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REFUGE TRIP

Three Day Trip to Kareri

Planned as a refuge from life over a long weekend, my trip to Kareri was unlike any other before it. I set out on a Friday night in a bus to Dharamshala from Delhi. Sleeping on the very last seat of the bus, I awoke in the wee hours of the morning to the sun preparing to rise. Life, in a subdued form, was already starting to crop up outside my window and it took me some minutes to locate myself – I was in Chandigarh. I found myself smiling out to strangers, happy in my peaceful dislocation, bringing along a companion close to my heart and nothing else.
Having lost my battle against nausea, I arrived in Dharamshala to crisp morning air that set my soul at ease. It was most extraordinary to be amidst people for whom life went at a much slower pace than myself, as I made my way to mcleodganj. I felt my mind struggle to unwind. The journey to Dharamshala hadn’t been the most comfortable but the destination was starting to work its magic.

Once in McG, we settled down for a long, delicious lunch in Café Common Ground. Letting the ambience seep in, we took a car to Kareri village. The ride was as treacherous as it was breathtaking. I was deposited on a land that seemed untouched by human vices. Meeting the locals of Kareri village, I found myself wanting to go no further that evening. We wandered through the evening and made light conversation with the locals.

For nighttime, we rented a tent which the locals helped us set up at our chosen spot. I slept like the dead that night.

Waking up in a tent to the peace that only nature may bring, I found serenity in my morning. We decided to head into the mountains for the day and climbed aimlessly, as our hearts desired. We found curious temples, friendly locals and a few pretentious tourists. The most incredible thing was the mountains looking into open skies and homing streams in their bellies. We found a comfortable spot and let the weight work its way into our tired bodies for about two hours until rain broke the spell.

We made our way back to the village, had a lunch and secured a dinner and set out for Harnal with outlet tents on our backs.

Harnal cannot be described, it can only be experienced. There is a river between two mountains, with a little concrete bridge built across it and there is nothing else. How long I sat on some rocks in the water, I cannot say. The peace that I found in the chilling water that I obstructed with my feet, is for my heart to remember.

The night was most peaceful and uneventful. The morning, impossibly, was even more beautiful. We had to pack up and leave somewhat soon due to signs of bad weather. Yet, to be fair, it probably never would have felt like the right time to leave such a place behind.

On Monday, we explored Dharamshala. The Dalai Lama temple and wonderful street shops caught my fancy the most. By evening, we were on our way back and the bus ride was made more depressing still because of what it was carrying me away from.

Kareri, Harnal and Dharamshala are all places of uniquely spectacular beauty. They are also places that will live in my heart till I pack up and revisit, which I undoubtedly shall.

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