My visit to Dehra, a small hamlet in Himachal Pradesh coaxed me to sing paeans for the title of a thought provoking essay that the English thinker Bertrand Russell wrote quite a few years back. “ In Praise of Idleness” is the most apt way to describe my weekend tryst with Dehra.
Dehra basks in the glory of idleness. This and a few other things were my discovery when I went there a few month’s back to get over the rigmaroles of managing a corporate entity. Dehra is well concealed from the glare of overzealous tourists who head for the more “touristy” Dharamshala(63 Km) or Mcleodganj (73 Km) the “in” destination for the who’s who of Hollywood.
Getting to Dehra is easier than I thought of. I hopped on to a HPRTC Luxury Volvo bus meant for Dharmashala at around 9 pm from ISBT Kashmiri Gate, but getting out of Delhi was not. Much to my exasperation and to the motley crowd of foreigners of all size and hues, the Bus did an extended “conducted tour of Delhi” picking up passengers in between for almost two hours. It was around 11.30 that we finally managed to reach the outskirts of Delhi. I asked the conductor to sound me as soon as the bus reached Dehra. It was around 6.30 am and after traversing around 537 km I was asked to get down. The bus drops you just at the gate of the solitary hotel at Dehra the Riverview Resort.
Dehra is a Tehsil under the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, on the bank of the legendary Beas one of the famed “Five Rivers of Punjab”.
The main USP of Dehra is the Beas Bridge or DeraGopipur Bridge as the locals call it. It’s a massive concrete bridge connecting Dehra to Gopipur on the other side. A whole day could be spent just gazing at the shallow green waters of Beas against the backdrop of lower Shivaliks with vehicles whizzing past you across the bridge at 80 kmph. I was there during October when Beas fresh from receiving the full feed of monsoon rains presents a lively appearance.
Coming back to the resort, I took a first floor room and from the balcony the view is fabulous, the quite river, the lush green surroundings, the chirping of the birds everything looked so idyllic and serene and the feeling I got was nothing but divinity personified. I was told that the resort follows a differential pricing because of the balcony view so First Floor Accommodation is priced more than the ground floor.
The mornings, I did nothing but loitered around the river banks. The expansive waters seemed like a sea with no sight of the other shore.
I did not feel like moving anywhere but some other nearby places of interest includes the Chintpurni temple, Pong Dam, Bird Sanctuary or heading where the whole world heads- Mcleodganj. For the devout’s, the Dusshera festivities here are considered best after the Kullu Dusshera.
A few points before I sign off Dehra is not exactly a “foodies” paradise except for the roadside Dhabas, so if you are a hygiene freak it is better to have the food in the hotel itself. The package for the River View resort includes food and if you have not booked the return tickets its not a problem the hotel can arrange you for that.
Dehra may not be your ideal chock a bloc tourist destination but trust me you it is the best weekend getway I ever had in recent times. So this winter pack your bags and start Friday night, savour the freshness and drop in at Delhi in the Monday morning better equipped to tackle the Monday Blues!