Table of contents for Garhwal travels
- Lansdowne – beyond being the HQ of Garhwal Regiment
- Khirsu – A serene and pristine hamlet in Garhwal, Uttarakhand
In my previous post, I shared how we reached Lansdowne, all that we saw and how it didn’t seem enough. Not satiated, we decided to not go back to the furnace called Delhi and moved on to this new place called Khirsu – A less visited idyllic tiny hamlet hidden in the woods of blue pines is around 100 km from Lansdowne in Pauri.
Since there is not much accommodation available in Khirsu, we contacted the TRH on phone to enquire about availability & booked two DBR. The road to Khirsu is throughout hilly but well tarred. On the way we stopped at a very revered shrine of Garhwal, “Kalpa Devi” for a bow. It was worth a visit. The temple is situated along a stream accessible through a flight of more than 200 stairs.
After a short stopover for meals I steered steadily till we reached at a diversion from where a right turn leads towards Khirsu and straight towards Srinagar. A left upside road is a shorter route to Pauri-Devprayag-Rishikesh. The road till here was alike common hill roads and smooth. The diverted road for Khirsu, further 20-25 km is gradually narrow, canopied and densely forested. The thrill of driving on such a track can only be imagined by experiencing it and no words can define the real feel.
Khirsu is also situated at 1700 m but much cooler than Lansdowne because the entire hamlet is surrounded by high hills and dense forest bearing tall pine, deodar & oak. It is perhaps one of the most pristine places in Uttrakhand. Less visited hence no touristy activities. No mall road, no shopping or eating joints and no spirit shop. Yet, very impressive, naturally wild and ideal for a laid back holiday in divine serenity.
All the rooms of the TRH faces the Himalayan Peaks, which on clear morning rewards the visitors with magnificent glimpse of snow-capped ranges. The lawn is lush and well maintained with plenty of flowering plants. The dense forest around the TRH garland it to provide a soothing sight to the residents. The cottages at the lower deck are also ideal privy accommodation but during cooler climates. Holidaying in solitude & silence can be experienced here. The place also inhabits various wild life and variety of birds. Birding however, need time, patience and passion.
We were very happy with our decision to plan for Khirsu instead of continuing in Lansdowne or returning Delhi. We were informed about a natural park close to the TRH but that was accessible till sunset hence, we planned to visit the park next morning. After refreshment we enjoyed our tea at the lawn relaxing on the velvety grass. You may also retire on the garden chairs.
Soon then, the sun started setting and the colour of the forest started deepening darker & darker. On the other end the sun appeared bigger but meagre minute by minute. The bright white ball magnified in size and then turned yellow to orange to red while trying to hide behind the bushes on the hills till totally blurred and diminished. How I wish I could capture the whole transformation moment by moment and live it for always. It was humbly fantastic & memorable.
We were so involved in capturing the transforming moments that we amazed to see another natural transformation occurred in the TRH Lawns during that period. The lawn was filled by array of beautiful yellow flowers which bloom only on sunset. We were overjoyed by the two consecutive amazing nature’s charisma.
The lawn with numerous flowers & rhododendrons was so endearing that we decided to live the charm till as long as possible. Thus we even relished our dinner at the lawn & found it more luscious.
Next morning we visited the nature park only next to the TRH. The park is at the foothill of a giant hill in its natural form with very little artificial alterations. A large area with lush greenery & flowering trees and plants in natural habitats is truly an eco-park. A long walkway is ideal for a full length stroll in the entire park. We enjoyed the gentle caressing of Mother Nature as enthusiastically as kids.
Helplessly, had to return via Pauri-Devprayag-Rishikesh-Roorkee-Delhi with a wish to venture the wilderness & nature soon again.