Manali

Manali is a popular resort for all seasons and for all travellers. It has temples, sightseeing spots and adventure activites. Situated near the end of Kullu valley on the National Highway leading to Leh, it is a favourite resort for trekkers going to Lahaul, Spiti, Bara Bhangal and Zanzkar Ranges. The Beas river meanders through Manali town while snow capped peaks, deodar and pine trees, tiny fields and fruit orchards make it a picturesque holiday spot.
Manali is popular destination for adventure sports seekers being a staging point for a number of treks to Beas Kund, Chandrakhani Pass and sports such as white-water rafting, skiing in winters. This town also offers sightseeing opportunities like the exquisite Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Buddhist and Tibetan monasteries.
Best time to visit: March to June, October to February
Languages spoken: Hindi, Pahari, English
Climate: Cool summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall
Holy Places: Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Vashista Temple, Old temples in Jagatsukh
Adventure Tourism: Trekking, White-water rafting, Skiing
Natural Wonders: Solang Valley, Rohtang Pass

Manali to Delhi in one stretch: Memoir and road review

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We had informed the reception that we would be moving out early morning though still it felt strange leaving hotel without informing anyone in person. I mean what if some guest decides to walk out with blanket or towel or anything else? Did we miss some step there or the reception didn’t got the point when we informed in night that we would be moving tomorrow morning?

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Manali and around / Hotel review: Tourist Hotel

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While choosing the hotel, I had four things in mind; Cost, Parking facility, location and good reviews. While the rates may vary over time, Rs. 1150/- per day was quite reasonable for the season even if late of June and one doesn’t expect five star facilities but trust me, there was nothing left to us to wish for.

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Manali to Rohtang : Yes! We did it finally

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Rani Nallah was waiting for us for a long jam. Took at least an hour in which cab driver of ours & of the one in front of us putting hard work to help out others to come out that water logging at Rani Nallah which is a norm due to both side snow walls constantly melting. I still think that BRO can sort this issue by creating a slope kind of but they are the experts out there & know their jobs better, so let’s wait when this issue gets sorted out.

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Mandi to Manali – the charm begins

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I was prepared in advance for the journey but still wasn’t sure that where the 3Kms long tunnel is (Its at Aut BTW), also when would Pandoh dam would come and if its on the same road or again offroad like Bhakhra one was probably. So, we asked and got to know that Pandoh dam would be roughly 20km far from the place we had lunch.

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Ladakh Calling… (Part 6) Leh – Sarchu (260 Kms)

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From “Zing Zing Bar” it was more a downhill journey & our bulls were easily cruising through. By the time we reached “Darcha” it was 12:00 Hrs. We had a cup of tea with hot maggi & pushed of quickly. It started becoming cold with moderate rain. “Keylong” was just 8 kms away when it started raining heavily. We took a halt under a tree shade & after few minutes of (SuGa) break we resumed our journey. It was 14:00 Hrs when we reached “Keylong” & managed to get a decent room on the road side & parked our bikes just in front of our room.

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मनाली का सुहाना सफ़र: सुंदरनगर, मण्डी के रास्ते मनाली और माँ हिडिम्बा देवी के दर्शन

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फिर भी उनमे से २ लड़को के ज्यादा जिद करने पर हमने आपनी गाड़ी उनकी बाईक के पीछे दौड़ा दी जो की हमें एक होटल में लेकर गए, ये होटल रोहतांग वाले रास्ते पर व्यास नदी के उलटे हाथ की तरफ था जो की हमें कुछ ठीक नहीं लगा इसीलिए हम वहाँ ना रूककर वापस मॉल रोड की तरफ आ गए और हिडिम्बा मंदिर वाले रोड पर हमें एक आच्छा होटल दिखायी दिया, मैं उस होटल में पूछताछ के लिए गया और वहाँ पता लगा की २ कमरे तो मिल जायेंगे पर ₹२००० /- प्रति कमरे के हिसाब से, रात ज्यादा होने और बहुत ज्यादा थकान होने की बजह से हमने वहाँ रुकने का फैसला करा, यही सोचकर की अगर अगली सुबह कोई दूसरा आच्छा होटल सस्ते में मिल जाता है तो हम वहाँ पर शिफ्ट कर जायेंगे। हमने होटल के बराबर से खली जगह पर गाड़ी पार्क करी और सामान निकालकर अपने अपने कमरे में सोने चल दिए।

