The day before our planned Manali trip, we had travelled from Udupi to Bangalore in the car just a day before our honeymoon trip (April 19th). Thilak was very very tired as he drove the car throughout the journey. We reached Bangalore on April 18th, 6.00 PM. We finished our packing as soon as we could, booked a taxi for the next day morning 5.30 AM, and then slept off. Our flight was at 8.30 AM. The taxi driver arrived on time and we were also ready by then. We reached the airport at around 6.45 AM, completed all the check-in procedures, and waited in the waiting room. This was the first time I was going on a flight, so I was excited.
Our Manali bus was at 5.30 PM and our flight was supposed to reach Delhi at 11.30 AM, so we needed a place to stay in Delhi from morning till evening. So, while waiting in the airport, we searched for a good budget hotel in Delhi. Thilak found a hotel called Sahara International which had got a good rating in trip advisor. The hotel was in Paharganj which was near to R K Ashram Marg from where we had to board the Manali bus. So, we decided to stay in this hotel in Delhi. Our flight arrived on time and my first flight journey began. I did not find the journey that interesting. It was boring as we were not able to see anything from such a height. We talked for few minutes and then both of us slept nicely. At around 11.30 AM, they announced that we are near Delhi. Both of us woke up and started seeing outside the window. We could see the live satellite image of the cities. As with most flight travelers, I also felt take-off and landing were the only interesting things in flight journey.
We landed in Delhi at 11.30 AM. As soon as we came out of Delhi airport, we faced a small problem. None of the taxi drivers was ready to come to Paharganj. We paid for a prepaid taxi, but that also did not solve our problem. The taxi drivers were not ready to come even after showing the prepaid ticket. They kept redirecting us to each other’s taxis. We complained to a security guard over there and he resolved our issue by scolding one of the taxi drivers. He was very angry, but he agreed to come with us. The taxi was in a horrible condition and his driving also was very rash. We reached Paharganj in 20 minutes. We told him to take us to Sahara International hotel, but he did not know the hotel and he was not interested to find out the location also. Thilak had noted down few landmarks, he told him those places, and he took us to those places. Unfortunately, his GPS stopped working, so we could not tell him the exact location of the hotel. At that time, two-cycle rickshaw wallas surrounded us and told us that the road to Sahara International is very narrow and taxis can’t go there and they told us they would take us to the hotel for 10 Rs. We got down from the taxi and told one of the cycle rickshaw wallas to take us. The place was not at all clean. Roads were very narrow and it was too crowded.
As soon as we climbed the cycle rickshaw, the driver started telling us that Sahara International hotel is closed and he would show us a good budget hotel nearby. He showed a hotel called Le Benz. The hotel was good but it was too costly. So, we told him to take us to Sahara International itself. But, he was not listening to us at all. I was already scared of Delhi because of Delhi’s reputation these days and our situation made me even scarier. We kept repeating about Sahara International but he kept denying taking us there. Finally, he showed us one hotel (Tushar Continental) who agreed to give us the room for 600 Rs and the room also was okay to stay for 3-4 hrs.
We checked into the hotel and felt a bit relaxed. Both of us were very hungry as we had only Maggy noodles in the early morning. We ordered lunch at the same hotel and we received it within half an hour. The food was not that great, but since we were hungry, we liked it. After lunch, both of us relaxed till 3.30 PM. At 4.30 PM, we checked out of the hotel. We took a cycle rickshaw to reach R K Ashram Marg and we reached the bus stop in 5 mins. Thilak called up the contact person of Apple Bud Cottages (ABC) and he gave us the contact number of the Swagatham Tourist bus (the Volvo bus from Delhi-Manali which was booked for us by ABC) agent. Thilak called the bus agent and he told us to come near Palika Palace bus stop. We went to the bus stop and waited for the bus to come. There were many newlywed couples just like us at the bus stop waiting for the same bus.
The bus arrived at 5.45 PM and even the bus agent came and he told us our seat numbers. The bus was luxurious. It had TV on all the seats. As soon as everyone got on the bus, the bus left the bus stop. The bus went through Delhi city. Delhi was beautiful. Roads were wide and traffic was not that heavy. Greenery was there on both sides of the roads. Both of us liked the city. I was having a severe headache, so I slept off at around 6.30 PM. Thilak was watching some movie on TV. The bus was very comfortable. When I woke up after some time, I was feeling perfectly fine. Both of us started talking, watched the city outside the window. Since it was dark outside, we could see only the shops which were open. The road was very nice.
At around 9.30 PM, the bus stopped at a hotel named “Gali Paranthewali” in Haryana. The hotel was in a mall and it had a party hall also. Very rich people were coming to that hotel. We were not sure if we have to go inside that hotel or we have to eat in any other small hotels. We searched if there are any other hotels nearby. There was KFC at the mall, but I don’t eat anything in KFC. So, we ignored that option. We waited for other passengers to come. Everyone was confused like us. Later, Thilak took the initiative and we went inside Gali Paranthewali. 3-4 couples followed us. We ordered butter rotis. The food was delicious and even the hotel ambiance was too good. After few minutes of our dinner, the bus left. We were awake for some time. The bus was going through Haryana, Punjab etc. We could see some functions happening in few hotels. Lighting and the settings were very rich in those hotels. It was exactly looking like how they show Punjabi weddings on TV. After some time, both of us slept off. We reached Manali the next day morning.
It was a very long, beautiful day. In the morning, we were in Bangalore and at night we were thousands of kilometers away from our home town.
- Route Travelled: HSR Layout > Bangalore Airport > Delhi Airport > Paharganj > Palika palace (R K Ashram Marg) > Manali
- Photos: Enroute Manali Photos