March 28, 2018, Nagni, Tirthan Valley, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India:
The village we are staying at is called Nagni (pronounced “Naag-ni”).
Nagni is one of the many villages in this valley. And, as I learnt today, there are villages on both sides of the Tirthan. Something that should have occurred to me already given the number of photos I have been clicking of these mountains, all the while thinking to myself “what a quaint village up there”, or “how do I get to that village on the other side- they must have fantastic vantage and views”.
This morning we got out of the Himalayan Trout House (a pioneering, very charming and hospitable establishment, but that’s for a different story), and started walking towards the nearest big mountain in sight. And that’s the kind of blog post this is- about a walk and what I saw on the way. Because that’s how I get to know a place – by walking around, seeing, smelling, listening, and talking to people.
To the best of my observation, there’s just this one main road along the Tirthan Valley. It meanders along the valley, mostly accompanying the Tirthan River, and it is dotted every so often by a little village. The villages on the other side of the river have their own roads for access but one has to cross the river to get to that side first; and those villages tend to be situated at higher altitude than the ones along the main road – which are more or less on the river.
A half kilometre up the road (towards Aut and Kullu) took me more than 20 minutes because I was stopping to look at the little Apple orchard, then a Plum orchard, and then a Naspati (Pear) orchard, and then an Apricot and a huge Walnut tree; in between there were fields of wheat and green peas, dancing merrily in the wind. A chat here with a farmer grazing his cattle, a hello there with a lady and her daughter checking the fruits, smiles and nods from villagers walking up or down the road…
… and the Tirthan gurgling by in close vicinity.
Before we knew it, we had turned a corner and there was Gahi-Dhaar , another little village and one that has been seeing a bit of tourist traffic in recent times because this is the village from where you start climbing for the Choie Waterfalls (pronounced “Chho-ee”).