Sitting there in lap of the Himalayas, smirking at the chaotic and packed cities from far back, this small town of the Gharwal region is unarguably the most blessed town and enjoys the privilege of that favorite child of the family. (of Himalayas)
I hope this untouched part of Uttarakhand remains far away from the commercial influence. It is serener than the Nainital lake, it has more positivity and more spiritual vibes than Rishikesh, a weather that fills you with satisfaction and undoubtedly it tops the list of happiness index.
To reach this abode of angels, you will travel through the terraced hilly fields until you are at the highest point of the hill, there is nothing beyond this point. Pauri is the last destination at a height higher than an Aries’ ego.
After entering the town, the first thing you will experience is the hustle bustle of bus drivers and tempo drivers calling for customers to tourist spots like Srinagar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Kathgodam and Delhi.
And you will also enter a town that sings of simplicity, breeds on calmness and propagates love thy neighbor. Love thy human.
Once you reach Pauri and live there even for just a day, I am sure you would never want to leave the city: surrounded by the Himalayas, covered in pine trees and resting under the clear blue sky. Waking up early in the morning like rest of the pahari people in the country, sipping tea in the balcony while overlooking the fog covered Himalayas is a daily routine of Pauri residents… sitting there until this fog uncovers the beauty beneath.
Pauri was the most simple, effortless and easy going trip I have ever had. I have nothing to brag about the restaurants there or the best hotel, because there are hardly any. And moreover, all of this got overshadowed by the simple yet delicious home cooked authentic pahari food ( the most delicious s vegetarian) and of course the view from balcony which looked nothing less than an entrance to heaven.
Walking around the town sitting in the middle of the road because we knew there hardly will be any vehicles around; climbing random small hills and figuring out ways while walking; ending up in a dead end place with nowhere further to go; fear of being chased by some wild animal; then finally sitting on the edge of a hill which seemed more like the edge of the earth and ceasing the moment.
While travelling I make sure to visit the outskirt areas, a village besides the town. So, in Pauri too I did the same. A downhill trek to this small village called Bangla. Again a placid place, with quite receptive and welcoming people, listening to Gharwali songs at full volume. Many of the people have their ancestral houses there… abandoned. But ultimately they return to it after their retirement. (Like one of the resident, a retired Army official)
Walking along the wheat fields surrounded by terraced hills, this was maybe the first time I climbed up a barren terrace farming hill and sat on probably the 50th step for an hour, absorbing the fresh air, penetrating into the tranquility of the place. We had our pahari lunch, some tea, explored the village, where in some houses women were preparing spices, some were beating the corn, while some people were having a little chat over their houses’ short walls.
To be honest, I cannot fabricate my experience in words here, maybe because Pauri is a place that you can just feel; carry the feeling for the rest of your life; relive each moment but not write much about it.
Previously Published in the writer’s personal blog
Nawal is a masters student of International Relations in South Asian University, New Delhi. An avid traveler and a curious explorer;she shares narratives of places and people through visual story telling.