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Himachal Pradesh, India: The Land of the Gods


Chandratal, Lake of the Moon
I don't have the adequate words to describe the beauty and wonders of the Indian Himalayas and theHimachal Pradesh in a meaningful or comprehensible way. The diverse and remarkable landscape, scenery, culture, food, people and experience are beyond measure. What at first glimpse seems like complete disarray reveals itself as organized chaos - much more organized than a westerner might expect.

I must admit that I, initially, had slight reservations about the trip in monsoon season; there is a great likelihood of landslides and floods on the perilous roads after all. I like to think that we were blessed with the beautiful unimpeded journey that we had. Blessed not only because we held positive thoughts, but also because it was due, dammit. After the loss of three close and precious souls in only four months, it was time for good things.

Jamaica's Campsite at Chandratal with Rishi & Raju
After reading countless travel experiences and learning of the general inability to utilize public transportation in the mountains, we decided to hire a private guide for our journey; we are so happy that we did as the trip was well organized and perfectly planned. We are also fortunate to honestly feel that we made two really great friends "dosti" on our adventure, our guide Raju and driver Rishi.



Our 11 day journey began in Delhi and continued on to the lap of the Himalayas, Shimla. From here the terrain continued to change vastly each day; it began as emerald green pine covered hills and developed into rocky valleys. The road followed roaring snaking rivers along the way. As we continued to gain elevation and travel closer to Tibet, the terrain became mountain desert and before we knew it snowcapped peaks and glaciers were surrounding us. Not only did the landscape change, the culture did as well; the religion transformed from Hinduism to Trans-Himalayan Buddhism, and the cuisine from Indian to Chinese/Tibetan. All the while we were surrounded by kind, inquisitive locals and blessed with a general lack of tourists.
Nako Lake & Village
Tabo Villagers at the Monastery

Trekking and driving through this immense beauty allows one to reflect and see things more clearly. Experiencing this world as it truly is, raw and without commercialization, allows presence and clarity regarding what is truly important in life. My love for myself and others was transformed in the Himalayas and I can only work each day to maintain that connection. Living in Manhattan can begin to jade the way that you regard the world, but this lovely bliss can be honed and kept imprinted on your being if you choose to do so.
Meditating at the Monastery in Dhankar

Comments

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  3. Considered as the land of Gods, Himachal Pradesh is truly mesmerizing. Specifically talking about Manali, you should definitely plan a trip there.

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