EP1 shimla to sarahan | Hatu peak Narkanda | Spiti Tour
Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. We are on our way to Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. Our journey begins in Shimla. Right now, are have travelled 15 km from Shimla and... ...reached the point called Green Valley View. It is also known as the Hassan Valley View. We can see lush green forest in front of us.
So many pine trees! The visibility is down right now. It is 7.30 in the morning. It was sunny for a short while but then it again became cloudy.
I am standing next to the Shimla-Narkanda highway. This road will take you straight to Narkanda. We will be taking this route. Can you see that trek down below? I asked someone to find out that this trek is 6 km long.
You can take permission from the forest department to go... ....trekking or cycling on this trek. It feels good to be here. When I visited Shimla, about 2-3 years ago, we had reached this point... ...after mid-day so there was a lot of hustle-bustle here. Some of the people were also enjoying maggi here. Obviously, today there are lesser number of tourists so early in the day.
But after 11 am or 12 pm, you will see a lot of tourists here. Kufri is 6 km from here and Fagu is another 6 km from Kufri. We will join you once we reach Fagu. We've reached Fagu Top. Today is 22nd June. As I've already mentiond that we are on tour of Spiti.
Our stay tonight will be in Sarahan. We are doing this journey in a taxi, which is parked there. But if you want to do this journey between Shimla and Kaza by bus... ...you will have to do it in two parts. You will go from Shimla to Reckong Peo first and... ...from Reckong Peo you will travel to Kaza. I enquired from the Shimla Bus-stand about the bus service.
I was told tha that a bus leaves for Kaza every evening at 6.30. The bus fare per person is Rs. 535. So, you will leave Shimla at 6.30 pm and reach Reckong Peo at 4 am.
From there, you get the bus to Kaza at 6 am. We will validate this information once we reach the Reckong Peo bus stand. Let us go near the lake. I also found out that the current temperature of this place is 17 degrees Celsius.
Though you don't need a sweater at this time of the day but towards the nightfall,... ...you may have to wear one. We had to walk about 150 m from the parking to reach here. I came here expecting to see a huge lake but this looks like.... ....a small water storage space.
Anyways, nice! This place is good to visit. Last time, when I visited Fagu, I missed this place. Let us go back now. We walked another 150 stairs to reach this temple.
Let us go inside and have darshan. Now we are going to Narkanda. In the past 2-3 years, I've noticed that earlier tourists visiting this region ...used to stay in Shimla. They used to spend 3-4 days in Shimla and then return. But thesedays, tourists want to stay in adjoining areas of Shimla. For instance, Naldehra, Kufri and Fagu, where we are right now.
People love to spend time in these locations these days. There are a few reasons for this like peaceful stay and abundance of homestays. So, you can either choose to stay in a guest house or a homestay as per your choice. It is 9.30 in the morning. We haven't had breakfast yet and I am feeling hungry. Let us start our journey towards Narkanda.
We will stop somewhere on the way for breakfast as well. After traveling 5 km from Fagu, we've reached this eatery,... ...selling Himachali food and their speciality is Siddu. We've already ordered two varieties of Siddu for ourselves. This one is savory Siddu, with ghee and... ...this is sweet Siddu, also with ghee. As for their timings, you can eat Siddu here between... ...8 am and 9 pm. They also serve Rajma-rice and Parathe.
By the way, the outer covering of Siddu is made with fermented dough and... ...stuffing inside. Three years ago, when I visited Shimla, I ate Siddu for the first time near Naldehra. Today, I will be eating it for the second time. Take a look at the stuffing inside.
This stuffing is made of different ingredients like poppy seeds, ginger, etc. Bhangjiri, one more ingredient of this stuffing, is just like flaxseeds, in taste and shape both. The stuffing has medium spices and delicious to eat.
Siddu is prepared by steaming, just like momos. Eating just one bite of this Siddu has made me realise that... ...eating a couple of these is enough to satiate your hunger for 5-6 hours. I have to say, the taste of this Siddu got doubled by dipping it in ghee.
What a taste! Delicious Siddu, with green chutney and ghee! If you haven't had Siddu before... ...you must try it at least once. You will enjoy its taste. Especially in this cold weather, if you eat ghee and walk down the mountains,... ...it is easy to digest all the calories. Whenever you come to Himachal Pradesh, you must try Siddu at least once.
