Friday, 17 October 2014

Manali Trip - Final Episode

Trip Date : 30/09/2014
Previous days link ->  Day1, Day2 

Early in the morning - 4am, you can even call it mid night, very deep pain in my right knee, I couldn’t move a bit. I waked up my husband and literally cried. Then we made a call by 6 am in the morning to hotel reception and asked for any pain relief sprays. Thank god they immediately responded and gave me a sample pack of volini. This is what you call a good service. Why did I explain this stuff to you ? One thing, it is good to carry pain relief sprays or pain killers when you travel, another is don’t strain yourselves while you are in a trip. The previous day dancing had caused this much pain in me.

As per the Volvo package, third day is for Nagar Castle visit. But I seriously advice, if you are not fond of artistic places, or not interested much in architecture; you please skip Nagar Castle visit and think of Plan B. May be you can do a flying visit here and plan for river rafting in kullu. This might cost extra apart from the package, but worth every penny.

I was not strong enough for river rafting, so the plan is to stick with our package.

It was my birthday, when we started the trip, the driver Shoba Ram, surprised me with a bunch of flowers plucked from the next garden. How kind of him. J. As it is birthday, we wanted to start the day with a temple visit. So we headed to a shiva temple and Gayathri temple. It lies on the left bank of the Beas and the road from Naggar to Manali runs through the village. It is considered to be built 500 years ago and maintained by the locals of the place. Unlike south india, pooja is done by ladies in north india, and we were allowed to touch the sculptures of god and do pooja by ourselves. Most of the temples are somehow connected to Mahabaratha stories.


I would definitely recommend these temples visit when u visit Manali you would definitely like the intricate wood works in this temple.

Next we went to the art gallery of a Russian Artist, Nicholas Roerich. This man born is Russia got settled in Manali. He build a house in Manali with a great view of mountains. The house as well as the paintings is exhibited. He is a man with a great taste. If you love arts, this place is must visit. Google about this Man, very interesting.
Next is the Nagar Castle. This is very old castle built by Raja of Kullu. It is built with stones and wood.
Now this castle is made as a hotel for the tourist. It has a great view to the
valley. It is good choice for the ‘View lovers’. Not sure about the cost for the stay. These are places which you can google about a lot. So I am not explaining further.
Temple run is not over yet, we went to another marvelous temple Manu Temple. The Manu temple is a quite famous place of worship as well which is devoted to Manu, the legendary sage, who stayed in this area. The town of Manali derived its name from Manu. This temple is lovely with the mix of ancient and modern architecture.
 There is a weaving factory near this temple. You will visualize how difficult is to make those designs in the woolen shawls. You will not understand what they do. But simply watching their work is such a pleasure. This is the good place to by Shawls. Costs are nominal.

We finished off the day 3 trip with this place and headed back to the hotel. We had
ordered the food from our room. Delicious Lunch. We made sure we ordered something which we dint see in the dinner buffet there.

Took rest for a while, my leg was far better, I felt I missed the river rafting so much. I could have tried it. Evening we planned to go for a small walk around the place. The roads are so steep, it was so easy to go down. Just after few minutes, it started raining. We halted in a small shop which sold unique t shirts. Lakshmi, my daughter photographed every t-shirt there.After a while we walked towards the club house Manali. I was taking pictures of the road side shops, they were beautifully lit.

 We came across a river side café called 1947. I saw they served Tiramisu and went inside. When I went inside it was more like a bar with hookah setup and all. They have live band performing on evenings. Not recommended for couples with kids. So we skipped. After the lengthy walk, climbing back was too difficult, but I enjoyed it every bit.

When I returned hotel, Venk had arranged for a surprise cake. Butter scotch.. Yummy. Thanks Venk and Lakshmi for making it a beautiful evening.

Trip Date: 01/10/2014

Last and final day in Manali, so I wanted to roam as much as I could. Our bus was at evening 4.30. Reporting time at hotel was 3.30. So we had only half a day. I had planned to visit the village for buying apples, then some shopping and another one is hot springs temple.

Actually I told the driver that I wanna visit an apple farm and hand pluck the apples myself. He dint understand my hindi at all. I even showed that in action. But instead he took to place to pick apples instead of pluck. We dint have much time, so I had no choice. We picked up the apples from the big lot there. He borrowed a card board box from a nearby shop and neatly packed them for us.  Without him the trip is incomplete.

Then we headed towards the hot spring vashist temple. I strongly recommend this place. There is a natural hot water spring in this place. They have channeled the water through pipes to a tank. I would suggest taking extra clothing with you and having a nice hot water bath there. It is much secured. They have a separate bath rooms for men and women. But beware while entering the rooms. People will be bathing naked.. so check before taking kids inside. We spend

Finally we returned to the room after some shopping in mall road and lunch.

We were dropped to Volvo bus stand, where we the bus was already waiting. They are very particular in timings. So don’t delay in reaching the bus stand. The bus was quite comfortable with good seating. Immediately we were provided polythene bags, in case if we puke. It happened for most of them.

There were 2 to 3 stoppings once we started from Manali and they picked up few people in middle. After sometime, the bus again stopped. I thought some more people might board, but shockingly few police constables got into the bus. Usually this happens in some of the long route buses. So I was not reacting much. But they checked each and everyone’s bag and things. Suddenly they took a cigarette packet from the man’s pocket who was sitting behind me. They cut that cigarette into 2 pieces and smelled it. Now the police dog came. First time ever I am seeing police dog other than movies. In no time dog directly went to those people at back seat. Then came Inspector.Very smart looking, I should say. He looked more like actor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui. he was standing right next to my seat with a big gun popping from his back pocket. I showed the gun to my daughter. We both were so scared. What if the guy in back seat, take the gun and shoot someone? 3 people from my back seat were caught for carrying some illegal drugs. All speaking in hindi, I dint understand what was going on. I asked the inspector what was happening. He said, those 3 men behind were carrying illegal drugs with them. Not much quantity, but consumable quantity only. Still they wanted to investigate the source. So police men took those guys down and were doing investigation. 2 men returned. They took one guy to police station, along with our bus driver. They dropped back the driver only after 2-3 hours. All that time were waiting in the bus in a remote place with no access to anything.

What I observed from the incident was, himachal police were not at all rude to those men. They were so polite. Even when I asked the inspector about the incident, he was so patiently explaining me. It is nice police men are friendly to the public.

  • Important thing to note down here is, keep your bags always safe. There are chances with these kinds of drug people to drop any of their drugs in to your bags to escape from police. So keep your belongings under your control
  • Because of this incident, our bus delayed by 3 hours. Our Delhi to Chennai flight was only in the evening, so we managed.  So make sure you have some cushion time for your next plan.

With all this huzzle buzzle we reached Delhi safe and sound. And came back to routine Chennai heat.

Loved the trip overall. Will I go again to same place ? Why not ? May be in a good season I would plan. I wanna see Manali once more in season.

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