!!My first REAL trip!!
Chapter 1- Manali (Local tour)
We all once in awhile reach that point where we want to break free of our life’s daily routine, stress, depression, work etc. Life gets monotonous and boring when we don’t go out of the usual way.
Luckily, to overcome situations like this words like ‘Vacation’, ’Trekking’, ’Hiking’, ’Travel’ are being introduced to us!
Nature is a beautiful place to find that “peace of mind” we all miss and above all, it helps us to find ourselves. So, when I was dealing with such a scenario in my life I decided to move about and wander a little bit on my own in nature. As I belong from Dehradun, I had already sighted nearby places like Mussorie, camped at Rishikesh and hiked countless mountains here and there. So I planned for a trip to Manali and if you are a stoner, you certainly don’t want to miss out Kasol.
It was December and New Year was about to come. Can’t be more perfect to spend my New Year in such a beautiful tourist place, right? Plus I can see snowfall too (though I have seen that for million times, but still can’t get enough of that). I called up bae and told him about my plan and he said ‘Yes’. Why not? So thoughtful of him!
As it was winter season and riding our bike from Dehradun to Manali would have been obviously the dumbest thing to do, so we all planned to go by Volvo. It doesn’t cost much, per head it’s about 1200-1300 rupees. We took Volvo from Doon (Dehradun) around 8pm and reached Kullu by the next morning around 8am.
Kullu, a small town near Manali is a beautiful place in itself. Volvo stops there for few minutes for the passengers to let them have some morning tea. Which we needed by that time so badly (it was freezing like hell!). Cold breeze touching my cheeks, I can sense what I was about to encounter on reaching my final destination.
On asking a local vendor at Kullu, we found out that it had not snowed in Manali till yet (shocking!) but you can see Rohtang, all covered in the snow. Ahh, this reminded me of my childhood days when I used to sight mountains of ‘Chakrata’ from my home. “It might snow in two-three days”, I thought to myself.
We reached Manali by 10-10:30am. Being the tourist season, also the Christmas and New-Year season, place was crowded. Luckily, we all had already booked a hotel online. Our hotel was located far from Mall Road in quiet remote place. Exhausted as we both were, we decided to freshen up, eat and get some rest for the rest of the day.
Next day we both left hotel rooms to tour around local areas such as Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Vashisht and Club House.
First we visited Devi Hadimba Temple, situated on a little hill, it was built in 1553. The temple is dedicated to Hadimba of the Mahabharata age, who was married to Bhima, the Pandva. Close by is a gigantic deodar tree with iron knifes of all sorts and sizes, which is worshipped as Ghatotkach, the son of Hadimba and Bhima.
Next on our list was Manu Temple which is dedicated to Manu Rishi. On asking about the history of temple, we found that it is THE ONLY temple of Manu Rishi in India.
Next we visited the ancient village of Vashisht. It’s famous for the hot water springs. The village presents a panoramic view of the entire upper valley from Solang to Naggar. And the lord Rama & Bashisht Rishi temple has wood carving of exquisite quality. People were clicking pictures as usual and to add more to that many colorful hats with weird hairstyles are made available for them. I certainly didn’t click my pics with those hats, they were too funny!
One thing that I personally found attractive was all the beautiful wood carvings done on these temples. Certainly, it was the work of many talented creative artists back in that era which was quite impressive.
By the time when we reached Club House, it was evening. It had a library, a restaurant, a bar, indoor games and roller-skating rink. A perfect place to spend the evening! And it was about time that we get high.
On the way back to our hotel we strolled a little bit in the Van Bihar constructed on the bank of the River Beas. We then soon head back to our hotel as it was getting colder and I didn’t want to catch cold or get sick and then ruin my whole trip. Health comes first!