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Travel => Travel Blogs => North India => Topic started by: Saurabh Soni on August 27, 2014, 05:42:39 AM

Title: Manikaran Sahib and Kullu Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on August 27, 2014, 05:42:39 AM

This post is about my trip to Manikaran Saheb and Manali at the time of awesome weather in Manali when this beautiful place in Himalaya was all covered in white blanket of Snow.



It was a long time now and quite a long wait for me for almost 3-4 months since I had been to the hills  8)  and for me 3-4 months are indeed long time. I was not in mountains, hills, snow, bone chilling winds, which altogether fulfills my life to completeness. I feel lucky to be born here in India, and one of the many reasons for me to feel lucky is The Great Himalayas, and when you live in Delhi, it gives you an opportunity to visit any part of the gigantic landscape in a very short span of time. So while I was planning this trip with my friends time was never a constraint and we were not short of time. So, I had applied for leaves for a week. So, I loosely had 10 days in my pocket. But what you plan is not what you get and same thing happened at that time also, again things didn't happen how you wanted those to be. I was free from Friday evening and we had a plan to go by our own car on early Saturday morning to some off beat place in Uttarakhand like Chaukori or Munsiyari. But on Saturday when we were about to leave, one of our friends backed out on a plan of going by ourselves driving. So, already late, we had to decide upon a place and how to reach that place and then start on planning all over again. Now the place which first came into my mind was Manali, it is the place which is very easily accessible by buses. And also I had been to Manali long time ago. So we booked our tickets through website redbus.in on Saturday midnight. I was scared that with just hours to go we wont get tickets but we got them booked. It costed us Rs 950/- per person for a Volvo ticket. There is a bus operator Swagatam which has very nice buses and a good service. So, our bus was scheduled to depart from Gandhi market, Minto road at 5:40 pm and we reached the spot at time but our bus came half an hour late. And then the journey started.

At Start of journey near central park CP,
From left to right is Gaurav Karwal, Jitender Khattar, and me.
[attachimg=1]

Following is the glimpse of what we encountered on our trip and some teasers:


[attachimg=2] [attachimg=3] [attachimg=4] [attachimg=5]


So, snow snow and lots of snow as the temperature in manali was very low at the time we visited and manali weather was just awesome
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: ankitjuneja1 on September 28, 2014, 05:19:28 PM
I guess, more to follow ... but "cool" pics :)
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: ishanmalhotra on September 28, 2014, 05:24:06 PM
Great pictures and nice start... post more and take us through the journey.
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Ruchipatel on September 28, 2014, 05:26:22 PM
Good pics saurabh
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: amit1984 on September 28, 2014, 05:30:52 PM
Real nice start...so good to see Snow after so long...if not Live then pics only !!!

Bring it on...
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on September 28, 2014, 05:36:30 PM
Thankyou all, m posting more from the trip
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on September 28, 2014, 06:17:34 PM
I mentioned in my previous post that the bus in which we were travelling was very good, and to my surprise it was not completely booked, so the whole back seats of the bus was ours to enjoy and it seemed as if we did a booking for all last 10-15 seats for our enjoyment because apart from us three nobody was even visible inside the bus, and also many couple were on their honeymoon in the bus. Bus helper also forced us to watch a movie and did a screening of Bodyguard, and I said forced us to watch a movie because one speaker was over the head of everybody inside the bus. And finally movie ended near Panipat at around 8-8:30 and bus stopped at some place for dinner. It was some kind of hotel, I forgot the name as I am very bad at remembering names, which had a food court and was serving a buffet. We three were lucky enough that my friend was carrying Paranthas and Sarso ka saag and had a plenty of it to fill three tummies. After 30-40 mins bus started again to stop at final destination, Manali.
[attachimg=3]

A very dense fog welcomed us near Mandi but the driver was still managing a consistent speed of 40-50 kmph just because the driver was in a hurry our bus reached Manali at 6 am in the morning which was 2 hours earlier than the time mentioned on ticket. I have a condition of non-punctual disorder  :P and because of this I don't like to reach places before time and thus I didn’t like this time also reaching our destination before time
. while we were inside the bus, it was quite warm and I was wearing just a half sleeves tee with just a sweatshirt on it, but the moment we stepped outside the bus, we were shivering and our brain got freezed to the core. It was sub zero temp at that time of the morning. Generally I don't like to settle for hotel without roaming around and without negotiating. But as we were shivering and the hotel staff knew the trick very well to take advantage. There is a Hotel Naveen at the bus stand, and it was the closest to door we could barge in and we straight away went to the reception, where they offered us a heater which helped us in giving that divine warmth at that time. After getting our mind back and defrost, we started to negotiate but that reception person knew our condition and he was not even negotiating as he knew we wouldn’t go outside again in cold very early morning to search any other hotel. But we greatly disappointed and surprised him and two of us went outside to find a hotel. Seeing this he started to negotiate for the tariff he was offering, initially he was offering us a room for Rs1300 + Rs200 for an extra bed for the third person but after negotiating we settled for Rs 900 with extra bed. So, Rs 600 saved. It was still at higher side for the room but we settled for it. And straight away went to the room and got ourselves covered in a warm duvet. Now the tea was calling us and sun also started to rise.We went to the tea shop and had Sharbati Tea(Tea in a sugar syrup).