You will like it too! You can have your first Siddu at this shop, which isn't far from Shimla. This eatery is located at the mid-point of Fagu and Theog route. After the savory Siddu, it is now time to taste the salty Siddu. The stuffing in this one is made of Bhangjiri & poppy seeds of course, ... ...but it also has shakkar (unrefined sugar) and shredded coconut in it. This I am eating absolutely for the first time. I could not eat it the last time.
It is very difficult for me to say which one is more delicious because.... ....I liked both savory as well as sweet Siddu. If you are eating this dish for the first time, whether in Shimla or elsewhere... ...you must try both versions. You will enjoy it. I had asked them to show me the Bhangjiri seeds, but those aren't available right now. But they showed me these poppy seeds, also known as "Khus-Khus" in Hindi.
Siddu is best enjoyed piping hot. If you eat it cold, you won't enjoy its taste as much. So, you must keep this in mind whenever you get to eat Siddu. We have stopped at Matiana village, 17 km before Narkanda. We are going inside this cafe for some refreshments.
Khadu - Mark of the Mountains! You can see a large number of nets spread out on this mountain slope in front of you. These nets protect the apple crop from sudden hailstorm, which might destroy the crops. I have been noticing such nets placed atop apple trees right when we... ...began our journey from Fagu. But here, you can see them in abundance, right in front of you. This area has lots of apple trees, which will start growing apples by end of July. However, these apples will be properly ripe only by the month of September.
As we travel further, towards Kinnaur, the apple crop ripens upto October,... ....November and December too. So, right now, you will get to see very small apples on the trees. We will try to have a closer look as we travel further in our journey.
For now, let us go in. Inside the cafe, when I asked them for options, they suggested that I should try Lautey. Lautey is basically made a pancake made of wheat flour. This dish is served with ghee and honey.
Another unique thing about this place is the floor. As you can see, the floor is covered in dried pine leaves. Either they have spread dried pine leaves here or... ...they spread green pine leaves, which eventually dried. This is a unique opportunity for me, to sit atop this floor covered in pine leaves... ...and eating here. Looking at the overall ambience inside this cafe, it has been given a traditional feel. Is it ready? So, this is Lautey, with honey, shakkar and ghee.
And this thaal (plate) is made of brass? Oh oh! This pancake isn't cooked as much as a roti is cooked on a tawa. That is why it is very soft. I am going to enjoy its taste with honey.
Something different! Honey is very tasty and this combination is good! I have to say that Lautey, on its own, didn't appeal to me much but... ...it goes well with shakkar and honey. This is the same experience that I noticed with Siddu as well. A short while ago, I felt that Lautey with honey could be an acquired taste but... ...after adding shakkar and ghee to this has resulted in an ultimate flavor.
Shakkar and ghee! Superb! Superb! What a beautiful combination! This bite of Lautey fell into the ghee. I really liked this combination of shakkar, ghee and lautey. Really delicious! What are your timings? We are open from 8 am to 8 pm. 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening. Very good! I've ordered a cup of green tea for myself.
Thank you brother! It was delicious! The ghee and shakkar both are absolutely tasty! We were about to leave the cafe when we met Mr. and Mrs. Dogra. When we visited Narkanda 2.5 years ago, we stayed in their homestay. We enjoyed our stay there and he also served us a lot of Himachali food items. I still remember that. I can see some handicraft items displayed on shelves behind you.
What is that on the right side. This is a small broom made of pine leaves, used to clean... ...the space around the kitchen stove. These are called "pooye" made from the fibre derived from the hemp plant. These are footwear for indoor use. It is woollen on top.
Yes, it is woollen on top to keep your feet warm and its sole is made of hemp fibre. I was talking to the shopkeeper and he told me that they are also selling these items. This pair is for Rs. 350 and this broom for Rs. 80. Now I am going to show you some photographs on display in the cafe, which I liked very much. This place is Chitkul. Though we won't have any snow when we will reach Chitkul,... ... but the scenic view would be the same. Brother can you show me that photograph? Which lake is that? This is Yulla Kanda Lake, in Kinnaur.
We will definitely try to visit here. Look at this lovely lake. It is written here - Believed to be home to the world's highest.... ....Krishna Temple, which is located inside the lake. Okay ji Thank you! We now plan to go to Hatu Peak via Narkanda.
It is 7 km from Narkanda? Yes, 7 km. We will join you at Hatu Peak. So, it should take us 40 minutes to reach the Hatu Peak? Yes! Okay then! Bye bye! We've climbed 7 km from Narkanda to reach Hatu Peak.
