Himachal state government has initiated a laudable program to promote rural tourism in Himachal Pradesh. They call it ‘Har Gaanv Ki Kahani’ (Story of Every Village) and in 2013 they have inducted 12 more villages from every district. The total number of villages covered under this program till today is 24.
Two from every district of Himachal.
I call these villages ‘Heritage Villages’ because the administration takes special care to preserve the legacy of these villages. Even the local administration (panchayat/municipal committee) goes out of its way to maintain cleanliness in these villages. How I wish every village of Himachal was covered under this program.
Previously, a ‘Shiva Temple’ near Shoghi Village was inducted in this program from Shimla District.
This time it is ‘Hyun Village’ of Shimla which is otherwise popular for Chadwick Falls. The village derives its name from the word ‘Hyun’ which means snow in local dialect. The village receives ample snow during winters and makes a beautiful summer vacation spot. The Chadwick Falls are in the eastern corner of the village. Tumbling down from a height of more than 100 meters, the Chadwick Falls are a treat for the eyes.
There is an amusingly interesting story that locals tell about the name of this fall. In Pahadi dialect sparrows are called ‘Chidu or Chidku’ and because the fall is as high as 100 meters, only ‘chidus’ could go to the top of this fall. And that’s why the name.
Locally the Chadwick Falls are called ‘Chidku Jhaal’ where ‘jhaal’ means ‘Jharna’. These falls were called ‘Chidku Falls’ but because English couldn’t pronounce it properly, they ended up calling it Chadwick Falls.
After all their convenience was top priority back then. And if I may add, even today most of the tourism programs are designed to attract foreigners only.
The legend says that once a devil lived close to the falls. He troubled people and spoiled their crops. He would even stop the water-mills. Villagers requested the Gan Devta to put an end to his nuisance. Gan Devta in collaboration with Nag Devta fought against the devil and tied him to a rock near the waterfall. Even today, some people believe that the face of the waterfall looks like a demon’s face. It appears that the water is gushing out of a devil’s face.
The village is guarded by Gan and Nag Deities. The ancient temple is located at Pathog which is a one day hike from Hyun Village. Other than the Chadwick Falls, there is another major attraction of the Hyun Village. There is an Art Gallery run by the Chatterjee Family who were inspired by the beauty of this village to start an art gallery.
Hyun Village is just seven kilometers from the Shimla town via Summer Hill. Give it a try! Shimla was once a village and believe me it was better that way.
You might find some traces of old Shimla in Hyun!