[attachimg=1]   [attachimg=2]


After having extra sweet tea, we went to the mall road to have a look at the wee early morning hours. At Mall road, when we were roaming around, we met a taxi driver and started to talk to him. He by far was one of the most helpful person I ever met on any tourist place. But at that point initially we bargained with him also and we hired him for two days for only Rs 2100. He had a 7 seater eeco. So it was a very good deal for just 3 people. According to his itinerary, day one was for Solang Valley and Local sight seeing and Day 2 was for Manikaran Saheb Gurudwara that is roughly around 190-200 kms round trip. So after finalising him we came back to our hotel room to get some sleep.
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on September 28, 2014, 06:19:15 PM
more to follow....
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: vinay1981 on September 29, 2014, 01:04:27 AM
I am glued to this thread to experience winters through your log.. post more :)
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on September 29, 2014, 01:35:54 AM
Day 1. Our Driver came to our Hotel and he woke us up around 10:30 am and at 11:30-12 we were ready to start our Day 1 at Manali that goes to Solang Valley. As Manali's favorite spot Rohtang Pass remains closed during winters, tourists and travelers visit Solang Valley, which had lots of snow. On our way to Solang Valley, we got ourselves "space suits" :P on rent with shoes from the road side space suit stall. We didn't ask the rent of those space suits and NASA scientist aka stall owner helped us wear those funny looking colourful suits and when we were ready to go they asked us Rs 900 as a rent for 3 suits which surprised us :o , Rs300 eeach rent for a peice of cloth. But our driver came to our rescue again and we settled for Rs 500 for 3 suits. Now three NASA scientists were in a cab to Solang Valley and Traffic police stopped us 2-3 kms from the main Solang Valley point. Now there were plenty of different options available to reach the main spot at Solang Valley like ponies, Offroad bikes, Monster Bikes etc. We decided to go on our foot. Initially those shoes were very uncomfortable but I got to know their importance a bit later when I went into actual snow. When we reached the main valley, many adventure activities were happening there. All 3 of us were very fond of Paragliding. Now there were two kinds of paragliding over there, one was from a mid level of the mountain that was not very exciting and other one was from high point to which one has to go by trolley. The charge they were quoting for paragliding was out of the world. They were asking Rs 1200 from mid point and Rs 3000 from the upper one. Again our driver came and bargained for us and we managed to get the deal done for upper point for Rs 1500 each person which includes trolley charges for a person and his Paragliding man. We reached the upper point by trolley and it was very high. Now after reaching the point, snow over there attracted us to itself and we submerged ourselves in that snow. We enjoyed half an hour over there before moving to the Take-off point. To reach that point on foot was a kind of adventure in itself. There were no tracks defined, one has to go on foot and sometime sliding some time rolling to reach the start point of Paragliding. I was amazed by seeing some newly wed couples doing the same rolling, sliding falling down, screaming etc to reach the point. They told every one over there to run as fast as they can, to achieve perfect take-off. And that’s what I did. It was one of the nicest moment of my lifetime to get into the air like a bird. After coming back on Land a camera person will automatically come to you on his own and will show you the video and if you like that video you can purchase a CD from him. I got that for Rs 200.


Below are some pics
Panaromic View of our hotel room
[attachimg=1]


On our way to Solang Valley
[attachimg=2]  [attachimg=3]  [attachimg=4]  [attachimg=5]  [attachimg=6]  [attachimg=7]  [attachimg=8]  [attachimg=9]  [attachimg=10]  [attachimg=11]  [attachimg=12]  [attachimg=13]  [attachimg=14]  [attachimg=15]  [attachimg=16]  [attachimg=17]  [attachimg=18]  [attachimg=19]  [attachimg=20]  [attachimg=21]  [attachimg=22]  [attachimg=23]  [attachimg=24]


More to follow....
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on September 29, 2014, 01:49:34 AM

Day 1 continued


Paragliding in action
[attachimg=1]  [attachimg=10]  [attachimg=2]  [attachimg=3]  [attachimg=4]

On our way back from Solang valley
 [attachimg=5]  [attachimg=6]  [attachimg=7]  [attachimg=8]  [attachimg=9]

