Bada Bhangal – Travel to Tribal.
Tribal valley of Himachal Pradesh is origin of river Ravi. Bada Bhangal is second home for the some of the inhabitant of Bir Billing, considering as one of the most unexplored part in Himachal Pradesh. ‘Bada Bhangal’ is a beautiful tribal village which is situated at the altitude of 2550 mts. from sea level. To reach Bada Bhangal region one have to cross High Mountain passes by trekking, as valley is not still connected with road. Bada Bhangal is 4 days trek away from Bir Billing which is passing through Thamsar pass (4750 mts. from sea level), 6 days trek away from Manali which is passing through kalihani pass (4830 mts. from sea level), and 2 days trek away from Chamba side (Chamba side has quite narrow trail, where even mules can’t walk and connects nayagran).
The living of the local villagers depends on their cattle’s and on the medicinal plants that are collected from the higher mountains legally or illegally. The medicinal value of these plants is very high and is sold to the pharmacy companies.
Bada Bhangal is a tiny hamlet and has 50 – 60 houses. The people of this village are considered as Semi-tribal as most of the villagers have two houses. Half of the year people live in the higher mountains at Bada Bhangal, when temperature goes down and snowfall get heavier, they start going towards their lower houses at Bir, Thathi, Mared, Sansal, Bada gran and Gundha villages in lower planes. This journey is a herculean task and due to this some old people stayed at Bada Bhangal since they can’t walk back to their second home in the lower areas. These senior persons also take care their cattle during whole winter. This village is so remote and isolated from the modern epoch that here no telecom signal is available. Whole of the village has one satellite phone which is operational from 6 pm onwards for 2-3 hrs. only and people have to stand in for their turn. The device is battery operated, charged by solar panels and can be used until the battery exhausted. At present, the village hasn’t receiving the electricity supply due to the damage in the Dam occurred two years back. Now people say that reconstruction work of the Dam has been carried out and the electricity supply would soon be resumed.
The people of this village continuously strive with the nature and their destiny to live and survive. Even though their life is hard, they heartily accept all the challenges approach towards them. Owing to the arduous physicality involved in their daily chores, they always remain fit and focused. Their life is simple, peaceful and contented with the strong sense of self- determination and zest. They are great people who have the delights to live in the very close proximity of Mother Nature.
“Bada-Bhangal” is also a favorite destination for many of the trekkers. Trek operated from the month of July, once local people open Thamsar pass (4750 mts.) for their first movement and it remains open till the mid of October before first snowfall in the Himalaya’s. Most travelled trek in the valley is Bir Billing to Bada Bhangal to Manali. This trek is for 10 to 12 days and have 2 high passes namely Thamsar at 4750 mts. and Kali Hani pass at 4830 mts from sea level in the trek. This trek is mostly used by local shepherd of Kangra valley. During the trek you find shepherds in every 5 km. Shepherd moves to higher grazing fields in late summers. Their movement can be recognized with green patches in the mountains, as they make the land fertile. Trek is full of landscapes, waterfalls, streams.