Trek to the Magic Honey Village, Grahan in Just 2000 INR !

Every time I am in need of an inspiration I look up to the mountains.  Do you know why ? Their beauty, mystery, stillness and transcendence is matchless. Whenever I climb a mountain I see a valley below and it’s the valley of peace & harmony.

With these thoughts in my mind I began my next journey to a village hidden in the dense forests of magnificent Parvati Valley, Grahan. I always seek to explore the lesser known areas of himachal as the journey to such destinations is always fruitful. Grahan is a beguiling village whose name literally means “eclipse” and has adopted the eclipse’s characteristic obscurity. The village is located north of the famous hippie town of Kasol in Parvati valley at an altitude of about 7700 feet.

LRM_EXPORT_183546169458053_20181013_195408194

The village has about 50-60 houses and some of them are said to be 200 years old. The trek from Kasol to Grahan is an easy to moderate 10 km trek with a rocky trail throughout the trek. However after covering 8 kms of trek you will reach a junction where you will have to decide if you want a shorter, tough trek to reach Grahan village or the easy but longer one. The trek on the left-hand side is very exhausting and requires extra efforts. We took the shorter left hand side route.

Day 1: 06.10.2018

Grahan is a trek with negligible crowd. The village offers fresh crisp air detoxing your body, very helpful locals and the shimmering strip of the Milkyway at night to gaze upon. I have completed some easy to moderate treks and my colleagues wanted to take them along too. Of course, who doesn’t want to witness the majestic Parvati river & the dense verdent woods. Sajid & Paras came with me this time and they enjoyed every bit of it, right from trekking on rock- strewn paths to walking in the woodland.

We started our journey from Chandigarh on 5th October at 10:40 PM. HRTC buses are best mode to travel to himachal and I prefer to travel by normal ones as the fresh air circulation makes your journey easy. We reached Bhuntar in the morning at 6:30 AM. The bridge leading the way to Kasol had got damaged because of which we have to board an another bus to reach Kasol. As we had to trek the same day we thought of getting freshen up at the Bhuntar itself. We then boarded a bus from Bhuntar to Kasol at about 8:25 AM and we reached Kasol at 10:15 PM. As you enter Kasol you will find hippies in tattered clothes over tattooed bodies all around. After having our breakfast we started our trek at about 10:40 AM. We asked a few locals about the trek route and they guided us on the right path.

The hike to Grahan starts from the Kasol itself along the bridge. The bridge separates old Kasol and new Kasol. The moment you lay your steps on the trail the beautiful Parvati river welcomes you with its gushing water running alongside the rocky trail.

LRM_EXPORT_104029569315573_20181011_214611867

The Parvati river goes aggressive as you move on and makes your adventure even more exciting.

LRM_EXPORT_104093370426278_20181011_214715667

The hike was a gradual climb and the weather was quite sunny.  En-route we took plenty of pictures of the prevalent flora and fauna. We spotted some really beautiful flowers such as whorl flower, orchids and birds such as magpies. It was enjoyable to be amidst the jungle, listening to orchestra of birds and the whispering of pines. It was absolutely blissful.

LRM_EXPORT_103124211258992_20181011_213106509

LRM_EXPORT_103325866131050_20181011_213428163

LRM_EXPORT_103059017416152_20181011_213001315

The trail is more or less marked out with red arrows & crosses all the way to the Grahan village. The crispy clean and fresh air kept us moving out in wilderness. During the trek we crossed few wooden bridges also.

LRM_EXPORT_104421847196622_20181011_215244144

There are some really beautiful spots where you can sit and enjoy the nature’s creations. There are no mobile signals after about 2 kms of the trek. Soon we spotted some hippies who were also going towards Grahan. After trekking halfway we found one pit shop near the river. We reached this point at 1:20 PM and relaxed there, feasted on some good food, had some chit chat with the hippies and then finally started our journey again at 2:15 PM to Grahan. It is the only eatery in the entire trail.

LRM_EXPORT_104487276522378_20181011_215349574

Towards the last 2 kms of the hike we spotted a signage indicating two routes to reach Grahan. We took the one indicating 1.5 kms to Grahan.

LRM_EXPORT_104555912651258_20181011_215458210

The route is quite steep from here and a real test of one’s endurance & strength. We came to know that this route is usually taken by locals and their cattle while the other one is an easy trail to the village.

LRM_EXPORT_104249286864813_20181011_214951584

The weather changed suddenly from sunny to overcast. It started drizzling. Earlier we thought to wait for a while and let the rain subside but Paras insisted to move on so that we could reach early as it might get even worse. The weather in mountains changes just in few minutes. After waiting for about 10 minutes we decided to move on but we could feel the fatigue so we rested for few minutes in between, where we could. The weather was quite cold due to the drop in temperature because of the drizzle. We reached the Grahan village at about 3:40 PM. We took around 4 hours to reach Grahan from Kasol. There is something divine in the mountains that always motivates me to keep moving and the fatigue just vanishes in no time.

