Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Manali Trip - Day 1

Recently went to a short trip to Manali. Its a great place.. no doubt about it. Its a must visit place for nature lovers. The river beas adds the beauty to the whole place. The beauty of the light green water will not let you move away your eyes from it. 

When I posted trip pictures in FB, some of friends started enquiring about the trip. So I thought I would briefly write about the trip so that those who are interested can get benefited.

We planned a month and half ahead when lakshmi’s school announced her vacation.

-          From Chennai  to Delhi Flight

-          From Delhi Manali – Volvo package booked thru Make my trip.

Chennai – Delhi we booked 10.30 am flight Air India, so we could get ready without having to get up so early. Breakfast provided in flight.
We reached there by 1.00 pm. From airport we took a taxi to connaught place (CP) to have our lunch. Taxi from airport to this place was very costly to my opinion .. some 500 bucks. As recommended by my relative, we had food in Kadke Ke Dhaba. Super food. (Review here).

 From there we took an auto to the Volvo bus point. Our bus was only by 5. We reached there by 3 and waited there for 2 hours in the travel agency office. The bus starts sharp by 5, So don’t ever go late.

We had booked the Volvo package thru Make my trip. I feel they are the cheap and best. Mrs. Shayeree was my Agent, she helped me with all my doubts then and there. They book the Volvo tickets and hotel rooms for us based on our budget.  Our package costed 20 K including Volvo tickets for 3, stay for 3 nights in a nice hotel with break fast and dinner free along with that individual cab for sight seeing while you stay in the hotel.

Our Volvo bus was swagatham travels. Semi sleeper. Bus was convenient, neatly maintained, good push back, individual TV for each passenger. They stop twice for dinner and morning chai. Dinner they stopped in a hotel, where we had to wait a long time for food that too at 10 pm. Food was very expensive too. So place the order carefully. If you could pack some simple food from delhi, it is wise idea from. Journey was peaceful. Morning they had stopped in kullu for chai. Chai was not so great. But the place is very good. If you just walk 2 minutes from the hotel you will find a beautiful place with a marvelous view. I missed it since I noticed it only when the bus passed through that place. They reach Manali bus stand by 9 in the morning. Package includes a free pickup from bus stand to hotel. You will get the driver number the previous day. Next morning, he will be waiting in the bus stop.        
Our stay was in Snow valley resort. Check in time is 12, but we arrived 2 hours early. But they provided the room immediately. This will happen subject to availability. It’s a wonderful place to stay. Service is excellent. Very prompt. We had actually booked for presidential suite. But then it was upgraded to maharaja suite with no extra cost. First day, we had actually half day sight seeing which starts by 2 pm as per the package. But then we couldn’t wait to explore the place. So we refreshed and started by 12.30. Our Driver / Guide was Mr. Shoba ram, such a nice man, very friendly, kind. He made our trip more happy I would say.


We had our food in Manali mall road in a restaurant called chopsticks. (Bar attached) Its more chinese Japanese food. Soup was excellent. Then we had momos and fried rice. This is a good choice I felt.

Then we passed some time in the road side shopping centres in the mall road. Need to bargain a lot, otherwise you will be cheated. Also when you buy dress materials, just check the whole piece for any damages. In few shops they even stitch the materials within 3 hrs and deliver. Cost is less compared to cities. Not sure the output. On sundays most shops are closed. Also Mall road has more attraction for street food. Pani pooris, Gulab jamoons, Momos, Jalebis..keep counting.

After a while we went to a local temple – Hathimba temple. Before you enter the temple, there is a lawn where this rabbit lady and traditional dress ladies will influence you to take pictures with that. I was waiting for it. Picture with rabbit is 30 bucks and costume is 100 for each person. Temple has a very old structure, build of wood. After visiting the temple, you can just visit the pine forest near that. We skipped the forest part though. Not sure how it is. Heard from a friend it is worth visiting.

Next was a Buddha temple, that was good too. Meanwhile some ppl so many ppl will be selling kesar in all places in Manali. Don’t ever try. Its fake.

Then we went to Manali club house. They have indoor games. You can pay and play a while there. We dint opt it since our hotel had these indoor game facilities. Outdoor there is boating.. never even go for it. Its some boring stuff. There is another super outdoor paid acticity, which I don’t know how to explain. See the picture.
I was wearing skirt, so I couldn’t try that one. So when you go to club house, don’t wear skirt. Otherwise you can sit and relax a while in the river side. The sound of the water, the chilling air, the greenaries will be mesmerizing. 

But take care of your children in the riverside as the force  of water is too much, so never try to get inside. Stay in the banks only. It was raining for a while, so waited inside club house for a while. There are clean wash rooms inside clubhouse too. You have no clue when it will start rain there. Better carry an umbrella if you can manage. After rain stopped, We took few pics in river bank and returned hotel.

Lakshmi is never tired and she started the indoor games in the hotel room. TT, Snooker, computer games, chess, carom so on. Well maintained.
Dinner buffet was quite a spread. Soup, salad, Starter, Roti, Naan, one Paneer side dish, another veg one, non veg too, Pulav, Curd, pickle, Desert. I dint take picture of these.

Even after so much travel the previous night, we never got tired. Thats the beauty of the climate there.
Here is the Day 2 experiance

Note : I am no good at writing. Having exposure only to technical documentation being a techie, writing travelogue is a different experience for me. Please bear with me friends.
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