Hi everyone! This is Moy. As a child or maybe since when I was a child, I always dreamt of a road trip to Himachal. And when Instagram made its in-rows to our culture, I made it a point to follow few mountain travelers on Instagram, so that I am reminded of what I need every time I open it (which means at least twice every hour ;)). And then, on a lazy Sunday, whilst chilling with few Chet Faker tracks in my Mumbai apartment, one of my cousin, Pradil, rang me up. "Bro lets go somewhere!" he said. It didn't take much time before we decided " Himachal It Is!". Then it all came down to my wife's leave. Being from that cult which is denied few basic rights like sleeping, partying, chilling, etc, getting her leave approved, that too for 7 days, was a herculean task. "Doctors do not take so many leaves" her colleagues taunted. After the usual late drama (which always turn up before every trip), when we got our leaves confirmed, Pradil, who had lost his patience waiting for our confirmation, had made bookings for himself and his wife. After a round or two of negotiations with his travel agent, he could get his bookings canceled except flight tickets to Delhi and the bus tickets from Delhi to Manali, without much penalties. We modified our itinerary to make full advantage of the money already spent. After all that driving we had done in the last 14 years, Pradil and I did not doubt that we wanted to drive on those majestic mountains. We explored many self-drive car options available, to find that a zoom car from Chandigarh will be apt to our requirements. It was decided that Pradil and his wife Deepika will fly from Cochin to Delhi on 12th July, and thereafter board an overnight bus to Manali. In the meanwhile, my wife Sinju and I were to fly from Mumbai to Chandigarh via an early morning flight and pick up the Zoom Car. To include Prashar Lake in the itinerary, we decided to meet up at Mandi (which comes en route to Manali when we travel from either Delhi or Chandigarh) in Himachal Pradesh.
After another week spent on excitement over the upcoming trip, day 1 of our trip: We took a flight from Mumbai at 0600h on 12th July to reach Chandigarh by 0830h and the driver from Zoom Cars delivered a Fiery Red Hyundai Verna 1.6D which has done just 6000 km. Though delivered 40 mins late than the scheduled time, the spic and span car impressed us. After a photography session of the car and myself, the driver quickly finished off the formalities and handed over the car to us. The first thing we did after we got the car, was to make online reservation to enter Rohtang Pass for the car and passengers. This permit is issued daily with a quota of 1200 permits in day (400 diesel vehicles and 800 petrol vehicles).