Shikari Devi 1 “Highest Top of Mandi”

We always loved to visit places about which we always listen from others. The eagerness always stays in our minds, and curiosity, whether we will be able to visit that place or not.

In a similar fashion, I and my colleague Chetan Pathak, heard one thing from many of our Himachali colleagues, that you should visit Shikari Devi. But time passes and we were not been able or I can say we were not getting enough time to visit there out of our corporate slavery.

So on the day of 10th June 2017, Saturday, at office time, me and Chetan suddenly planned to go for a bike trip to Shikari Devi, the place everyone praises. So as planned, on Sunday 11 June 2017, at 4 in the morning, we started our journey on the bike of Chetan, a 150cc sports bike.

At the start of this trip, Chetan asked me to do the riding as I am having bit more experience as a rider in mountains than him, or he is a bit scared of riding in mountains.

So the journey to the magnificent top of the highest peak in Mandi district started from Hoshiarpur.

The pathway initially was dark as it was just before sunrise, so we moved ahead on the highway as per Google maps. There may be beautiful outlets near the roads, but the darkness does not allow us to have a look at them.

Soon like always, sunrise happens and the whole world in front of us illuminates under the belief of the sun god. Till that time we are about to cross Gobind Sagar lake, for which there was a spectacular view available from the mountain, and a perfect place for a selfie point.

Not wasting much time we proceeded toward our first destination, Sunder Nagar. In the pathway, as we started to approach the Sunder Nagar, we were in front of the teak forest, which with its leaves falls at its bed, making a pleasing view for any traveler.

After again some selfie sessions, we moved ahead to complete our first milestone of Sunder Nagar.

Soon we reached Sunder Nagar and passed in front of a lake, which with the transmission tower gives an eye catchy view of the landscape. Now we were in the town of Sunder Nagar, so we started searching for bike parking, as this is the center point from which we can return after our upcoming round trip trek from Shikari Devi to Kamrunag.

We got one, and then with some information from the locals, we got one bus that will drop us at Janjheli. From Janjheli we have to hire a Taxi to Shikari Devi Base. On the bus, we both slept as we were quite tired from the long bike ride.

But from Janjheli, the magnificent moment of view is not allowing us to blink our eyes also. There were forest-loaded mountains all around with colorful house sheds which is giving contrast to the overall scenery.

After a few moments, we got gardens in which trees were covered with net. We asked our driver Hari what is the reason for this setup. He replied these are apple trees, so to save it from hail storm, these nets are covering it so the harm can not reach the apple trees.

So as we moved further, the loads and loads of apple gardens are in front of us, which is the first time view of this miraculous scenario seen by both of us in our entire lifetime.

After the road finishes, now it’s time for the broken road, which is shaky crossing the limit of acceptance. Still, we tried to enjoy it as it is a part of the adventure for our most awaited Shikari Devi trip.

As we moved further, the level of happiness increases. So now the car trip ends after crossing some muddy patch of the road, which was a bit time-consuming as many amateur drivers also tried to ride on a muddy road which has very less friction. But after around a wait of 30 minutes, our cab got a chance to move ahead, and our driver Hari is experienced enough to cross those patches in single acceleration.

Now after saying goodbye to our cab driver, we are now just at the bottom of the next challenge. in front of us is the 550 steps that we need to climb to reach Shikari Devi Temple.

Without giving any single thought we started climbing. The steps were mixed of steep as well as shallow, but imagine, if you are about to climb 550 steps, it is not easy for any experienced person also to climb. So with every 10-20 steps, we are taking a rest, so that we can energize ourselves for the next 20 sets.

As we were about to reach the top, the visibility of Shikari Devi temple was visible, with a good number crowd worshiping. So it’s not much more time to rest as sunset time is not much far.

So we moved ahead to take some Prashad for Shikari Devi temple, and here we met Eshu Bhaiya and Anu, locals of the area, who are running a shop at the temple campus.

They were very polite and supportive, after a discussion, they helped us get a room here where we can put our luggage. as we have an expensive camera bag, and I cant risk it with any stranger.

This is a character for which I always praise Himachal people, as they were very truthful, hard-working, and supportive, especially for tourists, as tourism is the most important business of Himachal Pradesh.

Now it’s time for some worship of the Shikari Devi. The wind was perfectly flowing which drowned all our tiredness and we were totally in a state of freshness to travel more.

The crowd was good, but not that high which can create any issue or make disruption in the faith. Lots of families came here to get blessings from Goddess.

We went to the temple, given our Prashad, lighten some incense sticks, and took blessings of Shikari Devi Mata. We were happy about one of the biggest milestones we achieved.

Basically, this temple is open from the top, and it is said that making a top shelter is not allowed make. But if you try to create it anyhow, some natural calamity will never let the top structure stay.

So after taking a few clicks of Shika Devi Mata, I moved around to take some other natural views and birds. In one of the shots I just captured where the crow was having his full wings open, and after looking at the picture on my camera screen, my satisfaction level and morale are boosted to the highest level.

The landscape was also having very pleasant greenery, which was never ever experienced by any of us till now in our lifetime.

Now the sun was about to set and the moment of clear sky with the sun going down is a very rare moment that we urban people are been able to get. The sun looks like its saying to us that “You have done a great job today, and I am going down but will rise again tomorrow with new challenges and new hopes”

So this was our this day miles stone achieved and after taking a very simple dinner made by Eshu Bhaiya, “Dal Khichdi and achaar”, we went to our room which we rented for the night. Now the time was nearly 9 pm, but the temperature here at this moment is 4 degrees, which was a bit freezing.

So we just covered ourselves in multiple layers of blankets given by Eshu Bhaiya, a made our bodies warm. Soon after completing this level, we closed our eyes to dream about the beauties which are yet to come tomorrow morning. So in the next part of Shikari Devi, we will be showing how interestingly we have done the trek from Shikari Devi temple to Kamrunaag temple. Till then see you all my readers for more interesting facts in upcoming blogs.

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