Snow in Dharamkot, Himachal Pradesh, India
As it turns out, the harsh and unpredictable weather that grounded our flight to Dharamshala and made our first day there somewhat challenging turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the snow gods were actually working in our favour! One of our objectives when planning to trip to the area was to take GIta to the snow and we had thought that we would have to take her to Shimla for the snow experience. Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh is at a higher elevation than Dharamshala and therefore more likely to have snow.
However, Tsetan’s son told us that there was quite a bit of snow in Dharamkot, which we could reach by combining walking and a short car ride, so we opted for that instead of a seven hour car journey to Shimla as we had spent enough time in cars on our 12 hour drive through the mountains from Delhi!
It was a somewhat tough walk for me but we enjoyed petting the local dogs and cows as well as the scenery as we walked up the mountain. We approached the bulls with a little trepidation but as it turned out, they were friendly.
I found it interesting to be back in the mountain snow, in a way, with the snow and the smell of pine trees, it was reminiscent of being in Western Canada and in Washington State, however, it had a character that was very much its own, especially with the little tea shop and Shiva temple at the top. It was an absolutely beautiful place to rest with a cup of masala tea and enjoy the view. As someone who doesn’t really like cold weather, I can honestly say that it was well worth the slippery walk up.
It was my daughter’s first time in the snow that she could remember (she had experienced snow when we lived in Washington State but she was only a year old) and she seemed to relish the experience, including making snowballs and throwing them at me.
Our descent was equally impressive and breathtaking as we took a different trail back down the other side of the mountain providing us with views of different valleys. The side of the mountain we experienced on the way down was the shadier side and as a result the snow lasted longer.
Needless to say the exercise from walking up the mountain in the snow made us ravenous so we were happy to sit down to a big bowl or warming Tibetan soup. Perfect end to a exhilarating day!