16th August 2015
Against all odds, three years ago, this very day, this bold couple decided to tie nuptial knot to be husband and wife forever. This was a very important day in the lives of our fellow travelers Nikhil and Shivani. They thought to make it a memorable one and was the very reason we were travelling together.
This was also the day when we would be climbing steep and misty Hatu Peak on our way back home to Amritsar. This was 4th and last day of our trip. Before that we drove to misty Chail on the first day and then to apple country Kotgarh, Thanedar and Tani Jubber Lake, the second and third day.
After having great time in the apple country Kotgarh, Thanedar and Tani Jubber, we drove, 24 kilometers, on a narrow steep descending road to Bithal joining NH 22. The drive was beautiful and scary at times. At one point a DL number car brushed aside our car on a narrow road which was a clear mistake by that DL driver. We stopped…they stopped too but we let them go politely. By the time we reached Bithal evening began setting in. We crossed Kingal and over drove Kumarsain as we could not locate right turn to Kumarsain.
Soon we discovered our mistake and returned back on the correct road and found PWD Rest House at Kumarsain easily as it was right near the bus stand. Chowkidar told us to wait as the rooms which were blocked by some officials were still vacant and the guests had not yet arrived. After confirming over phone Chowkidar asked us to check in. The rooms were big, old, yet good enough for us. Dinner was again nice and well served.
The morning at Kumarsain was amazing. The view of the clouds hanging over the green cliffs was a great sight. Unlike other FRH/PWD Rest Houses, there was a market and bus stand around the rest house. The activities of the people busy at their daily chores were visible from up above the window of our room. We got ready quickly as we were not to take breakfast from the rest house that day. It was Sunday, the day when we have to be back in Amritsar as Nikhil was to join his duty the next morning, Monday morning.
We left the rest house at 10.30am and were off to Hatu Peak. The drive for first 17 kilometers was on a good road till Narkanda. We had breakfast on the way and then drove straight to Hatu peak. The six kilometer drive to Hatu is on a very narrow but steep road. Although the drive from Thanedar to Kotgarh was tougher than this one yet due to more tourist traffic and by drivers of different traffic cultures, it was scarier. We did face few challenges but none were too difficult. Nikhil maneuvered the car well and we reached the summit of Hatu with ease.
After paying respect at the deity we went to the far end of temple area and had nice time clicking pictures. There were two big rocks and ample scope for rock climbing. It was bit scary and one needs to be fit to climb on those rocks. It was tempting but I refused to be tempted as my dislocated elbow was still hurting and was not functioning properly.
The atmosphere at Hatu peak was great. A new and beautiful temple has been built. Being Sunday there was lot of local crowd dressed in colorful attire. One particular group had a whole band of dancers, trumpets, drummers with them and was celebrating some occasion. They were dancing, singing, and playing their musical instruments very passionately. We clicked pictures, danced with them and had great time.
After an amazing time at Hatu we drove down to Narkanda and then to Kufri. We stopped for a while at Chrabra for tea and snacks. Thereafter we drove through Shimla towards Chandigarh. We crossed Shimla without any trouble of cops or traffic jam. The sailing was smooth until we hit a jam near Dharampur which consumed more than one hour. By the time we reached Pinjore it was already 10pm night.
From Pinjore we took Siswa road, the same which we took on our way up. The road was even better during night. At Kurali we turned right towards Amritsar. On the way we stopped for dinner at NRI Haveli near Balachaur and Nikhil/Shivani gave treat for their anniversary. From thereon we drove all the way to Amritsar and reached our home at 2.45am early morning of 17th. My son was up and opened the door quickly.
Nikhil and Shivani left and confirmed having reached their home safe at 3am.