Thanedar – A virgin destination
Hello friends , I am back again with an edition of JITC and though I was supposed to take you to Ooty , the unbearable mercury level made me take a detour down the memory lane to cool climes of Thanedar.
Thanedar is still an unpolluted, unknown destination and visited as a part of the Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda package as it is just few kilometres away from Shimla and Kufri in Himachal. Shimla serves as an important centre point for visiting its beautiful satellite hamlets like Mashobra , Kufri, Thanedar etc.Unless and until you have a relaxed itinerary, with an urge to explore the unknown there are chances that you might miss them.
We chanced upon Thanedar by chance on a snowy day when we were caught in snow and had halted at Kufri, while on our way to Rampur. Yes that is the route to Thanedar-A Small well maintained road, off shooting from the Shimla Rampur Highway, leads to Thanedar.
An inviting archway beckoning on to the road and glimpses of the snow bound landscape peeping in from among the fir and deodar trees reminding of Narnia, was a major temptation to venture out there forgetting our destination completely.
Here I have attempted to bring before you views of and from Thanedar that I had, through my pictures but as I say always, Thanedar is much more than this and the best way to enjoy its beauty is by being there yourself.
Though Thanedar is an all season destination my advice is to visit it in winter to have a glimpse of the magical snow clad landscape as it is quite different from other snow bound destination of Manali, or Auli, Gulmarg.
It is 94 Km from Shimla,which is just a three hour drive from Shimla (You can drive up to Thanedar or hire a cab from Shimla to Thanedar) and if you want to drive up there directly from Delhi- the route to take is NH 1 then at Indri near Kurukshetra take the state highway 7 to reach Ladwa- Yamuna nagar- Sadaura-Nahaan –Rajgarh –Kotkhal- and finally Thanedar
Always be careful while driving on a snowy day as snow makes the road very slippery resulting in skidding.
Thanedar is more famous for the apple orchards and this is where the first apple seeds were planted in India by Samuel Stokes. You can always sample the local apple products – jams, pickle, wine etc.
The Tani Juber lake nearby is a quite a popular destination for a day picnic.
Accommodation is not a problem there. You can put up in Shimla or Kufri as a base or if you want the real mountain wilderness experience then you can try the comfortable Banjara camps in Thanedar itself. Either of the two has its advantages.
Thanedar is more of a peaceful leisure destination rather than the conventional activity filled tourist destinations. You can go trekking, leisurely forest walks or sit by the roadside, in a meadow enjoying a book and a picnic lunch.
Many a times I have been asked by my blogger friends and some readers that why in spite of JITC being one of my favorite, I do not experiment in it as I do in other categories. Well frankly speaking, nature is something very sacred to me. Every trip or holiday is a pilgrimage for me. Be it The Himalayas – where I feel so close to God , or the sensation of total freedom in the sand dunes of Rajasthan, the sea in Goa enticing me to explore the unknown, rain soaked Kerala- pure and fresh, the barren solitude of Spiti where you feel so humble- Everything that I have experienced makes me fall in love with my country called India over and over again ( in spite of its shortcomings) And when I am in awe over something or in love , I don’t mess with it.
But I am adding a new feature here today- And that is an anecdote of a travel related incident of mine, which you may find interesting and also helpful as a travel tip as they say experience is the best teacher. So let me narrate an incident that had happened on our way to Manali from Delhi.
We usually prefer to self drive or rather my husband prefers to self drive whenever we travel to the hills (err my driving is slightly shaky. People start shaking in fright if I drive the car) we had uneventfully crossed Chandigarh and had passed Bilaspur too, from where the uphill ride starts. A little farther from Bilaspur, we decided to stop at a café to have tea. It was then 3 ‘o clock in the afternoon and as we were debarking snap went my hubby’s specs. He was wearing the shades then, leaving his specs by the side of the seat and somebody sat on it breaking it neatly into two right at the middle, the part which sits on the bridge of the nose. And unfortunately I had forgotten to pack a pair of spare.
Dusks set in early in the mountains and that meant he could not continue wearing the shades after an hour or so. After quite a voluble “pass the blame game” we decided to go for damage control. In the mountains it’s a fact that facilities are not available at the snap of the finger. The nearest optician was supposed to be in Mandi which was 69 kms away. All the quarrel and tea and snacks (oh no we were not the ones to give up on tea for a pair of specs comes what may) cost us an hour… So? Well so desperate situations required desperate measures. uh no! he did not attempt a lasik eye operation there, but worse. There was a hardware shop in the vicinity and he got some m-seal from there and made a reasonable sized laddoo from it and stuck the two lenses with their “stumps” in it and put it on. So you can imagine the sight! The big lump of m-seal sat on his nose like a huge beetle and the lens sat on his eyes crookedly, but still it served its purpose. The sight was totally funny but I dared not laugh aloud and had a very hard time controlling my laughter which was threatening to burst out at the sight of that scowling man with a beetle sized m seal over his nose from which the lenses shot out. Damn! I could not even shoot a picture of him. And he drove with his “customized” eye-wear and me gagging my mouth somehow we finally purchased a pair of specs and thankfully normalcy was restored.
Moral of the story- If you wear specs then always keep a spare during your travel and yes M seal is really handy in ways even we don’t realize. Well that was that and now lets proceed on to the pictures.
