Snow clad mountains | Golden hue of the sun rays gently kissing them | Sometimes clear | Sometimes engulfed in pristine white clouds, caressing the slopes | Contrasted by the tall green pines alongside the gurgling river flowing by | Add to this feast for the eyes, the constant cheerful, chirping of the birds in different pitches….wow what a feast to the ears, away from the dust and din of the cities. It is a sensory experience which cannot be viewed in videos and pictures. Must be savoured first hand to appreciate nature which is truly heaven on earth ! Here are some takeaways / observations from my recent trip to a few places in the valleys of Himachal Pradesh :
Gentle, courteous people like the soothing mountain environment. They live in tough conditions but serve with a smile. Amazing hospitality at 10,000 ft. above sea level.
Clean, hygienic, eco-friendly and sustainable living.
Kathkuni (kasth & kona i.e. wood + corner) structure – preserving traditional heritage architecture of Himachal that uses only stone and wood. The structure is both cool as well as cosy.
Mountain roads are treacherous that teach us patience and dexterity. Fortunately we had a matured driver who always yielded and gave way to the oncoming vehicle, every single time. We hardly do it in cities and are in a tearing hurry to zip past ahead, resulting in traffic jams and accidents.
As serene as it may seem, there is uncertainty and severity – sudden weather changes, unexpected downpours, lashing winds, turns and bends on the road, landslides and more.
Diversity galore – calming rivers, gushing falls, whispering woods, floating clouds, melting snow, mild sunlight, heavy winds – all of which can be experienced in a single day.
Found the mountain people hard working but quite contented with minimal or no greed – no chasing of tourists, marketing of their ware. We could enjoy the stay at peace.
People living for 100+ years thanks to chemical free farming, eating farm fresh produce, drinking untreated clean water and walking for long miles in the mountain ranges.
Entreprenurial spirit that has propelled many affordable and comfortable home stays.
Smaller and cosier places promote friendliness and camaraderie – tourists from all over the country were open to greet each other, sing and eat together, give tips and lend a helping hand. How badly we miss this in urban areas ! Large living spaces but constricted hearts !!
As I said, it is to be seen and experienced to be believed. I fall short of words to describe the bounty of mother nature in the majestic mountains. At the same time, the lifestyle in the mountains reminds us of our basic responsibility to “Live and let live”.