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Meghna Paul Mar 06 2014

Suggest a two days trip to Pokhri, Garhwal?

Mercy Jacob Mar 06 2014
2 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

If you are looking for another place that is not overrun by invading hordes of big- city-weary vacationers, we have news. This little unspoilt oasis in south-west Chamoli District goes by the name of Pokhri. Here’s a Two days’ trip to Pokhri, Garwal so that you can experience the most of this amazing place.

DAY 1 : The Picturesque Way to Pokhri

Off the main highway from Rudraprayag, the road to Pokhri is a scenic delight. A series of hairpin bends quickly lift you high above the Alaknanda Valley. Cruising on a high ridge, curtained by a deep forest, pines giving way to oak and rhododendrons along the way and as you snake your way up, you’ll catch brief glimpses of the high Himalaya through the clearings in the forest.

Photo of Rudraprayag (by Mukerjee)

On the way to Pokhri, still about a kilometre short of it, you’ll come upon a little idyllic village called Guniyala. There are some beautiful walks around this place. By night, a star-bedecked sky looks onto the peaceful village; by day, the village folk go about their daily chores with an exuberance that lends new meaning to the words joie de vivre.

Where to stay

The first house in the village below, an unmistakable bright red, is your only stay option here. The Little Red House in Guniyala Village offers a rustic and cosy two-room homestay. The simple beauty of this place is as touching as its unpretentious name. A handmade cross- stitch wall-hanging, a wooden figurine, old Bhotia rugs and pine cones complete the simple décor of the living room. The vast terrace in front of the house looks onto the village below through trees of malta, plum and lemon while the snow- capped sentries stand guard to the north. You can cook your own meals in the small kitchen or share a meal with the family. Try their delicious hing-jeera chutney.

Photo of Kartik Swamy Temple (by Narendra Dimri)

What to see and do

Go for picnic lunches and delightful walks in the bracing mountain air. The Little Red House will send a guide to accompany you along these easy hikes in the vicinity. But it’s easy to find your way around. Just ask the next villager. The 3-km climb to the hilltop Kartik Swamy Temple starts at Kanakchowry, a small ridge-top pass, 14 km from Guniyala back on the Rudraprayag Road.

A gate announces the start of the walk from the middle of the small marketplace. Going west along a ridge thickly forested with rhododendrons and oaks, this is a well- laid-out trail, with resting shelters at good vantage points along the route. The first of these shelters comes up about half an hour into the walk, at a picturesque vantage point. To the right, you’ll see Chaukhamba, among other snowy peaks.

Photo of Garhwal (by Paulhami)

Another 15 minutes into your walk, you’ll have reached the next halt at a point where the ridge begins to curve due north. The dharamshalas here are used by local pilgrims during the 11- day Kartik Fair in June. The small Narvada Kund and a Bhairon Devta Temple announce the final stretch of the walk. Soon you’re up on a very narrow ridge of a long spur of the mountain, popularly known as Karoch Parvat. You’ll see a few flags flutter in the wind as the entrance to the temple comes into view. This beautiful white temple, with a bright yellow roof, houses an ancient statue of Kartik Swamy. Legend has it that Kartikeya, the son of Shiva and Parvati, came here in a huff when his mother granted the Raj Tilak to Ganesh.

Day 2 : -

Another easy half-hour/ 1-km walk starts right above Guniyala Village, and goes to the Dudhkam Devi Temple, past fields of wheat and mustard. Although the Chaukhamba and Kedarnath peaks are also visible along this walk, it is the views further east that are clearer. You can see Elephant, Horse, Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti, Hanuman and other peaks of the inner sanctuary area of the Nanda Devi National Park.

Nanda Devi Peak (by Anirban c8)

The beautiful Mandakini and Alaknanda valleys are in full view. A dirt track goes up 3 km from Pokhri to the lone colonial-era Nagnath-Pokhri College, situated in the middle of a dense forest. Get on the trail at the centre of the school building, which leads to the Nagnath Pokhri Krishna Temple. Further up is the forest bungalow and then the track veers west to yet another shrine — the Raj Rajeshwari, or Ghari Temple. Sample valley life on the walk to Chandnikhal.

The walk starts from the left of Guniyala Village, going via Bang- thal and Dunger villages, where the Parvati Temple is situated. You’ll walk past the same lush fields and villages, through rhododendron and oak forests, past mountain streams and fruit trees. Take a taxi back from Chandnikhal as you end your two days trip to pokhri.

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