Never Ending Musical Notes of the Singing Hills – Dainkund

I was composing the blog post on the mesmerizing Bhool Bhulaiyya of Lucknow, yesterday, and was reminded of our trek across the Singing Hills in Chamba. The path through the woods was haphazard, full of danger of getting lost and gave us a sense of accomplishment upon reaching the destination- yet it was beautiful….very similar to the Labyrinth of the Bada Imambara!

Did I say, Singing Hills?

Yes. The mountains of Dainkund in Chamba District, are also known as the Singing Hills. It is because, the trees produce melodious sounds – as winds blow past the woods, ruffling the perennial leaves of the numerous pine, oak and deodar trees.

The Trek….

On one of our picnics in the hills of Chamba District, Himachal, we chanced upon a path leading through the woods of Dainkund Hills. 

The shop

A part of the shop is visible in this photo

As we wandered around, we reached a pebbled path leading towards the only biggest concrete house as far as our eyes could follow. The house was literally on the edge of a cliff!

A Shop on the Cliff

Reaching the house, we were relieved to find that it was an ‘All-in-One’ shop dishing out hot chai, parathas, yummy-Licious milk sweets and also stocked on grocery items. After ordering some Chai (Tea) we hit upon a conversation with the house owner. He introduced himself to be Atma Ram who has been living there for decades. He alone caters to more than 35-40 villages scattered in the hills!

Survival and Salutes

Most of the villagers from nearby regions climb the hills to buy the day to day necessities. These villages lack road connectivity. Occasionally, the Airforce Station conducts Health camps in these villages, where in a medical team tries to cater to the medical needs of at least a handful of villages. One of these villages has been adopted by the Indian Air Force.Usually, in the case of Fire or Medical Emergencies, the local people immediately call the Airforce Station even before informing the local authorities. This shows the trust and the bond between the people of the region and the Military.

The Boost

After some more exchange of stories and information, we were guided by him to take the trail through the woods to reach- Aala, a place that houses the Potato Development Farm. So, basically, instead of taking the motorable road from Dainkund to Aala, we would trek to our destination.This path is frequented by the people of the villages and is a shorter and faster route.

Here is a photo journey through the woods of the Singing Hills, of the same trek….


Trudging the villagers’ path

June is the best month to go on treks in the mountains of Pir Panjal. There are infinite blooms of white daisies everywhere resembling the Milky Way, on earth, butterflies fluttering and hopping from one bloom to another, crowding the region similar to the mosquitoes that crowd our cities! What a contrast, isn’t it?


White daisies

The Milky Way

Busy Creatures

The buzzing bees, the occasional roars (err.. was it of the bears or the snow leopards or the witches of DK that inhabit these hills), the lush greenery made for a perfect jungle view.We had loads of beetles, lady birds, innumerable insects and wild blooms to give us company. They seemed to be going through their daily errands without much fuss!


An intruder

Stop and Stare….it is refreshing!

There were times when I stopped, allowing the group to move ahead – to seep in the fresh, dewy and moist smell of the woods, stopped, while the cool breeze caressed my cheeks and took breaks often, to look back at the path trudged. Because not every day will I get to spend so much time amidst Nature inhaling poor oxygen!




While we were walking diligently, my eyes fell on something that looked like the hood of a snake! Immediately, I alerted others and the men in our group tried to stop us, while they went near it to confront. We had a hearty laugh when we discovered that it is a sort of flower/plant. Upon reaching home, I searched on the internet and found that this is a rare plant found mostly in the Himalayas and parts of Himachal, called the ‘Cobra Lily’!

Cobra Lily

Cobra Lily

Our path was lined with little budding flowers and wild berries that looked more like Strawberries…Everything around was swaying in sync as winds sweeper across and made a hissing sound.The Snake flowers too started swaying to the tunes of the Snake Charmer- the wind, in this case!

wild berries

Pinky pinky

The tall trees with huge trunks among the verdant greenery, looked, straight out of European literature.


