A journey which never left me alone!

12th Sep 2016

There are scads of places on this planet where you can find real tranquility and solitude. Now its been a couple of weeks after my gallivanting in Parvati valley.

I still feel the booze though..!!!

Day 1

I started my journey towards this "mythfull" of a place from The land of Golden temple.

One of the most sacred places I have visited-The Golden Temple.

Photo of Golden Temple, Golden Temple Road, Amritsar, Punjab, India by Aditya Damale

My route was a bit longer than the usual but I was happy when I was cognized by my bus-mate that soon we were going to take a halt at McLeod Ganj.

I had heard a lot about this place but never had wondered to go there in the very near future.The route towards my destination was one of the most famous roadways in India and the mesmerizing views which one can get here are truly nonpareil.

Amritsar-Manali via Pathankot.

Photo of NH54, Dhobra, Pathankot, Punjab, India by Aditya Damale

On top of that, the guy with me was one of very honest and easygoing people one could have seen. We met at the bus stand from where we were supposed to reach Manali by the following morning.The narrow highway combo of NH54 & NH154 gave us an action-packed experience. Our bus was relentlessly dodging the slades and Vincent my bus-mate was continually going on surprising me with his experiences. This french guy used to reside just close to the border of France and Switzerland as he had mentioned but that's not the actually intended thing to be told, I remember his words as he said "Bro, You know the real thing?..Himachal is a better place than my hometown." It was a great opportunity for me to listen at his side of the experiences in his solo travels and so did I.

The journey till McLeod Ganj went delightful and so was the later half as i was in the Land of Nod.!!!!

The temperature was slowly dwindling as we reached Dharamsala. Our bus took a halt in McLeod where I and Vincent parted our ways. I took a walk with him towards the coffeehouse at the bus stop corner and to have a last cup of coffee and a bit of smoke with him. Finally we augmented our social networking amity and shared a goodbye hug. The night travel in the bus was chilling as the temperature was below 10°C and I was proved as a fool to keep my thermals in my baggage. I at last asked the bus conductor to stop the bus so that i could manage my sweatshirt.

Day 2

I had a comfortable sleep eventually and we were at the Manali bus stop by the next morning. I was lucky to become a Zostelite in Manali and sincerely Zostel gave me a lot more things in return.

Manali Bus Stop-On the Banks Of River Beas.

Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale

The Zostel.!!

I reached Manali by 6 am the next morning.It was cold and the Beas river was roaring with full of its thrust to make the people of Manali awake. I was supposed to check into Zostel, Manali by the same morning. I hired a rickshaw out of many local taxi service providers near the bus stop as I was a bit worried about my cash resources.

Zostel is a perfect place for any sort of traveler, no matter for what purpose you are travelling trust me on this, "Zostel" out of all the hotels or lodges is the best place to sojourn. Its a sort of tradition followed by the Zostel location hunters to find such a pristine place away from the usually urbanized locations.

Perfectly chosen by those explorers, Zostel Manali has its base in Old Manali.

My Zostel experience was completely Unifying and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious...ha ha....simply wonderful!

I spent a wonderful time Unifying with new people in there. What I experienced was that Zostel is a perfect among the recent hosteling entrepreneurial ventures as in here you find all the freedom you want in a travel expedition.You make new friends , meet some of the very experienced people, chill out having a cup of fresh brewed tea with a Nutela pancake and last but not the least , you will at least find a couple of IIM guys in Zostel.????

The best part of the IIM grad's which I have experienced was that , these guys are born at the vertex of humor and intelligence.

Food at Zostel is good and is available at average prices.

For all we need to take care off at zostel is nothing but just keep enjoying and stay as away as possible from your daily routine chores.

Zostel lets you give time to yourself and lets you find some peace as well as fun.

I was fortunately accepted by many people at zostel. Being a part of a Solo journey , I was always travelling alone but actually the intrinsic thing was that I was never left alone at any place. Every place I visited in Himachal it gave me something new to see and someone new to proceed with.