I am goin gto show you the view around. When I visited Hatu Peak about 3 years ago... ...you could drive your car right upto the temple in this direction. But today, you have park the car right here and walk upto the temple. I have to say, I wouldn't have been able to drive myself upto this point. The road is steep and very narrow at some places. Only an expert driver can drive on this route.
Let us start our trek. This temple is dedicated to Hatu Mata. A large number of tourists visit here, first for the temple and... ....second for the surrounding scenic views.
I am going in for Darshan and will join you back shortly. I've come back from the temple. It really feels good to be here.
We have been here for the past 45 minutes now and... ...we've seen the weather changing every 10-15 minutes. You will see clouds as suddenly appear as well as disappear. There is a Sarai (rest house) near the temple. I had already enquired, they have 3 rooms here. They don't charge any rental fees. This Sarai has been built by the Mandir management committee.
You can spend the night here if you want. No need for pre-booking. You can come here, check availability of rooms, and stay.
However, this accommodation is in dormitory fashion. Let us go to the other side now. We travelled 7 km downhill from Hatu peak and reached Narkanda. From there, we've travelled 8 km more to reach Tani Jubber Lake.
This is the lake. If you come here expecting a large water body and boating facility... ...none of that is available here. The first impression, of course, is the beauty of this lake. The second thing, however, that I've noticed in the last 5 minutes, that I've spent here.... . ...is the reflection of the trees lined along the lake in its water. It is 5 pm, the sun is about to set in a short while.
The reflection of trees in the lake looks so good that... ...one would want to spend 15-20 minutes at least, watching this reflection. This is a rare experience, not available everywhere. I've visited a number of lakes but I haven't seen such stark reflection anywhere else.
This is a unique experience. This place is really quiet and there are limited tourists around. There are trees all around the lake, and it is a nice environment. If you are in Narkanda, you must come here to experience this peaceful place.
I am planning to walk for 15-20 minutes around this lake. After that, we plan to go to Rampur, which is about 55 km from here. It will take us about 2 hours to reach Rampur. From Rampur, we are going to Sarahan, which is another 1 hour from there. Now we will walk around the lake for sometime and join you back once we reach Rampur. We've reached Rampur Bushahr after travelling for 2 hours.
We've stopped the car here to watch the view of the Satluj river. We were watching this river while driving along this road, but from a greater height. After driving downhill for sometime, we've now reached closer to the river. For the next few days, we will keep seeing this river off and on.
Right now, we are standing outside Cafe Satluj. You can read on this board distances to different locations from here like... ...Shimla, Narkanda, Chandigarh. Rampur Bushahr is a small town located in the middle of tall mountains on all sides. The main tourist attraction of this place is the royal palace. Former Himachal CM Shri Virbhadra Singh, who belongs to the royal family,... ...looks after the maintenance of the royal palace.
The time is 7.15 pm and we aren't going to stop here any longer. We are going to Sarahan directly, which is 45 km from here. Now we will meet you next in Sarahan. We finally reached Sarahan at 10 pm.
We have booked ourselves a room in Shrikhand, which is... ...a property of Himachal Tourism. We paid Rs. 1950 as room tariff for double occupancy. This tariff is after applying 20% discount.
If we hadn't got ourselves this online booking, we would have been left... ...without a room, because they are fully occupied today. One thing I want to share with you - while on our way here, I noticed that... ...when we took a turn for Sarahan... ...we had to travel 18 km from the main highway. Tomorrow, we will have to travel back 18 km to the main road. This means that if you've Sarahan in your itinerary,... ...you'll have to travel 36 km extra.
A lot of our subscribers had suggested us to visit Sarahan on our way to Spiti. We were asked not to miss a visit to this place. That is why we planned this trip. For tomorrow, we plan to be here till 1 or 2 pm or may be till 12.30 pm. After that we will leave here for Chitkul.
I haven't yet booked an accommodation there, which reminds me,... ...I should get it done either now or tomorrow morning. One thing you must keep in mind, while on a tour to Spiti,... . ..is that you have to book accommodation in advance. This is because guest houses or homestays in this region have limited accommodation. So, it is time to say bye-bye to you. You'll see tomorrow's journey in the next episode. Let us know your views about this episode.
We will meet again soon. Bye-bye! Thanks for your time! I just cannot help but stop wherever I see a waterfall. So, we've stopped here for 10 minutes. Watching this waterfall from close distance is a joy.
You can see the water falling from a great height. You can also see people enjoying in the waterfall,... ...which is absolutely clean. You can see right to the bottom of the waterfall.