“Bravery isn’t about not getting afraid. It’s getting back on your feet after being afraid.”
— A fellow blogger Mr. Rakesh Pandey from the Tales of the Opal Moon fame rightly said when I had shared the itinerary of my recent travel. And I totally second his thoughts, as being scared is pretty normal but facing that fear and being able to combat it and strike back, is victory. 🙂
There’s one such opportunity I received from India’s largest travel community Holiday IQ & Nokia Mobile in my last adventure trip where I participated in a paragliding activity in the national capital of paragliding, Bir Billing. I was fortunate enough to be selected as the only traveler from all across India who got to witness an out-of-the-world experience spread over 3 days in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
Day 1: Touchdown Dharamshala + Monastery Visit + Shopping
My journey began from Delhi airport T3 terminal in an Air India flight that landed on the Gaggal airport Dharamshala at 1 pm on 11th Oct, 2017.
The weather was pretty pleasant during the afternoon and used to a get bit chilly over due course of the day. I was then escorted for lunch in Palampur followed by visiting a couple of eminent Buddhist temples and monasteries, what Dharamshala is the most famous for. On reaching a bit late for paragliding at Bir, I missed it by a close shave and what I could do, was to witness the piousness of the Tsering Jong Monastery.
And how could we miss on the Namgyal Monastery, the home of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. It is located amidst the lush forests of pines, oaks and cedars, and surrounded by the Dhauladhar Range and Tibetan market. The sacred building comprises of a Tibetan museum, a cafeteria, a book shop and a library.
Beautifully decorated prayer wheels and Buddhist shrines were the highlight of the monastery. The serene ambiance fascinated me so much so that I was brimming with spirituality and tranquility while experiencing the grandeur of the imposing figures of Budhha designed in the Tibetan style of architecture.
If you are looking out for meditation, culture, calm and peace, the monasteries of Dharamshala are a must visit.
Day 2: Paragliding + Club Hopping
Day 2— Woah! Paragliding! Sounded like a dream! Yes it did! Being an avid travel enthusiast, I keep on touring throughout the country from time to time. But being part of a hard-core adventure activity like paragliding was for the first time indeed.
And to de-stress after a grueling day at Bir, I headed towards the McLlo Restaurant, near our hotel in McLeod Ganj. I sang and danced my heart out whole night which was pepped up with my very own performance jamming with the artists of the evening. 😀
Day 3: Bhagsu Waterfall, Heading back home
Day 3 was marked by a sumptuous breakfast at D’s Casa following which I proceeded towards one of the most beautiful streams in the destination, Bhagsu Waterfall. Situated close to Bhagsunath Temple, the waterfall has a cascade of 30 ft during monsoons. While I walked and walked towards the cliff to witness the wuthering waterfall, it was seemingly more of a small trekking experience with an array of stepping stones.
It was a steep climb up the mountain, while honestly, halfway through the climb I felt like stopping. However, after relishing those little tea stalls along the way, I gave it a final push which was worth it, and at the top, I was left overjoyed with the fresh water spring.
The best part was a further walk upwards towards the Shiva Cafe where there was food, music and a small pool. The entire ambiance was decorated with slate graffiti while the mountain side of the fall, another highlight of the spot. And the café did offer a beautiful and a mind bender for the adventure seeker in me.
And like every fairy-tale has a happy ending, my thrilling three days journey of Dharamhala full of fun and frolic was concluded and I bid adieu to the breathtakingly beautiful destination with memories to be cherished for a lifetime. And with this hell of an experience, I have come back stronger, wiser and a better version of myself.