The trail less taken-Dain Kund, Himachal


Venue:pohlani mata temple,dainkund,dalhousie,Himachal Pradesh.

approximately 10 kms from Dalhousie.

dhaulandar ranges

getting a 360 degree view of the Dhaulandar and PirPanjal mountain ranges.

Well, i feel extremely grateful and privileged, to have experienced something, i never did before, something that i will never be able to forget, something which i felt was my own, somewhere, where i felt i belonged. The day i witnessed all my senses becoming gateways of enlightenment.

I don’t know how many of you have ever experienced something like this. But, i hope many of you do. Those who have will totally get what i am trying to express.

After a very pleasant stay of 6 days at McleodGanj,we(me and my husband)hired a taxi and took a trip to Dalhousie,stayed at the Grand view hotel after reaching on 6th of august(8pm precisely),the journey was exceptional,which is beyond the scope of this blog(cannot help ,sorry for the technical language ),in short we experienced the richness,unpredictablity along with stability of the mighty himalayas ,from the kangra valley to chamba valley,there is a slight change in culture.we also chanced to experience a land slide amidst fog ,which delayed our schedule by around three hours.finally we reached our hotel,decided to take the night off and dozed.Woke up to clear skies(which we hadnt seen for the previous 3 days),Had our breakfast and took off for the day that changed something in both of us!!.

After visiting the picturesque Khajjiar valley(i wouldn’t demean i by calling it mini Switzerland because it has its own beauty and charisma) and trying a few adventure sports in kalatop, we decided very, fortunately, to go to Dainkund, like any other traveler I got interested in the etymological origins of the word.

The mountains are always full of unpredictable turns and paths,they are full of mysticism and ofcourse folklore and plenty of eerie stories.The people surviving there are’ far above the rest of world so high’ have their own set of beliefs and values and like many of them Dainkund has a special story.A rather interesting one,and there is something about the place that makes you believe it. p.s.We did not know it before be took the trail.

Dainkund=pothole/lake/water reservoir of witches.

The local folklore suggest(source:an old shopkeeper ,who was coming down the trail while we were going up) that this hill and the adjacent ones were inhabited by many witches once upon a time,who troubled the villagers and made it difficult for them to take their cattle for grazing and hampered their work .

so,they prayed to their ‘Mata,’ or deity “pohlani mata”(the wrestler Goddess).

She eventually got impressed and defeated the witches in a bout of wrestle,freeing the pond and adjacent hills from them.Therefore,it is called ‘Dainkund’.

sadly we couldnt go to the kund ,as it is located inside the airforce establishment and entry is prohibited.

Due to the windy and cloudy weather that day and previous 3-4 days, we did not find anyone except for two couples near the trail.

empty chairs and lonely trails, the trail less taken.

We started around 5 in the evening and unaware of the magic that was awaiting us and tired of the days traveling, were not very motivated to take the trail, even our driver did not seem very enthusiastic about it.

But, we are very thankful to the two couples we met in between, one which encouraged us to go up(and see a glimpse of Manimahesh Kailash mountain)and the other one who said that they were retreating because they felt it was unsafe. nothing could stop my risk-taking husband now. am glad nothing can.and we took the plunge.

the mighty Mani Mahesh mountain can be seen from here, where lord Shiva resides apart from our minds

We carried on the scenic 1.5 ridge walk, amidst the loud sounds of crickets and the very chilly yet moist wind blowing on our faces,with the smell of moist wood and soil,and a sight so picturesque and refreshing that i will be using it all my life for relaxation and guided imagery,my happy space.
The trail goes through a small patch which was dark ,slippery and adjacent to deep ridge as well,which looked less dangerous ,than it actually was due the the tall pine trees and other temperate flora and fauna.

we reached when there was nobody, not even the priest of the temple, only the three of us and it was so peaceful, we could hear our own thoughts, though covered with clouds we could not see the Mighty Manimahesh Kailash mountain. But, we suddenly saw a figure on the adjacent hill, and were taken aback, at the same moment, a man came from almost nowhere and said that there is no need to be scared, “that is an idol of pohlani Mata, you will be able to see it when the clouds go,but you should leave soon now, as it is getting darker and bears and other wild animals might harm you on the trail back” . Without waiting much now we started our walk back downwards, but the best part of the experience was yet to come.

THE Splendid sunset:

while coming down ,we halted for a while,just trying to absorb what we experienced and unknown to the fact that mother nature has yet another surprise planned for us.

