Akshay shares his trekking story to Grahan and his first encounter with snow during a homestay in this small village near Kasol. Akshay Koyande works as an Operations Manager in Zomato in Pune. Here's his story
It was February, and the winter was almost done. My friends and I decided to go to a cool place for a long weekend to refresh our minds from 9-5 work. We decided to go to Kasol. Highly coveted, highly visited by people to refresh and relieve themselves, Kasol is a bit overrated, We thought let's explore something not much famous, which landed us to Grahan. Grahan is a small village near Kasol, known for its sublime beauty of natural hills and snow-clad mountains.
We took a bus and reached Manali in the evening. Here, we found a dharamshala to pass the night. We slept early as we had to start early tomorrow. The next day, we woke up, packed our bags, and left teh dharamshala to go to Kasol. In almost an hour, we were in Kasol. We had our breakfast, a paratha with butter was excellent with chai. Next, we bought some umbrellas and some caps. We didn't think that it would be too cold here. We took another bus to Manikaran to visit Mnaikaran Gurudwara- a site of piety. We offered our prayers and took a dip in the hot springs. These springs are known for their medicinal properties. After some time, we were back in Kasol. Kasol was just as we thought- small but immensely beautiful. The hills were enticing, the jagged mountains were tempting, and the valley was oh so lovely. We couldn't wait to start the trek.
So, following sigh boards and asking people, we were heading towards Grahan. No network on the phone, and it changed the experience substantially. Landscapes and views which made us froze in time. Sunlight filtering through alpines, ferns, and bushes dominating the ground, streams, and bridges making us fall in love with nature and rocks beside the river. It was deeply satiating. We were halfway, and snowfall took place. It was exhilarating. We were a bit tense, but we were hell-bent not to stop and reach our destination. A man with his sheep helped us find our way, and we reached our goal. We were in a homestay. It was a small beautiful village. We ate and relaxed. It was almost night and snow fell again. It was very cold, but the heater and the blanket were just enough. It was truly amazing.
We woke up the next morning to see snow everywhere, and the sun was shining. We enjoyed playing in the snow and taking a tour of the village. We left in the afternoon back to Kasol. The return was equally good. Snow everywhere and dogs were guiding us the way.
A lovely tour, isn't it?