We started at 9.00 AM for our trek for camp at Kalatop. Sun rays rarely falls at ground because of height of the trees and dense forest so the name Kala Tope is given to the place. It was a trek of 10 KM from our base camp at Dalhousie. After a walk of one KM from Gandhi chowk of Dalhousie we entered into a jungle with valley at our right side. The plain journey was enjoyable within the high trees and mountain views.
After some time we entered into a deep jungle and started climbing for one hour. It was little exhausting as we were climbing continuously for an hour. Finally we came to an open space by the side of the Dalhousie - Khajjiar road with small shops selling eatables and hot tea. There were snow patches around ( see the Dalhousie - Kalatop picture gallery ) and the snow capped hill were visible clearly as they came to an equal level to us in height. After a rest of 15 minutes with many photo sessions we started our journey to Lakarmandi our lunch point.
Lakarmandi is a small village with shops and small hotels mainly serving tourists. As we were in the last week of December the place was very cold and snow patches were there through out the area only some clear spaces were available where direct sunlight was falling. With high pines, dense deodars trees the ground was getting very little sunlight. As the village was located one side of the hill and there was no sunlight falling, every house top was covered with half feet of snow giving a spectacular look.
After our lunch we stared entering into the wildlife sanctuary area famous for Himalayan black bear and ghoral deer for our next camp at Kalatope forest guest house. The forest road leading to the guest house of 3 KM distance from Lakarmandi is wide enough to accommodate four wheel vehicles but public vehicles are not allowed inside the sanctuary. There were patches of snow in this road also as sun was not visible through the tall trees. Finally at 4 PM we reached the guest house.
There is a small village with three or four families only and the forest guest house at a height of 2440 meter surrender by forest in three sides and valley with view of snow capped mountains in another side was the only old colonial structure house in the area. There were snow patches around the guest house. We rushed to sunset point nearby to take photos. See the gallery for all the photos.
At 8 PM we were inside our slipping bags. A good sleep was needed to prepare ourselves for next day trek to Khajjiar.
I did this trekking with YHAI,our basecamp was in Dalhousie,Kalatope,Khajjiar and finally it ended in Chamba.We all enjoyed so much, only one difficulty was the food was only veg. Those are the memories still very live.