Home to the Dali Lama and teeming with tranquil Tibetan monks. The foothills of the Himalayas, snow capped mountains tower in the distance, the village rests in a lush green valley with fruit trees lightly flowered with the chilled April spring. The early birds dominate the sunrises from hawks and eagles, to thousands of colorful altos. Everyday more white butterflies seem like snow as the weather warms. There are no roads and one must climb terraced levels and across large stones long ago scattered in the sea still rising higher everyday (navigate with care, especially during Fool & Noo Moon). Wheat is the plant of choice where villagers have created garden systems along the steps, most have a cow, bison, goats or chickens. Of coarse dogs and cats are the kings and queens of the valley and they keep the peace amongst the large fly population that continually attempt to disrupt meditative pursuits. If  wishing to snack along the road side one can find short smiley Tibetan women selling momos out of large metal steamers, a dry dumpling with veggies and rice inside and a homemade chili sauce scooped on top, 3 for $0.20. After the birds wake the cold night the sound of saws and hammers take the stage as the constant construction is facilitating the extreme expansion of backpackers coming to enjoy a summer always grander than the last. The chill air often burns the unsuspecting traveler venturing by day to a waterfall in the mountains, or making the 4 hour climb to Triund the peak which blocks most of (only until you climb over) the white top Himalayas in the distance. This is why a wise traveler leaves early to avoid the intense midday rays, and an even wiser traveler brings their camping equipment to occupy one of the many many caves for a return journey the next morning (and an amazing sunrise since the Himalayas and view is east). As always along all Indian trails (raasta) one will find a sweet masala chai, this warm beverage puts the cold at bay in such low lands as Rishikesh, a lucky wanderer will find a Tibetian butter tea to put blubber on their bones. If late at night blankets and butter tea just don’t create that full warmth one seeks just follow the beat of the drums always heard in the distance where dancing and shouting surely will bring it. Sleep softly and the echo which resonates when only one noise can be heard will bring beautiful dreams in restless nights leading to lazy days. Dharmshala.


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