We took the ‘road less travelled’ the Basantpur – Kingal road and then onwards through Rampur to Sarahan. For most of the way, River Sutlej kept us company. Then as we were ascending towards Sarahan from Jeori , the weather became heavy and the chillness turned into real cold weather when we alighted at Hotel Srikhand , Sarahan.
Wow ! What a view even from the lawns. The view of the majestic icy Mahadev peak range looming in front of us.
Sarahan is at the height of 9000 feet . And surprisingly the Hotel run by HPTDC is good for being run as a State run enterprise. We had taken two dbl cozy deluxe rooms with attached private balconies. The rooms are large and have a great view of the icy mountain range. But as luck would have it, there was no power when we reached the hotel late afternoon. The temperature gauge read 3 deg. C. We moved into the restaurant and asked for some coal-warmers to keep us warm. With no electric supply there was no question of any room heaters of use. We found the rooms much colder and dark then the restaurant.
Late evening the rains came and soon this turned into a hail and then a full blown snow fall. The room temperature guage showed nearly 0 deg. C. We were shivering inspite of three pieces of cardigan on us and wearing our gloves . We kept asking the care-taker Manager Mr Shiv kumar about power supply, and he in turn was calling up the local electric supply station for an update on power restoration. Finally around 7.30 pm we got the lights and room heaters to function. What a relief !
The restaurant has a captivating view of the Himalayan range. But all the peaks were cloud covered the first afternoon.
Being the only tourist, the entire hotel staff including the manager were attentive to our needs. In fact the Chef came out to ask us for our choice of dinner. Here the Srikhand special – a sweet hot dish made of milk is highly recommended.
The next morning at day-break the view of the Peaks was simply awesome , majestic and mesmerizing. We had a clear view of the entire Mahadev range – and all our travails to reach Sarahan and of the earlier evening was worth every discomfort.
The Bhimakali temple is just a few feet from the hotel. Parts of the temple date back to the 8th century. The temple is one of the Shaktipeeths . Its Kali deity is also the revered Goddess of the erstwhile rulers Virbhadra Singh and his ancestors. The architecture of the temple is unique – a mix of Hindu and Buddhist . The temple precincts are well maintained but the climb to view the deity is rather steep . My wife almost suffered a frost-bite walking up bare foot.
Sarahan is a must both as a stop-over for those proceeding to Kinnaur or even as a destination.
Unfortunately, the weather was such that we could not venture out to see the town or the bird sanctuary breeding pheasants and the state bird Monal.
Off-season we got a good discount for the rooms. A special mention should be made of Mr Shiv Kumar who was incharge of the hotel. He went out of the way to make us comfortable . For those planning a visit to Hotel Srikhand , his mobile no. is 08894335975. The hotel Telephone no. is 01782- 27423 ; Hotel Srikhand is by far the best option in Sarahan.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Himachal Tourism's Hotel Shrikhand is named after the majestic mountain that faces the hotel and 5,536m high Shrikhand peak. The building's architecture has drawn inspiration from the fascinating forms of the famous Bhimakali Temple. The rooms of the Shrikhand hotel over looks the majestic view of the Shrikhand peak and apple orchards. ... more less