Concealed beauty of Barot

Barot is a place that apparently does not look glamorous like other hill stations. Buses ply directly from Mandi to Barot. I reached Barot Valley in a Sunday afternoon when it was raining heavily. While we were proceeding towards Barot from Ghatasni our bus stopped frequently to be allowed to pass because there was quite a rush of private cars and the road was too narrow. I came to know from a girl, who was a local and happened to be my co-passenger, that Barot was becoming a popular weekend destination for the people of Chandigarh. There is a dam on Uhl river and the river is famous for trouts. There is also a government run trout farm.

As it was raining cats and dogs, I asked the girl if the hotels or home-stays were distant from the bus stand. She informed me that just beside their house there were two home-stays. She offered me to stay in their home also. I got down from the bus, they gave me lift in their car which came to receive them from the bus stand. Her brother was with her who was an army jawan posted at Kargil. I lodged in a home-stay beside their house. The room was clean with basic amenities like geyser and the rent was considerably cheap because it was neither season nor even weekend. Food was simple but tasty. I went to the girl’s house later. They were very friendly people. They were seven sisters and a brother. Their parents were not at home. They had an aged aunt and her deaf and dumb husband with them. I took a cup of tea in their house sitting beside the fire place.

Next morning was sunny, I took a stroll in the village after having breakfast. At the time of breakfast the lady of the home-stay requested me to take lunch outside. While walking along the village path I found her working in the field on the mountain quite away from the place. Himalayan women are very hard working. They work inside and outside home. The village is small and spread in the both side of the river. In the morning I covered one side and in the afternoon I went to the other side crossing a wooden bridge made only for pedestrians. The natural beauty of the village uncovers itself if someone stays there and moves around in the nature. Its beauty was addictive. There was a small water falls in the village. A person gave me lift up to the falls in his car while taking back his children from the school. I came back in the evening and had dinner. Next morning I left the valley.

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