Common Room,Zostel.

Photo of Zostel Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale

Nights at Zostel.

Photo of Zostel Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale

Exploring Vashisht.!!

Himachal Pradesh reflects each and every aspect of being the "God's own land",and so is the atmosphere and the people here are.

Of course it was not possible for me to explore whole of the land in a single drive but I tried my best to hop over many places in a less time and get the best out of the least. Least because Himachal is truly huge when it comes to the visual combination of beauty and nature, you openly indulge into its fascination . As it is completely fulfilled with innate beauty Himachal has also got that spiritual touch which gives you inner peace. It is pleased with a touch of myriad of temples where you can surely wonder yourself in happiness and glee.

I was blessed with good luck to have my zostel mates with me to visit most of the places. I started sketching Manali from the very sacred Vashisht.

Vashisht is a village located about a couple of miles from the Mall Road. There are many Tibetan monastery's in Vashisht and if you are a hot bath lover ,one can have a hot water bath within the natural springs in this beautiful village. If you are a good luck chuck....you may have a dip with the "Aghori Baba".I was lucky to get an exposure to this opportunity..!!!!

The Jogni falls at Vashisht were frankly not that great atleast at my end. Of course the perspective matters. After a dip in springs we were hungry and almost ready to head back towards zostel. We took a ride at a random hotel and ordered some light snacks.

The hotel had a beautiful view of the hills and Beas together. We unfortunately could not enjoy the view for long as we had a dispute with the hotel owner who seemed pretty racist in terms of reservation.

As we headed back towards Old Manali we took a halt at the calm and cool Kathmandu Cafe in Old Manali.

The North South combo of my mates with me was great.We some Pizzas and Pancakes with a solo guitar performer in the cafe itself. He was a great folk singer and we enjoyed crooning behind him.

Photo of Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale
Photo of Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale

Vashisht Temple.

Photo of Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale

Hot Water Springs at Vashisht.

Photo of Vashist, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale

Towards Jogni Falls.

Photo of Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale

Jogni Falls, Vashisht.

Photo of Jogini Falls, Vashist, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale

Manu Temple.

The next day morning I went for exploring the remaining part of Manali with a Bhuwaneswariya solo traveler.

We had a great time sharing each others interests and went through the temple safari. We first visited the Manu temple which was the closest to Zostel. A ten minute walking ride took us to the footsteps of this small and peaceful venue. The road towards Manu temple is a bit steep so I avoided to carry much luggage except my DSLR.

The name of this temple itself explains the importance it has got. It is basically a name of Hindu Saint after which Manali was first named or called as Manali.

We made some good prayers and captured some of the top class architectures of the ancient times.

Photo of Manu Temple, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale

Towards Manu Temple, Old Manali.

Photo of Manu Temple Road, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale
Photo of Manu Temple Road, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale
Photo of Manu Temple Road, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale

The Hidimba Devi Temple.!!

Hidimba temple is one of the most famous places in Manali and I can definitely say that its worth visiting this place.

Of course it is exclusive but a bit time consuming as Goddess Hidimba handles a large assembly of devotees gathered to enter her home and get her blessings. It is surrounded with tall Deodar trees on a huge perimeter and hemmed by River Manalsu.

There are many misconceptions about presence of wild animals in here ,but there aint any except a couple of local lady carried Rabbits.

Nature's Park,Manali.

Photo of Nature park, Mall Road, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale

Antlers hanging at The Hidimba Temple.

Photo of Hadimba Devi Temple, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale
Photo of Hidimba Devi Temple, Sariun Khas, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aditya Damale
Day 4

It was my last day in Manali and I was ready for my next destination.We both enjoyed a glass of fresh apple juice some of the last chatters in Manali and headed towards the Mall Road where I was supposed to get on the HRCTC bus towards the breathtaking Parvati Valley.

PARVATI VALLEY.....yes I was lost in my own reverie.

Coming up soon with the later half of my journey in Parvati Valley !!

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

-Saint Augustine, Algeria.

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