Tales from an Indian Lepcha village

Fire to warm ourselvees

Lepcha villages are quite popular in India and they are widespread across various areas and districts but few of them are also based out of the country as well.Having heard about them before drove me to a place known as Loleygaon in the Kalimpong district.A fours drive through the tea gardens and lush green fields and meadows was something to cherish this year end before the new year actually begins on a positive and striking note.The road was a challenging one through the river Teesta and gravel and rocks decussating museums and monastries along the route to the lepcha village.

Dense forests
Thick and dense forests


The route to the village
Enroute to the Lepcha village
Green water
Green water of Teesta
The green grasslands

There were wooden houses built by the locals in propinquity with the hotels and home stays available in the district.We had to traverse through the gravel road from a district known as Lava to reach the destination.On reaching the hamlet we could find lot of Buddhist paintings and statues portraying the importance of the religion and the people living in the district.The entire area was covered by the dense forests of the Neora Valley National park which is the gateway to this important village of Loleygaon.The route is a waved one through tough and steep ridges covered by thick and condensed
forests of the national park.

Children playing
Children landing from the top
The Lakeview
The Hanging bridge
Hanging bridge

I could track some small houses and the people living inside them making some intelligent moves to improve their lifestyle and find some unique ways of earning their daily livelihood and maintain a decent style of living.Children were putting their hands to help parents in their daily work.They wore thick and woolen clothes to keep themselves wrapped up and protect from the cold and escape the bitterness of the temperature which goes beyond -10 degrees during the evening and night.Some villagers  maintained shops for selling groceries,fruits,drinks and daily requirements of a household.Some people had their own cars for helping tourists coming to explore this beautiful lepcha village and the landscape surrounding it.There were tea gardens maintained
by the government and the private landlords in the outskirts of the village.Tea leaves are really popular for their taste,perfume and flavor in this part of the country and are exported worldwide.

Outskirts of the village
Village outskirts
From the lakeside
View from the lake
The roads of Loleygaon
Neora Valley
The forests of Neora velley National park

The innocent faces of children made me feel for them and the alchemy drove me to one of the monastries helping the poor in funding the poorer ones without food and water.Their eyes were very captivating and alluring and they really looked blessed in getting the offerings of Nature helping them plant and grow their own food in the vicinity.The surrounding view of the snow clad peaks made the village look even more comely,dignified and conventional making it a succinct place in the lap of Eastern Himalayas.Not to mention about the colored leaflets being kept in the roadside to drive the wicked and the evil away from the region and trigger an alarm to the villagers to maintain peace and stability in the area.


Twisted alleys of Barot Valley

The river Uhi


Barot Valley is an important lowland in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.It is connected to Bir Billing via Joginder Nagar and Palampur.This valley has gained importance and recognition in the state due to the recent construction of the hydel power project and a dam that serves as the biggest water supply to the people in the adjoining areas of the district.The road to Barot from Joginder Nagar is a twisted one and through the dense forests and the woodlands of Himachal Pradesh,India.

Steep scent
Twisted alleys
Flowers blooming in resort gardens
Flowers blooming in the garden
High flowing Uhi river
River Uhi
Uhi River
Trout fishing at UhI

Trout fishing is very prominent and established and serves as the largest exporter of fish in the region and the adjoining places of the Mandi and Kangra district.Population is sparse and local villagers have planted trees and built wooden houses to survive in the lowlands.The high stream of water from the dam flowing across the lowlands
is a retreat and an eye catcher for all travellers coming for a sojourn and quest of some adventure in the region.Barot valley was one of the least explored destinations of Himachal but has gained attention and distinction recently due to the construction of the hydel project across the high flowing UhI river.

Flowers glowing in propinquity
Flowers blooming in propinquity in UhI river
Flowers blooming
Flowers blooming at resort gardens
Wooden houses across Barot valley
Barot valley
Hydel project
Hydel power project in the region

The passage is very adventurous and enterprising as we wander across the Dhauladhar Himalayan circuit and the impenetrable and condensed areas of the forests and looks very scenic and artistic and captures the mind and hearts of all nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers.It is a 4-5 hrs drive from the spiritual destination of Bir and through the wild forests of Kangra and the Mandi district of Himachal.The valley attracts mostly foreign tourists and adventurous backpackers from India and forms the gateway to the Nargu Wildlife sanctuary.There are steep ascents across the twisted alleys and route to some important trekking expeditions.

The dam serving as a means of water supply
Vertical view of the dam
Green grasslands
Green grasslands across the valley
Tents set in Billing
Tents in Billing

Barot Valley remains an important discovery in the Mandi distict of Himachal Pradesh and serves as the largest water supplier in the region besides Prashar lake due to the construction of the hydel power project.The crisis of water supply has now been eradicated from the region and people continue to live a blissful life of adventure and mountain fantasies in this beautiful lowland.I am extremely blessed to have conquered this part of Himachal with my courtiers and I stimulate other like minded travellers to plan a voyage across this wonderful lowland to enjoy the enticing
beauty and fascination of the Dhauladhar Himalayan compass.

Weekly Photo Challenge:Cheeky

Unique bird


Last month,Travelling took me to the wild and dense forests of Netarhat in India where we could spot animals like leopard,tigers,black bear and muntjacs to mention a few.Such is the fascination and alchemy of wandering in the wild with your gears and camera.There were birds that could be spotted near the rivers and mostly in the soaked areas of the forest.

On. delving further,I found this bird in one of the soggy areas of the reserve looking quite angry from her facial appearances.She seems to be searching for commodity,may be food and water or may be something beyond that.She took few steps from she was and stood firm at one point close to the river from where I took this photograph.There were however no predators I could find that could attack this little creature so she was free  from fear and danger.

Although I stood closer to the creature,I found that she never bothered to turn her neck and face me.She was in her own world and was peeping close to the rocks and the bulky stones close to her contact.Although she was whiter in appearance and two small legs to stand tall and a big mouth projecting her tongue her eyes were something to watch out for. There were some alarms that I could hear in the forest but that could not perturb her actions.She stood undisturbed,calm and placid and solitary.My phone kept ringing for few minutes but she never turned towards me and the strange thing was that I could not even hear her chirping sounds as she was silent.

Hopefully we could understand the secret behind her actions and behaviour.It seems that she was not impressed by me or my phone or camera which I had at that point of time.It is sometimes very difficult for humans like us to interpret other creatures and study their mind and actions.