Sankri – A hamlet in the Himalayan lap

The hills in Uttarakhand have a soul, part of which stays with you when ever you visit the Land of Gods. It’s that what draws you back to witness the natural beauty serenity again and again. It’s hard to find someone who has visited Uttarakhand just once. You always return. That’s what my visit to Sankri did to me. Tucked away in the high reaches of Uttarakhand hills, the serenity and tranquility ever present at Sankri pervaded my senses and made me a part of it.

The ethereal natural beauty at Sankri resembles somewhat of a landscape painting painted on a canvas by the Great Masters. Sankri is a village located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Perched at an elevation of 1,900 meters, the hushed hamlet is known among the trekkers as the starting point for Har ki Dun and Kedarkantha treks. However, the village itself is a mesmerizing tourist destination overlooking the majestic snow-covered Himalayan peaks. While it may take 8 hours of tiring drive through the meandering hill roads (Sankri is located roughly 200 kms from Dehradun), it is absolutely worth it.

Roaming all over Uttarakhand, I reached Sankri where I stayed for couple of weeks in a homestay. One of the perks of staying at a homestay is that you learn about the culture and get to know about their lifestyle. What all problems they face at these remote regions and how they tackle them. The village walks amidst the lush greenery at Sankri and at nearby villages such as Saur, Pavani and Osla is a trekker’s delight. I was happy to assist my homestay owner in his various day to day chores. It was quite an experience for an outsider like me to be a part of the simple yet enriching village lifestyle at Sankri. The locals are quite welcoming and friendly to the outsiders. They even invite you for a tea!

One interesting thing about Sankri and the whole Jaunsar-Bawar region is its mythological connotations with Mahabharata. For a guy like me who is always interested in mythology and spirituality, that was really intriguing. The locals believe their ancestors fought in the great Mahabharata War. They even have elaborately-constructed temples dedicated to heroes (and villains) of Mahabharata, most famously at Osla village. These intricately carved wooden temples are a highly recommended tourist attraction in this region.

Overall, Sankri was a memorable experience and I plan to visit again as soon as possible. I was so glad I stumbled upon this hidden jewel of Uttarakhand which is as pure as the Ganges water.

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