The three of us stay in Pune. We had been planning this tip for a long time. After a lot of discussions, in January we finally booked the tickets to avoid last minute heavy flight costs. After too much of back and forth, the three of us finally packed our bags and set out on a journey to move close to the abode of Lord Shiva, The Himalayas. Here is the rough itinerary that we had in our mind (we did not focus on the details and had decided to figure things out on the move).
Old Manali - We got down at the Manali Volvo Bus stop and took a taxi to Old Manali. It took us 200 Rs to reach from Manali to Old Manali. We parked ourselves at the Paradise Guest house. Refreshed ourselves and set out to explore Manali on foot. Since it was off season, most of the shops were either under renovation or closed. We picked up a couple of beers and sat by the river to relax for some time. Just by the river, there is a small park (that is what it looked like) kind of a place covered with long dense trees. We crossed the bridge connecting Old Manali and New Manali and set out to take a walk between the trees. The result was a 30 minute walk almost in a jungle kind of a place with the end road opening to Manali Bazaar.
Kasol - We got up at around 8 AM and after enquiring a little bit with Mr. Pyarelal, set out to see Manali on foot. A little bit of googling will help you know all the tourist spots to go to in Manali. We did not want to cover everything and were more interested in seeing Old Manali and the culture the locals follow. After walking a little bit, we set out on a path parallel to the river Vyas (look at the pictures). We did try a little bit of adventure by trying to cross the river through an unusual way, but it did not really work out. The water is so cold that you can't keep your foot in for more than 5 seconds. We ended up spending hours sitting by the river.
Tosh - It is a small village about 50 kms away from Kasol. To reach Tosh, you need to take the local state bus from the bus stop and get down at Barsheni, the last stop. From Barsheni, you can either take a cab to Tosh, which will cost you 300 Rs or take the unusual walking route which the locals take. Travelers Tip: Taking the walking route to tosh by climbing up the mountain is not for the faint hearted. It is a 1 hour trek. On the way you will find no human beings, no food and nothing to drink. So in case you plan to climb up, please stuff yourself first at one of the local restaurants. Sticking to our eating plans, we had paranthas at Prem Cafe and would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Barsheni or Tosh.
Malana - Getting there: Getting to Malana on foot directly is not possible. But the irony is that the only way you can reach there is on foot. You need to take a bus from Kasol and get down at Jari. From Jari you can take a private taxi which will cost you about 1300 Rs for a return trip. The driver will take you to a spot from where the trek to Malana starts. You will have a total of 3 hours to go to Malana and come back. Every extra hour of stay for the driver will cost you Rs 100.
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