Manali - Rohtang, Himachal Pradesh (India)


Rohtang Pass

As soon as I noticed that an extended weekend is approaching, I started searching for a new holiday destination. I applied for an additional leave to extend the already extended weekend and finalized my holiday destination- Manali, Himachal Pradesh. I had been thinking to visit Manali earlier as well but what stopped me was its connectivity. The only feasible way I found to reach Manali was by road. Nearest railway station to Manali is Chandigarh (350 kms) and nearest airport to Manali  is Kullu (40 kms). I preferred travelling by road and booked a Himachal tourism’s Volvo bus to cover a distance of 550 kms (approximately 14 hours) from Delhi to Manali.



Mountains always fascinate me so I was pretty excited about the trip. Packing was done by my wife a day before and everything was set. We returned home from office and and quickly left to catch our evening Volvo. After struggling on the bus terminal to get hold of our bus, at last we grabbed our seats with twinkle in our eyes. The journey was long and seats were comfortable, until I tried to bend my seat little backwards to straighten it up. With a stiff stuck seat I looked outside the window and my wife relaxed herself teasing me. I really don't know when we both went to sleep and woke up as bus stopped at Kullu next morning. I stepped out of the bus with my stiff back and cursed the seat of the bus while my wife was fresh. We had a cup of tea and soon we left to cover another 2 hours journey to reach our destination Manali. The roads were beautiful and valley looked peaceful. I almost lost myself there. At last we reached Manali and we checked-in to our hotel New Adarsh. Hotel was decent and located on the mall road, proximity to the bus station. We grabbed some yummy snacks and relaxed ourselves, I could hear my back thanking me as I lied on the bed.



After lunch we decided to cover few places in Manali. Instead of taxi, we preferred local auto who ply on all tourists destinations. My wife back with her bargaining skills got one auto driver to take us to all sight seeing places at a good deal.

Manali has lot of famous temples and so we were going to. All these sight seeing places are located within 5 kms of diameter.

Off we go as our auto driver accelerated and we visited following temples/places

  • Manu Temple: This is dedicated to the sage Manu located in old Manali.
  • Vashishta Temple: It is known for its famous hot springs.
  • Tibetian Monastry: There are 3 Tibetan monasteries in Manali. But we only visited one which was located near our hotel.
  • Club House: The Club House that includes a roller skating rink, an auditorium, billiards, a library, a bar and restaurant. Bungee jumping, river crossing is also provided there. It is located just at the bank of river beas. We spent few hours at the bank of river and it really felt peaceful.
  • Hadimba Temple: Built in 1533 A.D. with a superbly crafted four tiered pagoda roof, it is famous for its exquisitely carved doorway. We clicked few pics as my wife wanted to get clicked with yark and rabbits over there.
Vashishta Temple

Tibetan Monastery

Kids at Monastery

Incredible India

Hadimba Temple
By evening, we returned back to main Manali and browsed various shops at Mall road while having sip of hot coffee. November is pretty cold in Manali and my wife shopped for some woollens till she dropped. As a victim, I carried all the stuff she bought to our hotel. After a peaceful dinner, we booked a cab from the hotel for next day to go the place where I always wanted to go, Rohtang. 

Rohtang Pass (Rohtang, means, pile of corpses, due to people dying in bad weather trying to cross the pass) (altitude 3,978 m or 13,051 ft), is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km from Manali. It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India.

En route Rohtang Pass

Bad roads on the way

Rohtang Pass
No trees at Rohtang Pass
The driver told us to leave early in the morning for Rohtang to avoid traffic. I confirmed him that we will leave as early as possible, but, we didn't. World was same and so was I, never on time. At last we left for Rohtang at 9 in the morning. Weather was clear and sunny and driver told us that last night, it snowed at Rohtang as I looked at the peak of the mountains covered with snow. We felt lucky as we would be able to see the fresh snow. On the way, we stopped to rent the suit which is necessary in the snow. 

