Happiness is when you are looking for a peaceful weekend away from the touristy crowd and you found one. I was looking for one such place for the long weekend in March end and suddenly I got this event invite for our group’s first meetup. The group is called “India: Travelers & Backpackers”. This group has been created on Facebook for the travelers who wish to explore India and believe me all the associated people are doing an excellent job.
This hidden place in hills that we chose is a small village called UPPER NEAHI inside the Great Himalayan National Park which a UNESCO world heritage site. You must have heard of Tirthan valley which is also present here in GHNP but another unheard valley is Sainj Valley. It’s full of wilderness, green farms/meadows, snowcapped mountains, waterfalls, and dense deodar forest.
Aut was our meeting point on the Day 1 morning. It’s is a small village in Mandi district and it is around 40 km from Mandi and approx. 67 km from Manali. If you’re traveling to GHNP, this is the place (outside the Aut tunnel) from where you can get a taxi/bus. To reach Aut, HRTC buses (Volvo & local) are easily available. You can book your tickets on http://www.hrtchp.com/
It took us around 1 hour to reach our base, which was Pundrik Rishi Lake. Our stay was booked in a beautiful homestay in the village and to reach there we did a 3km walk through the green fields surrounded by majestic mountains.
Its been three years I am traveling to mountains and during my travels, I have stayed in hotels, homestays, camps/tents etc. but this homestay was the most beautiful one out of all. It was a traditional wooden house. The rooms were neat & clean and were very spacious. The best part was the corridor/balcony which is the main entrance and one can witness the amazing view while relaxing here with a cup of tea. This beautiful place is called “Aastha Cottage” which is managed by “Bawray Banjaray” group and run by a small and sweet family. You can easily book it on Airbnb (value for money).
Pundrik Rishi Lake
The second day started with a walk through the forest trail to a hidden waterfall. The place was so calm, the only voice you hear is of flowing water, Cool breeze and a bonfire, A perfect place to chill out.