For all the people who are from south India the idea of witnessing snow fall, throwing snow balls at your buddies and just lying on vast carpets of snow is surely on everyone's bucket list. During the summer of 2017 it was time to strike a few things of that list. Unlike my previous trips this was a 'planned to the last detail' trip.
Kulu, Manali is a high altitude snow clad summer destination in the Himalayas. Its popular for the numerous treks through the valleys, honeymoon retreats, backpacking journeys, skiing and river rafting.
We landed in Chandigarh around 11 am and boarded the pre booked taxi. The journey is around 8-10 hrs by decent driving. The roads are were in good condition and weather was beginning to get cold as we approached Manali. Before we reached our destination at 10 pm, on the way we found plenty of places to eat by and also enjoy some good scenery close to Manali.
We had booked a lovely place called Thomas Villa, which is close to Hidimba temple. The rooms were clean and spacious, staff were courteous and breakfast was complementary. We had dinner at a nearby place and settled in for the cold night.
The morning began with lip smacking breakfast with 3 or 4 options to choose from. The hotel guy suggested us a taxi service who would take us around Kulu and Manali for 2 days and promised to take us around all the prominent places. The cost was around 6000 rs. which was a complete steal. The driver's facebook profile is https://www.facebook.com/rakesh.sharma.5667901. I would highly recommend Rakesh, he was truely helpful and courteous.
Due to our bad luck Rohtang pass was not yet open from the heavy snow fall of winter season, so we had to settle for Solang valley. This is a cute little valley where there was lots of snow and few snow related activities. To reach the valley from the road we had to do a small trek of 45 min. It was a bit tiring due to the rocky terrain but the destination was totally worth it.
A small tip from my side. Skiing is like riding a bicycle, if one doesn't know how to ride he cannot learn how to ride in 1 hour. That was the same case with us. No matter what we did we always landed on our backs in barely 5 feet.
Once we got down from the valley we headed for a beautiful meadow like place quite near by. This is the place where wallpapers are made. The small boulders over fresh grass, the flowing river against the setting sun made a perfect place to look back on the day.
Overall the sequence of our activities was well in place. The mornings were dedicated to high energy level activities while evenings were laid back to soak in the events of the day. On the way back to our hotel in Manali our driver took us to a small restaurant whose setting was straight out of a fairy tale movie. We sat next to a flowing river against mountain backdrop in the twilight hour. We gazed at the rising moon over some laughs and delicious fish fry. This is was the perfect end to our trip.