19 November 2020

The Village Walk At Rakkh:
Among Friendly Faces And Timeless Tradition

Have you ever wondered where our resort in Palampur got its name from? As it turns out, Rakkh resort owes its name and indeed its persona to the quaint and charming village of Rakkh, a short distance away. In a world of fast paced lives and deadlines, we could all learn a thing or two from the humble residents of Rakkh village. Which is precisely what gave us the idea to conduct village walks for guests at our resort in Palampur!

An eagle near our resort in Himachal

Image credits: Wikipedia

The walks start just as the cock crows. You are escorted out of our resort in Palampur by trained professionals on a small trek that has multiple ups and downs. Hop, skip and jump across tiny streams that are birthed by the mighty Dhauladhars. These waters are an important source of irrigation and hydration for the locals, but also for something that we shall find out about later on.

Our first stop of many on this trek is to a small Shiva temple that was built by the locals. Come festivals or any other special causes for celebrations, the temple is decorated with aplomb. For now the temple sits there prettily, at the highest point of the entire village. After a short break we move on, for there is much to explore! As you traverse through the village, you’ll notice how rustic yet serene the houses of the locals are. Built from rammed earth, with wooden support beams. All these houses are surrounded by various fruit orchards,and wheat fields abound everywhere.

A bird at our resort in Himachal

Image credits: Wikipedia

The first major stop would be at the home of a local who graciously agrees to host us for breakfast and a cup of that golden elixir that pahadis have come to admire so much. Over breakfast and tea, you can glean many insights about the lives of these simple folks and their aspirations and achievements. You’ll also notice things about the house itself: For instance, while all living spaces are on the ground floor, the kitchen has been constructed on the first floor! Another ingenious trick by pahadi folks; build the kitchen higher than the living rooms, and you won’t have to worry about smoke entering the living room!

The kitchen also serves as a dining area for members of the family. You’re seated on the cool floor and treated to such delicacies as babru and gulgule, along with some pickles made from fiddlehead ferns or berries. More copious cups of tea follow. Once done with breakfast, you can go over to the adjoining mudhouse meant for cattle where some bovine faces might greet you!

A bird at our resort in Himachal

Image credits: Wikipedia

As you walk through the rest of the village, you’ll find that life in Rakkh is a notch slower. The lack of TVs in any household may initially surprise you, but the people of the villages prefer to experience life through their own eyes, sans idiot box!

The next facet of village life you’ll encounter is something that has been a way of life for the people of these hills for generations. Paan chakkis, water-mills that use the streams of Rakkh to run, are a common sight in Palampur, especially in smaller regions like Rakkh. The fast flowing water turns the mills, giving them enough strength to powder up wheat finely. Did you know that Rakkh resort in Palampur also uses a paan chakki?

We are nearing the end of our trek. On our way, we will stop by a school that was a culmination of the efforts of the Rakkh management. This establishment is in fact the only school in the region, and all little ones from the villages come here to finish primary education! At the end of the trek, you can choose to indulge in a plate of steaming hot momos, or return to our resort in Palampur and indulge in a nice soothing water bath for your feet as you reminisce of the multitude of lives that you just interacted with around our resort in Palampur. May the villages of Himachal continue to be their quiet, charming self!

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Ghamrota Village Post Office Ballah ,Tehsil Palampur, District Kangra, Jiun, Himachal Pradesh 176061