Pari Tibba- The Witch’s Hill

Pari Tibba or the Witch’s Hill, is my favourite part of Mussorie, India. Away from the hustle bustle of the Queen of Hills, Pari Tibba is a haven for all those who are looking for complete solitude (and also a chance to witness the best of Mussorie Ridge). I was first introduced to this place by Ruskin Bond, who has mentioned this magical land in many of his stories.

Hence, I decided to explore it. In this article, I’ll tell you how to trek to Pari Tibba.

Actually, it is more of a stroll rather than a trek, for this region can be covered within a few hours on foot. And once you conquer the top of the hill, the sight is truly spectacular.

Reaching There :

The trek to Pari Tibba technically starts from the famous Woodstock School at the eastern end of Mussorie. Mussorie lies at approximately 286 kms from New Delhi . It is a 5-6 hour drive on a route that passes through the following cities:

Delhi -> Ghaziabad -> Modinagar -> Muzzafarnagar -> Saharanpur -> Roorkee -> Dehradun -> Mussorie
Total Distance -286 kms

After having a light breakfast (Try ‘Lovely Omelette’ at the eastern end of the Mall) head towards the Woodstock School. You’ll pass through the famous Landour Bazaar (Old Mussorie) which is quite an experience in its own way .

An old Bike Repair shop at Landour Bazaar

Woodstock lies at a distance of 3 km from here. The Pari Tibba trail starts from here.

THE TREK :

As mentioned above, it is a simple enough trek which can be completed in a few hours. From the main gate of the Woodstock School, take the side road which descends towards the hostel building of Woodstock.

The gentle trail near Woodstock
A cemented trail emanates from the back of this hostel. Follow this trail which will lead you towards Dhobi Ghat Village in a few minutes. A quick tip: Stay away from the dogs of this village!

Moving on, from here it is a gentle ascent for around two kilometres. The track bifurcates after a while and you need to take the path going right. En route, you might also notice the ruins of old British houses which were abandoned by their owners due to constant lightning hits(Hence the name– Witch’s Hill). A steep ascent during the last stretch of the trail leads you directly to the top a small but beautiful hill.

Welcome to Pari Tibba!

A small temple near a clearing let’s you know that you’ve arrived.

Relaxing at Pari Tibba

Pari Tibba is a great picnic spot. It has some of the most deliciously breathtaking views of the Himalayas.

Just Perfect!

FxCam_1357973086736

After spending a considerable amount of time extolling the beauty of this wonder, you can descend down the same path and retrace your steps till Woodstock.

If time permits, you have the option to cover the Lal Tibba region of Mussorie. Or maybe someplace else.

You’re never short of options at Mussorie.

-Vibhav Bisht

Tripoto


The author is a hardworking lazy-ass! He loves to travel though!
Feel free to disturb his naps on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow Slow Rover on Twitter!

© Copyright for all the images owned by SlowRover and Vibhav Bisht. 

Advertisements

5 Ways To Respect Others When You Go Abroad

Guest writer Amile Jessica of the international travel super-group ‘Unexpected Wanderlust‘ writes about ‘how’ and ‘why’ you should respect the locals while travelling globally!


From a young age, I dreamed of a life of international travel. In many ways, travel was my first love. It prompted me to quickly consume as much information as I possibly could about the world around me, to constantly change for the better so I could become smarter, stronger, and more capable to do what? Travel of course. It got to a point where I had to ask myself, why do I even care, what is it that I like so much about this?  Which lead me to my next love: a love of life, of other people, and of the human experience.

But this love is much more complicated. When you feel connected to the human race, you also feel responsible for the incredible amount of pain so many individuals face at the hands of greed, ignorance, and recalcitrance. You feel aware of your own privileges to do something about this, and don’t want to squander your possession of a voice, which has power to advocate and fight for others so that they can be heard too.

People are so wonderful and amazing!!! (of course I asked these women if they would be comfortable with their photo online before taking the shot-- they were very excited about it)

People are so wonderful and amazing!!! (of course I asked these women if they would be comfortable with their photo online before taking the shot– they were very excited about it)

Then traveling can feel selfish, and even downright harmful. To be an honest ethical individual I must then ask myself hard questions about my life long passion and path: Is this worth my time, efforts, money, health, and energy? Does this genuinely help make the world a better place? Does it make me a better person?

If you are one affected by wanderlust then you have surely seen quotations which praise travel for it’s ability to expand personal horizons and squash prejudices in their tracks. But is a change of scenery enough to make us ethical people? Enough to make us forget the harmful stereotypes and one-sided perspectives that have been born and bred in us from day 1?

