After crossing Simla and its suburbs, the lush green mountains and apple orchards in the valleys were a treat for the eyes. We had a small stop over at Theog. Rain drenched Theog looked all the more beautiful during sunset. I had never been beyond Theog before, so I had a fascinating image of Narkanda, a winter sport hill station of Himachal Pradesh, in my mind. But frankly, seeing Narkanda for the first time was an anti-climax. It is a small non-descript town, with hardly any tourists during the monsoon season. After Narkanda, it was a steep downhill journey with never ending zigzag turns and U-turns. Narkanda is at an altitude of 2708 mts. at a hill top whereas Rampur is at an altitude of 924 mts. in Rampur-Sarahan valley on the banks of river Sutlej. After another stopover at Kingal for tea and snacks, we moved forward.
Our bus reached Rampur at around 10.00 p. m. The markets were totally deserted and even most of the eateries and hotels had called it a day. Being totally new to the place and not being able to gather any meaningful information about hotels, I went for the safe option of getting down at the bus-stand, because I did not want to walk long distance with a 10 kg haversack. But it proved to be a wrong decision, because the new bus-stand was situated in a remote corner away from the main market. There was only one lodge in the bus-stand building two floors down. The owner of the lodge may not have been good in maintaining it, but he was an expert in the Economics Theory of Demand and Supply. The lodge was very poorly furnished and seemed pricey, not that I was looking for a star category hotel. So, I boarded another bus to take me to the old bus stand or the main market. The bus conductor was really nice and he not only obliged me with a free ride, but also guided me.Read More