Beyond the hustle and bustle of the most happening town of Kasol lies hidden among the hills, an ancient village of Grahan. The local claims it to be as old as the historic town of Malana. The beauty of this place is untouched by the tourists and trekkers (Written and visited in 2016) and is thus in its purest form. Unlike Malana, the people of Grahan are very friendly and the village is way much cleaner than Malana. Till 2014, when I visited it the first time, the village didn’t have any guest house or hotel. And just within the time span of 2 years, proper guest houses with modern amenities have come up. Though I feel it will make the village lose its original charm, it caters the basic need of a traveler.
Note: It is not a tourist spot. Don’t read on to find fancy attractions at this place.
So, now the question is why should you head to Grahan?
Here are a few appealing experiences for which you must take some effort to hike up till this village.
The beautiful Route passing to the Great Himalayan Forest
You will have to hike through the trail passing through the forest. The most advisable way to reach the village is to join any villager moving up to the village in the morning from Kasol. The forest will certainly charm you as the sunbeams dance on the ground through the net of the leaves of the age-old trees. Devour the beauty peacefully and don’t be in hurry of reaching your destination. You may be lucky to find some mysterious symbols on the way. It is unknown whether the symbols have any meaning or had any use in the ancient time. But, the typical symbols showing the natural elements certainly create curiosity in the onlookers’ mind.
The fruits with the taste of elixir
In a conversation with an orchard owner, about the best season to enjoy plums, she proudly boasted to have the best fruits that are exclusively sold only to the village people. She also enlightened us about the chemicals that are used to keep the fruits fresh till the tourist season and such fruits hardly retain the real taste. Whereas, the innocent people of Grahan wait till their orchards naturally bore rich fruits which are then sold in the village. So, don’t forget to hit this hamlet in the month of July-August to enjoy the real tastes of the fruits.
The sweetest people on the Earth
It was one of those worst weather months of Himachal and the snow storm had made it impossible for the Sar Pass trekkers to cross the pass. The young trekkers were wet to the core and were freezing with cold. During such worst condition when all the tents had gone with the winds, the people of Grahan opened the doors of their homes to provide a safe night stay for them without expecting anything in return. These sweet people also provided the required warmth with the hot Himachali meal and the fire.
Both the times when I have been to this place, I have spent the best of the times in conversation with the villagers who can entertain you with the awe-inspiring stories of this ancient village. These people also have good knowledge about the herbal plants of the Himalayas. They would happily help you with the available herbs for any mentioned sickness. (Be responsible enough to pay them something in return of their kind gesture)
The smart rosy-cheeked kids can outsmart you in the games of football and volleyball. I would expect you to contribute something by exchanging some knowledge of science, geography or mathematics with them.
The Historic Temple
The temple of the wife of Rishi Jamdagni, who is the lord of the Village of Malana, is the iconic architecture of the village. The temple is opened during the celebrations and the people from nearby villages and even the town of Kullu gather near the temple for the same.
The Houses with the Stunning views just at 100 INR (written in 2016)
This place is truly meant for a traveler. The guest houses are located a little away from the village settlement. The balcony would provide you with the enchanting view of the fields and orchards protected by the snow-capped hills of the Himalayas. Get up early to witness the gleaming pinnacles at around 7 am. You can also witness the colourful sunset sitting in one of the grain fields.
There are even a few guest houses located in the outskirts, giving you an experience of a forest stay in the Himalayas.
The most authentic of the Himachali Food
The guest house owners can provide you with the Indian version of Italian, Israeli and Mexican food. Though you can binge on all kinds of fast food here, I would strongly recommend trying the Himachali Thali that would come straight from of the smoking huts in the village. The food is not so spicy but has an authentic aroma and the taste of a simple food cooked on firewood.
- Hot water and washrooms are available in all guest houses.
- It is advisable to pre-book your stay during the summers.
- You can contact Ram/Rana who have not yet named their guest house. 9805932126, 9816794785.
- Please note that the numbers might not be available considering the bad weather or network problem.
- Do not litter and behave irresponsibly.
- The trail passes through a forest area where photography and loud music might cause a problem for you if you get caught by any forest guard.