Sunday, April 30, 2023

Mcleodgunj here we come


Our time at BirBiling is coming to an end

We indulged in a campfire on the last day to beat the cold, temperatures were at 13C and cold for sure, hardly the summer that we are used to on the plains,


Today yes we are headed to Mcleodgunj. Near Dharmshala, it is 2- 3 hours drive and we started out late at 1130 pm, 





We left the camp with a heavy heart as we had gotten so comfortable in this forest camp and we were in Palanpur by 1320 hours, we went to the Capt Vikram Batra Stadium and



and it was a simple drive mostly till we hit Mcleodgunj and then the fun started.



Choco block traffic, and expertise of Dr Ravi kept us going on these roads in a large car compared to tiny Maruti Alto and Wagnar’s.



yes we climbed down these 99 steps to our Hostel. Ok You don’t need to point out we were foolish, we are feeling so anyway.



We had booked ourselves into Zostel, and contrary to what the Social media pages show, or Booking(dot)come shows, reality is  we have a room with no view after climbing 100 steps, 


The room with a view that we booked is view of the neighbor’s loo and wall, and a bunch of wires. But then the shitty view it also makes sure we don’t get to spend too much time in our room, and we are actually out and about, (Every cloud has a silver Lining)


The advertisement of Zostel shows this 



Yes there are plenty of rooms and Hotels right on the road and I would strongly suggest not to book a hotel in advance as there are 100’s of hotels and home stay’s which are very well situated.

Places like Zostel, ( lesser said the better) It is a Hostel with Hotel rates and makes the Yuppies feel good about being in a hostel. 


We took to the market place for a late lunch at 1600 hours and we were not disappointed with Momos and Thupa for Lunch at - Dolgiam Kitchen.



Food was good and staff very friendly.   Momos were made fresh after we ordered the food the wait was well worth it. Two plates of Momos and Two bowls of Thuppa was approx INR 500.00


As we prepared to exit the restaurant, the skies opened up for 20 minutes,   Hills rains are usually in short bursts, it was back to being partially sunny soon and we headed out to a waterfall some 1.5 km away from the marketplace.


A short walk later (where we crossed many well situated hotels and places for food) The hill side is overpopulated with commercial structures and we sure hope we don’t hear about the hills giving in because of the load of these commercial structures ( after all Himalayas is a young mountain)

Soon we were at Bhagsu temple and waterfall area, the waterfall was tiny or so it looked from a distance, too many people there did not make the place look so appealing, and we trekked back to our hotel, on this once again wet day.



As we returned into the marketplace we found our self among Monks and Monastery right inside the marketplace.





We did come across a few services advertising about things to do out here and treks and sightseeing to be done .


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Saturday, April 29, 2023

Bir Biling and Paragliding it is


We are at Bir Biling, this is the point of Asias highest Para Gliding. 


It is at 8000 feet and windy as hell, we made a beeline for indulging our self in the sport, After all not everyday can we get to this place and luckily for us the weather Gods were kind and we had excellent weather, so we Went off to Biling to do the jump, landing is at Bir




Contemplating if it is worth risking my life up there.



Thus the name Bir Biling name of 2 villages here, What a adventure it was I tell you and not scary at all as you might have seen viral videos of folks howling, I think it is just to make the video Viral.

I had a blast and would do it again in a heartbeat, the pilot actually does all the work when one does Tandem jump (2 people) and is a breeze, it is like sitting in a chair in the sky with all atmospherics pressure working on you, I would suggest not having any meals at all for 3 hours before the jump and it might make one throw up

Charges for the jump was Rs. 3075.00 for 20 minutes, we were up for 30 minutes and was not charged extra. 

Jump done we were off to our camp sight, OMYA camp, run by Monica and Deepa, ( they can be contacted at:  OMYAFORESTCAMPS@GMAIL.COM  and/or - 9910948534 what a pleasant place 10 KM from the village of Bir,  it is a campsite that is a absolute pleasure to be at, and staff very friendly and helpful on all counts I say, I would highely recommend it.




The next day we spend exploring a temple by the river side


The path to the river body looks a easy trek and it takes one to a lovely spot where one can contemplate on the world or admire the beauty of the space.
but yes the path is not a bed of roses all the way and a good part like 500 mtrs is just rocks and a interesting trek to the water body.
The final bit is easily reached by a steep set of stairs or just plain boulder

That's me posing by a temple which is situated on the side of the water body and has trout fish in the water.

Next on the agenda was waterfall, which was again very lovely a place and involved quiet a bit of trek, not the the distance is long, but the path is quiet tricky and makes sense to take a guide to help one along the way, they charge Rs 300/ guide( negotiable ) and well worth it I say.


As we start the trek, for the first 400 meters is a breeze indeed



Soon we find our self on hands and knees if one is not too fit and well balanced.



 another 200 meters and more obstacles are there, which needs a helping hand

Primarily the guide is required to help one get over the obstacles 



Finally one is at the waterfall with all its glory , picture courtesy of Dr Ravi Shanker, my travel buddy on this trip.


paragliding costs Rs 3000+75 Indian rupee for 15- 20 minutes

Omya Forest camp:  9910948534, ask for Monica

© Rajat Ghosh, available as stock image/footage

#himachalPradesh#beauty#spring #birbiling#reflection#motorbiketrip#backtonewnormalseries #minimalism#peace#motivation #editorialphotography#newfriends #rajatghoshfilm#paragliding#biketaleswithrajat#travelphotography

#stockimage #rajatghoshphotograph #storytellingimage #conceptualimages#Gomiratala#Creative#instagood #roadtrip#paragliding#waterfall