Travel Diaries I – My first trip to North India Part 2 – Manali

IMG_20150118_154350Hi friends! The monsoon has finally set in. What more can I ask for? Here at Mumbai, it had been really very hot over the past two weeks, and now with the onset of monsoon everything is cool again. I don’t know if you remember, but sometime in February I started a new segment on My Space called Travel Diaries. This post is the continuation of the same. Back in January we had been to North India. As I’ve repeatedly mentioned, it was my first ever trip to the Northern part of India. This post is the continuation of my previous post which was put up sometime in February. Let me just start off with where I left.

After the wonderful Rock Garden experience, we went back to the hotel we stayed at around 5.30-6 pm. We took an auto from the Rock Garden to our hotel, and I just can’t tell you how cold it was. It was hint to us as to how cold Manali would be. For me it was the first time ever I was visiting a snow clad area. It was surely an experience I was looking forward to. The First Hotel we stayed at Chandigarh was a pretty good one. The food was amazing. We booked that hotel in particular because the distance from the hotel to the bus stand was about ten minutes. We had to take the bus to Manali the next morning. We wanted to stay as close as possible to the hotel so that it would be easier for us to reach the bus stand the next morning. Our first day at Chandigarh was fruitful and relaxed. The next morning, we started our day very early as our bus was at 8.30 am. We had to be at the bus stand at 8 latest. We reached the bus stand at 8 am. We took a shared auto to the bus stand as shared auto. It was freezing!

Once we got down at the bus stand, our next step was to search for our bus. We had booked a Deluxe AC bus from Chandigarh to Manali. It was the Himachal Pradesh Transport bus. We booked it online. When we booked it, we were all happy that it was the deluxe AC bus and stuff, but the moment we saw the bus, both me and my husband were dumb stuck. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was the typical Government bus which was all old and rickety. The only advantage was, as it was peak winter we didn’t need AC. So the bus was fine with us. The bus started at dot 8.30 a.m. The scenic beauty which we got to see was amazingly beautiful. We stopped for breakfast at a dhaba at around 10 a.m. From then on we went directly without any stop till about 12.30 p.m. Once we reached Bilaspur, we broke for lunch. It was the most amazing lunch we had. It was a buffet with a spread of roti, sabzi, dal and chawal. I can still remember the taste. After lunch, we didn’t stop anywhere in between until we reached Kullu. The scenery on our way to Manali is something which I can never forget – the mountains which stood tall bordering the water beds in that area. We reached Kullu at around 5.30 p.m. We were made to wait at the bus stand for about half an hour. From there when we started, we were just about 5-8 passengers travelling to Manali. So from the main bus stand at Kullu, we were taken to the local bus stand and we had to change our bus. The original bus was rickety itself and worse was the new bus we got into! But that was not a concern for us, as we enjoyed every single moment of our bus journey to Manali.

By the time we changed buses and left Kullu it was around 6-6.15 p.m. It took about one and half hours for us to reach Manali. We reached Manali at around 7.45- 8 p.m. We took an auto to our resort. We had booked at the Log Huts which was maintained by the HPTDC. It took us 20 minutes to reach the place as it was at the higher peaks. The log huts were really very beautiful. I had never seen something like that till date. As it was winter, the occupancy at the Log Huts was low. So they showed us around the place, and told us to choose our hut. We chose the first one. And apparently, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stayed at the very Log Hut when he visited Manali in his stint as the Gujarat Chief Minister.

I just cannot explain how amazing the place was. It was freezing there! The temperature was something like 1 degree! I just couldn’t take off my gloves and cap for even a second, it was that cold.

So this was the day two of our trip. Our Sunday well spent on the beautiful roads of Himachal Pradesh opening up at Himalayas.

I will come back soon with the next post on My Space very soon. Till then, enjoy.

Cheers!!!

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