#BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps 

Tripoto
1st Mar 2018

It’s human nature to follow a certain pattern of life, to settle down. It’s not something we have developed over the years. It’s something that has come in–built in us. It has been taking place since the caveman years. People are afraid to change their lifestyles, getting comfortable with strangers from the word go, taking risks in life. Just to name a few.

There is something in life though that is a natural to human beings that puts all the above things to rest-travel.

I was in dire need of a change working for about 12-14 hours a day in the past month. They say miracles don't happen, I say they come in different confusing forms. You have to grab the opportunity.

I got a phone call from Prateek Dham (a marketing manager at Tripoto), another miss. Surprise !! Surprise !! I was going to Manali, this time for jotting down my experience of a travel package of Deyor Camps.

The thing with travelling with agencies is that there is a certain group of people you tag along with, they may be solo travellers or they may be in groups. None of them (at least the chances are really low) that you would know before.

Day 1

The day arrived when a company of 13 were supposed to leave. Two of them though due to some circumstances couldn't make it on time.(6:30 pm-the time of departure) As our commute to Manali were with Laxmi Travels, a collaboration of Deyor Camps, our bus couldn't wait for the couple. The situation I must say was very well handled by the Deyor Team as they were arranged in another bus.

The bus had all comforts that you would need for a journey - good quality blankets, comfortable seats, the not so peculiar liquid-water and a television were at our disposition to round it off.

I found myself in the peculiar position of sitting close by to the person who had taken the reins of responsibility of handling the group of 12. I struck a conversation with the person to get a brief idea of the history of Deyor Camps.

Deyor Camps was founded by Dheeraj Jain, Chirag Gupta, Aakaar Gandhi and Gautam Yadav to meet the demands of the unorganised sector for adventure travel market in India. In it's tenure of three years or so, the company has undergone a vast expansion conducting 144 trips all over the world.

It took us about 14 hours to reach our destination. The bus dropped us near Bhanu Pul. The point from where we were to venture to our campsite by the means of transport arranged by Highlander Camps, a collaboration of Deyor Camps.

Day 2

We were greeted by a welcome drink at Highlander Camp Site. A choice between the delectable coffee and the hot sipping tea were given to us. Two months of corporate life and I was already an addict of the processed beans. It was a no-brainer what I was going to choose.

Photo of Highlander Camp Site, Kullu - Naggar - Manali Road, Prini, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon

The luggage of all the new occupants for the next two days was kept near an empty tent. For the time, the large group of students from a women's college would vacate.

There was organic colour arranged for the purpose of Holi by the Deyor Camps team. I couldn't wait to turn the skin-coloured faces of the people, I had just met yesterday unrecognisable.

The couple were not that far away. So, we decided to wait for them before we celebrate Holi. For the mean time, we had a scrumptious breakfast. The weather had changed from cloudy with interrupted rains to clear and sunny by the time the two folks arrived.

Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon

Their arrival meant that the holi celebrations were under way. By the end of it we were all dipped in colours signifying togetherness.

This was just the beginning of the gala time we were going to have in the next few days.

Allotment of tents were in store next. The allotments were on twin- sharing and triple-sharing basis as applied earlier.

The tents were unlike any other I had ever seen. They had the provision of a washroom in them. A rare phenomenon. The beds were in pretty good shape. The room had all comforts you would need. It was topped up by the view from the tent.

Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon

View from the tent

Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon

There were adventure activities to follow next. Although there were numerous activities such as Rappelling, Rock Climbing, Flying Fox, Burma Bridge, River Crossing, Bamboo Bridge, Commando Net. We indulged in only three Commando Net, Bamboo Bridge and Flying Fox.

Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon
Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon
Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon

After lunch, we put our hands to practice with some volleyball.

Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon

Next on the list was a hike to the nearby waterfalls, a guide from the Highlander Camp joined us in the exercise. It was an enchanting route that the trail took us through. We were in for a joy watching blossoming flowers on most of the route. We were always able to watch where our destination lies having a good view of the waterfall that we were after. It was not all. If you would look back, you could see a range of snow-cladded mountains.

Photo of Shallin, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon
Photo of Shallin, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon
Photo of Shallin, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon
Photo of Shallin, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon

The hike took us about an hour for completion, you could easily cover it in about 20 minutes though if you are fit individuals. The trail is well defined and you could very well do without a guide.

Waterfalls, they are fascinating in many ways. Their beauty can be enhanced to infinite scales by the surroundings or just by the path to get there and the position you would look at it from. The latter was our case, three of us decided to look it up from another position. We climbed up the nearby rocks, going over sharp water currents keeping our balance making our own way for a closer view.

Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon
Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon

Soon sunset was upon us. We headed back covering the descent in approximately 30 minutes.

Most of the famous tourist places in Himachal Pradesh have hot water springs. A separate place is available for the two genders.

The nearest hot water spring place was 3 Kms away from our campsite. The whole company barring the couple made our way there. Though I travelled with the group I refrained from bathing due to my sulphur water allergy.

After about 30-40 minutes or so, we were back. I retired to bed early that day because of the tiredness in my body from the past few days. While I slept, the group enjoyed a fire with some snacks which were chargeable.

