First day of my Solo Trip and I walked 15 kms ||Part 2 of 7||

Tripoto
28th Dec 2018
Photo of First day of my Solo Trip and I walked 15 kms ||Part 2 of 7|| by Ravi Ranjan Ojha

I reached Manali by bus at around 7 a.m. It was too early and I was alone in an unknown land. Normally I would walk my way to my destination, but I didn't know how far I had to go to reach the Homestay I had booked. I had to pay 500 Rs to book a cab. This is the biggest demerit of travelling alone- not being able to share bills.

I had been travelling for over 30 hours now and my legs were itching to go out, witness the beauty outside, but here I was sitting in my room, looking at the peaks through the window in my room, waiting for the frozen water in the pipelines to melt, so that I could freshen up. It had snowed the day earlier and hence the problem. I had to wait till 11 a.m, way past my routine.

Finally, I was the walking down the roads of Manali, going sometimes uphill sometimes downhill. There were Hotels at every step, reminded me of the number of temples in Varanasi. Wherever my eyes went I could see wonders that I had never witnessed before. I was trying to it all in, at once. My mind was going haywire, I couldn't decide whether I should click photos, sit down and gape at the mountains or continue down the road. I had decided to go down to the Mall Road, and also visit nearby places like Hadimba Temple, Van Vihar and Buddhist Monastery. The thing was that Mall road was almost 8 Kms from my homestay. Me being a hustler, I walked on foot the entire path.

Photo of First day of my Solo Trip and I walked 15 kms ||Part 2 of 7|| 1/3 by Ravi Ranjan Ojha
Streets of Manali
Photo of First day of my Solo Trip and I walked 15 kms ||Part 2 of 7|| 2/3 by Ravi Ranjan Ojha
I kept stopping and clicking pics
Photo of First day of my Solo Trip and I walked 15 kms ||Part 2 of 7|| 3/3 by Ravi Ranjan Ojha
The bridge over Beas river

I was at a bridge that went over the Beas river, I wanted to stop and admire the beauty but the number of vehicles forced me to keep going. I reached Mall road which was too crowded. I kept walking, asking for the way, also taking help of google maps.

Mall Road

Photo of Mall Road, Manali, Himachal Pradesh by Ravi Ranjan Ojha

Being a physicist I am not too interested in Temples for for religious purposes, but rather for their architecture and design. I wasn't surprised to see the Temple overcrowded. I tried to find a quiet place and I found it in the Van Vihar park behind the Temple. Full of tall and lush green trees, the place was perfect for an introvert like me. I walked among the trees for what seemed like hours. I finally walked out and headed for other places. Interesting thing to note here is, in Manali there are three parks- One Van Vihar near the Hadimba Temple, the other Van vihar is near Mall road and third is Nature Park near the Buddhist Monastery. I visited all three and found them similar. In Van Vihar, Mall Road you can go for birdwatching and that's all the difference there is. Finally, I went to the Buddhist Monastery. Having spent all my life just few kms from the place where Buddha preached his first sermon, I was curious about what the place had to offer. I found the place serene and peaceful. I even sat down in the meditation hall and meditated for a few minutes.

Hadimba Devi Temple

Photo of Hadimba Devi Temple, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravi Ranjan Ojha
Photo of Hadimba Devi Temple, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravi Ranjan Ojha
Photo of Hadimba Devi Temple, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravi Ranjan Ojha

Van Vihar

Photo of Van Vihar, Manali, Himachal Pradesh by Ravi Ranjan Ojha

View from Van Vihar, Mall Road

Photo of Van Vihar, Manali, Himachal Pradesh by Ravi Ranjan Ojha
Photo of Van Vihar, Manali, Himachal Pradesh by Ravi Ranjan Ojha

Buddhist Monastery

Photo of Van Vihar, Manali, Himachal Pradesh by Ravi Ranjan Ojha
Photo of Van Vihar, Manali, Himachal Pradesh by Ravi Ranjan Ojha

I headed back just when it had started getting dark. I didn't wanted to find myself lost on the first day of my solo trip in an unknown place. I walked back 8 kms to Hampton Homes. At night I and the other occupants sat down around bonfire and talked about things, about places we've been and places we want to visit.

Photo of First day of my Solo Trip and I walked 15 kms ||Part 2 of 7|| by Ravi Ranjan Ojha

All this got me thinking about why the hell people even go to hotels!! I was having pretty awesome experience in homestay and I thought to myself to always prefer homestays over hotels in upcoming trips.

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