On a very random basis how many times in your usual conversation do you hear someone talking about the place? Seldom, isn’t it?
Or ever planned to visit it? I am sure you didn’t! Well, how rude of our civilisation to leave a place of habitation all away from the hustle.
Bada bhangal is village in the tehsil Baijnath of district Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. It is said that 6 months of the year the place never emerges out of snow, the fact doesn’t come forward to say that the place experiences pleasant summers.
You must begin to wonder that how did the place happen to not receive any tourists! But surely can you do nothing when the place is so far taken into the Dhauladhars. But, so is the urge of man to find comfort and so is his ability to amend and create that alongside the very hard topographical and climatic condition it has come forward to thrive.
Up for something hard enough to test your already flexed muscles?
Or measure the air your lungs can squeeze in? Gather some courage and set foot on the trail leading you to the place. Well, do you know about Bir Billing? Yes, the paragliding capital of Asia!
The trail incepts from ‘Billing’ village, and takes you to ‘Rajgundha’, which on the best days is accessible by vehicles. Stay tuned as beauty personified uncovers itself. Continue to walk along a moderate trail that takes you to ‘Palachak’. Glacial streams run through the terrain but fear not as a beautifully constructed bridge made from wood mends your path.
Exhausted? Well, a very refreshing waterfall hydrates your wish to continue the trail.
Wish to stay for night? ‘Rasoi’ has some tents to offer you shelter. ‘Rasoi’, is an emerging tourist destination and has been receiving good bunch of tourists for the last couple of years. The trail further takes you to ‘panetu’ through ‘jhorti glacier’ and ‘barpal’ which happens to be an eating joint. The whole journey from Billing to Panetu takes one and a half day to complete. Stay on trail as it takes you to the ‘Thamsar’ pass, where you can find a snow lake that is a soar to your bushed soul. You can also have a sneak at the ‘Mani Mahesh’ top from the pass. Another 6 hours takes you to the destined village through ‘Marh’, ‘Chunjipaan’, ‘Jaraalu’, and ‘Udak’. Udak is another spot you can have plastic roofs over your head. You also need to cross the mighty river ‘Ravi’ which intercepts your trail. But fear not as’kaalihaini ka pul’ assists you.
You paid your toll right all round the way, now Mother Nature has a lot to offer.
You will find here the rarely available ‘gucci’, or the Morshella esculenta. The ‘nag chatri’, or the Trillium govanianum. The ‘pratish’ plant along with ‘cumin’ plant and ‘dhoop’ plant. All these herbs are of great economical value and are of rare nature. The roots of ‘dhoop’ plant play as an element of essence.
The place has native traditions and habitants are seen wearing local garments. Women wear ‘loanchadi’ along with ‘chankangni’ on hands ‘chandrahara’ on necks and ‘chidi’ on head. While men wear ‘chola’. ‘AjayPal Devta’ strikes out to be the main ‘devta’ of the village.
Life in the village
# The children of the village go to summertime schools which shift their admissions to the schools in’ Billing’ during winters. These children use ‘challi ki loi’ as lamps to study during dull hours. This firewood is obtained from the core of pine tree.
# The Forest Department rest house along with the Panchayat Bhavan offer stay. The travellers earlier used to set up tents on the school playgrounds.
# The beauty of the village was brightened through the ‘Him Urja’ power project which later broke down due to the harsh conditions. The village fails to emerge out of the woods even when we progress towards a technological era. Some villagers live in the village throughout the year, wrestling against the will of nature, while some play as seasonal migrants. Irrespective of the harsh the place puts you through, it has quite a lot to offer but only if you wish to explore.