Arriving in Grahan is a tranquil sight with its wooden houses, lush greenery, pure mountain air to breathe and beautiful vistas to witness. I was wondering, why can’t I be in this place forever which brings so much joy to me, irradiating all worldly worries.

LRM_EXPORT_103921795631552_20181011_214424093

I enjoyed each & every moment of mine in Grahan. The villagers were simple and hospitable. There is no mobile connectivity in the village and it is better to make your phone calls before beginning the trek. Grahan houses various cafes and home stays. The Hebrew- English signage is all over the village. One wonders how it can happen in such a remote village located at such at such altitude. We were welcomed by the children playing in the temple complex of the village. We were totally mesmerized by the rustic beauty of the old traditional houses with pitched roofs. We learnt that these houses are very old, some of them were 200 years old. The houses had surreal views and each one was picturesque. It seemed like a perfect little world.

History of Grahan

It is said that Grahan was first located near Malana village, the village of taboos. Some of the elders decided to migrate deep into the Parvati valley tributaries. The villagers from the Grahan are only outsiders who the Malana people consider equals. So much so, that they allow them to visit there temples and enter their houses. Consumption of alcohol is completely banned in the village. Signs indicating not drink alcohol have been put in the trek trail as well.

Grahan is also known as the magic honey village. The villagers gather honey from the forest nearby. A couple of table spoons and one will feel heavy sugar rush, something very uncommon after having honey. It is believed that such honey has such after affect because the bees gather the nectar from the wild flowers around the forest. The honey is being prepared in the wooden logs (in picture below) which hollowed from inside. The honey cost around Rs. 2000 for one bottle which I think was of about 1 liter capacity.

LRM_EXPORT_145529925062971_20181012_203102025

We stayed at Mount View Guest house. We got a room at very cheaper rate, just Rs. 100 per person. The rooms were quite cosy with huge windows for an awesome view of the mountains. The food cost seemed to be on higher side. It may be because they have to get everything right from gas cylinders, food items etc from Kasol.

LRM_EXPORT_101116235494758_20181011_205738533

After having bread toast and ginger tea we went for local sight seeing. The village has houses with traditional wooden construction giving you a complete feel of old himachal. We also saw some locals weaving cloth using traditional machines. The village also has three temples which are extremely beautiful with intricate wooden craftsmanship and having distinct architecture. The village didn’t had mobile network however our guest house had a landline.

LRM_EXPORT_103648357702750_20181011_213950655

LRM_EXPORT_103734536876467_20181011_214116834

LRM_EXPORT_103829087749035_20181011_214251385

The village offers some spectacular views of breathtaking mountain peaks. Grahan is  also a campsite for the Sar Pass trek in Parvati Valley. At night we did star gazing and tried to capture some beautiful shots of our milky way galaxy.

LRM_EXPORT_23615097554218_20181009_230934013

Day 2: 07.10.2018 

We started our descent in the morning at around 6:55 AM. Just 30 minutes of walk and we were greeted by the sun shining over the mountains. The beauty of the woods comforted our hearts. The forest’s smell was fresh and organic. We could hear the songs of birds. En-route we also spotted two pheasants. Grahan is still untouched and road less traveled in Parvati Valley. The charm of Grahan lies in the fact that it is located deep inside the forest that can help you feel a sense of total disconnect from the outer world, which is a much-needed relief in today’s life.

LRM_EXPORT_102015262873894_20181011_211237560

LRM_EXPORT_101909816122528_20181011_211052113

We reached Kasol at 10:45 AM. We then boarded a bus to Bhuntar at around 12:05 PM. I was just looking at the green mountains passing by when a voice came from the backseat, Hello! are you guys coming from Kasol ? I looked back, an old man wearing a traditional himachali hat was smiling at us. I said yes, we had gone for trekking from Kasol to Grahan. Oh! that’s great people usually come here to smoke hash otherwise. Seeming to be an interesting guy, I just kept on talking to him and he told me that he is living in Kalga from last five and a half months. He retired last year, stays in New York with his family. Then why you are here?  I just asked him and he said I am on a vacation. Can you believe a 67 year old man living in New York and is alone on vacation in a remote town of himachal ? He was totally a surprise package to us. I asked his name and he replied, it is Jag… Jagdeep  Singh. People in New York are unable to say Jagdeep Singh so I am  better known by the name of Jag. I am living in Kalga with a family who takes care of me. I love to design travel websites and currently I am developing a website for listing out cafes & hotels on a common platform named http://www.kalgahomestays.com. Jag seemed to be totally a gem of person living his life the way he wants. Asking about his future plans he said I will go back to New York after this vacation and will decide whether to live with his wife along the beach side florida or will come back here. To my surprise he told me that he is a pass out from Department of Economics, Punjab University, Chandigarh and has also taught in Pre-engineering at Punjab engineering college, Chandigarh. We had a good laugh, discussions on our lives spent and finally exchanged our contacts. He asked if I know from he can get fresh goat meat at Bhuntar and that was the reason why he had come from Kalga to Bhuntar. He offered us to visit Kalga on 19th October i.e. on his birthday. I thanked him for the invitation and finally we parted our ways at Bhuntar. Nothing beats meeting new people, hearing their stories and getting inspired from them. It was just a simple hello which made me a new friend named Jag….. Jag NYC.

