This post is an account of our last day in Manali as we visited Manu temple and part of Old Manali.
Day 3. Itinerary
1. Manu Temple
We left early morning from our hotel even before breakfast, hiking to Manu Temple, just one & a half kilometer away. The narrow lanes with an upward steep felt tiring in the first go but as the morning Sun and pleasant breeze embraced us gently, it kept us going. The road is not motor-able though we spotted locals driving Maruti 800 (the most common car there) on those steep roads.
(Manu temple is 3 km from Mall road)
The sight of hip hop colourful eating joints selling momos and soup, little cafes by the river side, bike renting shops was quite thrilling. The quiet lanes of Manali apparently appeal to people from abroad. Few come to meditate, few for break year after school and many come in search of Marijuana. India being half as expensive as their country, makes them settle here. Most of the bike renting shops we saw were owned by NRI.
We paced slowly towards Manu temple observing the clouds, old houses, vegetable shops and the lifestyle of the people. No wonder why do hill stations appeal so much!
Manu Rishi is the originator of human race and also the creator of Manusmriti, the book that laid the foundation of mankind. This is the only temple in India dedicated to Manu Rishi. Apparently the place was named Manali after him and this temple was the very place where he meditated after stepping on the planet.
Paving our way through the slippery stone path, the sight of the temple was sheer delight. A huge rustic looking bell at the entrance of the temple said it all. The temple is very old, only to be rebuilt in 1992 with curved ceiling and marble floor. The whole structure is made with wood and stones. The river Beas flowing by, adds mystical charm to the temple.
This was quite fascinating. As we entered the main shrine, the whole wooden flooring, peaceful ambiance and the neat spacious hall filled us with tranquility. Worshipers sit on the wooden floor and meditate for hours. The blue sky and clouds wave hello to you through the windows. No loud music or snob display of richness was the ultimate experience! After all the whole mankind runs after peace of mind, isn't it? I came out enriched with spiritual bliss.
We walked out and I made a new furry friend. The kind management of the temple and people around the premises are canine friendly. They don't mind sharing space with these fur balls.
2. River Music Cafe
The down trek from Manu Temple did not take us long. The lanes which were quiet in morning, were bustling with energy then.
We took left from the little bridge to stop at River Music Café for a quick bite. The eating joint is located next to the river from where the view is marvelous.
We had Himachal's special- fresh apple juice and choco balls in coconut shaving. They tasted lip smacking!
Fresh apple juice is a must try in Himachal. Highly recommended. No preservatives, no additives. Pure, cold pressed, fresh.
The eating joint has a small passage to go near the river. Advisable- Not to be adventurous. Do not jump into the water or attempt crossing the river. You might disappear in the high water current within few seconds! We basked in the sun and sat by the river relishing each moment in Manali, before retiring to our hotel room and packing up.
3. Great Himalayan Forest Park
Our check out time from Rohtang Manaslsu was twelve noon and our Volvo departure time was half past five in evening. Ouch! With more than five hours in hand, we kept thinking what to do, when suddenly an idea struck upon us. We had crossed the Great Himalayan Forest Park everyday while going to Mall Road. With our bag-packs on shoulders, we checked into this serene place, void of any footfall. The silence of the serene place was accompanied by the roaring Beas river. The only sound in this protected forest was a tractor which had come for repair work.
We spend a great time in the Himalayan Forest free of cost, soaking in fresh air and treating ourselves to peaceful moments.
At 2:00 pm, we strolled out from the forest to Mall Road and had scrumptious lunch at one of the restaurants there. Post lunch till the time of scheduled departure, we lazed around clicking as many pictures as we could and collecting memories till we visit this beautiful place again.
P.S- The trip was in Sep 2015.