For all the travellers seeking respite from the over-trodden trekking trails in Uttarakhand, it’s time to shift your focus to Kalap. It’s a forgotten village in the Garhwali Himalayas, where you’ll find the most scenic trekking trails. The shepherds with their flock of sheep, the lush bugyals, rugged terrain and traditional village life are some of the highlights of this place.

Perched at an altitude of 7,500 feet above sea level, Kalap is set amidst virgin pine forests and deodar trees, and overlooks the gorge cut open by river Supin. The trek from Netwar to Kalap takes one through the gorgeous Himalayan forests. Watch out for the glittering stream of Rau-gad on your way up where you’ll also see a stunning waterfall. Though the trek is 11km long; it is not exactly difficult in terms of terrain.

Kalap and its surrounding villages are deeply rooted in Hindu mythology, especially Mahabharata. One of the main attractions here is temple at Kalap dedicated to Karna – the warrior who fought alongside the Kauravas – who also has a full-fledged festival dedicated to him.

 
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Pahadi girls

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Everything from soaking in the beauty of the natural surrounding to interacting with the locals at Kalap is bound to imbue a sense of stillness in the traveller. Owing to the remoteness of the location and the harshness of the climate at times, it’s a rather unique lifestyle that the locals follow here. Almost everything they eat or wear is a product of the practice of organic farming.

Some local delicacies to try in Kalap are: rajma-chawal, gaushau (poppy seeds and jaggery boiled in wheat dough), local vegetables such as pumpkin, wild mushrooms and fern shoots, and rotis made of millet and amaranth. There are no provisions for meat and eggs at Kalap; it’s a completely vegetarian village. However, the juicy apples and local walnuts are a must-try in between the meals.