Monday 9 June
Pouring with rain first thing. This is earlier than usual for the monsoons - just our luck.
However by the time we were ready to venture out it was dry & brightening up considerably.
We went to collect Jane, our guide, from her house but found the road closed off because the Dalai Lama was due to be driven down to the airport as he was flying to Australia today. We went to stand at the road side & saw his cavalcade whizz past but as it was so fast we did not really get a chance to see his Holiness properly. Still, we nearly saw him!
We drove to Kangra village & walked up through the bazaar full of small shops selling gifts for the gods & gifts for the tourists. We looked round the Hindu Temple (Brajeshwari Devi Temple) which was attractive & very busy with visitors & rather muddy underfoot (bare foot!) because of the morning rain.
Next we drove to Kangra Fort which is in a fantastic location overlooking a sheer drop to the river in the valley below on one side; small fields across the valley being farmed with
oxen & plough in another direction & a wonderful view of the snow capped Dhauladhar range of mountains in the Himalayas behind the fort. There were nicely tended gardens at the base of the fort & a small museum of artifacts from the fort. We climbed up the many steps, fortunately fairly gradual, to the top of the fort, which was badly damaged by the 1905 earthquake. It was so high at the top that apart from the great views we were able to look down on a variety raptors soaring around instead of seeing them from underneath as usual.
Pleasant drive home through woods & past tea gardens where they were plucking the early tea growth.
I will try to add photos later but got to stop & go to dinner now!
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