Travel. Travel as much as you can.
I have always been fond of travelling. I am the kind of person, who prefer travelling to any other thing, be it partying, celebrations or even shopping. I love adventures, to try out new things and add them to the list of my memory lane.
One such unforgettable and ineradicable trip that has left its marks on my life was the trek to Grahan village. Well, Kasol is definitely not among the lesser known places, when it comes to trekking the mountains. But, approximately 10 kilometers away from the valleys of Kasol, lays a beautiful place, with huge mountains around, offering an unprecedented view of Parvati valley. If you are a traveller by heart, then you must be very well aware of the fact that while travelling or trekking in this case, it’s not about the destination; but it’s the journey that matters. Trek to Grahan is actually around 4 to 5 hours long journey, but it took us almost 6 hours (enthralled by the sundry beautiful landscapes on the way) to reach there. We could not resist ourselves from getting immersed into the sea of never seen before landscapes on the way.
Oops… So you guys must be thinking, who are this ‘we’ that I’m referring to in my conversation here? Come; let me introduce you to my friends who accompanied me in the trek.
So, the one clicking the selfie in the front is my friend Nilesh Raj. I stand behind him, next to me in grey and white striped shirt is again a very good friend of mine, Soman Sinha, and the one in blue T-shirt is Arunesh Ankit.
We started our trek from Buddha Café, Kasol at around 12 pm. We moved a bit further and started entering the dense forest kind of location. Guys, let me tell you, this was my first trek, so everything I found and saw on the way was unprecedentedly new to me. Besides, Grahan seemed like the perfect destination for a first time trekker. First, the landscapes were so stupendous and awe-inspiring that you are bound to go for another trek somewhere again; second, the journey was not even so long or tiring that you feel like your body has run out of fuel and you start feeling dead already.
Okay, okay… Back to trek again.
We trekked for around two hours continuously with small picture breaks in between. And then we took a relatively long break of about half an hour. I sat on the rocks near the river stream constantly staring at the flowing water, as it made realize how beautifully beautiful this Mother Nature is! Everything is so perfectly balanced. Besides all the ups and downs, our life moves as smoothly as this flowing water. We clicked a lot of pictures this time, had snacks, rested for a while and then moved again.
We were on our way, feeling refreshed after the break, praising the grandeur and magnificence of nature, when we saw a guy coming towards us. He was coming back from Grahan. He told us that he’s been trekking down for almost two hours now, that means it’s going to be around 3 more hours of trek for us to reach there. We had a small chat session with this guy. He was so amazed to see the splendor and pulchritude of nature, here in India. In the words of our Israeli friend Mataan (meaning gift in Israeli),
“Everything is so huge and magnificent here that you feel like you’ve come to Lilliput.”
We moved ahead. A lot of grand picturesque sceneries came falling in our way. The route was filled with innumerable apple trees (with no apples, because it was off-season) that I’ve never seen before. We kept praising the grandeur and beauty while trekking our way to Grahan village. It was nearly late afternoon when we reached there. We saw a signboard saying Nattai guesthouse and restaurant and we immediately rushed in that direction. We were quite wearied out by now.
We were sitting on the grass looking at the beauty of nature at its best as we could see it, and admiring it, when the Nattai guy came with a plate of sphagetti and sandwiches that the other people sitting beside us had ordered. We also ordered tea, coffee, sandwiches and paranthas according to our preferred tastes. Oh, I forgot to tell you that other than us, there was just this duo of two British friends there at the top that night. As I told you earlier, that Grahan is one of the secluded places in the Parvati valley range. Let me also tell you that in the whole village of Grahan, people do not have phones at their houses or even mobile phones, so to say. What will they do with the phones without the network? Yes, you do not get any network there. As they say, if you are still getting network, you are not deep enough in the woods. We were deeper, but then we had to call our parents to inform them that we won’t be returning back tonight. The Nattai guy told us, that if we are just lucky enough, we can try catching hold of the network by going to the mountain peak that was five minutes away from there (But then, the smartphones were not good enough for that, we needed a normal mobile phone in order to get hold of the network). That’s strange, right? And none of us had a non-android phone. But then a villager from Kasol (who might be eavesdropping) who was there in Grahan that night by chance offered his phone to us to make the phone calls. We went to the mountain peak, and tried for the network and informed our parents about the stay there.
We decided to spend our night at the Nattai guesthouse only. You’ll be amazed to hear the tariff of the guesthouse; it was INR 200 per night. Oh man! I couldn’t believe it, that a room this nice with all basic amenities including blankets and bonfires to protect you from cold could come in for that cheap.
As I mentioned, we had a little bonfire party with the locals there. They told us many stories of the village and their customs and traditions. One of the guys also told us that people in this village descend originally from two families and they cannot marry anyone from their family origin nor from outside other family. He told us numerous other stories.
After a while, we had our dinner and went to sleep. It was freezing outside; I covered myself with the blanket and lay down. I fell asleep in no time.
I woke up early the next day and woke everyone else up. The last night may have been tiresome but it was worth it. I went downstairs to cherish the memories of this place for one last time before leaving. After a while we left for Kasol at around 8 in the morning, retaining the beautiful memories of this no man’s land, Grahan.
‘Your magnificence and splendor cannot be measured in words,
I am awestruck and my worldly vision got blurred.
Glorious, sumptuous, lordly and grand,
Such is the divinity of this no man’s land.’