Chat ru

“Peas, Sirji,” that’s the only cash crop that can grows here,” Thakur Bhai spoke out seeing our dumbfounded faces as we entered the premises of the PWD Guest House.

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As we halted at one of the dhabas to have a cup of tea, we chatted with the dhaba owner who informed us that Chatru comprises of a PWD Guest House, located a couple of kms ahead and these two dhabas – that’s all.

Icy winds were blowing across our faces as we sat at one of the table laid outside the temporary tented dhaba.

Two Dhabas & a Guest House By late afternoon, we saw ahead of us two dhabas and as I asked Thakur Bhai, our driver cum guide, which place this was, he informed – “this is Chatru.” I was literally taken a bit aback on hearing this.

I had assumed that Chatru to be yet another small Himalayan hamlet but this was perhaps the smallest of them all.

Daring is what we all had to say and bidding them adieu, we made our way to the PWD Guest House.

Oasis in the Cold Desert As we snaked our way ahead, suddenly, out of the blues, sprang up a few lush green patches in thorough contrast to the totally barren landscape all around.As we moved ahead in our Himalayan odyssey, snaking through the high mountain roads, from Keylong the District Headquarter of Lahaul, that fateful morning, through barren landscapes and scaling peaks, little did we expect to see something “green” in this literal moonscape.Some of the naked peaks were fully snow-covered while the others emanated plethora of colours as the sun rays fell on to them.“Hey, it looked like an oasis in this cold desolate desert,” I exclaimed out loud seeing a few hardy mountain folks plucking the pea pods and stacking it up in gunny sacks.There were many a tents inside the campus and seeing us alight, we were welcomed by a middle-aged person, accompanied by another young lad. ” pops the elderly gentlemen, with a well-trimmed white beard. The valley was discovered as a bouldering paradise in the year 2000 by a seasoned British climber named Pil Lockey.

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