Day 3

It was early awakening for us. A visit to Solang Valley was in the plans for the day. The rush creeps in as the time passes by.

We made a stoppage at the shop which rents clothes for solang valley. As snowfall was in forecast, we packed ourselves in all the necessary clothes.(₹ 250) Along with that we opted for skiing with all the necessary gears for the sport.(₹ 300)

Opting for skiing was a mistake because it wasn't skiing at all. All the so called adventure sports there are just a wastage of money and nothing more. Our coordinator was also unaware of all these things and he had also opted for the skiing course.

Photo of Solang Valley, Burwa, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon

We spent a good time of the morning, enjoying ourselves making snowballs out of the dry snow that had accumulated and firing them horizontally at each other. Near to the entry, a group of people had made a tourism business of their own. They were selling maggi and tea, a customary in the mountains.

Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon

Our coordinator had plans for us to make our way to Bijli Mahadev Temple, a short hike through a stony path. We started the hike with great enthusiasm and determination not leaving behind the fun with the snowballs though. Soon the group was separated depending on various such as speed, company, enthusiasm for photography.

Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon
Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon

Although it was a short hike, it was a tricky one as the trail we had taken was not really the smoothest of paths we had to go through numerous obstacles in order to reach our destination.

Human beings have learnt everything from nature. A case of the wolves is that the leader stays back in order to protect it's pack and at the same time keep the pace up.

Soon the lag group and the lead group had a lot of distance in between due to a mistake by our coordinator of choosing not to stay back with the lag group and take the lead.

As we were making our way to the temple, cotton started falling on us from the skies. That is what the snow looks like in the initial stage. Soon, it started to snow heavily, making the route even more challenging than it was before. One of the members of the lag group lost his footing on a rock contributed by the factor of the snow. Fortunately, he was not injured badly. We had no provision of medical aid that the coordinator should have had.

It was pretty late by the time we reached the top. An oasis of serenity could be sensed in the tranquil Himalayas even in the bustling environment all around.

Photo of Bijli Mahadev Temple, Kashawri, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon

There are commercial stalls at the top selling maggi, tea and other commodities. Along with that plenty of adventure activities at the top that you could indulge in. They won't be recommended from my side though.

We couldn't wait for a long time at the top as it was going to be dark soon. The route back must have taken us about 20 minutes compared to the highly enjoyable 3-hour hike.( time could have been reduced)

We were stuck in traffic on the back due to the one-sided bridge at the top. By the time we reached Manali city it was close to 7 pm.

We were only able to visit to Hadimba Devi Temple, on the moments of its closure.

We missed out on a lot that could have been reeled in with better planning and management.

We made our way back to the camp, bonfire was on the list but it could not be made possible due to the heavy downpour that was taking place. A fire was arranged for us in the dining area with snacks on the house, shortly followed by dinner and bed time. The dinner was cooked brilliantly, a lot of time and effort was put in to make it work. A nice choice of menu contributed to everything.

Photo of Highlander Camp Site, Kullu - Naggar - Manali Road, Prini, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon
Photo of Highlander Camp Site, Kullu - Naggar - Manali Road, Prini, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon
Photo of Highlander Camp Site, Kullu - Naggar - Manali Road, Prini, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon
Photo of Highlander Camp Site, Kullu - Naggar - Manali Road, Prini, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon
Photo of Highlander Camp Site, Kullu - Naggar - Manali Road, Prini, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon
Photo of Highlander Camp Site, Kullu - Naggar - Manali Road, Prini, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon

The next day, for the day of our returning.(4 pm return time) One meal was going to be arranged for us, a choice between lunch and breakfast was given to us. Unanimously, we chose lunch.

Day 4

It was the do whatever you want day. Some of us chose to visit the hot springs and visit mall road later. The others chose to spend all the the time in the mall road. I chose the later. Shopping and street food followed by the time the others arrived.

PS: Do not forget eating the delectable chicken momos and 6-flavoured softy.

PSS: The gol-gappas too.

I had already had plenty of food. Me being me though headed for some more at Johnson's cafe with 4 others. We savoured the banana pancake, apple crumble with custard and waffles for breakfast.

Photo of The Johnsons Cafe and Hotel, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon
Photo of The Johnsons Cafe and Hotel, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon
Photo of The Johnsons Cafe and Hotel, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon
Photo of The Johnsons Cafe and Hotel, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Aarush Tandon

It was time pretty soon. Some of us stayed back for lunch, others headed back for lunch to the campsite. As I had satisfied my hunger already, I headed back as well.

Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon
Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon
Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon
Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon
Photo of #BestOfTravel My Manali Experience with Deyor Camps by Aarush Tandon

We heard news from our mates who had stayed back that the bus condition is pretty bad. One of the seats has water dripping from it's top. The blanket's condition was unsatisfactory. To top all that the bus was 1 hour late. If it wasn't, all we had to pay extra for the luggage. Multiple bookings also became an issue with the bus, fortunately it was handled not in the most satisfying way though.

Day 5

It took us four extra hours than what it had taken us for our way here.

Though there were some issues which I have addressed in the blog, I had a wonderful time with Deyor Camps. Full marks to Highlander Camps, they have done a remarkable job.

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