|The greens of spring at Raju's Hut|
At Gushaini I had made arrangements to stay at Raju's Hut, a homestay, one of the first in the area. They offer warm hospitality and three meals in the package.
As we turned back a bit early, I had time on hand to photograph the joys of nearly untouched nature around, toadstools, dead trees, plants. By evening there were few birds and in the cold, almost no visible insects.
|Rhodendron Tree in the Park|
The way out allowed me to see a lot more that on the way in. This lovely rhodo tree is between the Park gates and Rolla Camp. The Rhodos had begun to bloom.
The Rhodos are a brilliant, difficult to photograph, crimson. Unlike Sikkim where Rhodos are in many colours including pink , mauve and white, here they grow only crimson. All rhodo trees had buds, some had flowered.
|Chandi Devi emerges from her hut|
She is a feisty lady, living on her own, she claims to be the most photographed denizen of the Park!!! The forest department is now trying to relocate her outside the Park which she stoutly refuses. Her children support her partially. Notice the holes for the bees on the walls on either side of the lower door. See more pictures of her and the other wonderful people I met, in my blog here The People of Tirthan Valley
Just outside the gates, there is a large waterfall and bridge, in the water here is a rock that looks like a hippo asleep in the water. There is a tiny shrine nearby which is revered by trekkers.
|Ambassador over here?|
At Raju's Hut I found this old car bonnet next to the place I was staying, it was miles from the road and must have been carried here by hand. Incongruous but elegant it was a nice sight.
When the sun came out there were bees everywhere, different shapes and sizes. Honey is a major produce here.
Spring was here, as was evident in the blossoms, birds, bees and butterflies. When the sun came out the next day the plants were abuzz with activity.
|Grey Bushchat |
There was a lot of bird life on the property, specially along the river where I saw many birds including a shy crested kingfisher.
|Beehive in the bungalow|
At the place I was staying, there was a gap in the planks of the wall, bees laden with pollen had made this into a handy hive.
|The clouds descend|
Each day, at around noon, the clouds would descend and there would be a passing shower. The clouds lend a mystique and atmosphere to the mountains.
|Snow Clad Mountains|
The continuous rain made it very cold, and the higher reaches were covered in snow all the time that I was there. The snowfall in spring made the weather delightful when it was sunny, but very cold when it got cloudy or it rained.
|Waterfall above Sai Ropa|
It is a very pretty spot that is reached after a short up hill walk through a few villages. The route to the waterfall was blocked by
She was all of six years old and very aware. I met her mother, sister and her at a village a little distance away from a waterfall above Gahidar Village (near Sai Ropa). She was absolutely confident and a chatterbox, she walked with me for about an hour to the waterfall and back. She of the impish smile and vanity in her hair. See my link The People of Tirthan Valley for more pictures of Anjali.
set among verdant fields of wheat, there was terraced cultivation everywhere.