“Guys, close the gap”, resounded by trip leaders.

Like obedient students of the sixth standard, we followed instructions sincerely. We closed the gap, not only the distance, but we closed the gap of our differences and lived like a family; a bond that can’t describe in words.

And I, crazy as always, extended a little deep and closed the gap between me and myself, closed the gap between my fears and fearlessness, closed the gap between limitations and limitless; This is how I met myself.

Tosh, Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh

At the doors of Tosh

When you get down at Tosh and ready for the hike to locate your stay. The first rule is, get on your trekking shoes with no excuses, and the second is to have a water bottle in your hand. Get ready with your backpack on your back. Make sure you secure all straps of the backpack properly so that the weight is uniformly distributed on your body.

As you advance, first you will cross the Tosh bridge; it’s like a Greh-Pravesh of the newly wedded couple. 

Hike to spot a sojourn

Once you cross the tosh bridge, you’ll begin with your hike. As you hike through streets of the Tosh village, you will experience Himachali culture. Wooden houses and of course fascinating hills of the Parvati valley. Pahadi dogs will accompany you wherever you go, don’t worry they won’t bite.

Someplace you will walk through the narrow trail and elsewhere you will climb Pahadi steps. To make your hike smooth and safe, make sure you follow the instructions of your group leaders. There are techniques to adopt in the Pahadi area to make it least exhaustible.

One caution; anywhere you go, make sure you follow your group and group leaders, as there are high chances to get disoriented in lanes of the village and the valley.

Maybe that’s the reason, “close the gap” had become our war cry. 

A warm welcome

So, Tosh has two edges; one is Pinki Didi café and another our stay, Snow View hotel. After hiking for roughly an hour, they welcomed us with an energy drink made up of locally extracted honey and lemon. This was refreshing and an energy booster.

After the welcome drink, the rooms were allotted, and we took our backpacks and proceeded to our respective rooms. The moment we entered the room; It brightened up our eyes with joy by looking at the welcome card by Untamed Journeys. Just in a moment, tiredness turned into the overwhelmed feeling of an affectionate welcome.

As per briefing, we had one hour to get ready and report for the private waterfall trek. It’s a universal fact, always, girls will get ready in five minutes; This excuse made it one hour and twenty-six minutes to assemble at the terrace of the snow view hotel. Kudos to the patience of our group leaders. 

Trek to the Private Waterfall

After briefing by the Untamed Journeys, we were all set to collect countless-lifelong memories in our backpacks. We headed to the private waterfall by trekking through the narrow trail. It was roughly forty-five minutes trek including scant halts in between from our stay.

Tosh is located at the altitude of 2400 meters (7900 ft) from the sea level. As the air gets thinner with increasing altitude; While trekking, you may feel breathless, which is worth in the exchange of a breathtaking view of the valley.

We spent quite a lot of time there, some clicked pictures, few were lost in their world, some were busy in vlogging, some brought an entire universe on the table through their talks.

I too, was lost in my me-time for some time. There was a tree on the left-hand side of me; a bird was chirping by sitting on its lowest branch facing the north-east direction. I could see; It turned its neck five times left and six-time right, then it flew away. I guess it was doing yoga.

We had our lunch at the Private Waterfall with background music of the antecedent river of the Himalayas.

Trekking Tips by Untamed Journeys

After spending quality time at the private waterfall, it was time for trekking to unexplored routes. We had to up trek and down trek through steep slopes near the private waterfall. There are certain techniques to balance the body during the trek. Wearing trekking shoes is the first precondition and then to learn how to balance en entire body.

Our group leaders from the Untamed Journeys took a session on trekking techniques; By looking at their enthusiasm, it seemed they wanted us not to crawl but to conquer the steep slopes of the valley.

Trekking to steep slopes

Have you ever heard someone’s name, Purple Didi? This is what you get to hear when you are travelling with a group.

As I mentioned earlier, we lived like a family. Like every family, we too, had two younger brothers in our group; Mukul and Mridul. Mukul, a talented photographer and Mridul, he is yet to know how talented he is. Both have added a significant contribution to make our trip memorable.

At times, the trek was scary but worth going forward as it was unfolding something new–something breathtaking. I was scared at one place and decided not to down trek through a wet steep slope.

I wanted to go and do some adventure but my sophisticated mind jumped in between, to make me aware that, what if this adventure ends with broken legs.

“Come on Pooja, move forward, you won’t fall”, a loud voice from group leaders struck my ears.

With a suspect, I looked at them, and thought, are they crazy or what; this wet steep slope is visibly slippery and they’re saying you won’t fall, what made them to crack a joke amidst this adventure, I was still considering my mind.

But then, I considered them as their voice looked more confident than doubts of my mind.

“There is a difference between be cautious; you may fall and be confident; you won’t fall,”, I wrote it in my mental diary, once I made it safely.

By walking through the narrow wooden bridge over the waterfall, I didn’t realize when I overcame my height phobia. I guess that’s the beauty of the mountains.

Someone selling kindness

Our next call was the tosh temple. We were heading towards it while inhaling the beauty of the valley. On our way, there was a modest house, a couple in their fifties or sixties, gave bhutta (corn) to everybody.

Their love overwhelmed me. It’s fairly rough to get stuff and cook food in the hills. I don’t know what made them to give their food items to strangers. I wanted to sit with them, but the tosh temple was calling us, so had to move forward.

Love and kindness of the pahadi people won’t let you go untouched.

Tosh Temple

Mostly you will find this temple closed. The temple is only open for the local people, and outsiders entry is prohibited. Never make a mistake to get entry into the temple, don’t climb to steps even, else villagers will fine you heavily.

The temple is their religious belief and while travelling to the tosh, being a responsible traveller, we should respect their traditions and sentiments. You can click pictures and admire the construction while keeping some distance.

Café Visit

When you mention tosh; Pinki Didi café visit is a must. After burning calories in trekking, now it was time to reward our palates. You can relax outside in the balcony and enjoy tea with a picturesque view of the valley or you may sit inside the café to experience the Himachali tradition dining. 

Bonfire

Sometimes all you need is a midnight bonfire at the top of the hill, crazy friends, a cup of tea and endless talks and fun!

Your trip isn’t complete without the bonfire. But let’s adopt a sustainable, environment-friendly approach. No need to seize the enjoyment but try to use minimum resources. 

Things you should not do in tosh

There are few things you should refrain doing in tosh.

  • Tosh is magic and you will love wandering through its tracks. Make sure you are with your group or you know your way back to the stay, else there are high chances to get lost in the valley.
  • While exploring the tosh village, you will admire adorable children, but don’t offer them any food items or chocolates as villagers may not like it. Just exchange a smile and follow your way.
  • When you go around, please maintain peace; don’t shout. Since we have entered into their territory, it’s our duty not to disturb villagers.
  • Please don’t litter around.
  • In case anything in your mind, please ask your group leaders or local people if you can do it or not.
  • Don’t try to get into the temple. The temple is of their deity; they have some traditions and we should respect it.

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