The day kick started with spectacular scene and weather, which I had never seen before. Our bus had entered the beautiful Himachal Pradesh. At around 6.00 AM, the bus was stopped for morning tea in one place. That’s when we could see the beauty. Weather was chilling. The famous, huge, Himalayan Mountain range was in front of us. It was just an unforgettable moment. We both felt very happy by imagining our stay in this lovely place. The place was looking completely different from Bangalore. We took some photos of the place and had tea at the hotel. We could not sleep after the bus started from there because the route through which the bus was going was heavenly. It was narrow and had huge mountains on both sides and there was a deep valley (with river flowing) beside the road. Both of us had never seen such a scene before in our life. We kept taking photos of the scenery in the bus. Every moment was photogenic. I had seen the dangerous roads of Himachal Pradesh on TV. We were experiencing those roads live now. If something goes wrong, the vehicle would fall into the deepest valley and there would be no clue of us. It was very scary. We just felt great about our bus driver. He was driving skillfully on those roads.
The driver from ABC had called Thilak and asked us to inform him once we reach Kullu. We called him when we reached Kullu. When we arrived at Manali at around 9.00 AM, the driver was already there to pick us up. He spoke very nicely and told us that he would be there with us for next three days to show the places in Kullu-Manali as car driver and a guide. We reached our hotel (ABC) at 9.15 AM. Xyz greeted us wholeheartedly and showed us our room. We felt happy by the hospitality of the people. The room was too good. From the room balcony, we could see the snowy mountains. It was too cold. The temperature was 7 degree. For the first time, we were experiencing such a low temperature. The place, the hotel, the people, the weather, everything was awesome. We freshened up fast and went upstairs to have breakfast. The view from there was even more beautiful. The person who was serving us spoke to us very nicely. His name was Giri Singh. He was an innocent gentleman. Both of us liked his nature. We felt very happy by the nature of the other people there too. They were calm, well behaved and not very much interested in other’s life.
We finished our breakfast, took bath and took rest for some time in the room. As per the package, we did not have any places to go in the morning. Our driver had asked us in the morning at what time we would want him to come and we had told him to come at 2.00 PM. So, we slept till 1.00 PM. After lunch, at 2.00 PM, Thilak called the driver. He was already there at the hotel and we started our trip at 2.00 PM.
On the way, the driver told us about the places that we are going to cover that day. He was also telling us about Manali. Our first visit was to Tibetan Monastery which was in Mall road. The monastery was very big, but it was very neatly maintained. Place around the temple was beautiful. It was in the main market area of Manali. So, the place was bit crowded. After visiting the temple, we roamed in the market for some time. In all the shops, there was beautiful collection of shawls and handmade woolen materials (topi, shawl, kids dresses, etc). The women in the shops were making these things by knitting.
After returning from there, the driver took us to the famous Hidimba Temple. The temple was in between lots and lots of pine trees. The place was beautiful. There was a long queue to go inside the temple. So, we did not go inside. We walked in the forest for some time and later we went to the nearby museum. The museum had the traditional items used by the people of Himachal Pradesh. After spending some time in the museum, the driver took us to Himachal Pradesh government tourism center. We were feeling hungry and we had snacks at that place. There were many sports games. We decided to go for boating and we did boating for 15 minutes, took photos of the place and came back.
It was already 6 o’clk and we had one more place to cover for the day. Our driver was not as cheerful as before. We thought he might not take us to the temple. But, we were wrong. He took us to the temple. The temple was called Vashisht temple. The road to the temple was amazing. We could see the huge Himalayan mountains throughout our journey. The road was very narrow and our driver was driving pretty fast. One interesting thing we observed in Manali was, though the road was narrow and many vehicles were running on the roads, the drivers were driving fast and they were not honking frequently. Both of us were surprised by the way people were driving on those small curvy roads. People were following traffic rules diligently. The place where Vashishta temple located was heavily crowded. Our driver told us that since the road is narrow and traffic usually gets jammed there, he would park the car a bit far from the temple and asked us to walk to the temple. He was right. The road was very narrow and was jammed. The temple was old and was too good. The view of the Himalayan Mountains was very spectacular from there. After taking few photos, we came back to the car. The driver dropped us to the hotel at around 7 PM.
It was too cold in our room. It was shown in the weather forecast that the temperature would fall to 3 degree at night. We watched TV for some time. Because of chilling weather, we did not want to go upstairs for dinner also. So, we asked Giri Singh to serve dinner to our room. He did that happily. We finished our dinner and slept nicely.
It was a beautiful day. We had come to a beautiful city, met very nice people, came across some amazing views of the snowy Himalayan Mountains, experienced a very cold weather. It was just a wonderful experience.
- Route Travelled: Manali Bus stop > Apple Bud Cottages (ABC) > Tibetan Monastery > Mall road market > Hidimba Temple > Himachal Pradesh tourism market > Vashishta Temple
- Photos: Manali City Ride Photos