Bad turned worse
Snowfall at Rohtang Pass
The way to Rohtang is beauty to be admired, I could never imagine anything remotely beautiful to this valley. Huge mountains, snow peaked ranges and peace. If there is any heaven, it can not be more beautiful than this. The roads started to get rough now and soon trees disappeared as we reached near Rohtang. The sun disappeared too and and weather started acting up. We almost reached Rohtang when it started to snow and we noticed snow at the sides of the road. Our driver continued to drive cautiously saving the car from the potholes. We were too excited as it seemed like an adventure to us as we both were experiencing the snowfall first time in our life. I really do not have words to express my feelings. As we reached Rohtang, it started snowing little heavily. We stepped out of the car and ran towards the snow as little kids and threw snow balls at each other. We also tried our hands on skiing, but could only learn how to pose for the pictures. We spent an hour up there and now we really started feeling tired. Since there are no trees up there, lack of oxygen causes you to lose your stamina quickly. After an hour, weather started getting worse and it started snowing heavily. We decided to leave considering the bad weather and our stamina of course. On the way back to Manali, we stopped at Rala fall where I tried to climb on rocks acting like a hero, but slipped pretty bad as rocks were quite slippery. Then I decided to give away my heroic activities. I captured all those beautiful moments in my canon. 

En route Manali
Now we headed to Solang Valley. Solang (means: nearby village) is located 14kms from Manali. It is famous for horse riding, paragliding and Zorbing. We decided to try our hands on zorbing. It looked effortless and we both went ahead fearlessly until we experienced it. As I started to roll, I cursed myself for trying this as I felt like I had no control over my body. But, trust me, its a good experience and I will give it Thumbs up. It was actually pretty refreshing. After that we both had famous egg Maggi up there and returned back to Manali. After a long day with cherished moments, we relaxed ourselves and made plans for next day.

Next day, we wanted to try our hands on local Manali delicacies and wanted to explore Manali in our own style. We woke up early and left for old Manali for breakfast. We refrained ourselves from autos and taxis. As we were walking by, I noticed Van Vihar which had huge tress inside. Trees were so huge that even sunlight could not reach the ground through them. That place had a normal entry fee with not much visitors. We heard noise of water flowing as we went in and wondered where it is coming from. We got to know that river Beas flows down there. Soon we ran towards it and sat at the bank of river. We decided to spend the rest of the day there and relaxed ourselves in the sun at the bank of the river. We discussed our holiday so far and cherished the memories of snowfall.

Manali
Van Vihar

                                         

Bear River - Manali
Beas river
The next morning we woke up pretty early to catch our early morning bus to the place where our heart belongs, our city, New Delhi.

17 comments:

  1. Thank you for your comment on our blog. I like your travel blog - informative and nice snaps. Carry on the good work. All the best!

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  2. Wow Excellent view...

    Anand | www.myclicksstory.com

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  3. Damn good!! I don’t know what to say but I am just amazed after watching these pics. I didn’t go there yet but after this I am going Manali very soon. Actually I am fan of Manali from the movie "Jab We Met" remember that song ye ishq hai really a great place to visit.

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  4. Its been quite long since I experienced snow. Thanks for the brilliant post. I had been to Rohtang Pass , it's amazing.

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  5. Very nice, it covers almost all Manali.

    www.manalimagicmasti.blogspot.com

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  6. Each word that you have written is very true. Actually, I had come from Manali one day ago . but I want know how did you go rohtang pass in November because my driver said that rohtang is closed in November to March.

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    Replies
    1. Actually it is not a thumb rule that Rohtang will be closed in November. It is actually closed once it starts receiving heavy snowfall. I was lucky that it was open in November and the day I reached Manali, Rohtang had its first snowfall of the season.

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  7. Nice blog! When is Rohtang likely to open this year?

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    Replies
    1. It must be open now until monsoons and then after monsoons until mid-Nov

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  8. Thank you for sharing such a nice post about Shimla Manali Tour Package . I love it so much. Check

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