It was now around 3:30 pm after noon and it started to get cold again and the mistake I did was to remove that space suit after having Maggie and coffee we got back to the car which was 2-3 kms away .On the way it was very slippery and one can see people getting slipped on Ice and then you have to control your laughing nerves. Now we were very tired at that time and we decided to move back to hotel skipping the local sight seeing. But our helpful driver told us that he can show us local places on third day without taking extra rent on Day three. So we moved back to our hotel around Eight and called it a day.
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: vinay1981 on September 30, 2014, 12:07:31 AM
Winters are coming!
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on September 30, 2014, 12:54:23 AM
yeah... till that time enjoy the winter log... m posting more tonight
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: ishanmalhotra on September 30, 2014, 01:12:36 AM
keep rolling ... show must go on
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on September 30, 2014, 01:44:51 AM
Day 2 : It was another cold and bone chilling morning, as usual we were damn lazy and then around 10 our driver again needed to do the needful to get us awake. We took another hour to get ready and our driver, now a friend, was very kind enough to bring us a hot tea and an omelette to eat and around 11:30 we were in our cab for our day -2 journey and we were fresh and ready to roll. On day-2 our destination was Gurdwara Manikaran Saheb, which is 80 kms from Manali. It is popular for Natural hot boiling water streams along with freezing cold water on other side. You can imagine the hot temperature of water there by the fact that rice can be prepared in that boiling water. On our way, I got to know about two very interesting places, one was Malana, It is a Dam for hydroelectric power generation. Our driver told us that many foreigner trek there and also its a place where one can find weed very easily. On some distance from Malana there is a place called Kasol which is a place where many foreigners stay because of its close proximity to Malana. But the time of year when we happen to visit that place not many were there. So around 2 we reached Manikaran Saheb gurdwara. It was a very pleasant place. One can see the steam coming from hot water from quite far distance. Generally in cold places I prefer to keep my self away from even a drop of water. But had to wash my hand before entering a holy place. After getting blessings we had our lunch in Lunger(hindi/punjabi term for holy buffet). Around 4 we left the place and started back to Manali. On the way there is a Vaisho Mata temple near kullu I forgot the exact name of place, and that temple is fantastically maintained and built. No photographs were allowed inside the temple. So if you are visiting Manali-Manikaran route don't miss that temple. After visiting the temple we did some shopping from kullu. There is a government shop for handmade items where one can find verieties of shawls, woolen items at reasonable rates. While we were busy shopping one of my friend fell ill, we straight away headed for a doctor. My friend was having a fever of 103 at that time, Doctor gave him some medicines and then with One person down, there was nothing to do so we went to hotel room. But again we realised that our hotel was at very nice location, there was a cinema hall called Piccadilly(I dont know if i spelled it right) where we decided to spend our next 3 hours. We brought a ticket for 9 pm show and went to watch a movie ‘Ladies vs Ricky Bahl’. The movie was not good. So I preffered to sleep around intermission and that's how my day 2 ended.


Some pics from Day 2



Morning of Day-2
[attachimg=20]


On our way to Gurdwara Manikaran Saheb and At Manikaran Saheb
  [attachimg=4]   [attachimg=5]   [attachimg=6]   [attachimg=7]   [attachimg=8][attachimg=9]   [attachimg=10]   [attachimg=11]   [attachimg=12]   [attachimg=13]    [attachimg=14]   [attachimg=15]   [attachimg=16]   [attachimg=17]   [attachimg=18]   [attachimg=19] 
[attachimg=1]     [attachimg=2]

Vaishno Mata Temple
  [attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: vinay1981 on October 01, 2014, 03:09:58 PM
Awesome pictures bro! ... keep posting more
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: ishanmalhotra on October 01, 2014, 08:07:14 PM
lage raho bhai
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: ankitjuneja1 on October 01, 2014, 11:47:49 PM
Enjoying the Manali trip through your pics and your log. :)
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on October 06, 2014, 08:24:04 PM
Day 3:

Now day 3 was the day to explore the city. So our friend and cab driver took us to the main attractions of Manali. One of the most visited place locally in Manali is Hidimba Temple and it was the first in our list then he took us to some complex and for us urban crowd it was not of much attraction to us, it was like some old mall with few rides here and there. So, we didn't spend much time there. but the way to that complex was awesome. A stretch of road was fully snowcovered and we needed to walk to cover that stretch. After visiting these places we came back to main market(Mall road) of Manali and had a lunch and in the evening, our Volvo to Delhi was waiting for us.


So not much of the writing is there for Day 3, below are some pics from our last day at Manali:


[attachimg=1]   [attachimg=2]   [attachimg=3]   [attachimg=4]   [attachimg=5]   [attachimg=6]   [attachimg=7]   [attachimg=8]
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on October 06, 2014, 08:28:56 PM
Final lot of pics


[attachimg=1]    [attachimg=2]   [attachimg=3]   [attachimg=4]   [attachimg=5]   [attachimg=6]   [attachimg=7]
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: vinay1981 on October 10, 2014, 01:02:26 AM
Great trip, great pics, great log :)
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: ishanmalhotra on October 11, 2014, 02:23:34 PM
Good one Saurabh!
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on October 20, 2014, 01:54:51 AM
Thanks Vinay and Ishan for your kind words.
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: amit1984 on February 11, 2015, 01:13:00 PM
Always a plus 1 from my side, enjoyed those wonderful pictures shared by you in this log... great show
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on February 12, 2015, 07:01:43 AM
Thanks Amit for the kind words... btw ... when can I see a log from your adventures?
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Ruchipatel on March 10, 2015, 02:19:17 PM
Snowy trip... I heard Rohtang is more fun than Solang Valley in terms of adventure sports.. Is it?
Title: Re: Manikaran Saheb and Manali Winter Trip in December, 2011
Post by: Saurabh Soni on March 10, 2015, 02:24:14 PM
But in winters, Rohtang is closed