10/25/2010 to 10/26/2010 | Himachal Pradesh , India

Bharmour and the Chamba Valley

After 3 years and 9 months to the day on the road in Asia, I had decided to return home to visit my family in California for a few months over Christmas.  I cashed in my remaining frequent flyer miles, and booked my first international flight since I had landed in Hong Kong, February 6th 2007.  It was a round trip ticket from Delhi, I’m still not ready to give up life on the road, yet.  With a November 5th flight deadline looming, I wanted to get up to the Himalayas once more before heading back State side.  I had decided to try the pilgrimage trek to Manimahesh Lake, sacred to Hindus.  My plan hit a minor speed bump when I re-fractured the toe I had broken earlier in the year in Kathamndu, playing ultimate Frisbee in Delhi with an ex-pat friend.  Undeterred by such minor things as broken bones, I hobbled off to the Chamba Valley.

My first stop was Bharmour a picturesque village in the upper Chamba Valley.  It was once the ancient capital of the region before it was moved to Chamba in the 10th century.  In addition to the scenic snow capped mountains that surround the village’s slope side setting, its home to some exquisite 6th and 7th Century temples, including the impressively preserved wooden 7th century Lakshna Devi Temple.  Bharmour was a pleasant and scenic village with nice views and friendly locals.  I decided to test out my broken toe with a hike above the village, a storm that swept through the region a few weeks earlier had left the snow line fairly low and I reached the snow after about a half hour hike above the village.  The test of my toe was successful enough, though coming down was significantly more painful than going up.  In any case I couldn’t be this close to the mountains and not hike up into them, even with a broken toe.

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