LRM_EXPORT_101595456170981_20181011_210537753

After reaching Buntar we boarded the HRTC bus to Chandigarh and reached by 11:15 PM. We rested for the day. Remembering the two days well spent in such a pristine village stripped of all luxuries and materialistic desires, I walked into my office.

Untitled-1

Best time to visit Grahan

Mid March to first week of June and during springs from September to first week of November. Home stays are a plus point on this trek. At home stay you get proper sleep and food which is missing on other treks.

50 Comments Add yours

  1. Sandeep Bawa says:

    Wow sir… Another awesome trip..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hiking Singh says:

    Thanks ! Stay tuned !! many more to come !!!

    Like

  3. Paras Malhotra says:

    That’s great..very well written.. you have the right words to describe the beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hiking Singh says:

    Hahaha ..I am still learning 😃

    Like

  5. pslater1972 says:

    Stunning photography that really brings to life what is obviously a beautiful part of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. julivaglobal says:

    This post is so relaxing because of all the pitures and words used to depict peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Aakanksha says:

    Oh we had missed out on going to grahan cause of lack of time! This looks beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  8. happyandbusy says:

    Ohhh I love nature! I hope I can go in Parvati Valley, Grahan also 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ZyraKuma says:

    I can agree that looking out to nature is beautiful and inspiring. The photographs are stunning too!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The history of Grahan gives me chills. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Luna S says:

    This looks like a stunning trip, not that the weather is nice where I am I will be planning a few trips like this myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. chartrends says:

    Wow, this sounds like an amazing experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nina says:

    It’s interesting to note that signages are written in Hebrew- English. Grahan seems like a nice place to travel and I would love to see it one day!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What an amazing trip! I would love to take a hike in Magic Honey village, your pictures are gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. amayszingblogs says:

    What a great adventure. I love trekking adventure. Love your photography ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hey, such lovely images! I swear Himachal is full of such lovely places. I am in love again ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hiking Singh says:

    Yes it is full of such serene places, one just need to explore !

    Like

  18. blair villanueva says:

    I like its name Magic Honey village, it sounds very homey and welcoming. The nature is so rich and healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. OMG, it is such a beautiful place on earth. Only 2000 INDR. What a great deal. It seems like a very peaceful place to me. Thanks for sharing and I also love your pictures, they are simply beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. That ancient tree reminds me of LOTR….. And the house…… It’s unique…. I’ve never see anything like it….. Amazing Nature trip

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Adaezeonpoint Grossi says:

    I can relate with you looking at the mountains for inspiration. I felt it was a personal thing. I am happy to know that the energy of nature also affect other people.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. veyheyronica says:

    Wow it looks beautiful there! So jealous you had that experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Bunmies Healthy Choices says:

    I love this post and such great pictures! Thanks for this great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. onehoppymomma says:

    Thanks for also providing the history of the village. Helps you realy connect with the area you’re going to visit

    Liked by 1 person

  25. melisvida says:

    you have some amazing shots, makes me want to go and relax myself lol

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I have travelled to Himachal a few times but had no idea about Grahan. beautiful pictures and views!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Mountains are great stress relievers! Climbing a a mountain definitely gives one a natural high. You just had one awesome trek! Keep them coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Megwyn F. says:

    Amazing pics! Make you feel like you are seeing every detail of the views!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Ben_C says:

    Really nice trek and wow the pictures. I can believe your fund so healthy orchids. Thank you for your reportage and I will definitively get there.

    Ben – http://www.nutrition-newage.com

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Rachael Hope says:

    Great photos!! I love the ones of the flowers. This really does look like a fantastic adventure. Thanks for sharing! Rach

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Indu says:

    Stunning pics and scenic trek in mountains of Himachal.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Those are amazing photos. Looks like a beautiful trek!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. We would love to take this trek, it looks stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. From the pictures only I can tell you had an amazing time. I’m not much of a mountain climber cos I will be too scared. The scenery is so lovely from your pictures, thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Sasha Powell says:

    This sounds like a beautiful and peaceful village. Breathtaking photos as well!!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Luna S says:

    I’d love to visit here, it looks so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Amazing photos! Looks like such an awesome trip and memorable experience. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. blair villanueva says:

    This is lovely place to regain energy from the Mother Nature. Where is your next destination

    Liked by 1 person

  39. This place looks absolutely beautiful!!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. pujarinimitra says:

    I love reading your blogs. Its like I take a virtual hiking trip every time I see these lovely pictures. Great Work!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. mariaaar says:

    Lovely pictures! The place is so picturesque.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Nicole says:

    Fantastic post and beautiful blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  43. I traveled through your post. Beautiful narration and pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Extremely good article and more than that the photos are fabulous! Glad you had fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. aisasami says:

    I love the scenic shot of the mountains for the cover shot. I don’t particularly enjoy hiking but your post makes it is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. wajihabaig says:

    this looks interesting. Ive been meaning to make a travel plan in december. this is definitely on the list now

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s