November 1, 2010

Snowy Manali...

Far from the Maddening crowd, in the realms of Nature, surrounded by mountains lies an incredible holiday spot, We call it as "Manali".  It is an excellent place for a holiday, a favourite resort for trekkers to Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Leh and Zanskar regions in Kashmir valley.

Amazing Landscapes, flowing river, green mountains are a few to keep you enthralled during your road trip to Manali...also known as the "SWITZERLAND OF INDIA".

We started from Shimla at 9:00 AM in a taxi, which the best way to explore the beauty all the way till Manali. Every mile was asking us to stop and see...but we had to reach Manali - -so we kept on moving, though with occasional stops. Each turn was unfolding stunning panorama of nature, and landscapes were getting better every time. Pandoh dam for hydroelectric power generation is one of such stop during the way. Photography of the dam is strictly prohibited, unless you risk forfeiting of your camera by security agencies:

Whether it was the green waters of the rivers, eye catching hills or the 3 km. long tunnel, all of them kept us glued on our windows. We kept on moving and enjoying...

Once you reach Kullu, stay for 2 days and cherish the amazing spots in the Valley of Gods. In the way, around 45 km. from Kullu is a place which is still disconnected from the mainland. While going to Manali or while returning, take some time to explore Malana...

280 Km. distance took around 9 hours including a few stops to relish in the majestic beauty of the Himalayas. In Manali, select a room with a captivating view of the opposite mountain ranges the land where the music of the mountains was reigning supreme.
Manali is a small place with some amazing sight seeing options here, notable among them Hadimba temple, Maharishi Vashisht Temple, Anjani Mahadev, Solang Valley, Mall Road and Old Manali. It is the experience and AURA of this place that sets it apart from other destinations in this region. Manali is also the base for going to Rohtang Pass and further to Leh.

There are some things which you always desire, and Snowfall is one of them. It was November, but we got up to witness Snowfall. We were in for a heavenly experience.

Trees, Houses and ground covered with snow were simply irresistible to stay indoors. We too came out to have our share of enjoyment in the falling snow. At breakfast, hotel staff complimented us for being lucky to witness snowfall in November as it usually happens in January. We were rejoicing on our good fortune.

The snow had a magnetizing effect on us and we continued to explore whatever we could have. Check out, what was the closest encounter with snow we could have had. I saw a few kids playing with the snow, in the snow. Just a glance of them was ample for me to join their game. With in a few seconds I went back to my childhood days. Staying in the big cities we miss out on lot of simple yet delightful activities. Rightly said - "Those are the moments which make life worthwhile". So guys Live Life to the fullest before it gets too late.
We realized that local sightseeing was due, when our cab arrived. Though we did not wanted to stop the fun in the snow with the kids.

First in the list was Maharishi Vashisht Temple, it was a small but impressive temple. We were in for another surprise, as there was snow all around the floor and we were supposed to cross it barefooted. Isn't it Enticing Guys...?

We saw a few tourists praying from outside and returning back. The snow had a terrifying effect on them. However we went inside without our shoes. Brains and feet were fighting out for moving fast or maintain a balance to avoid slipping. By the time they would have reached to a conclusion, we had performed the rituals and were out of the temple.

Vashihst temple, without snow:

The place has been the meditation place of Maharishi Vashishta and there is a famous hot water spring. According to legend, Laxman (younger brother of Lord Ram)had come to take help of Rishi Vashishta for Ashwa Megha Yagya. However Lxxman was unable to bear the cold of this place and had shot an arrow into the ground which resulted in gushing out of hot water from the ground and provided him the much needed respite from the cold weather.

Also adjacent to Vashisht temple is the Ram temple:

Some distance from Vashishth temple is Jogini Waterfalls (4 km. from Mall Road). A gentle trek of around 30 minutes from the main road (Manali to Rohtang) will take you to this stream of waterfall which is on its way to join river Beas. People of Vashishth village worship Jogini falls with a belief that Goddess Jogini reside inside the rushing waters of this waterfall.
The way fighter pilots prepare before every flight, same way with our spirits rejuvenated, we started for Hadimba Temple. 

Cladded in snow and snow falling from the Trees, Hadimba Temple was posing like a panorama only seen in artists' sketches. What could have been the icing on the cake, we were walking besides the rabbits. There were rabbits all around to cheer you. Our shoes have got wet by the time, but we were not complaining. With snow all around and rains embracing us, we got to know, why it is called as "SWITZERLAND of INDIA". Do you have any question guys?

Hadimba temple without snow:

Instead of returning to our hotel we decided to get to the Mall. Every hill station in India has a Mall Road and Manali is no different. Artefacts sold by different shops exhibits ample glimpses of diversity of India culture. Laughing Buddha, Dragons' souvenirs, Lord Krishna pictures and masks used in South Indian dances, all at one place - that's what we call "UNITY in DIVERSITY"

Exploring Manali on foot with complimentary sight seeing and cool breezes is an experience to cherish life long. Adjacent to Mall Road is a beautiful  Tibetan Monastery, Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa Monastery:

Adventure does not end here. Manali is also acclaimed for adventure sports activities. One can indulge in River rafting, Paragliding, Trekking, camping and can learn mountaineering. For budding mountaineers there is a mountaineering institute too.

I do not have much words to describe the Aura of this place. To be honest you have to come here to feel yourself. In short a special place and a must visit for all.
Situated at a height of 6,398 ft and distance of 550 Km. from Delhi, Manali is a very popular hill station in Beas river valley. Going further ahead on Delhi- Manali road, one can drive till Leh, which is world's one of the best motoring roads on account of natural beauty. Isn't it enticing:

For me this is the best time to be in Manali (October- November), as you can go to Rohtang Pass. So guys, ready 1,2, 3.......Vroom, coz one snowfall and road to Rohtang will be closed. Would you like to miss the lovely drive on the above road?

Permit is required to visit Rohtang and beyond, please use the link for applying and getting the permit 400 Diesel vehicles and 600 Petrol vehicles are allowed during the day. To return to Delhi, book a Volvo or take any state roadways bus. Prior booking is advised for both of the options.



  1. It seems like heaven and Pics are very cool !!!!!!!!!!! Keep it up.

  2. Place and pics, both are awesome. Continue to explore more places and share with us.

  3. Great pictures and great article. ;)
    I think you can publish a travel book about hidden India
    places which are not mentioned in Lonely Planet.
    Maybe many people especially traveling not well-known places will like your articles.
    Keep in touch, friend. ;)

  4. Your blogs proves one thing completely "One can easily find world's incredible tourist spots in INDIA itself" be it Switzerland, beaches of Australia or anything..these photographs or i must say this treasure has every right to be disclosed in an EXHIBITION...and of course you did a great compilation, everything in a single page..Astonishing..

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  9. I have also a amazing experiences of Manali, it was such a wonderful trip of my life.

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  18. Great coverage of Manali and surrounding during winters.

    1. Manali is a wonderful place...I have been there twice and will come again soon...


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