Bring the mouse to the bottom portion of the slide-show for the details on the picture as well as the control keys for slide-show
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One view , different seasons !
I have never been an avid photographer. However, a couple of months ago, I made up my mind to snap a picture on each side of a season as that would be a nice way of covering up my lack of photography skills!!!
The town I live in provided me with a great opportunity to do that and hence I went about my "time-lapse-adventure", if you could call it that! The seasons in the picture provide the contrast that this picture needs.
The picture is of the town of Houghton in the scenic Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan, USA where in the words of the townsfolk there exists two seasons viz. "Winter is coming" and "Winter is here!” The place boasts of a very high temperature spread with temperatures ranging from -38 F during the peak days of winter to 95 F during the peak days of summer (around -35 C to 35 C). This apparently is a result of a phenomenon unique to areas like this called, lake effect. (Check out Wikipedia’s entry on Lake effect for more information)
As of now, we have had our first snow fall on the 9th of October and status quo will be maintained until the first week of May 2010!
Same place different seasons !
Upper Peninsula of Michigan – summer 2009
Upper Peninsula of Michigan – Winter 2009
Let’s end up this article with a lovely poem by William Wordsworth.
Thought On The Seasons
By William Wordsworth
Flattered with promise of escape
From every hurtful blast,
Spring takes, O sprightly May! thy shape,
Her loveliest and her last.
Less fair is summer riding high
In fierce solstitial power,
Less fair than when a lenient sky
Brings on her parting hour.
When earth repays with golden sheaves
The labors of the plough,
And ripening fruits and forest leaves
All brighten on the bough;
What pensive beauty autumn shows,
Before she hears the sound
Of winter rushing in, to close
The emblematic round!
Such be our Spring, our Summer such;
So may our Autumn blend
With hoary Winter, and Life touch,
Through heaven-born hope, her end!
It all started with an email from Mani Padma of our GingerChai author panel. (Yes, the same Mani who “wowed us” with wonderful 55F and book reviews in GingerChai)
She asked my opinion on doing a photo feature under the name “Jewel in the Crown” series. As a sample, she had sent me a power point presentation about a hill destination she had visited. (Harsil in Uttaranchal, to be precise). I went through the presentation and sat a while looking at the pictures. It was impressive.
So I shot her a mail back. I thought a complete travelogue could be a good addition to the site. I asked her opinion on it.
Mani mailed me back with her inputs. She was bit hesitant about the idea of a full fledged travelogue. She suggested we should work on a different approach. For regular travelogue, there are many sites for readers, some being exclusive for just this purpose. So why do we at GingerChai, follow the same tested route? Why don’t we come up with something else for the same concept? Again the feature in Ginger Chai should be a bit unique too, not like the run of the mill ones with the usual stuff of recommendations.
It made me think. She had made a valid point. So thinking on the subject, I narrowed down to two options.
1. It could be projected as a main category “Picture speaks or Photo talks (or any other appropriate title) and the sub category will be "Jewel in the crown" that will contain Mani’s series of article on this line.
2. It could be projected as a travel category (with suitable name) and the subcategory "Jewel in the crown" that will post the series of Mani’s visual articles.
Both has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Photo speaks / photo talks: Could not be restricted just on the travelogue but also include any other interesting pictures on various subjects.
The travel category: May be focused on one subject.
Both the category has its own minuses too. The bottom line of course is to make it not look like run of the mill types.
After a couple of email discussion, we decided upon the new category “Photo Speaks”. Later as the content increases on this, may be we can divide it further suitably.
So GingerChai will soon have a new feature by name “PHOTO SPEAKS”
It’s going to be exciting. Like you, even am looking forward to it.
If you have a camera, good hands and eye to frame pictures and let the picture speak stories , YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TOO. It can be based on any subject. It can be whacky , serious , photos about places or anything visually interesting. You can even weave a small story around the picture. Just shoot me a mail for any clarification.
If you have any suggestions, tips or tea bags to pep it up, feel free to provide it.
A nation reacts to terrorism
Sea of humanity protesting against terrorism before the Taj Hotel ..
Part of the sea of crowd before Taj Hotel … When common man reacts its high time politicians listen to the public mood ..
The strong will of billion plus will keep the tri colour fly high …
Young , Old , Men , Women all unites against terrorism …
Writing their heart out to vent their anguish , anger , despair ..
Infront of India Gate ..
Students lighting candle in memory of those who died …
Will the politicians listen to the voice of nation and act firm against terrorism ?
Some artistsvent their feeling through sketches ..
People thronging to show their solidarity ..
Youths carry a tricolour as they take part in a rally to pay homage to the martyrs and victims of Mumbai terror attacks..
Residents take part in a protest rally against terrorism, in Bangalore .. People wants a tough action against terrorism..
A girl lights candles in the memory of martyrs and victims of Mumbai terror victims, at the Great India Palace in Noida .
Zeroes (politicians) and heroes ( the brave policemen and army men)..
Bhopal shares the pain of nation by lighting lamps…
Get up, arise, awake ! Oh , Nation …
Hundreds of people joined a candle-light vigil held in east London in memory of the victims of mumbai attack..
The man of Ahimsa still lives in people’s mind when the world is brushed with blood by terrorists…