A walk in Batseri village , Sangla 

As a kid I always dreamt of a house in the hills.
The house in the hills we used to paint in class 1.

With hills and a river meandering from between the hills and cotton clouds and a semi-circled sun with perfectly perpendicular rays and a solitary house in the centre of the frame.
Two decades later, I still do.

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A wooden one with a rocky pebbled path leading to it with dainty flowers mushrooming out of nowhere and orchards with fruits aplenty.
And when I walked in Batseri, I finally found that idyllic home nestled in postcard worthy scenery.

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Batseri is a small village in Sangla, in the apple district of Himachal Pradesh, Kinnaur. After checking in at Kinner Camps, we were out to explore this fairy tale Himalayan village, straight out of a story book.

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The first thing that greets any visitor in Batseri is the stark cleanliness. No litter, no garbage strewn. Only rocky paths giving the village a rustic feel.

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As I walk through the near perfect streets, apple laden trees welcome me with open arms( branches). It is the apple season and ripe, crimson apples dangle from the branches, tempting every passerby.

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Apples galore in Batseri

Pebbled walls stand stoutly guarding quaint houses built with stones and wood.

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Houses made of wood and stone

Some of these had brightly painted windows while some others had exquisite locks. Most had fodder for the cattle, hanging from windows to dry before winter sets in.

 

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Houses in Batseri

 

I am now torn between the longing to snoop into one just to see how it looked from inside and the task of keeping up with the group and not drift away.

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Our first stop is the Badrinarayan temple: an architectural marvel carved out of wood.

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The temple is mostly closed and only opens for festivals. One of the most prominent festivals is the Ukhayang flower festival. The Kinnauris celebrate this in September by offering the elusive and rare Brahmakamal flowers to the deity.
The temple has a courtyard and the main door is intricately carved depicting various scenes of Indian mythology: Vasudev carrying baby Krishna, Shravan Kumar with his parents, Krishna killing Kansa and so on.

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I find the presence of deities of different religions on the doors of the temple, giving it a wonderful, secular feel.

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Temple courtyard

The village wasn’t crowded and the only movement on the streets were of people ferrying heavy apple cartons to and fro on their backs. Watching a 6 year old do it was a heart wrenching sight and watching him flash a smile beneath the load was a heart warming one. I meet confident Kinnauri women who flash the most confident smiles and bowl me over with their poise.

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A shy Kinnauri girl peeping to say hello!

I pass by more doors and many more orchards and in the background loom the picturesque Dhauladhar range of hills.

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We have been walking since more than an hour now and now just have mountain goats for company.

Realisation dawns: We have lost our way. My heart does a happy dance because whenever we lose our way something beautiful is discovered.

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Like today: we have accidentally bumped into the gorgeous glacier point of river Baspa which is gurgling away in delight.

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Fifteen minutes and many photographs later, it is time to turn back and find our way through the rocky boulders and complimenting greens.

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Fields of harvested buckwheat are a delight to watch with the bright red colour stalks standing out and adding vibrance to the village scene.

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Harvested buckwheat

As we walk back into the forest to get to the bridge that takes us to Kinner Camps, the river joins us again for company.
It is almost dusk and trudging along the roaring river is a therapy of sorts.

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Bridge over River Baspa
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River Baspa

To top it are jagged mountains, snow capped peaks and green delicious apples that Mr. Dileep Negi ( owner of Kinner Camps) has plucked fresh off the orchards for us.
Fragrant deodhars and pine trees watch the group walk by, whispering to one another as the sun finally drowns into Baspa river.

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As the picturesque village of Batseri leaves it’s imprint on my mind, I realise how mountains give us the best lessons on humanity. Of hard work, tough lives yet simplicity, happiness and contentment.

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On one hand there are rugged landscapes, sturdy mountains and on the other there is delicacy of flowers appearing in the most unexpected places.

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And then there are sturdy people: breaking stones, building roads, leading precarious lives with the softest hearts and genuine smiles.

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Just like the big grin on Tulsi bhaiya’s face, the cook at Kinner camps who welcomes us, with bowls of piping hot tomato soup ( truly for the weary traveler’s soul)!
Fact file:

Batseri is 214 kms from Shimla and 7 kms from the main town of Sangla.

Best season to visit is September-October to see the apple laden trees.

 

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51 thoughts on “A walk in Batseri village , Sangla 

  1. Yes the smallest villages are hidden gems of any traveller. I have myself come across so many gems like this. I would have loved if you have done another feature on the locals. Because these are the people who are very less spoken about and no media covers them

  2. Your words and pictures put me on a different plain all together Divya. Now I have done this walk 4 times and yet not seen the kind of openings you have shown in your blog. So wonderful to have you on my tours doing such wonderful travelogues. I particularly liked your statement ‘how mountains give us the best lessons on humanity. Of hard work, tough lives yet simplicity, happiness and contentment.

    1. Doreen, traveling with you is a learning of a different kind. My travelogues are just a very small part of that absolutely enriching experience I have, when I see a place through your eyes:) thank you so so much!

  3. I love the pebbled path, doors, apple laden trees,mountains in backdrop,architecture of houses, the beautiful smiles etc etc. Thanks for this wonderful picture story you presented here, Divyakshi! Sheer treat to eyes! 🙂

  4. hI ! Divya. I almost heard the water gurgling, and the apples swaying on the branches, and your descriptions of the picturesque Batseri was a delight.
    Keep going and speak your heart’s promptings. Thanks Divya.

  5. Such a dreamy village and your dreamy descriptions complemented by those amazing pics just transported me there! This post also brought back so many visuals of villages near Pahalgam in Kashmir. Lovely write up!

  6. This is such a fairy tale town. Every nook and corner along with the people residing within it seem fascinating. Loved all your pics and the description too. Cheers

  7. You know I find so many of the pics so picture postcard perfect. And I must say I really love the pics you take of the locals. Their smiles and their expressions say so much. Beautifully done as always :D.

  8. Its beautiful, isn’t it? I love walking through those narrow lanes, paved with stone walls ob either side. Once we were overtaken in these lanes by a huge flock of happy sheep! Sangla is so gorgeous…

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