4th July 2017, Tuesday………Day (5) Barot to Amritsar 355 km
Got up to a beautiful morning in Barot nay nay Multhan. One good thing about sleeping inside the car is that I wake up at the slightest of the movement at the daybreak, giving me opportunity to explore the area at the best time of the day.
As usual merrily flowing Uhl River looked beautiful. The first thing I did after alighting from the car was to go near the river and listen to its never ending soulful song.
Not only the sensuous delight, the River always seems to give me a very sane advice, an advice to live life like her, flowing forever, singing melodious songs, swaying like an oozing lass, unmindful of the things happening around her, chastening everything she meets until merging with her lover and ending in a peaceful dream.
No shop was opened as yet. I crossed the barrage and drove along the river towards the haulage trolley point. A number of camps has sprung up all along the route. A small makeshift restaurant was open at one of the camping sites. I requested the man who ran the restaurant, for a glass of tea and plugged the laptop and camera battery for charging.
A haulage trolley carrying construction material used to run from Jogindernagar till this place before the road to Barot was constructed in 1975. The trolley used to run till few years until a minor accident and the same has been disregarded and lying at the Shanan Power Project in Jogindernagar.
After a nice glass of tea, walk near the river and drive till the Haulage Trolley point, drove back and then towards newly laid road to Bada Gran. Due to recent rains, the landscape all around was lush green. Clouds were playing hide and seek and River Uhl was flowing deep down into the valley like a serpentine.
Weather at Bada gran was amazing. Cool breeze was blowing and clouds were floating over mountains and valleys. I parked Lalpari on a side and went walking on a well maintained path towards Bada Gran. The road looked drivable till a certain point near the village where a landslide had narrowed the road and was not drivable further.
Walked past a few meters beyond Bada Gran till the path became too slippery and it became too difficult to walk. I learn a road was about to be constructed in between Bada Gran and Raj Gunda, the village on the other side of the River Uhl. I, also, learnt that a road from Billing till Raj Gunda has become operational this year.
At the bus stop near Bada Gran I met the same shopkeeper Madan Lal whom I had met in March 2012. Like that time, this time too, Madan Lal, offered me to be his guest for the night and stay at his place.
As I had mentioned earlier, I was expecting a call to be back home soon as our new home was under construction. I did receive the call the previous night and as per promise I had to reach home by the night.
Met a woman walking down from her home in Bada Gran. She told me her son was not well and she was taking him to the doctor in Multhan. Meanwhile a bus arrived and amongst others, two woman dressed in traditional dress alighted from the bus. We got engaged in a little chat.
They told me that most of the people in the area has relations with the people in Bir, they also belonged to the area and were married in a family in Bir. They had come that day to perform a pooja at a new temple near their village.
Left Bada Gran in the afternoon with the promise to Madan Lal that I would be back again and sleep for the night at his place the next. Since it had become a bit hot, I decided to take a break at a nallah near Kothi Kohar, wash the car and take bath in the cool waters of gushing stream.
Bathing and washing the car in the cool, crystal clear waters of the gushing stream under the hot steaming Sun has always been a wonderful experience.
I had dreamt it all through my life and ever since I snatched my freedom from the banks, I have had this experience a number of times and in all kind of conditions ranging from freezing streams at Sach Pass to the boiling hot water springs of Kheer Ganga.
Thus refreshed I drove back to Barot and then turned left towards Lohardi (6 km).
The River, a tributary of the Uhl, on this side was flowing even more vigorously and seem to have even more volume than the one originating from the mountains beyond Bada Gran. Since I was to reach home by night, so did not spend much time in Lohardi and returned back quickly to Barot.
Took the last picture of the day near Jhatingri, the forest was very thick and inviting and the intent was to be back here again soon to explore the area more closely, especially Phula dhar and Jhatingri-Dayana park ridge.
It was 5pm when I reached Jhatingri. Amritsar was still around 300 kilometers away. It was pretty hot, the air conditioner of the car was not working and the entire stretch despite having Jogindernagar, Bir Road, Baijnath, Palampur and Kangra enroute, was so familiar that It could not keep me interested.
From Pathankot, the drive became pleasure though. The four lane highway was butter smooth, traffic was just comfortable and the breeze became cooler as well. Above all non stop hindi romantic songs played by Kathua fm radio station were just fabulous.
Another memorable drive was coming to its end . Despite a/c of the car was off throughout the trip, driving to Shanghar, Jibhi, Gushaini, Prashar Lake, Barot and first time on that beautiful road from Katindi to Jhatingri was a sheer joy.
Sleeping inside the car at Urla, Shanghar, Prashar Lake and Barot was like a dream.I am thankful to Mother Nature for blessing me with such a wonderful life and family wherein I am able to enjoy both, a wonderful family life and FREEDOM………!!!