Kaleidoscope of Manali

“Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected”

This journal date back to June 2016 which technically is three years old. I cannot assure my reader how lively or how deeply I can reconnect to it but let me put in my best of my emotions and stirred my memories wild.

I was a naive girl just earning a mere income that just suffices her monthly needs, well it’s just the same now nothing much have changed apart from the improvement in grades and life experiences. Maturity still has not set in but I am hoping it does soon.

I love and respect my Job; I really do because it’s the source for my bread and butter but somehow sometimes somewhere when its expectation exceeds your potential it breaks and exhaust you and in times like this one needs to rejuvenate. I remember we had a Paeds case (TOF), 5 years old boy, poor prognosis after open heart surgery that a Peritoneal Dialysis was initiated. We knew he won’t last long with all the clinical complications but we didn’t hold back ourselves in putting our best efforts to extend his survival. Every one of us was emotionally attached, I too was maybe because it was my first exposure to paeds so closely in all my clinical learning. Those clinical days were tiresome and exhausting that I so badly want to escape from it and that’s where I break free from confinement to one of the hills in the north (MANALI).

Why Manali? Quite hyped already…is what most of you wanderlust would ask. But to set foot in a snow point was one in my poorly organized bucket list. June is not actually the best month to visit such places but I was making the most of it with the opportunity I have in my hands. An entire week was in my hand and I have not laid down any itinerary coz it’s not my thing. It kills the vibe and excitement. I prefer unexpected thrill and things that will keep me awe, to see things as they are at that moment, which can be a total surprise.

ISBT, Kashmiri Gate is where I took my evening ride; a 13 hr ride was damn. I could feel my butt going numb due to prolong sitting but there is nothing one can do about it but to wish that you reach that enticing locale which awaits for your coming. The entire night was a sleepless night as the road was bumpy; also my allocated sit was at the back and with all the jerky moments it was not possible to sleep off. On the top of that, it was drizzling hence few minor denudations in Mandi river banks which nearly slip us down the cliff, literally meaning I have seen the face of dead at a very close proximity.

It was 9’ish we reached Manali, travel agencies approaching any traveler they come across with all the tempting offers. Without much delay, I headed to my room at mall road, one common name every hill station I have been have. My package starts next morning at such I had the remaining day all to myself. Window shopping is not my thing so what I did was head down to one of the continental cuisine café, had my first ever sushi there and a few other Chinese foods. Then a walk to the Monastery to offers prayers and wish. The sound of the flowing water, Baes river, 470 km in length originating from the Himalayas was a bewitching one. It basically is the source of drinking water for the people residing there and nearby regions. There are many things said about how this river has transform and other historical backgrounds which you all can later do your own research thing. Spending the evening by the bank was such bliss, it’s the best place in entire Manali for me. The water flowed swiftly, rocks of different sizes, water temperature was cold giving a refreshing touch as I swayed my hand into the flowing water. It was worth taking the trip, all my bodily and mental exhaustion was reinstated in a jiffy and I was ready for the next coming few days. Magical touch it was.

My schedule for the next day began at 8:00 hrs, took the front seat next to the driver so that I get the most of the aerial view. The agencies have laid down their itinerary already which in short includes a drive to Kullu, kasol, Mandi, and Manikaran. The team comprises of 10 pax, newly married couples, old gramps and grannies and a family of three. Two of the sibling was of my age so I was quite comfortable being grouped along with them. Just a brief description of the pack can explain how things must have been… at one point it was disappointing because we have to halt at every temple we come across on the crossroad. Not that I am against setting foot in temples but even if I have come across churches chances is that I would prefer skipping it.

Of all the entire day experiences, river rafting and a drive to Manikaran was one thing I enjoy the most. Visiting the Sikh Gurudwara in Manikaran located in Parvati was one amazing experience. In spite of the space constraint and ongoing constructions, it was very well maintained. The hot caves inside the Gurudwara have a different feeling which literally gives an internal peaceful feeling. Traditional Langar was one not to be missed if one visits it. Ever since my visit here I have so much of respect and appreciation for the Sikh religion and a kind of attachment. Try visiting and you will know why. I am still in awe about the hot spring there. Maybe I will never understand but this way I am keeping my experiences so vividly alive till now.

Kullu valley was a breathtaking sight. The view of the Himalayas from the valley gave such a majestic grandeur like a crown seated in a king head. The Mountains is a wonder. A striking tourist attraction Kasol, a hotspot for backpackers flanked by hippies at every corner and of course you can indulged into rafting is not to be missed. But being with the oldies (avoid at all cost) is such a disadvantage as the halting duration there was just for an hour depriving me of exploring the area and analyzing things as per my research and hearsay. Maybe in the coming years again I can plan out, no big deal.

My ride to Rohtang pass, the Leh-Manali highway started before dawn. Lying at an elevation of 3,978, ( 13,050 ft above sea level) was such a thrilling moment for me. The idea and feeling of going to see the snow-clad mountain for the first time, slide down, make a snowman and play with snow alone was enough to intoxicate me.

The one-way road and the congestion must have been annoying for others but for me, it was a blessing. Though I come from a mountainous area and have climbed one of the highest peak back at home I had never really appreciated much as I do on this trip. And since then my affinity towards the hill gave birth and it still is there to go out and feel the astounding God’s creation. Many are in the list, covering it bit by bit.

The entire day was worth it all…the best day in the entire trip except that I do not get to do Paragliding just because my loving mother at home switched off her phone knowing that I am a spendthrift and will call her for some extra bucks, I had my lesson learned to spend wisely while traveling and to spend on thing required. I don’t blame her for I was irresponsible for my own self in-fact I thank her even today though I still have that habit at times (old habits are hard to cast out).

Hadimba Temple, okay before I go any further, how many of you are a fan of “ Yeh Jawani Hain Diwani”. Readers from my region would count tag me as a “Typical Indian” but know what it is this movie that motivates and make me realized that I want more from life and there is so much to see and contemplate. The sanctuary is covered by tall and thick cedar forest with snaking queues of devotees in and around the arena.

The external of the sanctuary is adorned with sacrificial remains of animals which resembles our traditional Naga housing giving a mystical vibe.

My return ticket to Delhi was at 6’ish in the evening, hotel checkout timing was at 11:00 hrs in the morning so I have 6 hrs more to spend. I didn’t know where to head to with my luggage, also can’t be waiting at the terminal for such long hours. So what I did was I head down to the bank of Bae’s river again, spread the jackets and slept there for a few hours. One lost one introversion/ timidity you call when you are helpless and you are alone. Communication skills helped in such hours, I am bad at it though but my patience to listen to what others have to say was a plus point to cut the lazy hours. A final exchange of words with the trip mate and we all headed home towards our own destiny to resume our daily life activities of living.

This trip makes me realise what a tiny place I occupy in this wonderfully created globe. Also, its the trip which has invoke in me this unstoppable desire to go out, see and appreciate the beauty….and I am in the quest for more.

4 thoughts on “Kaleidoscope of Manali

  1. Beautifully written.. I felt a glimpse of the place through this blog.. Manali has got it place back in my list.

    God bless. Keep travelling and keep writing. May be we should travel together someday.

    Liked by 1 person

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