Emerald mountains, captive surroundings, enriching culture with pristine and picturesque Himalayan backdrops are one of a lifetime of experience. Central Garhwal Himalayas are home to many such places. One such beautiful and untouched place of this region is ‘Urgam valley’.
This is a lively valley with gushing streams, deep woods & warmth hospitality of people. The valley consists of a group of villages Dumak, Salna, Lyari and Urgam village being the biggest of them. Surrounded by thick forest it is home to Himalayan black bears, wild foxes, pigs and leopards. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people here and the crops & pulses like kidney bean (white Rajma), potatoes being the most famous. The village is also famous for one of the Panch Kedar ‘Kalpeshwar’ temple.
The road to Urgam village is a typical hilly road, dangerous yet beautifully surrounded by forest and High Mountains, the views are captive. The roads are still under construction and follow up till Lyari and one has to trek further through the village till Kalpeshwar which is an easy 2km trek. It’s a beautiful village to pass by well-terraced farms, surrounded by high mountains and dense forest with the views of the higher Himalayan ranges. Crossing several streams and walking past the village one reaches a beautiful site of a cascading waterfall out of no-where, crossing the water stream and with a little ascent, one reaches the temple of Kalpeshwar. Kalpeshwar is one of the five Kedars of Uttarakhand where Lord Shiva‘s matted hairs (Jata) are prayed under a stone cave. The temple is located in a picturesque location surrounded by forest and a stream on the right.
As one return back do visit the Primary School of the village established in 1914. A small and a beautiful village school situated next to the most prestigious temple of the ‘Dhyan Badri’, considered centuries old.
Migration which is the major problem faced by Uttarakhand, currently this one village shows a mirror to all those people who are getting far away from their villages in search of a better life. The people of these villages still focus on self-development. This is one of those villages which have seen people migrating but the lush life of this simple village led them back. The seasonal cash crops are the major source of income for the people of this village. The village tourism is slowly but positively making an impact at this place. Homestay options are also available. The village also acts as a base camp for some of the scenic treks, like the ‘Nandi Kund’ or a traverse to ‘Rudrnath’, the other of the Panch Kedar.
A village which is the perfect escape from the maddening rush, and experiencing ideal village life.