( Himachal Pradesh.)
Kugti is not a very famous or popular tourist destination. Kugti means Karthikeya in local language, the son of Shiv and Parvati. Karthikeya is not as popular deity as his brother Ganapati. There are very few temples of Kathikeya in India. One of them is in the Himachal Pradesh, near the famous pilgrimage Manimahesh. It is 12/14 km from Hadsar. Shared jeeps are available to reach Kugti, but one has to walk 2km to reach the village from the end of the motorable road.
I did not have any idea that the motorable road would end 2 km before Kugti village, so I was a bit disappointed. I was hungry and tired after coming down from Manimahesh. I had my lunch from the langar( where food was offered to devotees free of cost) at the entrance of the path which led to Kugti village. There was a small school. They allowed me to use their toilet. I reached the forest rest house which was at the entrance of the village Kugti, walking 2 kilometers with my rucksack on my back.
When I reached I was absolutely exhausted. I found 3 people sitting on the yard eating apples that grew in the garden of the rest house. They offered me apples, they were juicy and sweet. I told them that I desperately need a room there. One of the three persons was from HP police department who was there on duty for the occasion of Manimahesh Yatra and another was from the maintenance department of HP forest rest houses who came to repair the solar heater of that forest rest house. They had been staying in the two rooms of the rest house that were habitable. Rest of the rooms were in broken condition. The 3rd person was a local and an acquaintance of them.They called the caretaker of the forest rest house from the village, whose house was half kilometer away from the rest house, making a whistling sound that echoed in the mountain. That is the communication only system there. There was no mobile tower. Both of them were ready to share one room and spared the other room for me on condition that in the morning I would allow them to take hot water from my bathroom because there was no hot water facility in the toilet of the other room. After negotiating with the care taker, I ultimately got the room. I was very happy. The caretaker provided me dinner with roti and rajma curry. Rajma of Kugti is famous for its taste. Kugti is an Eco-village where only organic fertilizers are used for cultivation.
The next day early morning I started for Karthik Swami temple after breakfast. The way was beautiful and scenic, it was a pristine land full of flowers, butterflies and other small creatures. It was 7 kilometer uphill trek. The last part was pretty difficult for me. People were hardly seen on the way, whenever I met anyone I asked how much distant the temple was, everyone said that it was just behind the next corner of the hill and after every corner there was another corner. Thus I ultimately saw the temple though it was a steep 2 kilometer walk from that place.
I reached there walking seven hours. I was too happy to witness Karthik Swamiji and felt myself blessed. There was a langar where I had my lunch, rice, daal and aloo ki sabji, they offered me two very tasty mung daal ka ladoo also, made of clarified butter, sugar and mung daal . After a sumptuous lunch I went down, coming down was not as difficult as going up. It took 3 hours to reach the village. I was dead tired but very satisfied. Next day after breakfast I reached the jeep stand and caught jeep for Hudsar, that same jeep took me to Bharmour taking few bucks more.