Finally, I decided to climb up.
It was a very thin track, hardly you can manage to place your feet. As I kept going up, small city of Kandaghat was vanishing from my sight. All in front was dense jungle. Though, it was just evening, it was almost dark inside, which was freaking me out a little. Then I looked for a stick and started making sounds by hitting it on rocks. This is the best way to let predators know that you are around, so they can manage to get you some privacy. I am talking about Leopards here. They are naturally shy, and only attack in defence if you encounter them at once, freaking them out. Most of my experience during travel here was much like my trek to Gorkha Fort at Nauni.
I prefered running instead of walking at some places covered with trees, bushes from all over 😀
After walking for 1 hour, I reached on top and saw a small temple roadside. At first I thought, cave could have been nearby this place. But I had to keep walking and there was no human life around still.
Though there were many beautiful places to capture which I could not due to lack of time and overload of fear. I was chanting “Jai Sri Ram” loudly just to keep my mind stable.
In halfway, I reached a small village with just 2-3 homes where I asked one kid for water. He was too humble to assist and even told me that it will take you more 20-30 minutes to reach. Overall, it took me 2 hours to reach the temple in Karol Tibba. Initially, what I saw was a home and dog barking at me. Temple was out of my sight still. Then I thought of asking someone in that home about the route but fortunately, temple was located just behind that house, which I could see after walking near to it.
I called out if someone is inside, where a man came out. He looked liked the care taker of temple.
He came out and opened up the temple for me to pray. Then I asked about the Pandavas Cave. Even to his knowledge, it was only a cave linked to Pandavas Agyaat Vaas Period. It is believed that Pandavas lived in this cave for some time when they were around Himachal Pradesh.
That was all the story I could listen from the priest, was expecting lot more though.
Then I entered the cave, where I could see lot of work done inside like Stairs and Small Gates. It was way too much deeper that my imagination. I could not see anything further as it was all dark with no light around. Worst thing was that even I came up without a torch as it was not a pre-planned trip.
I wish I had a torch so I could not have missed what I did. There are places inside the cave from where you do have to crawl as they are too thin to walk in. I will definitely go there once again with a torch if I get another chance again.
However, it was time to get back. All I was getting in my mind was a human-less route and dark. I asked priest for a thicker stick which I can take away with me. He promptly provided me with one and also offered me a tea. I could not accept that due to late night, thanked him humbly though.
Now was the time to get on road as quick as possible. Only thing sticking my mind was Leopards, Leopards & Leopards. I was carrying my Camera, Bike Helmet & a Bamboo Stick (This time bigger & harder). As I said, few points are way too dense that in evening time, those are covered with full darkness, these points made me pathetic. Even though, I did not hear any voice of any animal, I simply chose to run & run. At two spots, I literally slipped and fell down on the road. My gloves were pathetically damaged, which I checked very next day.
Very last breath-taking event which happened to me had almost killed me with a heart attack. Many many thanks to my heart for being strong. While getting down, I saw something which looked much like a Leopard in sitting pose. At very first moment, I forgot all about Bamboo Sticks and jammed myself on the spot I was standing on. Since, it was all dark, I was hardly able to grab a clear picture of that thing at my opposite side. Then I slowly moved and checked if its moving. After standing there for a minute, putting my ears & eyes harder to do their job, I finally managed to figure it out. That was a bush. Yes! A #%@& bush.
From that point, I commanded my senses not to work any longer. Believe me, where it took me 2 hours to climb up to Karol Tibba, within 20 minutes I was on road 😀