Travel note- The swirly Himachal Pradesh Part 2.

Himalaya photography

Always cool Himalaya.

That first day at Shimla ended very well and we already started making memories. The next day, was our plan for Khufri point. Our intention was clear. Enjoy some snow, some cool weather and natural beauty of the North. Not to hurry to go places but simply relax and enjoy! This intentions were fulfilled to the fullest indeed. We started our route to Khufri and while on the route, got to see snow. That was actually the first time I’ve ever seen snow. In our side, in the western coast you will see dust or heaps of soil. In the same way up there in the North there were heaps of snow. Scattered on the road and on the valley. It was a bliss! In no time, it was a feast for nature lovers. The mighty Himalayan ranges. Far away, but yes they were visible. More clear and near as we reached up at Khufri. Till then, we might have clicked some 100 photos just of the Himalayan ranges. It was awesome to see something that beautiful. Something till that day I’ve seen just on Google and in movies.

And we were there. Our car ride was over and it was time for horse riding. Khufri’s main center of attraction was on more height. At the base all cars has to stop and from there you need to hire the horse to go up there. At the base that’s the car parking itself, the water was still frozen, though it was 11 AM. Skies were clear with sun shining bright but the cold weather was at a peak!

horses at shimla

My hose- Tiger

We hired our horses and got on their back. My horse named Tiger was 8 years old and was quite healthy. I’ve ridden a horse before but not without the person who handles it (I was 12 years old then). This time it was different. The guy was just walking beside or will rather say somewhere near and the horse was walking itself. Only the reins were handed to us just in case to steer away left or right from the valley edge! The adventure began there itself. I got comfy with Tiger and also took few snaps whilst riding. We reached to the top in some 45 minutes. And for my record, it was the longest horse ride for me!
One thing I noticed here was care and love for the animals. We saw people standing with a Yak for tourist photography and fun at the top. These people charged you to click pics from your own camera but dare you do something to their animal. In their eyes you could see, that they knew, their livelihood depends on these animals! Same was with these horses who were then taken back at the base and we were asked to return before 4:30 PM.

That time we were quite contended and the sight of Himalayas was still there, which was even better and awesome. We were in the snow and our aim was complete. As per the a local tour guide there, Khufri was all about a temple, many small hotels, a very small market, a telescope point, a photography point, the very rich Apple garden and adventure sports. We were very much pre-occupied with a plan to get back down as early as possible, neglecting the adventure sports and marketing. But the air there was enthusiastic and we simple jumped in the adventure sports! Thanks to my bro, who was much more interested in getting with it. So we decided and alighted at its pick up point. The pick up vehicles were customized SUVs. Naked body and only a skeletal frame with hug suspensions. The reason was roads. They needed it and yes we too!

Dropping us near to the adventure sports area, the SUV went back to get other sport enthusiasts. The adventure place was just a 10 mins walk/ trek whatever you say. The sports spine chilling sports were Zipline, Freefall, Net climbing and falling, Hanging Ladder- falling and a Hanging balance bridge. Though not that challenging for pros but simply spooking for first timers like me. The first thing we chose was Zipline. The distance was not much, but over all activity takes your breath off! Pull yourself hanging on the rope till a tree on the other side. There was some what a valley and I was hanging above few feet above the forest! Pulled my self for some 80% of distance and then my weight called off. Arms started struggling and I thought to zip down back to the land. So just hanging by the hook, tightly holding the lock I zipped down with gravity affecting me giving a good momentum! The view from the midst was thrilling. It was like flying without wings and even without a machine! Just tied to a rope.

Getting ready for action!

Getting ready for action!

The next sport was Freefall. Unlike we see in movies or most of freefalling videos with directly a jump in a valley, this was a bit different. There was this hanging bamboo bridge across the length of that sporty valley, where at the bottom was a net for us to fall on. So the deal was, you walk on the hanging bridge, till you reach exactly above the net and then you jump! As simple as that but, chilling and took lot of efforts. The hanging bridge was not stable. Every bamboo step was distant and in a slant manner such that you can’t simply walk on it and on top of that to balance the pressure it was necessary that you place your foot exactly at the center of each bamboo step. While walking, 2 things came in mind and only these two things… nothing else. First, what if I fall before coming above the net and second what the hell I am doing here! Trembling was common on each step and that was actually necessary at that very moment, above ground with not much support; just you and that darn hanging bridge. It took some 10 to 15 minutes to carefully reach the jumping point. There the gap was more so that we could jump. At that point, you get this lone moment. There was a smile on my face. Not sure I was laughing on my idiocy or was happy that I made it till here. The next thing was JUMP! You can’t help screaming there. You must and you will scream. That’s it, trembling from last 15 minutes I was down in less than 10 seconds! I did the freefall finally and decided to try skydiving someday back in my mind.

Continuing our adventure streak, the third was Net Climbing. Simple as its name and even not that tough like the previous ones. It was just climbing a 20-25 feet high suspended net and falling back from that height. Beginning was simple and covered some 10 feet distance, but last 10- 15 feet were toughest. Thought of giving up that moment but that feel of climbing a rock from any army movie gave me the spirit. I was breathing damn heavily and my arms were aching badly. I struggled the last few feet and stayed there for few minutes. Then again, turned back and left the net! Falling to ground zero on the safety net. I remember screaming in an ugly way! I could hardly move my hand and was all exhausted. There we decided to end our adventure spree and even time was ticking. It was 3 already and we were on the first spot only!

So the time was extremely well spent. Aching but mesmerizing. We were back with the crowd and hungry. Still, straight away went to the telescope point. There was this eagerness to see the Indo- Chinese border. That was a cool view. The telescope vendors show you few selected 10 points adjusting on their telescopes. These points were actually few hundred kilometers away from the point we were standing. Worth each penny, you could see temples and points by just standing there and more to it, observing the Himalayas.

We actually did skip few of the points and started our descend to the car parking. It was past 4:30 PM and we reached down by 5:15 PM. The descending ride was tiresome, infact we were already lousy and hungry! As we came down, we took a break at a hotel near car parking. The tea was tasting like nectar and the best part was their special Rajma-Rice and Maggie! The feeling of happiness to eat hot, steamy Rajma-Rice and Maggie after a tiresome act of adventure sport. Just love it.

Our day ended with making memories. The road back to Shimla seemed very long now and we were all sleepy with only one aim now- crash on our bed, snuggling in our warm thick blankets!

The next day was departure- back to Delhi via Chandigarh. You’ll say Shimla was a short journey but hey, more places were waiting for us. It was Amritsar’s Wagha border and Golden temple waiting for us for the next day!


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