Manali is a land of lush green dense forests, with thrilling views from Beas River, spirituality with temples like Hadimba temple, Manikaran Gurudwara, and even hiking in the Rohtang Pass.
As much as I am excited about the destination I am heading to, the journey is no less exciting for me.
When we decided to visit Manali, it was like a dream come true. I was young, and heard lovely stories about the place. It was a family trip with uncles, aunties and a bunch of cousins. It was approximately twelve hour drive from New Delhi, although not a hectic one. The highway from Delhi to Manali was an entertaining experience which we enjoyed to the fullest – the roadside dhabhas (restaurants), beautiful green farms, and wonderful landscape of Himachal Pradesh. We entered the state early morning and were welcomed by the lush green mountains, where we enjoyed out morning tea of the valley.
The day we reached Manali and checked in the Hotel, it was almost mid-afternoon. We had our lunch at a restaurant on the Mall road and went to visit the Beas River. The Beas river is the main landmark of this town with beautiful landscapes for the photographers to capture in their frame. We had to cross a Park to reach the river bank which was already loaded with tourists. It was very peaceful to sit on huge rocks and dip our feet in the chilled water of the river. We sat there for sometime, enjoyed Maggi with tea and returned to hotel as it started to get cold around late evening.
We started the first day of our trip with exploring the spiritual side of Manali by visiting the famous Hadimba temple. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to an Indian Goddess, Hidimi Devi(a figure in Indian epic, Mahabharata) and is surrounded by dense cedar forest in the Himalayan range.
The second half of our trip was dedicated entirely to The Rohtang pass, which is a natural divide between Manali and the Spiti Valley and also the entry point towards Leh. From the old town Manali, it is an approximately two hour long and bumpy ride to Rohtang Pass, and so is adventurous. As it is a relatively cold place than Manali (during summers as well), we rented warm clothes from a local shop before starting our drive. On reaching the Rohtang Pass, we were mesmerized to be in a valley surrounded by snow covered mountains. We proceeded to trek into the snow laden hills and felt the powdery snow everywhere with clouds running through us. Within minutes, the weather started to change drastically, and it suddenly became very cloudy, and so we decided to depart from there to avoid being stuck.
Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara
As Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara was on our back way to Delhi, we kept this one was for our last day. It is situated in Parvati Valley, Kullu on the river banks of the Parvati River. The gurudwara is recognized for its natural hot springs, and these are used by the gurudwara staff to prepare the Langar(food/rice) for the devotees.
It is a sacred places for both Hindus and Sikhs. Must visit the gurudwara for the divine connect and distinguished history.
A few miles behind the Manikaran Gurudwara, Kullu, a bridge – built over the Parvati river in the Kasol Valley – caught our attention. In an attempt to quickly explore the other side of the bridge, we started to walk on the bridge. When we reached the centre of the bridge, it tends to move at a fast pace, or at least it appears so 😉 making it very difficult to even keep a step forward. But, going on with the excitement we crossed it and at the end of the bridge, we were welcomed by another spectacular view of the steep mountains of the Kasol Valley.
The footfall in Manali increases during spring, but visiting the places in winters with snow all around is another experience.
The visit to the place can be relaxing, spiritual and memorable all at same time.
– The Wanderer