Escape to Hamta

It’s been really long, that I couldn’t write on my blog page. A lot of things are going on and 2017 has brought big challenges along with it.

But, I’m hoping to bring you some exciting posts from next month onwards.

We all should take a break from our daily schedule in the urban cities.
I have stayed for 14 yrs in Himachal Pradesh, grown up in the shadows and curvy roads of hills. It runs in my blood. If someone gives me a choice between a beach or a mountain holiday; I will definitely chose the majestic mountains.

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From last few months, I couldn’t travel out of Delhi for taking a break from work.
Me and my sister , along with her friends finally made a plan for a long weekend. But, due to some unforeseen reasons, I couldn’t accompany them 😦

They kept posting pictures from the beautiful mountains and I was like ‘I wish I could go’.

During their trip, I enquired if I could go there just by myself. After the positive response from our host ‘Huzefa’ , I decided to pack my bag and go for this journey.

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It was after 17 yrs, I was going to Manali. I had butterflies in my stomach , when I opened my eyes that morning in between the snow covered mountains. I can’t express that feeling in words.

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Hamta, is a small village at 8400 ft and about 12 kms ahead of Manali. The route between the main Manali bus stand and Hamta village is not open for all the vehicles. You can hire a taxi/ or take a local bus to Prini village and there after take a lift or walk up-till Curve no.32 to reach Hamta Village. Personal vehicle is allowed beyond Prini Village only after the permission from SDM office.

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I reached Manali around 8:00 in the morning and our host arranged a car for me to reach the village.
You can stay at Hamta for a very reasonable rate and all the necessities.
I have mentioned the link below my article, where you can book/ or contact the host.

I had a small budget for this trip, so I decided to stay with a old couple who runs and own a tea shop at Hamta Village.

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Mr. Kalzan and his wife Ms. Dolma in their late 60s are living here from ages and always been in farming and cattle. They have a beautiful old dog ‘ Rambo’ and looking at all three I was relieved for my coming days with them. They are warm and lovely people.
I had some interesting conversations over our meals and while sitting around the tandoor to keep us warm.
It’s amazing to see how these people from villages spend their day in enjoying the small things. They have limited resources yet they sleep peacefully and enjoy every day.

Mr. Kalzan tea shop has a small TV and a Radio where they listen to news and old hindi movies songs.

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The moment I reached the tea shop, I was amazed to see the snow covered field around that area. Apple, Apricot and Almond trees are standing still without any leaf and complimenting the white land.

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Sun comes on top of the tea shop around 10:30-11:00 AM and Ms. Dolma removed all the fresh snow from the benches outside the tea shop.

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She covered them with blanket and foam mattress. Mr. Kalzan turned on his radio and laid down on one of the bench to sleep under the sun.
I did the same and Rambo laid next to me. I think that was the deepest nap I remember in last few months.

I woke up after an hour and Rambo was sitting next to me along with my collected pines 🙂

My lunch ‘Rajma Rice’ was ready and it was so very delicious. I then got ready for my trek.
It was around 1:00 PM and I started walking on the road towards the end of Hamta village. There are less than a dozen house in Hamta and nearby villages. In summer, you will still find people on the roads, but in winter you will find hardly 5-6 people up there.

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I couldn’t see any person on my walk . There was only snow left, right and centre. If I look up, I see water droplets falling over me from the ice on the tall trees. The sound of those droplets was haunting and interesting at the same time.

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I walked for about 2.5 kms and reached the end-point of Hamta village. I could see the tea-shop from up there but as the snow was getting softer, I couldn’t go to the edges and corners of the roads.

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After coming back from the trek, we again sat in the sun and heard the beautiful old songs on radio. I kept appreciating the beauty I see in front of my eyes.

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Just after 30 mins or so, the dark clouds started gathering above our head and it started raining lightly.
I smiled and kept sitting there witnessing the beauty. The rain slowly turned into snow and Hamta village was once again covered in fresh snow.

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We had to go inside the tea shop  but I just couldn’t stop myself looking at the beautiful snow fall.

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It was evening but the snow fall didn’t stop. Ms. Dolma cooked the dinner and we ate the tandoor chapatis with palak (spinach) while watching TV.
I was tired by then and the temperature was going down with time.
It was 0 degrees and Ms. Dolma made my bed with 5 blankets and I was wearing 3 layers of warm clothes. It took me a while to get warm but after I closed my eyes I just got lost in my dreamland 🙂

Next morning, I woke up to the smell of hot tea and Aaloo Paranthas. The day was clear with Sun on the head.

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I played with Rambo and spent sometime in sun listening to radio broadcast and talking to Mr and Mrs Kalzan.

Around 4 kms from Hamta village, you will find Sethan Village which receives about 10 fts of snow in winters.
80 degrees down from the road after this village is the Ski and Igloo spot where you can stay and have different adventures from Skiing to Sliding.

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This was my target for the second day, it was about 4 kms one-side trek and then 30 mins trail down to the Ski point.
It was not so easy trek , in between there were patches where the water was collected on the roads and you have to walk through it as the snow around the road was much softer to walk.

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I was wearing water-proof socks but my shoes were not. I still managed as there was no one that I could take lift to cross that area.
I reached Sethan village and finally found 2-3 houses and around 4-5 human beings.
I met Bahadur there, from whom I enquired about the ski point. He was also going there with the supplies for the tea-shop down at the Ski- point.

On our walk, I saw on my left , a field of dry trees covered with numerous Sparrows.
They caught my attention and I tried to capture them while witnessing their beautiful chirping in the quiet village.

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I followed Bahadur from there to the Ski point and after sliding and walking in between the ice , I reached the Ski-point where they have made Igloos for the family or individuals to stay and spend time.

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You can sit there in bonfire, to have food and tea or do Skiing and other activities in Snow.

I spent about an hour there and then climbed up to the road and then walked back to the tea shop.

It was such a refreshing day with clear weather and warm sun.
I had my lunch in the sun outside the tea shop and spent time with the Kalzan family.

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I had come here to empty my mind and go back to Delhi with a fresh mind.
But this place, filled my head with the beautiful memories of Hamta.

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Trust me, try a solo-trip to the mountains and you will find a different perspective of travelling. (this advise is only for the people who enjoys their own company rather than bunch of loud friends, because you can do that back in your urban cities also)

For booking the cottage, please hit the link the below and contact Huzefa.
https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/9464288

Have a great weekend 🙂
Ant!

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