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Monday, October 18, 2010

Manali Mania II

...And so, we set out on our next leg of our journey..We crossed Palampur and just a little away, we stopped at the Gau mandir which according to legend, fulfills the wishes of devotees who whisper their hopes and wishes into the ear of Shivji's cow. Most devotees did so after they prayed at the temple. Some young boys seeing that I was a non local, muttered amongst themselves as to whether Gau Mata would be able to understand my language!Well, of course she did!!

We headed out into the hills again, the views getting even better. It was a very long drive from Yol to Manali and we were expecting to reach Manali atleast by 5:30 in the evening with not too many stops. We halted at Kullu for lunch and despite sleep setting in, we kept our eyes open on the look out for stole emporiums. The emporiums had beautiful collections of Kullu shawls and stoles with intricate embroideries and lovely bright colours. They had a range of pashminas and though I always associated shawls with Ma, I ended up buying a couple for myself! They were so pretty!!

We arrived at Manali as the sun was setting and a chill set in with the evening breeze. We were putting up at this exclusive holiday hut provided to us by a VIP in the area with one of the best views around. We freaked out! There were numerous apple orchards around with red and green apples in abundance. We were behaving like monkeys, climbing the trees and jumping for apples! The majestic mountains around observed us in silence and sighed as we couldn't get enough of all of it..

The next day, we made a quick recky of the Solang valley where there were a couple of facilities for snow skiing, paragliding and cable car rides. Since time was short and we'd experienced each of those individual thrills elsewhere, we turned around and geared up for the journey back. The Rohtang Pass would have added to my list of passes I'd been to in the Himalayas but I would have to go back for it again as it had recently snowed up there and friends had asked us to avoid it during this trip.
We visited a family friend who'd set up a school in Manali and she regaled us with heart-warming stories from the highlands around. She also told us about how simple the people were, with one parent of a student (who'd recently done well in business and acquired himself good money) asking her for 5 pairs of uniforms for his daughter and who thought why they weren't of different colours and then there was this parent who called her up and asked her which shop he should buy the report cards from!People are very simple around here as most hill people are, and sometimes it is so heartening to interact with them, far from the maddening crowds of materialistic and impolite populace of polluted and commercialized cities and towns.
The Roerich Art Gallery at Naggar near Kullu is a cosy cottage which was owned by the Roerich family which has now been converted into a musuem. The paintings of Nicholas.K. Roerich are on display here which capture the beauty of the Himalayas. There are souvenirs of his paintings that one can pick up as a remembrance of the enchanting Himalayas long after one descends from its grand heights. His younger son Svytoslav married Devika Rani, the first lady of the silver screen in the yesteryears. Kullu, beside its shawls and apples is also famous for its wines and fruit juices and cartons of it are worth a grab..
We stayed the night at Palampur and on our last leg of our quick yet pleasing get away, we visited the Mata ki mandir which is very famous around the area. The idol is placed underground and one must approach it through steps which leads into a cave like structure which can make one feel very claustrophobic. However the darshan always helps one get over such phobias and finally, seeking divine intervention in our lives, we headed to the Dharamshala airport. The staff gave us VVIP tratment with an exclusive lounge. I loved the people here. We covered some other parts of Himachal from air with lovely views from the top and were greeted by the lovely monsoons that weren't ready to let go of Delhi this time around as we prepared to land, ready to fall back in gear for the next day of our daily routines in the city..


  1. Amazing blog! Youre lucky to have been to so many wonderful places. And your writing style is perfect for such a travelogue. Im only sorry to see that the last entry was so long ago!

  2. I just sort of accidentally dropped in on your blog, because Im kind of a military buff, and was researching articles in order to be able to start a Wiki article on Maj. Gen. K. Himalay Singh.

    The final (very basic) result, can be seen here:

    Id appreciate it if you could let me know if its essentially ok, and also if you could correct the Spelling of his given name, as some papers spell it as "Himalay", and some as "Himalaya".