Deep in my slumber I hear an earth shattering noise !
I wake up with a jerk, only to realise that I am lying in pitch dark room and that too in the state of amnesia. The shattering noise was nothing but the sound of the ring tone on my mobile. I crawled out of my bed, pushing aside the soft blanket wondering who the hell it was Saala itni raat me bhi koi phone karta hai hai ! and as I pick up the phone I hear a deep voice at the other end “Good morning, Sir, Morning alarm call”.
In a dazed state, I wondered, Where the Hell I am!
It took few minutes for me to realise, that here I was lying in a small town called Khajjiar in Himachal Pradesh and today me and my family were supposed to be travelling to Dharamshala.
Friends, How often it has happened with you? that on waking up you cannot remember as to which place you are right now. As a traveller, travelling from one town to another everyday, this phenomenon of dementia becomes the order of the day. We have to actually knock our brain out of deep slumber, to wake up to a reality of place and time zone. Rubbing my eyes, putting on my glasses I looked at my mobile ( I don’t wear a watch) and realised that it was 5:00 am.
I stretched and sluggishly moved towards the balcony of my hotel room. It was very dark and nothing could be seen. Without losing any time I shook awake my wife and daughter, pushing everyone in state of urgency, so that they get ready as soon as possible. We had planned to leave Khajjiar by 7:00 am. if you remember in my last blog I had met cab driver Ajay at Dalhousie and had fixed up with him to pick us up in the morning and drive us to Dharamshala.
You may like this : Dalhousie-a-town-in-clouds-day-6
At 6:15am I called up Ajay driver, just to remind him again, that he is suppose to pick us up by 7 am. however the phone kept ringing. There was no reply from the other end, now this set me worrying and my anxiety kept increasing by every passing minute. My worry was all the more grave because I had not made any other arrangement for travel, at one point I thought Arre yaar usko kal advance nahin diya isiliye nahin aaya hoga, socha hoga party serious nahin hai…. arre yaar.
My desperation level was creeping up and I attempted another call to the driver and this time he picked up the phone and replied “Sir I am on my way”, hearing this I was very much relieved. We quickly picked up our bags and moved down to the hotel lobby, cleared our bills and came out of the hotel so that less time gets wasted when the taxi arrives. Ajay our driver was apologetic on been little late, but nevertheless all was forgotten and we were on our way to Dharamshala from Khajjiar via Jot pass route.
In the morning mist, with slight drizzle the climate as usual was fabulous, leaving such a beautiful town is a very difficult but then as I always say that a traveller cannot fall in love with destination because a new road is waiting out there to be explored. Our taxi left Khajjiar and our car was soon driving on the winding mountain roads and in some time we would be passing through the famous and enchanting Jot Pass.
Jot pass is indeed a beautiful pass, the views were very enthralling, the floating clouds and the serpentine wet roads , the lush greenery on the mountains were simply out of the world experience for all of us and we all were staring out from our windows without blinking our eyes for a second. Thoda Filmy lagega agar mai kahu ki kash waqt tham jata It was indeed that kind of moment, when you want to absorb everything around you, not letting even one micro second frame to go unrecorded on your retina.
We kept stopping at different places to enjoy the scenery around us and kept clicking pictures, In an hour time we finally reached Jot Pass. Jot pass actually became more famous because of the Movie Gaddar, where a hut scene with Priety Zinta was shot.
Ajay our cab driver told us to have our breakfast at Jot, but before that he pointed out to a small hill adjacent to the road and told me to hike up and go to the top to see that Gaddar hut and also I can have a good look of the area around Jot. Thus all 3 of us climbed on the top and could actually see beautiful sights around us.
I’m not a big fan of these movie stars or filmy thing Kyo ki apun ka apna style hai therefore I did not go near the hut to take a selfie, instead I enjoyed those peaceful morning hours sitting for few minutes and actually doing nothing. We took few pictures before coming down , the view from the top is indeed breathtaking. It was now breakfast time for us.
It was quite chilly in the morning and drizzle was still there, we ducked into one of the Dabba at Jot Pass and ordered our usual favourite Aloo parathas.(Being a punjabi, Mai zindagi bhar aloo ka paratha khushi khushi aur khushi se kha sakta hu) After the breakfast we were back on course for our journey.
The drive again was very pleasant and beautiful.
It was 11.30 am when we reached Kangra Fort. The sun was up and we could feel the heat of the sun but the sight of Fort had us all excited. The picturesque Kangra Fort is located at a distance of 20km from the town of Dharamshala on the outskirts of Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India.
It’s the largest fort in the Himalayas, and according to the Archaeological Survey of India, it is the 8th largest in the country – covering an area of 463 acres. It is also India’s oldest dated fort and is believed to have been built around 3500 years ago by Maharaja Susharma Chandra, a descendant of the Katoch family, according to the Archaeological Survey of India.
We entered the fort through the narrow entrance and then there are stone stairs which you take you the fort top. We spent an hour exploring the fort and then moved on to the nearby temple of Shree Bajreshwari Mata, which is just 3-4 kms away from Kangra Fort.
The Shree Bajreshwari Mata Mandir also known a Kangra Devi Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Bajreshvari, a form of Durga located in the town Kangra, in Himachal Pradesh, India.
The original temple is said to have been built by the Pandavas at the time of Mahabharat. Legend says that one day Pandavas saw Goddess Durga in their dream in which she told them that she is situated in the Nagarkot village and if they want themselves to be secure they should make a temple for her in that area otherwise they will be destroyed. That same night they made a magnificent temple for her in the Nagarkot village.
The Temple premises is huge and clean and It looks to be well managed. Temple architecture is interesting it so reminded me of mix of Hindu, Sikh kind of architecture. and If you are heading McLeod Ganj / Dharamshala from Delhi/Pathankot, do make a visit here, you will really feel at peace.
In 1905 the temple was destroyed by a powerful earthquake and was subsequently rebuilt by the government. We paid our respect and moved on to our next destination of the day ie. Dharamshala/Mcleod Ganj.
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