The trippy Fairy Forest of Pulga

Pulga is a name of a village located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. It’s a name and a place a lot of travelers have not come across. On a previous trip made to Parvati Valley, I stayed at Kalga and was stunned by it’s beauty. Surrounded by apple orchards and the Himalayas in the backdrop. Since it was a solo trip, there was more time to wander. Upon asking the locals, was informed to visit the fairy forest in Pulga. But it skipped thinking that the village would have a same landscape.

Fortunately on the recent trip to Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh, a trip to Pulga was made. Now traveling in Himachal is best with the HRTC and local buses. Caught a bus from Kasol to Barshaini and the bus always takes a 30 minutes quick stop at Manikaran. While one may think of visiting Manikaran in such a less time, it’s not advisable. Firstly because it takes more than 30 mins to take Gurudwara visit. Secondly, you may lose your seat as the bus gets full at Manikaran. There is an ATM in Manikaran after crossing the bridge which helps as the Kasol ATM barely works.

Moving forward to Barshaini, the trek from Barshaini to Pulga is about an hour. As you get down from the bus keep moving start and there’s a board for Pulga. Take the right and cross the bridge. The landscape is filled with pine trees, river flowing by and snow capped mountains. The trek is an easy trek and makes you lose a track of time.

Everything in Pulga is transported to the village by porters and mules, horses carrying luggage. While trekking, the mountain dogs will end up accompanying you all the way. They’re super friendly, furry and cute. There are Himachali houses that you start seeing which is an indication of reaching Pulga. The old school houses made out of wood and irregular flat rocks used instead of bricks and cement. The locals sitting by the window. Some of them, specially women knitting, making handicraft shawls. Making handmade shawls and bedsheets out of wool. The locals greeting you with a smile is what makes Pulga, a vacation pilgrim place. The ancient architecture will leave you amazed.

Heading ahead, the tiny 2-3 shop Pulga market shows up. You can stock up your supply for chips, fruits and munchies here. They also keep woolen yarn which you can take one back as a gift for a friend who likes knitting.

Trekking ahead, you will reach the Fairy Forest. Surrounded by huge, tall, old pine trees. The whole landscape feels like a forest. Time passes away as if it were a time lapse. Just lie down and look up at the sky. The branch of the trees, leave any space barely for the blue Himalayan sky. A 360 degree view of the forest entirely makes it trippy and guessing hence the name Fairy Forest.

It is a good idea to camp at the fairy forest during the summer time as it gets really cold and breezy in the winters. There are homestays near the fairy forest, so if you want to hush away from the Kasol and Manali crowd, stay at Pulga. There is a waterfall a little ahead as you wander in the fairy forest. It is a great place to just lie down, feel the nature, experience solitude and rejuvenate from the city chaos. If you’re a little less on time, it’s a good idea for day trip too. Start around 10 A.M. Pick up the picnic supplies from the Pulga market and relax at the Fairy Forest. Pulga is ideal for 2 days and it’s about time to tick it off the list.

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Text & Photography – Vijaya Nair

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