The forest of Dainkund

Soon, we were almost nearing our destination and could see the beautiful green hills of Bakrota and Moti-Tibba canopied under a blue sky, draped in mist.

View of Bakrota and Dalhousie

A view of the Bakrota Hills, Moti Tibba Hill, and Dalhousie

Destination Reached….Aala re aala

We were thrilled to reach our destination-Aala. Realization set in, when we had a look at the watch. This trek usually takes 30-40 mins downhill, however, we had taken more than an hour ( Up-climb would be around 60mins). The blame was on me! I was taking my own sweet time to capture the woods, our moments in the Singing Hills and the experiences, to be engraved as fond memories forever. In this pursuit, I was either lagging behind the group or way ahead of the group exploring on my own!


Can I build my cottage, here?

Parting Words

If you are in the Singing Hills of  Dainkund, Himachal Pradesh- ask for this trek that starts nearby to Aala, en route to Dainkund from Dalhousie.

Singing Hills

Polkajunction covering the trip

Hope you enjoyed the musical notes of the Singing Hills as much as I did! 

Till I take you to a new destination again, please enjoy reading the blogged destinations on Polkajunction. Ciao…….


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20 Responses

  1. Brinda says:

    What a wonderful place! I love to trek and this def needs to be added to my list. Btw the pictures are superb 🙂

  2. divsi says:

    I was listening to the song of the hills in your post and traveling with you throughout, humming to the tunes of the trees:) Wonderful post and I would build a cottage next to yours 🙂
    The pic of the cobra lily is super!!

  3. I’ve got to say, I’m loving the picture of the ladybug there, pretty awesome stuff. I’m happy you included plenty of pictures so I could envision the adventure!

  4. Suruchi says:

    I have never heard and seen this cobra Lily despite being a Himachal freak. It looks so much like a snake hood. The trails of this trek looks amazing and this is going to be on my list now. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. I’ve never heard of the Singing Hills. They sound very relaxing and intriguing. I loved the photo of the cobra lily. And I can also imagine the wind making that creepy snake sound. Seems like a great place to visit!

  6. Bhushavali says:

    That looks like a gorgeous trek path. I can imagine your relief in finding that shop atop the path! I had such a relief to eat just sandwich that I had packed for the trek, after reaching the top, so to finding garama garam paratha & chai would be heavenly! Cobra Lily looks spectacularly stunning!

  7. Mimi & Mitch says:

    We have not known of this place neither! Can’t believe of all this nature, we feel like it is like Canada or something but it is not! Totally beautiful scenery and indeed perfect for treks!

  8. Blair Villanueva says:

    Its a lovely trail with loads of trees. I could imagine your delight and breathing fresh air that this hills gives. .

  9. Miriam Ernst says:

    I really like the snow effect for the images. At first, I thought I saw in sight haha. Btw, that Cobra Lily is just wow!

  10. Tina Basu says:

    wow, it looks so beautiful.

  11. Really beautiful place, have not heard about it before. Wish I could’ve visited this place when I visited Dalhousie last year.Anyway next time 🙂

  12. WOW, that flora looks so amazing. Never heard of this place, but its now on my next to go

  13. Monika says:

    I would love to trek there. This place begs some photos omggg

  14. Shalini says:

    That would’ve been one hell of an experience! The cobra lily looks wow! 🙂

  15. That Cobra Lily really looks like a snake! That tea shop owner must have so many stories to tell, na! Your pics make me want to visit someday, I love the mountains!:)

  16. Shalini says:

    Oh wow! I have earmarked this trail after reading your vivid narrative of your experience.

  1. July 21, 2017

    […] Snakes have been an integral part of our dwellings amidst thick vegetation, inside Military campuses.There has never been a posting in which these guests have not glided their way into my home – uninvited. So much so, that I consider their visit very auspicious. Coincidentally, the snake is our family deity and like millions of Indians, we too worship them. Thus, I can say that – Snakes and I, go a long way. […]

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