Would you like to know Pahadi Zaika’s travelling story? Story of the farmers we met while journeying through the mountains and our night spent in a car.
On the 12th of April, 2021, our team started the journey of exploring more parts of Himachal Pradesh from Dharamshala. The journey was in response to the feedbacks that Pahadi Zaika received regarding having more products in the line. After a successful 4 months of operations and having explored the only one districts i.e Kinnaur, our team decided to bring more farmers from other districts on board.
The prerequisites were making a contact with farmers so that we could travel directly to them and plan our travel path accordingly. Luckily for us, we were able to contact 3 farmers in two districts i.e Kullu and Chamba. After this, we planned our route. We will be travelling to Kullu first, from there towards Lahaul Valley via Manali visiting Pangi in Chamba district and then to Chamba town via Sach pass.
Our team wanted to plan this trip not only for work but for vacations as well, which our team didn’t take for a long time. We packed everything the night before to avoid any confusion.
Dharamshala to Kullu.
We started our journey around 2 pm from Dharamshala. It took us more than 7 hours to reach Kullu because of two reasons.
1st- We stopped at three places.
2nd- No one told us not to take the Mandi-Kullu highway which is under construction. Due to this, we were stuck in few traffic jams. The road was in bad shape and we had to drive slow. Jokingly Shubam said ” Yeh road pe gadde hain ya gaddo pe road”.
Now talking about the three places where we stopped.
a) Baijanath Shiva temple:- This place has an extremely interesting story involving Lord Ganesha and Ravana. The temple was built later on in the 8th century in this mythologically important place. Read more https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baijnath,_Himachal_Pradesh
We stopped here for Shiva darshan and prayed for our journey to go well.
b) Our next stop was in Jogindernagar. Shubham, our team member is from a nearby town called Chauntra and he knew about this small Dhaba (Jaggi da Dhaba) which offers a beautiful view of the landscape and refreshing lemonade, so we stopped there for a while. Also, there is a diversion from Chauntra towards Bir-Biling which is a famous paragliding spot. We didn’t visit the place because we were running late but if you are travelling through this highway do not miss the chance of the best paragliding experience.
c)The drive from Jogindernagar to Mandi gets tricky, the NH is proposed for four-lane but right now it is not complete. For a long part, it is only one lane and people drive fast. If you are new on this road be extra careful because some corners are sharp and try to go slow on the curves. On entering Mandi there is an old bridge built in 1877 (Victoria Bridge) which is not visible from the highway and people tend to miss this British-era bridge. Earlier the bridge was for vehicular traffic, but now with the construction of the new bridge, it is used only by pedestrians. Read more http://wikimapia.org/8557308/Victoria-Bridge . We stopped here for some photography and a fresh breeze from the Beas river.
Half a kilometre from here is Brijnandan Sweets near DFO residence where we went to try a local dish called Beduaan with chutney or achaar. One thing which is always on our bucket list is to try traditional dishes of the place we visit and as Shubham is a Mandyal (person who is from Mandi) he suggested we try this stuffed-fried dish. Do try out this delicious recipe if you are in Mandi.
It started getting dark by this time and we decided not to stop anywhere else, but our luck was to give up on us. Mandi-Kullu highway is under construction which we didn’t know and we met with few traffic jams.
We reached Kullu at around 9:30 pm. Driving through traffic jams and bumpy roads took a toll on us. The only thing which we were craving by now was a good sleep. We bunked in a swiss tent on the counter no. 555 on Kullu-Manali highway. We were served chicken, daal, rice and roti at dinner and after that, we went to sleep. Without realizing that we forgot to charge our electronics, which we will regret the next day.