I've been out and about in the Himalayas for the last week or so and that explains my absence from the blog for the period. Although I planned to blog while I was on the road but internet connectivity in these pristine mountains is sometimes not guaranteed. I did get some limited connectivity in the Hotel rooms that I stayed in but I spent most of the day outside and too exhausted when I got back to work on anything. Hence, I had to cease any posting and actually enjoyed my time there!
I have been a lover of mountains from a very young age and although I've grown up along the sea, I've still grown to love the mountains much more. I'm just like anybody else, coveting the uncovetable, something that I don't get to see enough of. My love for mountains has come a long way since reading children's stories about life in the mountains to wishing I can trek up these mountains one day.
Although we covered the meandering roads by car, looking at the drop below with awe as we made our way up was an experience of it's own. I visited the towns of Kullu and Manali which consisted of the adventure and sightseeing and the towns of Shimla and Kandaghat for mostly relaxation and temple visits. I've summed up some of the highlights of my trip to cherish and inspire more mountainous travel. We landed at the Kullu airport at around 8.30 in the morning and we were shuttled to our hotel in Manali in half an hour - forty five minutes. Manali had a day temperature of about 7 - 8 degrees when we stayed there and the night temperatures went down to about -3 degrees. The weather was absolutely lovely there with lots of lush, evergreen forests surrounding the place with the stark white mountain peaks in clear view making the sunrise and sunset absolutely breathtaking.
The little towns of Manali and Kullu are full of little shops, restaurants, tea houses and markets. The most famous things to buy there are the pashmina stoles, shawls and sweaters with a traditional woven print on them. The little markets also sell a lot of souvenirs and some great little cafes known for their marvelous North Indian food and desserts. The roads are mostly mountainous roads with little bits of colourful houses and religious places visible in the distance.
We visited this little Naggar Castle, a 30 minute drive away from Manali which was believed to be the home to the King years ago. It's made of wood and stone, which used to be a traditional method of building houses in the mountains. A stag head guards the castle which have some richly carved doors. The entire castle is surrounded with balconies which have access from every room of the house. The little cottage just across the courtyard, decorated with garlands used to be the temple, the place of worship.
|Prayer Flags and Temple|
|Pine Forests of the Himalayas|
|Beas River on the road from Manali to Shimla|
The most exciting part of my entire trip has been driving up to the 13,000 ft peak to Rohtang Pass (about 51km from Manali) where it has already been snowing at this time and has been completely covered with a thick layer of snow. It is known as the border of India and China.The ride uphill was very steep and might make the weakhearted a little dizzy if they looked down as the car rode across the winding roads. Something that makes Himalayan travel worthwhile is that the journey up to these places is often more satisfying and worthwhile than the destination. However, this destination didn't fail to inspire me. The mountains were absolutely majestic and glimmering with snow and we had to hire some snow clothes so that we didn't ruin ours as we ran around, climbed and played in the snow. Solang Valley is another place very close to the Pass, however a little lower in altitude for all your mountain adventure needs like paragliding, zip lining, bungee jumping and all sorts of fun.
The view from this snow peak was the most terrifyingly beautiful scene I've seen in my life. So here were some special moments from my trip to the Himalayas! If you're a mountain lover like me, this place is going to be an absolute treat for you. I can't wait to explore more peaks and Himalayan towns and possibly go on a trek to the Everest.