Unexplored Kufri and Stoned Kumbh Temple
A long weekend is an opportunity to pack your bags to explore the unexplored. The weekend around 15th August was one of that opportunity to explore the places where I never been to. This time the location which was singled out was Kufri. Kufri is approximately 400 km from NCR which is an opportunity for another road trip. Nevertheless, driving in the mountains is always a go-to thing for me.
The trip began at 11 PM as traveling during night is fast compared to daytime due to the less traffic on road. Traveling during the night has another advantage, one can easily found if any vehicle is coming from opposite direction due to flashing headlights. At sharp turns, the flashing headlight of incoming vehicle protects you from any mishappening.
The weather was constantly changing from good to pleasant as we were moving away from Delhi. The journey was comfortable in the plains without facing any major challenges. As soon as we reached the mountains, the torrential rain welcomed us. Landslides had occurred at many places due to the heavy rain. Men and machines were at work to clear the debris and make way for the vehicles. There were patches where the road was damaged badly due to the landslides which resulted in decreasing our speed. But overall, the journey was smooth and hassle-free.
At eight in the morning, we had reached our hotel, Royal Tulip. As the check-in time was 12 pm, we have ample time to explore the nearby area and grab some morning fresh air for our polluted lungs which usually are not used of it. The sun was shining bright and cool breeze was flowing. We found a tea stall at the roadside during our morning walk. First tea of the morning watching the snow-clad mountains was quite refreshing for our tired body due to the overnight journey. Mountain, morning and hunger is the best combination to grab some ‘Maggi’. The Maggi was delicious, maybe because we were hungry.
We checked into our room, which was second last in the row, at 12 pm. It was the picturesque view of mountains when looking out of the window. After the log journey, the time was to give some good rest to our fatigue and paining body.
In the evening, we went out to roam and explore the area. Nearby, there was a Kali Mata temple. The place was surrounded by the trees. The divineness in the place filled the mind with peace. The place was full of tourists. Near to the temple, there were stalls where you can get yourself photographed in local outfits and with Yak, a long-haired domesticated cattle found throughout the Himalayan region. After that, we moved to look around local restaurants to taste local delicacies. We found one dhaba which was taken care by a lady. The dhaba was very small but well maintained. The food serverd was spicy and tasty. After completing the food, we left for a walk. It was getting dark and we still had some tiredness due to the long journey, we came back to the hotel and sat on the roof watching the surroundings. It was the awesome view around the roof but there was cold increasing into the atmosphere and in some time, the breeze turned from cool to chilly.
The next day, we had planned to visit some nearby places. The first one in our list was Chail Palace which was 28 km from our hotel. The complete route was surrounded with the dense and tall trees. The weather was cold. The pleasant view was giving a calm and comfort to the eyes and mind. The route was narrow but there was not much traffic on the road. As usual, one can encountered with some troubled drivers who were honking without thinking about others and the road conditions. But those were just passing events. As there was raining last night, so the greenery was worth watching. It took us one and half hour to reach Chail Palace.
The Palace Chail Built in 1891 is set in approximately 75 acres and has a truly regal setting with spectacular views. It was built by Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh when he was expelled from Shimla by Lord Kitchener. He constructed the Palace as his Summer Capital for the warm months. Today, the Maharaja’s creation can be experienced by any visitor to Chail. Now this gracious mansion is under the ownership of Himachal Tourism, so every visitor to Chail can experience the royalty. In true sense, this Palace is a resort with ornate furniture, charming cottages, delightful log huts, thick forests, quiet walks, a ‘lovers hill’, an orchard of its own, elegant lawns, badminton and lawn tennis court, billiards and even a children’s park. The palacae was full of monkeys, so beware with the eatables in hand. One can enjoy the delicacies in the palace restaurant. The food was ok and not as per the expectation and standard of the palace. Also, the service was too slow. After spending couple of hours at palace we moved to our second destination of the day, Stoned Kumbh Shiv Temple.
Stoned Kumbh Shiv Temple was created by a single man, Mr. Satya Bushan. He started building this temple in 1983 and it’s still in progress. It is 600m from the main road. The temple is situated on top of hill which was cut to make it flat. The use of the stone in a pattern made this place a worth watch. The surroundings around the temple gives a divine calmness, peace and bliss. The temple is result of the sheer dedication and creativity of a single person. This is no less than the work of Mr. Nek Chand’s Rock Garden in Chandigarh. After spending some time, we headed back to our hotel. The weather became chilly. The surrounding was foggy which was just a mesmirizing view.
Next day, we left back to Delhi. The overall journey was good but there were two instances when we escaped accident due to the rash driving of the vehicles coming from the wrong side. But these are some of the expected events in road trips and these events will not stop me from taking a road trip. Till then, Ciao.