Hello everyone 🙂
In may, like everyone else in the central India, I was also planning to visit a hill station to get relief from hot and dusty summer. After going through many options, we zeroed on Manali. Here I’m going to tell you all about my trip to Manali… hope u find it informative and can use information while u plan for your Manali trip. The first thing that you should know about is the way to reach there.. I mean transport. You can go by air as Air India and many private airlines has regular flights to the airport(Bhuntar Airport) but if you have time, the best way is to go by road as it is cheaper and also much more scenic. I had booked my ticket for a Volvo bus to Manali from Delhi in advance. At about 8 pm our bus started from Delhi, It was almost a journey of 15 hours crossing 2 states (Haryana and Punjab) and reaching the 3rd (Himachal pradesh). After spending whole night in the bus, the morning view was amazing…. bus on the move with one side mountain and other side river… ripples of river flowing with our bus, It was scary, though enjoyable too.;)
Finally at about 11:30 AM, we reached Manali bus stop and as I stepped out of the bus Manali pleased me with its amazing weather, flowing river, snow covered mountains and greenery all around. As we already booked hotel ( Sun Park Resort ) near Beas river, we checked in and the moment I stepped into my room, I fell in love with it as it was beautiful and cozy, overlooking the mesmerising snow-capped himalayan ranges and lush-green valleys. Then I soaked myself in hot bath tub to relax and relieve the stress of journey. After having lunch, we discussed the places to visit with one of our hotel staff and he suggested us to book a cab and told us that the driver cum guide will show you all the places in Manali, So I took number of one of travel guide and planned my 3 day trip with him.
As we were already tired from the long journey, so on first day we decided to visit the places that are near to our Hotel. We started from Hidimba Devi temple, an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimba, the wife of Bhima. Inside the temple I saw a 3 inch tall brass image representing goddess Hidimba. Temple is surrounded by cedar forest so after visiting temple I enjoyed the view of forest. If you are visiting here, don’t forget to click your pictures with furry rabbits and traditional himachali outfits.
Then we went Van Vihar National park, which is populated with tall deodar trees and lush green surroundings . I found it best place to sit and relax in calm serenity of nature. On the back of Van Vihar, Beas river is flowing so u can also enjoy its mesmerising music (sound) which I think I can hear day and night.
After spending our evening there, we headed towards Mall road….most attractive place, also known as heart of Manali, where both the sides of the road are full of shops. these shops sell a lot of items like woolen clothes, wooden items, Tibetan handicrafts, kullu and kinnauri shawls etc. There are also retro Pubs that can take you to the world of freedom and illusion. The road was all full of crowd and we couldn’t find a single empty place or shop there… After visiting few shops, I bought lots of things and we ended our day with having delicious dinner at Sher-e-Punjab.
During our visit Rohtang pass was closed due to environmental issue so I found Gulaba, a better alternative for Rohtang pass. I woke up early in the morning because our guide told us that we had to trek to experience the snow, So at about 7am we left for Gulaba. On the way to Gulaba, I got amazed by the lovely scenic beauty, this was the best morning of my life… a good drive and a mesmerising view of snow covered mountains, green forests and waterfalls. If you are also a nature lover than u will definitely love the drive as it offers the most beautiful views. Finally we reached the vehicle parking stand and from there we started our trekking as snow point was about 5km from there. Initially we didn’t have much expectations, but as much we were getting near to our destination it was turning out best experience for us. After trekking for almost 3 hours through mountains, forests and roadside waterfalls (made due to melting ice) we reached the snow point. We enjoyed lot there and captured enough memories in our camera.
After Gulaba our next destination was Solang valley, so after having lunch in a village restaurant at Kothi, we headed to Solang valley. It is famous for its summer and winter sports like parachuting, paragliding, skiing, zorbing and horse riding. But I was not lucky enough to enjoy all these because at that time only one option was there… ropeway. So I only took the view from rope way and after sitting few minutes we returned to our cab..
Then on our way back to hotel I saw Nehru kund, Natural spring of cold water. My cab driver told me that this is the purest water available and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru used to drink water from this spring during stay in Manali.
Next day we went to explore Kullu. There we started with rafting on the Beas river and it was thrilling experience. Unlike rafting in Rishikesh, u are not allowed to row paddle here as water here was shallow and fast flowing, one just need to sit tightly and enjoy the splash of water. After this we went to shawl making factory as Kullu is famous for shawl. I too bought shawls for me and my mom.
Then we headed to Tibetan Monastery…..store house of Tibetan culture, literature and crafts. It is small in area but it has beautifully decorated interior along with an impressive statue of Lord Buddha.
Then our next stoppage was Jana falls, it was not that much impressive but how about having Maggie and cold drink right under the waterfall with your feet dipping in water.I think everyone wants to have snacks at such an amazing place.
And finally we ended our journey at Naggar Castle.. Now a heritage hotel cum museum is made up of wood and stone, also houses small shrine inside it which has high importance among himachali people. It offers beautiful view of Bias valley and its main highlight is Art gallery.
I was not able to forget Manali…. Its climate, roses, blue sky, white mountains and specially the river Beas. The beauty that I witnessed in Manali was something which I would like to live again and again.