Sunday, 29 June 2014

Katnalu Creek Trek

I have done two treks in the Katnalu creek area – the first one was the Shiva waterfall trek and another in the opposite direction towards Sadhu Pul via Kufri village. Readers should not confuse this Kufri with the touristy location by the same name (the Kufri-Chail-Shimla circuit). This Kufri village is not on the tourist destination radar. While the Shiva Waterfall trek led me through mostly uninhabited areas this trek crisscrossed some villages as well.

Trek amidst the pine forest in Katnalu Creek area


My trek started from the point where the Hail Himalayas camp site is located and after crossing the creek there was a steep climb for the next 15 minutes that took me to the village from where I could see far off Shimla on one side and Sadhu Pul in another.

A huge banyan tree and a small temple

After this there were more gradual rise and falls till I hit the pine forest area. The trees were small and it seems have been planted only a few years back as part of the aforestation drive.

A traditional house

During this trek I saw several new bird species and it definitely should be on the bird-watchers list of places to visit. I saw Black Headed Jay, Blue Whistling Thrush, Orange Flanked Bush Robin, Red Billed Blue Magpie, White Capped Redstart and several others that I could not recognise or could not click as they were too evasive.

A House in a village in Katnalu Creek

The houses that I saw in the villages were all ‘Pucca’ houses and were big in sizes with mostly tiled roofs with the ground floor being used for keeping the animals and the upper floor used for living quarters for the family. This serves two functions specifically in the winters – it provides shelter for the animals and also provides warmth generated by the animals on the upper floor and vice-versa.

Floriculture, Village Kufri

At village Kufri I saw floriculture being practiced as a commercial venture by the locals leading to some additional income generated in an otherwise not so commercially viable agriculture practiced here.

View of Sadhu Pul from Kufri

How to reach: For reaching there the nearest train station is Kalka. To reach beyond Kalka one has to take a detour from the Chandigarh-Shimla road at Kandaghat and go towards Chail and at Sadhupul (about 12 kms from Kandaghat) leave the metallic road and take the dirt track for about 4 kms to reach this as yet unexplored area.

Also read:
My Stay at Hail Himalayas
Birds at Katnalu Creek, Himachal
Sunrise at Madag
Shiva Waterfall Trek, Himachal
Jangchub Rabtenling Monastery, Himachal 

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