23.8427 N 85.3705 E
Before the arrival of the railway line, the valley existed through the highway.
Still does, for trains are limited; but close to the station a path goes up to paradise. Kalidasa tells you that when King Dushyant first met Shakuntala, the place swarmed with deer and there was a lake full of lotuses.
There are no deer today, and if there are, you don’t see them in the light of morning. What you do see from the station is a smooth stretch of road that goes uphill, unbelievably so, where one side overlooks the town of Charhi and the other the village of Indra.
Near the lotuses, village boys dive into the water and wash their motorbikes. The fog hasn’t all cleared yet, so the forest behind seems to be waking up from the previous night’s slumber. Of course, you want to travel further, onward to the second village where you have heard there’s another lake, and onward to the third where a fort lies in ruin, but sadly this is it for today.
Disappointed, you slump onto a fallen trunk, look around the wilderness, and take heart in the knowledge that of the few townsmen who know about this place, you are one.