We covered some local spots on the 19th of may. The plan was to start early, but predictably we couldn’t. (Started at 11 am) We reached the Chamunda temple by a bus. After the darshan etc a river again awaited us flowing by the temple, where we had an hour of water-fun. Next on the line was a place called Tapovan, which housed a temple and some flora. Nearby tapovan was the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha i.e. the State Assembly. But it should be in Simla, right? We were informed then that it is the winter assembly, which operates for a month and about four or five sessions, as apparently Simla is too cold for our politicians and they can’t ‘work’ in such cold! And for their convenience, a whooping 40 crores were spent in building the lavish white building to serve as the assembly. Magnificent it was, though utterly unnecessary and a shining (pun intended!) example of sheer wastage of people’s money by our neta log. Though we(Me and Sudeep) felt great to visit the inside of it too, after a brief security check. It was exactly as we see on our televisions-the speaker’s chair, surrounded by concentric semicircular rows of seats, the wooden constructions, green carpet et al. the first scene which our minds pictured seeing this was the fights which take place here, of words, which sometimes turn into more than verbal. A great experience overall. The location of the assembly was great, surrounded by beautiful forests and scenic beauty. An astonishing view was that of snow covered peaks on one side when we ourselves were standing in scorching sunlight. Paradoxes of the nature!
Finally we went to see the newly constructed Dharmshala stadium which came into news when it hosted a T-20 cricket match in the Indian Premier League (IPL). [ It brought Priety Zinta to the town as one of the teams was hers Kings XI Punjab]. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to enter the stadium, but we could have its complete view from nearby areas, thanks to the rising and falling land. It looked pretty cool, though according to my friends it had a very small radius.
Dharmshala was beautiful, but in a way different from Manali. The latter, as evident in just one glance, is a tourist place. Dharmshala is a lot quieter and peaceful. Its like a normal hilly town, where one could observe the life on a hill station in its actual form. Whenever we, the plain dwellers, visit a hill station, we think of how these people must have to climb up and down everyday. How life must be different for them. How we couldn’t spot a single cycle or rickshaw in there. How the little kids there may have no idea that this is not the earth where majority of population lives.
Dwelling among these thoughts, we started our journey back to the plains-Chandigarh.