Driving into a village called Talai, near Fagu was like climbing the stairway to heaven, and reaching paradise, sitting on the clouds.
A few miles from Kufri (the famed ski destination in Himachal Pradesh), this little hamlet is straight out of a Ruskin Bond book. A total of five houses strewn around the mountain top, in the middle of an apple orchard, a family with little children who walk down to school every day and a big mountain
dog keeping guard – Talai is a perfect destination to relax your mind. Located at a height of 7550 ft, it is cool in the summers and is snow covered during winters.
There is only one home-stay option in this beautiful village nested in the Himalayas called the North Moon Home Stay. The owners are warm and welcoming and one must try the Himachali food which they provide.
Spend a few days at this place to revive your mind from the worries of city life. It is so serene and peaceful. Sit outside on the balcony for a glorious view of the valley and beyond that lies the Churdhar peak and other snowcapped ranges.
Brilliant hues of blue streak the sky with an occasional gleam of gold reflected from the mountain ranges. If it is slightly overcast, the clouds float down to where you are, and you can almost feel them. Sometimes, they also float down to the valley and you may feel like an omnipotent looking down at the world from the heavens.
What to do there?
Relax! Such places are the best way to take time off from the hustle and bustle of our exhausting lifestyle. Walk in the apple and cherry orchards and if it is in season, the owner of the orchards may even let you pluck some juicy fruit off the trees.
Have a romantic stroll through the foggy pine forest or explore it to feel the glory of nature. There is a lot of flora and fauna to take note of in the forest nearby.
If you go during the festival time (Navratra or other Hindu festivals), there is a mela and local wrestling bouts that take place very close to the home-stay, which you can just walk down to.
If sitting at one spot is not your thing, drive down to the number of temples strewn around the hamlet. They are located at spectacular locations and have their own folk tales behind their origin.
What to eat?
The home-stay owner provides you with delicious vegetarian home-cooked meals. If you want to savour non-vegetarian food, just get to the nearby hotels and resorts which offer fine dine options. However, with the delicious Himachali cuisine, you probably wouldn't need it.
When to go?
Talai is divine almost all through the year. The only time to avoid it is the Monsoon, as hilly areas are prone to landslides and you might get stuck at one point for quite some time.
The area faces below freezing point temperatures during the winters and it would be snow covered throughout the season. But the cosy hamlet looks impressive in white.
How to get there?
By train – Take the Shimla Kalka train and drive 25 km from Shimla Railway Station.
By road - 385 km from Delhi.
6 km from Kufri
140 km from Chandigarh.
By air - 35 km from Shimla airport
This article was first published on Zeenews.com