The journey begins – Rohan travels from Delhi to Manali, to find his hometown covered in a blanket of snow. He explores the narrow alleyways of the bazaar eating thupka and momos,eventually making his way to the streets of Old Manali where children were sledging down the snowy slopes. An integral part of every pahadi’s life during the winter is keeping warm. Rohan discovers the process of tandoor making and the joys of bathing in hot Sulphur springs. He then shows us his favourite spots in and around Manali that include the local pine forest, a special picnic spot by the river and the ultimate chill spot – Jogni Falls.
Having spent the formative years of his life in Manali, Rohan is extremely passionate about skiing. In this episode, he travels to Solang Nala to see locals and tourists enjoying themselves in the snow, and also to have a couple of runs down the slopes himself. He travels to the mysterious village of Malana in Parvati Valley to see how the villagers celebrate the festival of Phaguli the local New Year. The episode ends with a short hike up to Bijli Mahadev, a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Rohan makes his way to the holy town of Rewalsar where the Buddhist community has come together to celebrate the birthday of the Great Master Padmasambhava. The main event of the day is the Chham or the Devil’s Dance where a group of monks adorn elaborate costumes and masks and dance in perfect synchrony with one another to depict tales of Great Buddhist Masters. He then makes his way to the ancient Kangra Fort, which lies nestled in the foothills of the Dhauladar Range. From here he travels to the quaint town of Bir where he discovers the joysof village life and the thrill of jumping off a cliff and soaring in the sky
One of the main goals of this journey was to go off the beaten track and try and discover new places and experience new things. While travelling around Kangra, Rohan hears of a temple that remains submerged in the Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake for most of the year, and only emerges from the water during spring. He hops onto a boat to look for this hidden temple and finds a surreal sight waiting for him.
Leaving the foothills of Kangra behind, Rohan starts climbing higher towards the Sangla Valley in Kinnaur. While exploring the stone paved pathways of Kamru Village, Rohan stumbles upon a procession in which the local deity is visiting different households to bring in the New Year. It is a day filled with various rituals and ceremonies that end in a party with a lot of singing, dancing and drinking
In Kalpa, Rohan yet again witnesses the celebration of the New Year, but this time around things are a bit psychedelic Bejeweled men and women dance to trippy beats as the Mountain Fairies watch on.
The vast panoramic views in whitewashed Spiti give one the feeling of being a tiny, insignificant speck floating in the Universe. The majestic Kee Gompa stands proudly on top of a hillock looking out at the vast valley
Spiti Valley sizzles with mystic magic One can actually feel the energy pulsating in the air. Rohan spends a day at the magnificent Tabo monastery. The pyramidlike structures enclose statues and paintings, which are in almost perfect condition and give one a glimpse into the past. He is then invited to spend a special ladiesdayout with the women of Lari.
Rohan treks across the mighty Rohtang Pass to enter Lahaul where his family’s roots truly lie. He visits the village of Tholang where his grandfather was from, and is surprised to find that it is no longer a village but rather a collection of concrete blocks amidst potato fields. Even though Lahaul remains cut off from the rest of Himachal for almost half the year, it is probably one of the most affluent areas of the state. But most of the Lahauli’s have left the home behind in search of better opportunities.
The grand Mahakala Puja performed at the Shashur Gompa is a treat for all the senses. Monks draped in maroon robes chant verses in Tibetan accompanied by banging cymbals and bellowing horns. Hours pass by as one sits transfixed by the sounds.In Upper Keylong, Rohan explores an ancient Lahauli home to find out how people lived in the good old days. He ends his trip in Lahual at the Khangsar Khar, a long forgotten castle that lies sadly dilapidated in the heart of the valley. As is the case with most of Lahaul, empty rooms and corridors lie lined with cobwebs and no one to look after them.
Rohan is in his closure mode as he recalls and reminisces his entire journey over the past few months all, he is just lost in the vastness of the Valley and takes on a bike ride across to clear his mind. He also explores the influence of religion in the valley and the why it’s become an international tourist destination. He is also intrigued by the architecture in the towns and gets inquisitive with an expert on the subject.Towards the end he also experiences a traditional Leh funeral ceremony and wonders thoughts into mortality where his purpose is sort of defined as to what he needs to do with his life and what his calling is, at this juncture the shows flashes all the memorable moments in the journey and concludes.
24 January 2021