“While crawling through peaks of the Parvati Valley; I discovered the undiscovered part of me.”
Have you ever noticed a cabbage? There are layers to it; Once you unfold one, there is another to peel off.
Likewise, the mysterious Parvati valley has layers, once you encounter one fascination, you have another layer to explore.
Our next layer was Kutla trek.
On the Trails
After having heavy breakfast and re-briefing of trekking techniques by Untamed Journeys, we headed towards Kutla.
First, we had to cross the private waterfall where we had been to on the previous day. After crossing the wooden bridge over the river; the trek became strenuous. It demanded good amount of efforts for the uphill trek. It’s roughly two hours or more trek from the Tosh.
The beauty of group travel is you don’t realise how far you conquered while conversing with Co-travellers. Most exciting was the adventure stories of our group leaders.
At one point I gave up but my group leaders didn’t, they encouraged in such a way that later I couldn’t realise how easily I made it.
When you locate grazing horses and four or five scattered houses around a narrow stream, surrounded by splendid ice-crowned peaks, you are at kutla.
Our halt was at Shiva Palace. We had our lunch and tea there.
As ever, the adjacent stream lured me, so straight away I made my move there. I found a rock to comfort myself. We spent roughly one hour or so there; It was fairly sufficient to rekindle my childhood memories.
In no time, the rhythm of water took me to my childhood. I would never appreciate going to school every day, in fact, I never wanted to go to school because textbooks could not resolve the subtle questions of my curious mind.
I was seven years old, and it was our monthly escape to the nearby Lord Shiva temple in the nearby forest. My father would take me there from unexplored routes by approximately one-hour trekking to the hill. I still remember, my father would hold my right hand and I would have a white and red colour water-bag on my left shoulder.
On the entire course, my father would teach me geography, the world map, and the map of India. Once we reach there, I would immerse in playing with the water of a waterfall, scrutinizing the colours of wonderful flowers and running behind the butterflies to catch them.
Always, one or two snakes would roam around; They never bothered to bite me. I would always feel sympathetic and shed my tears seeing them without legs and shoes to prevent possible laceration on their skin.
I read a few of my write-ups, still resting on the same rock. After spending quality time, it was an appeal from our group leaders for a further trek to the top of the hill and we all followed them.
The best thing you can do in the Himalayas is spending quality time with yourself, enjoy the stillness and try to talk to yourself, maybe you will meet the best person in you.
Treasure of the Himalayas
As I mentioned in the first blog, “Of Parvati Valley,” the valley is a native to various herbs and medicinal plants. Our group leader Harshit briefed us about two of them.
It is a type of mushroom found in foothills of the Himalayas. It is a notorious mushroom as it will not grow in the same place as it did in the last year; it grows on the decaying wood or leaves or humus soil. Its collection is a vigorous exercise for the locals as they require intense sight and close attention to locate them. It grows after the snowfall and locals would start its collection from March to May. Guchchi is a local name, and it’s famous for its exclusive taste, texture and a premium price. One kilogram of Guchchi will cost you between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 30,000.
It is a good antiseptic, you can crush its leaves and directly apply to the injury, it will induce fast healing.
The farming system in the hills differs from that of in the Plains. It is scientifically done to prevent fertile soil erosion known as step farming or terrace farming. As a traveller, you will admire the view of terrace farming at Kutla and you should not miss it.
Houses of the hills
When in the hills, you will surely notice a terrace with slopes and wooden houses, this is a specific pattern they adopt to avoid extreme cold.
The same day we returned to our stay at Tosh. While downhill trek, because of sharp aching in my feet, I started having difficulty in balancing myself in steep slopes, at times it looked impossible to walk even a single stride. But I had no preference other than to walk with pain, that day I closely experienced pain.
Amidst such a terrible condition, I loved seeing my friend Scorpio. Midway, it was a sharp slope with a slippery surface and no evident support. While moving down through such a risky spot, I spotted one Scorpio crossing the track. After locating a comfortable spot to stand, I alerted my dear friend Rituparna, be careful and not to crush that Scorpio under her the feet, I alarmed her thrice. It seemed she would hurl her water bottle targeting my head if at all I utter a single word thereafter.
I sounded crazy there, as I was demanding to spare that little creature when my friend was struggling to come down to a comfortable spot.
A few moments later, we all three made it safe. But thoughts of it didn’t leave my mind. I pondered, what if this Scorpio would have entered into our house? Obviously, we would have killed it immediately. But look at the generosity of it; we had entered into their province; We cut across its path, still; it didn’t sting us.
Why we humans are so uncaring?
Friendship with a Pahadi dog
Oh! It wasn’t over yet. It looked the story had just started, and I was yet to witness a lot.
It seemed we had covered more than a halfway. One Pahadi dog was walking with us. It would not leave me an inch apart. If I stop anywhere, it would come back and won’t move until I walk again.
Let me tell you I am scared of dogs. I won’t walk through the street if I gaze them around five hundred meters.
Once our group leader Dev said, just look into their eyes, you will witness affection. I didn’t dare to look into its eyes that time, but what happened in the next day was truly soulful.
When in Tosh, don’t miss a sunset. To witness a sunset with a hot tea is a hypnotizing event in the mountains. You will notice a change in colours, it is like ecstasy.
I loved Himachali style dining, you must experience it. Also, don’t forget to taste Himachali food. At Hotel Snow View; they hosted us well and served the food soaked with their affection, maybe that was the reason it tasted delicious.
Well, I would hardly sleep for three hours. I would get up around three in the morning and listen to the melodious music of the Parvati River, One should never miss that.