अगली सुबह लगभग ६ बजे जीजा जी ने मुझे फ़ोन करके होटल के बहार का नजारा देखने के लिए कहा, आपने कमरे की बालकनी में आकर जो नजारा मुझे देखने को मिला मेरे लिए उसे शब्दो में लिखना बड़ा ही कठिन कार्य है क्युकी वो एक अनुभूति थी जो की मैंने उससे पहले कभी भी महसूस नहीं करी थी, सुबह ६ बजे होटल की बालकनी में बड़ी ही ठंडी हवा चल रही थी जो कि शरीर में कपकपी पैदा कर रही थी, होटल के नीचे की तरफ जहाँ हमारी गाड़ी खड़ी थी उसके पास ही “सेब का बाग़” था, और हमारी आँखों के ठीक सामने बर्फ के बड़े बड़े पहाड़ थे जिन्हे की हम रात को अँधेरे की बजह से देख नहीं पाये थे, बर्फ के उन पहाड़ों पर सूरज की किरणों के पड़ने के कारण वो एकदम चाँदी की तरह चमक रहे थे उनका रंग सफ़ेद ना होकर सुनहरा महसूस हो रहा था, इससे पहले मैंने पहाड़ों पऱ कभी भी बर्फ नहीं देखी थी पर आज तो पूरा बर्फ का पहाड़ ही मेरे सामने था, एक पल के लिए भी उस चमकदार पर्वत श्रंखला से नजरें हटाने का दिल नहीं कर रहा था शायद कुछ ऐसी ही अनुभूति साथ वाली बालकनी में जीजा जी भी कर रहे थे।

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Reaching Manali and drive back to Delhi

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We reached Rohtang at or around 4 PM and passing through the beautiful pass and its valleys amidst dense fog reached Manali at or around 5 PM. Since, Manali was visited many times by all of us and also due to the exertion of the long drive, we preferred heading towards our home without stopping. Steadily, we reached Sunder Nagar via Mandi in Himachal Pradesh covering another 140 km to reach as closer as possible for the return journey, on the following day. On the way we had some apples straight from the trees by courtesy of one of the owners of the orchard. We stayed in a road side Motel situated a few kilometers away from the town of Sunder Nagar, constructed alongside the river Beas at a bargain price of Rs. 1000/- for an excellent room equivalent to a super deluxe room of a 3 start hotel, with excellent facilities and river view balcony.

Lethargically, we started for the journey back to home and reached Delhi by evening with enormous sweet memories forgetting all hardships of the way. A total journey of 2200 kms in 9 days is the most memorable travel I have ever made in my life so far. My car has never betrayed even in the most adverse situations. Next day when we showed the photographs to our friends and relatives, the astonishing remarks filled the heart with joy and smile on the face. I still remember the journey while browsing the photographs and recall each event clearly one by one. My laptop has a screen saver of the picture of Taglang La and my office computer is loaded with the desktop picture of the landscape at Drass. Not many believe, it to be conquered by driving a small car all the way without a professional driver, the photos however, leaves them in awe. Many of my friends are now planning for the trip and insisting me to join them but honestly, I don’t have the dare to repeat this road journey again. Moreover, a lot more destinations are still on my list and want to cover them all one by one and share with all esteemed readers in future. Your valuable comment is most sought on the write up.

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Drive to Manali from Leh

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The road upto Upshi was good and at par the Highway, a route from here diverts towards left for Pangong Lake. Hereafter, the character of the terrain starts changing and the road is gradually treacherous and rigorous with sudden steep ups and sharp curves. The little above 100 km journey was a mixture of adventure, peril, test of driving skill and curiosity. We were now at the world’s 2nd highest motorable road at Taglang La at an altitude of 17582 feet. The air here was so rare that we were feeling the scarcity of oxygen despite acclimatizing since last few days. The mountain peaks were on parallel to us and the sight of snow covered mountainous stretches around us was spellbinding. A board on which written, “Enjoy Tea/Coffee at 2nd Highest Motorable Pass” by courtesy of the BRO was very satisfying and proud moment. Multi coloured prayer flags flurrying in air tied around a tiny roundabout on the small flat top plateau at the stopover seemed blessing all of us for reaching there. A triumphant feeling brought tears in my eyes out of immense ecstasy, reaching upto there was never easy and I longed for years with intensity for this moment. Though I wanted to stay longer at this impossible site but it is not at all advisable, due to prone to AMS. With immense joy and satisfaction, we started descending gradually on the journey to confront the onward adverse challenges.

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Surya in Tent at Sarchu

Ladakh Calling… (Part 2) – Manali to Sarchu

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Next morning I was up @ 05:30 Hrs & dived out of bed to see some positive signs of relief but the scene was frustrating & heart breaking. The conditions were totally overcast with little rain. Few Peaks were not even visible & were fully covered under the mist. On the other side of Bhaga River some mountain tops received fresh snowfall in the night.

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