On Day 5, I went out alone, which was not too bad actually. The weather had turned. January can be a bit tricky with the weather. Two days of sun, followed by two days or more of rain, sleet or snow. I was looking forward to some snow actually, but it decided to rain.
I've always liked looking at landscapes through the fog and the mist. They have their own challenge and their own charm.
The way to get to Masroor Temple from McLeodGanj, is to drive to Kangra Town, and then turn right, away from the direction to the airport. It lies about 20 km further down some nice, winding roads. If you are not vigilant, or if your driver is not vigilant, you can easily miss the sign that points you into the temple complex.
It is a small structure that is still used. Small, and nice. There are very few tourists, and yet the few that are there do manage to climb to the top and leave their empty plastic bottles amongst the carvings. It is amazing, our desire to litter.
The temples are set in front of a pond, and are said to be quite ancient. As per legend, they were built by the Pandava Brothers, of Mahabharatha fame. Those chaps did travel, and in days without cars! These are monolithic rock temples, with some simple and very nice carving.
There is a village school next to it, and a cute little tea shop. The Tea Shop owner has the only long distance public phone in the village.
From there we were off to the Pong Dam. Nowadays they call it Maharana Pratap Sarovar. Why they give it this name is a mystery. On good days, it's known for it's water sports. We went down a winding country path, past a vulture feeding station onto the banks of the lake. Bleak, bleak landscape. Cold, wet and windy. Yet, beautiful.
On the way back, we stopped at Lunj Village, and had lunch at Goldie's Dhaba, run by a husband and wife team. She makes the atta and the roti on the spot. The driver and I had a good tuck for a grand total of 2.5 USD. And, this was some of the best food everrr!