Travel can certainly open the door to deeper feelings of empathy and global human connectedness, but as we open this door we often hit many innocent people along the way. Travel alone does not and cannot act as an antidote to oppressive behavior. However, it can act as a powerful catalyst for diplomacy and change when paired with mindfulness, self-reflexivity, and intentions deeply based in ethics, which embrace humanism and social justice.

Below are 5 ways that all those who are interested in travel can better respect those peoples which we go to such great lengths to admire.

Bridge the Language Barrier with Patience and Respect

When traveling abroad it can be easy to become frustrated by language barriers. You’re tired, in a rush, and feel like you are going in circles so you snap at the innocent citizen who you’re asking for help. Remember that you chose to come to a country where people speak a language different from your own. Come into the experience expecting frustration and remind yourself to be present whenever you feel impatient. Laugh at yourself and the situation. Keep a language guide with you, and study some phrases before hand.  If you’re in the country for an extended period, try picking up a new language! Always remember: just because a person does not speak your native language does not mean that they are stupid.

Just because I hit travel rock bottom, does not give me an excuse to bring other people down with me.

Just because I hit travel rock bottom, does not give me an excuse to bring other people down with me.

Think Twice Before Using Your Camera

We get it. Nonwestern clothing looks really cool. But that does not mean that it’s okay to get your camera all up in the face of a random pedestrian, street hawker, or cute little kid. When in doubt ask yourself how it would make you feel and then respectfully ask permission.

Poverty is Not Your Eye-Sore or Your Fantasy

It’s difficult to not have high hopes and expectations of a place before you go. Movies and other types of media influence our perceptions of places we could only imagine before, and now will actually see. But places don’t exist for spectators and movies will almost always tell an embellished story. Many travelers, when faced with poverty that they were not expecting to see, cringe internally and come away from the experience with criticisms of a country like “the people smell” or “the city is dirty.” These criticisms play into negative stereotypes that do not take into account a history of oppression, whether it be colonial or corporate.

The inverse can also be true. We often use traveling as a way to experience something different. But when a country is not the type of different we expected it to be we feel like we’re not getting our money’s worth. This happened to me when I was traveling through Morocco. A native Moroccan that I was staying with told me he would take me to the best kebab place. Of course, I got my hopes up that I’d soon be eating kebab in some seedy back corner cafe surrounded by locals, but instead he ended taking me to a restaurant in a packed shopping mall. Internally I threw a little temper tantrum, I was in Morocco for a limited time and I wanted to go to a real Moroccan place. But I was wrong. I was in a real Moroccan place and I was surrounded by locals, even if it wasn’t the real Morocco that I expected to see.

This popular ice skating rink in a shopping mall in Rabat is a part of "Moroccan life," as are old medinas.

This popular ice skating rink in a shopping mall in Rabat is a part of “Moroccan life,” as are old medinas.

Make Personal Efforts in the Cultural Exchange Process

While learning about new cultures is not everyone’s first priority when traveling abroad, many of us do want to leave the experience with a deepened cultural perspective. That being said, while many native citizens are excited and more than willing to educate foreigners about their customs and history, it is not their sole responsibility to do so. Reading a few pieces of literature from popular native writers as well as some books about the local religion, food, history, and so on can truly deepen a travel experience and give you a great starting point with which to engage the locals you meet along the way. Making an effort to learn on your own shows others that you desire to move beyond shallow tourism and toward an authentic cultural exchange.

On a trek through the Peruvian Andes, this guide and I really bonded over the fact that I had learned about the native Incan language Quechua through reading literature from the popular Peruvian author Jose Maria Arguedas.

On a trek through the Peruvian Andes, this guide and I really bonded over the fact that I had learned about the native Incan language Quechua through reading literature from the popular Peruvian author Jose Maria Arguedas.

Educate Yourself on the Impacts of Voluntourism

So now that you’ve read this article and are fully committed to becoming a more ethical traveler you might as well go all in and sign up for some voluntourism right? Think again. Voluntourism is often criticized for creating more problems then it solves, which makes sense considering the issues this world faces are much more complex then a two week or a summer stay can accomplish. Even though these travelers might mean well, voluntourism contributes to damaging white savior mentalities which implicitly state that poverty is a spectacle which outsiders are entitled to enter into at any time, and that the only thing stopping issues from being fixed is a lack of local leadership.

If you would like to productively make use of your time in another country, embrace your outsider status and teach English (or another language which might be in high demand). Consider this teaching a man to fish; teaching English allows others access to a useful skill (in today’s marketplace), which will help aid them in benefiting their own communities long after you’re gone.

What are some ways that you respect other cultures when you travel? 

-Amile


© Copyright for all the images owned by SlowRover and Amile Jessica