Solan nestles amidst the beautiful mountains in Himachal Pradesh. We take you on a trek through the snow-capped peaks
For an amateur trekker like me, the trip to the snow-capped mountain ranges of Solan in Himachal Pradesh was an extremely memorable one. Unlike Manali, Solan is not a tourist destination for lavish spending but is a place that offers solace to tired minds and bounty of fresh air.
It is quite rustic and scarcely populated, but a destination for trekkers to explore the mountains in solitude, listen to the gushing waters of Beas. There are a number of small eateries in Solan which cater to the taste-buds of non-pahadi tourists who visit the place on the one-day himachal tour package organised from Manali. We scouted around the area for a while and finally settled at eating in one of these places and then later checked into a decent hotel.
Early evening, after a cup of steaming chai, we set out on our acclimatizing journey to a nearby mountain range. The day-long sun’s harsh rays had melted snow-capped mountain ranges of Solan, and hence the levels of the nearby streams had risen. The next two days were occupied with acclimatizing ourselves for the final trek. Loosening of limbs, strengthening the back and inhaling the air in this terrain helps before setting out on a trek to higher altitudes.
On the fourth day, late afternoon we set out to the base camp at Dhundi. We were heading for the trek to Beas Kund which is a higher mountain range in the Himalayas. We moved on trekking light footed, to avoid creating loud sound waves since this path leading to the base camp is a landslide-prone area. We touched base at Dhundi before dusk set in.
By late evening we were famished and ate the freshly prepared food in the community kitchen set up by locals, at the base camp. Following early morning, we set out for our trek to Beas Kund. Within an hour nearly 40 per cent of our over-enthusiastic trekkers in the group opted out and the rest of us marched ahead. We used empty bottles for drinking mineral-enriched chilly water from Beas.
Two hours of climbing hilly ranges and walking through narrow pathways of large expanses of meadows, called for a respite. After a break we set on the last leg of the trek which I was eagerly looking forward to since I set foot in Solan. But it was not easy. Like many in the team, I kept skidding.
The final ascent to the top of the range was even more difficult, because the terrain’s surface was rough and getting a footing was not easy. Somehow most of us in the team made it to the highest point of the Beas Kund. A few minutes later we were greeted by a thundering blast, echoing in the background. The local guide disclosed that an avalanche had crashed down a mountain around 20 kilometres away from the point we were standing. This was the first time in my life I had a first-hand experienced of the immense power of nature.
Descending to the base of Beas Kund, was a nightmare. Our feet either slipped under the rolling pebbles scattered on the surface or they refused to stir with fear. Within 10 minutes on touching the base of Beas Kund, I was severely hit by altitude sickness and with great difficulty made it to the base camp in Dhundi.
Next morning we were off to Solan. I preferred to relax the entire day at the hotel. The following morning after a brief halt at Manali, we drove down to Rohtang Pass nestled in the icy slopes of the mountain ranges, which is an ideal location for skiing and snowboarding. Manali is the gateway to Rohtang pass beyond which lies the twin valley of Lahaul and Spiti. In winter the mountain slopes are snow clad and they turn into perfect skiing slopes. This pass opens for tourist from April end to October end of the year. On the eve of our departure to Delhi, in the morning, we did white water rafting which was trilling and energizing too. Since my navigational skills are not very good, I would invariably row the paddle in the wrong direction and add to the turbulence encountered by my co-team members while maneuvering the raft through the rapids. It was a brilliant team work displayed by all of us when navigating through the rough stretch of rapids in the river Beas. Next day by late noon, we left for Delhi by road.
Trekking routes in Himachal Pradesh
Manali-Deo Tibba base trek, Manali-Malana trek, Kinner Kailash Parikarama, and Bara Banghal Trek (Dharamshala).