Kasauli: A Ballad of a Traveller

The traveller has a long way to go;

has much to search and to know.

When tired he stops to rest,

to start again with renewed zest.

He must go on be it loss or gain

and rise above joy or pain.

He travels through lands and oceans

and one fine day it dawns upon him

that the outside is actually within.

Life itself can be considered as a journey and we as travellers through this journey of life evolve into our true self. Going to different places broadens our perspective and enables us to be more productive in our work, with this thought in mind I finally decided to retreat, even if for a few days to Kasauli, work was becoming too monotonous and I needed this much postponed break. Kasauli is a small hill town in Himachal Pradesh located near to Chandigarh, Shimla and other cities. Kasauli was once the summer capital of The British, and this is evident even till today in its culture and heritage, through the monuments and buildings located amidst a charming natural setting. Being closely located to major cities of the state, it is easily commutable and has the basic amenities but is far from noise and pollution, this is one reason that makes travellers choose Kasauli as a perfect hill destination. Summer season in Kasauli is pleasant and a relief from the scorching heat of the plains. In winters it is chilly with temperature that hovers around 2 degrees Celsius, the snow and mist make the beauty of the hill town even more indescribable.

I chose to stay in a quaint guest house, providing only basic services but with a magnificent view of the entire mountainous terrain. I noted that at the backside of my dwelling place, the mountain was terraced. The terraced path lead to a temple of a local deity, I decided to walk up the terraced path, the very next day at dawn. I got up early, the next day, packed in my knapsack a bottle of water, binoculars, camera, fruits and nuts and set off for my morning walk. The terraced path passed between the tall pine trees and as I walked along, I could hear the birds sing sweetly. The climb was steep and quite lengthy and by the time I reached the temple I was panting and was feeling really hungry. I paid my respects to the local deity with flowers and thereafter I explored around. The place I had come to was a small village, I spotted a small tea stall and I decided to rest there a while, I ordered tea and hot samosas. While I was devouring my morning meal with great relish, I saw a quaint little cottage and the poet within me began to sing:

Up on the mountains, amidst the trees,

I saw a little cottage oh! A home so sweet,

of some simple people who work and play,

in the lap of nature they like to stay.

Far away from the city’s smoke,

They live near God’s abode.

After finishing my meal, I made my way down to the cottage. Upon reaching there I learnt that the cottage can be rented by visitors for a nominal monthly rent. The cottage room besides having all the facilities had an attached kitchen and garden. I decided to make it my retreat and come here during my summer and winter breaks. I could already see myself cooking my own meals made from the fresh mountain vegetables and take long nature walks while visiting the local market.

I spent almost my entire day there, had my lunch beneath the warm sun and napped on a rocking chair beneath a tree which showered white blossoms on me, the poet within me sang:

After a day of toil we can now rest in the sultry winter sun.

The remains of the day hold a promise of revelry and fun.

The evening shades engulf the valley and the high mountain.

The ringing of bells are a tribute to Him and His entire creation.

I awoke when the sun was just setting, to the sound of bells and shells coming from the temple above and decided to say goodbye for now.