. I, in particular, was very excited about the trip as I had missed all the trips in the last four years of my law college life. Our trip basically covered Delhi, Dharamshala, Dalhousie and Amritsar. It was an 11-days long trip. Though the entire journey was extremely beautiful, I would especially like to share my experience in a small village named Bhagsunag, near Dharmshala.
The Magical Village Of Bhagsunag
The time was 9:40 P.M on my watch. We reached a small village of Dharamshala, Bhagsunag village after a journey of 4 hours from Dalhousie. Still afresh with the beauty of Khajjiar Lake in Dalhousie, which we had visited that morning itself, we got off our Volvo bus. We had to walk till our hotel for about a kilometre and half as the road was too narrow for the bus.
It was a dark cold night. The dim street lights were dimmer due to the fog. Thankfully we had our mobile torches. My friend walking just behind me was playing the song “A Thousand Years” on his mobile. Looking above we could dimly visit the house of thousands of stars. After a good 20 minutes’ walk, we reached our hotel. It had a mesmerising ambience, with a warm and cosy environment. After having our food we went to our rooms which were on the floor below the entrance. We could not understand such an arrangement until we woke up the next morning.
There, behind the curtains, was a view that cannot be described in words; a view which you can watch for hours. The golden sunlight on the Himalayas reflected so brightly that it resembled the light from the heart of Christ. The clear blue sky smiled back at us. The chirping birds seemed to be utterly happy. Our hearts were filled with pleasure and peace. We were served hot coffee. And we all just sat inside our room sipping coffee and admiring the beauty of the Almighty’s creation. Since there was no scheduled sightseeing that day, it was not before 1:30 P.M, we decided to take a stroll around. We found that we were very close to the village mall that leads to Bhagsunag Temple and Falls. We got ready, tied our shoes and off we went.
The Splendid Bhagsunag Temple With Sacred Pools
The local mall was a small one with little shops; some hilly friendly dogs roamed around, following us through the rocky roads. Through the mall, we reached Bhagsunag Temple. Bhagsunag Temple, McLeod Ganj is an important and decorative Hindu temple that is located on the source of a natural mountain spring. The waters that flow from beneath the temple are believed to heal illness and the freezing waters have been channelled into large tanks in which devotees may take bath to cleanse aliments.
At the heart of the temple complex are two sacred pools in which devotees are able to take bath. The water is fresh mountain spring water filtered through layers of limestone which lie below the Dhauladhar mountain range. The water is pumped into the pools via large pipes and is extremely cold so only the deeply religious should consider bathing. Behind the temple, a small gateway routes towards the Bhagsunag Fall.
It was by then almost 3:45 P.M, but we chose to visit the waterfall which was at a little height from the temple. The glistening sun by then had started to dim. The wind grew all the more chilly. The stone stairs were rugged and waved according to the turns of the hill. We could not walk very fast as the heavy, cold air acted as a hindrance. However, the green hills, the reddish lines on the blue sky and the sweet birds kept us going. As we kept nearing the waterfall, gushing sounds of the water on the rocks kept hitting our ears, just like the drumbeats of our hearts.
The Ravishing Sunset By The Waterfall
When we reached the top, what a peaceful sight it was! The waterfall played with us showering us with the splashes of water and the rocks asked us to join the play. We sat on the wet rocks watching the sun go down slowly leaving only the organ tints on the painted blue sky. The sound of the night bugs seemed like a constant ‘om’ sound. The sky was full of birds returning to the nest through the orange tint left behind. And we knew we had to return leaving behind the solace.
It was almost dark but our night sun showed our way down. The bugs kept humming and they lighted the rocky stairs as if they were celebrating Diwali. The green hills where all darkish by now.
Scrumptious Food Along With Prem Joshua’s Music
When we reached the mall again, we craved for some yummy food which led us to a nearby local stall where we first heard Prem Joshua’s music; his music seemed as if it is themed with the nature around. We had local pizza, momos and some ice cream.
By then, it was almost 7:30 P.M, and the village mall started to close down. We headed back to our hotel to pack our bags and leave Dharamshala the next day. We headed for the Dharmshala stadium, leaving behind this small village.
As told to Suchismita Pal