Place: Khirsu in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand.
Time of visit: May 2019
Let me presume that you have just completed your memorable Chardham tour or you are on your way back from Auli. Now there is no harm if you want some break from long road journey and plan a night stay at Rudraprayag.
Should you climb down along the same route via Devaprayag, Hrishikesh and back to Haridwar or Dehradun or do you have any other option?
Fortunately, the Garhwal Himalayas is never short of new places if you are a nature lover. So instead of the popular route, take a left from Rudraprayag and Khirsu is just two hours (50 km) away. Once you have explored Khirsu you can reach Haridwar via Landsdown and Kotdwar. This should bring a perfect happy ending to your vacation.
At 1700 mts altitude this offbeat location is a hidden gem within the dense forest of Pine, Oak and Rhododendron. Encircled by the snow-laden Himalayan peaks, it offers the widest outlook of the mighty Himalayan peaks. On a clear day, one can count at least three hundred known or unknown peaks from here, away from the hustle-bustle of the city life. Our luck did not favor us as nature had some other plans set. A forest fire spread across landscape which created a foggy environment all through our stay. Nevertheless, our thirst for snow-laden peaks was already relinquished by Auli and Badrinath. So we were happy to enjoy the serenity of nature in the lap of Himalayas.
In this isolated, noiseless hill station,I was able to hear cracking of leaves under my feet.
There is an ancient temple dedicated to Ghandiyal Devi, locals rely on her for well being and protection of natural calamities.
It was play time at the temple
Havildar Surender Sing Rawat informed me that every year on the third Monday of the month of Baishak, a Mela( fair) is organized in the enormous field adjacent to the temple. Mr Rawat is from this village and presently serving in Indian army at Jammu and Kashmir.
Round the year this ground is utilized for cultivating talents for Indian Cricket team. I was lucky to catch few moments of action.
The region has plenty of apple orchards and is home to numerous species of birds. Khirsu is an immaculate destination which will impress you with its flamboyant charm all through the year. Wake up with the chirping of birds and hues of the sunlight on the mountains.
Glimpses of Khirsu
Rejuvenate your soul and revitalize your mind by planning a holiday in the serene and placid environment. Help yourself for a nature walk through the forest and villages. A well-organized park in the vicinity offers many options for kid’s amusement. Of course, I explored the same along with my twins.
Few moments with my family at the nearby park
Places to stay
GMVN tourist rest house is ideally located to present a panoramic view of mountains from its back yards. It costs you in a range of Rs 2000/- as far as I remember. The garden in front of the guest house is something you would never want to miss. Flowers, trees, birds, bees butterflies, you just name it and they have it all. The temple is at a walkable distance from this place.
In and around of GMVN Khirsu
There is an alternate as well and that’s cool too. It’s a forest rest house that will cost you Rs 1500/- per room. The location is in the middle of the pine forest. As you drive in searching the same, for a while you may think you are lost but soon you will find the neatly painted log huts. This must be booked from the forest department office at Pauri and forest range officer is in charge of the same.