Prayers To The Wind

“The universe is listening, be careful of what you say. Listen to the sound of the wind and feel the rain flow through your body as you watch the trees sway.”

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This is what Bhagsu and Triund are to me.

From the minute one enters the Dharamshala area, one can feel the chimes in the wind and hear the prayers flags everywhere. Even though Dharamshala is famous for the Buddhist Monastery, there’s much to see up ahead. Dharamkhot or Upper Bhagsu are much calmer and away from the madding crowd. Here, the locals are warm with ready smiles and a lot of places with good food have opened up to cater to the tourists. The usual tourists aren’t seen here a lot, instead a lot of hippies or foreigners here to learn yoga are seen walking around here.

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The morning cappuccino at magic tree cafe with a chocolate croissant becomes a daily ritual. A must try is the pizza at Unity House and the Indian food at Om Cafe. For breakfast, one can walk over to German Bakery.

Treks up to bhagsunag waterfall, even if to just soak in your feet. The mountains in this area are pretty safe to wander about, there are many little trails that can take u to paths unknown and therefore, beautiful.

It’s half an hour away from McLeod Ganj if you want to walk. On the way don’t forget to stop and listen to the wind at the wonky tree or sit at Yeti’s place.

At McLeod Ganj, eat and eat some more  The Tibet Kitchen for the momos, the Lung Ta Japanese Cafe, the Chocolate Log for the best cakes in the universe and the sweetest old lady and the coffee at Cafe Budan and Rogpa. Walk to the Buddhist Temple, take in the view from there. Sit there and feel the energy. Feel humbled by the fight for Tibet and the sorrow of having your home taken away from you.It will make you realise how lucky you are and for that, thank the Universe, for making your journey so comfortable.

Trek up to Triund, uphill 9 kilometres. It is worth every bit of your sweat and pain, for that first look of Triund, where the meadows open up to the mountains. That will take your breath away. Ideally, book a guide from where you’re staying so they can arrange for a tent up there for you to stay. At night, if you’re lucky the stars will come out and you will get a peek at the moon. And suddenly, the magnificence of this universe will make you feel humbled and honoured to have lived to see such a sight. Stay the night and if you’re as lucky as I was, you will be engulfed in a blanket of stars. Go meet Sureshji, the funniest tea stall owner up there, listen to his anecdotes, of travellers –  old and young, rich and poor, Indian and Foreign. I wish to start a youtube channel for him someday – Comedy nights with Suresh. He began staying up at Triund 16 yrs ago and never left… he has served almost every traveller who’s been up there. Thank him for feeding you some warm tea and Maggi. And if you’re kind enough, he may even set up a candlelight dinner for you

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The travellers who come here never leave in a hurry. This area makes you feel at home. Sit and listen, and who knows, maybe you will hear the earth moving.