Reliving the Bunking Days of Dharamkot

-Ricardo Stephens

Every journey is an experience they say, an experience that remains in your heart for the entire lifetime. Likewise, after a beautiful night out at Amritsar, a connecting visit to McLeodganj has drenched my soul into irreplaceable tranquillity and memoirs. Situated in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, the scenic beauty of this suburb welcomes travelers from different parts of the world to offer a magical and thrilling experience.

About my Bunking at Hostel

During my stay at Mcleodganj, there was not a second where I felt away from home for which, I would not think twice to praise the hospitality and warmth I received at The Bunkers Hostel. By this time I was already in love with the concept of travel hostels and I couldn’t get a better feeling of being at a home away from home, It is located atop from the hustle of the city in Dharamkot, which is a small village where travellers can set all their tribulations apart and rejuvenate their minds in the wilderness of the Himalayan hill forests. The hostel features a beautiful rooftop café, which feels like the perfect place to enjoy a steaming hot cup of coffee. Being foody at heart, I am always on the hunt for a good variety of food while traveling.

Nearby Market

To my fortune, I didn’t have to wander around for the same as The Bunkers Hostel served delicious lip-smacking food to satisfy my taste buds at a very pocket-friendly price. Traveling for months becomes tiring and makes you crave for home food but I remember this first night in Dharamkot where I was all soaked in rain and late at the hostel, hungry and worn out. I feared of sleeping hungry as the place was away from the world and I did not expect food services to function and top it all heavy rains. To my luck, the owner, a very interesting person, was generous to open the kitchen for me and help me out with Dal Rice. At first, I believed in dumping the food in my belly and just falling asleep but after having the first steaming hot bite, my body begged for more. The taste was simply awesome, home-like and steaming hot. I still wonder when was the last time I feasted on plain dal rice, even maybe at home I must say. It was totally a memorable food experience I will never forget. Also, I learned that steaming hot dal rice on a plate goes well with you sitting in front of the window pane and experiencing rain.

About Entertainment

The Bunkers hostel also takes care of the entertainment needs of travelers and bag packers by screening movies every night in the café projector screen. The movie sessions offer a good therapy for two to three hours and help the travelers to escape into another world altogether. I personally feel that this culture should be promoted quite often since it is a platform where one gets to make new friends based on interests and share travel experiences with each other during and post-movie sessions. To top it all, it is quite relaxing after having trekked and wandering for miles. In addition, the hostellers I met during my stay were totally amazing and were fun to hang around with. They were from different places, different interests but we all gelled over a common interest – Bag packing. Talking about friends, I made a very special friend during my stay at The Bunkers hostel called Tazz. Tazz is the pet dog at the hostel that lovingly welcomes you and has an equal contribution towards making your stay pleasant here with his quiet yet energetic nature. He is well known throughout Dharamkot and is pampered by all travelers that come and go. I was lucky to stay up at ‘The Bunkers Hostel’ and connect not only with the people out there but also with this beautiful soul. Now, The Bunkers Hostel also offers a special reason for Cricket fans owing to its location, which is only 7 km from the famous Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium located in Dharamshala.

There are also other places like Cafes/Bars, Supermarket, general stores etc. that can be visited since they are situated at a moderate distance from the hostel and can be easily covered in easy walks in the wilderness of nature and forests.

Quite Relaxed

After a relaxed stay at The Bunkers Hostel, travelers can indulge in some adventure at the Triund Hill which is located just 6kms away from the hostel. Most important, it is from this place the trails to the trek’s beginning i.e. any individual who plans to trek to Triund has to pass by from the hostel. The location of the hostel offers travelers to make the most of their visit and thus can be listed as one of the ideal places for accommodation trekking wise. Last but not the least, the owner of The Bunkers Hostel, Mr. Ashish Dutt has maintained a positive atmosphere at the hostel, which gives you another reason to visit the hostel again. One fine morning, I had a lovely conversation with him over coffee and it was great to know about his life. Hailing from Jammu, Ashish graduated in Engineering and worked with Tata Consultancy Services in Bangalore. Being a traveler and adventure lover by heart, he used to trek on the weekends and sometimes even be a trek guide for local start-ups. Few years down the line, he quit his regular job and built an adventure-based start-up Mad-Nomad. It was through this phase of his life he felt the need to make traveling convenient, easy and memorable thereby finally settling down in Dharamkot and opening the Bunker’s Hostel. In my view, I found him to be quite down to earth and kind towards the people taking shelter at his Hostel. He ensures that every traveler receives the best facilities and leaves no stone unturned to make your stay a memorable one.

At Last

My trip to Mcleodganj was indeed a fantastic one since the environment at The Bunkers Hostel kept me garden-fresh and motivated to accomplish my travel goals comfortably. The ambiance both in and out was filled with good vibes, amazing people, and magic. The wall paintings just like the Amritsar hostel were simply remarkable and the best part, a house library is under construction and is estimated to feature a good number of novels and books of different genre and types. I seriously cannot wait to be at this place next time and be a part of its magic. The facilities at the hostel are totally up to the mark and I would strongly recommend this hostel to other travelers who are looking for quality service in terms of food, lifestyle, and ambiance.

Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world. -Gustave

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