The sky all of a sudden got clear and turned red, we could see the pretty orange ball, watching over us,the mountain around us seeming to celebrate the light , glowed , turned all bright and beautiful.We decided to play along and all three of us , without being under the influence of any substance experienced a feeling close to ecstasy.

a sense of an unknown ,yet pleasant presence around me.
unending floating clouds and mountains
looking at the unending floating clouds.
dainkund trail
no filter glow
high on nature
high on and by nature

i started singing, both the boys started dancing we had the most gala time ever.

And yes we finally got to see Shiva’s abode, the mighty Manimahesh all glowing like fire, fierce yet comforting


We understood that the time we had would not come back ever, and that nature is absolutely bizarre and unpredictable, you never know what you will experience next,it is possible that no one else finds this place as special and as intriguing as it felt to us,

“because it is the experience that heals not the place,and experiences are subjective”.


no filters used

we glowed along everything around us

The next day we took out time again and visited again, and while driving back could hear the mountains singing as they are called, bidding us goodbye and hoping to meet very soon.BEcause we belong to them and they are a part of us.


St.John in the Wilderness !

Well i will begin where i left last ,

after meeting all my co trainees at the office along with our trainer , all of whom came from a diverse background ,two pretty young girls from haryana ,two beautiful gujarati ladies from Mumbai,and one from all the way south, Hubli.

But, there was one thing, that i understand common amongst us and that was our willingness to learn RECBT and along with that ,i think all of us somehow needed a change from our routine lives,and at the end of the journey we all took back very fond memories and have grown in someway or the other.

so, after the introduction,we started back to our guest houseĀ  ,the jogiwara road ,i.e. the road straight down hill from the main market is very steep , it was easy for us to go down but, very tough to go up the incline,so we took another route,via the temple road.

the temple road here ,refers to the road connecting the dalai lama temple (also called Tsuglakhang temple)(i will write a seperate blog to describe the temple).

it was around 6:30 and i was hungry already or should i say i was craving for momos!!.Earlier this year when we went to Assam we could not have momos so i anyhow had to have MOMOs!!,my friends Reshma and BHavika recommended a small stall that had steamed momos and so i took it to my room and devoured on it!!

(This was my first day so i wasnt very confident to eat alone or even with my new friends at a restaurant ).

it was a tiring day so i slept at 9:30 unlike my daily routine.

for the next day Reshma and i planned to go to the kalachakra temple and the church before our workshop begun!!we decided to leave by 7 am!.i slept all excited.

I woke up all excited,this was something i always wanted to do,to explore the mountains undisturbed and not with a pressure of clicking pictures or rushing to work, i was very eager to see what this place had to offer us! i was thrilled!!

so we took off at the time we decided and went to the kalachakra temple first.

yes!! this is what i wanted ,i thought ,it was the best start we could think of.!

(i plan to have a separate blog for both the temples,so not elaborating it here).

from here we went to the main market square ,asked for directions to the church and began!(all on foot).


yay! 1 km only we thought.

But,on the hills whether it is downhill or uphill , the distance is deceptive,all distances seem farther than their number.

anyways we had allot of time in our hands and we went around looking at the exquisite foliage and mountains on our way down.


fortunately the sky was clear and we could enjoy the warmth of early morning sunrays!

the weather couldn’t have been better .

and on the way to the church i realized i was really enjoying Reshma’ company, may be this was something i was missing,making new friends who don’t know and dont judge you because of your profession,may be that is what i was missing all these years.(Being a doctor and being in the same place since last 10 yrs,at a position where all people senior to you have been there since you’ve been there or longer,and all new people are juniors,who inadvertently see you as a senior more than a friend.)(this i would say is an occupational hazard of medical profession, since our early day we are taught that a senior is always right ,so you being the part of the system tend to believe the same,feeding into your narcissism,which hampers the development of genuine heartfelt friendships)(my personal opinion). Anyways we went slow ,giggling around sharing our life stories ,our interests,our likes ,dislikes,clicking random pictures without us in them,awing together over the picturesque scenes ,we finally reached our destination.

The St. John’s Church, around 1 km from the main square (mc leod ganj) is located at the most isolated , untamed by humans place!!Set amidst theĀ  magnificent Deodar Forest, this Church is archaic in every sense!unfortunately when we reached the church was closed ,so could not see it from inside ,But the surrounding,the location and the eerie cemetery near it was more than satisfying in itself!( at every instance i was thanking the almighty to have blessed me to come here).

Continue reading “St.John in the Wilderness !”