Manali, one of the places in India which comes into the mind of a traveller for the first time they decide to travel. A paradise and a hell of Earth for the human race and others. Paradise been said as it has the most beautiful valleys and mountains, scenic views, temperature perfect for couples, and not to forget the snow fall in winters. A place where lots and lots of scenes for Bollywood movies were shot. And a place blessed with nature’s most beautiful face. Thus bringing us to it’s most dangerous face of destruction. After summer, the monsoon season doesn’t provide much of a relief to the Manalis. The rain causes landslides which leads to the destruction of roads and thus putting a barrier ahead of their lives. This destruction follows then with the daily road block for construction and never ending traffic. But nature is not the problem here. We humans are the one solely responsible for the destruction of our own livelihood. Nature is only returning what we had given them, destruction. On the other hand, today governments are trying to protect the nature and lower the sky-touching global warming. And that’s a good thing.
Our journey from Kullu to Manali was, as I said earlier, mesmerizing. We stayed in the beautiful hotel on our entire trip. It was ofcourse 3-star but for us the count was not less than 5. The view from the balcony of our room was like a picture, painted by some great artist, which made me stare on it continuously. The view was of a mountain range of which few were covered in snow. Below that directly there was another hotel in front of us that had a roof textured as a real wood. And below that a green court for badminton. It was a view I can never forget even if I want to. I was tired and excited, but again I was ready for an adventure. But that day we weren’t doing any adventure, instead we were going for shopping on Mall Road. Thus we got ready and headed to Mall Road which was in a walking distance from our hotel. The walk in that temperature was refreshing, but our vicinity was not. Apparently it rained the previous night, and due to all the destruction and construction works, mud was all over the place. We had to choose a spot to land our next step. But crossing these hurdles we reached the Mall Road. Anywhere we go, shopping areas are all same. Some were inside there AC-ed shops, and some were on the streets.
We reached a square where a tree was present that had no leafs still it was satisfying to look. Lots of people were present and there were no vehicles in that area which was impressive to see. I went with a group, roam around a bit and then changed the group and again roam around a bit. At one point I was alone and decided to go to the end of the road and see everything I can, every shop, every one, and every place. As the sunlight was fading and moonlight was glowing behind the clouds, temperature was dropping till a point I had to cover my ears and nose and had to spend my time inside any shop to keep myself around higher temperature. The streets were filled with people, mostly from other cities and countries. And as the lights of the shops shines the entire street, happy vibes were entering my mind and body, and this saturated, shiny and colourful canvas was stuck inside my mind, and every time I picture it, I think of the different people and their lifestyle in Manali, and how they get the chance to meet and talk to other people coming here from all the world. And thinking of that, few of my friends got to meet a Marathi movie star near that tree, and I thought even if I didn’t knew that star, it would be cool to take a picture with him and post it on Instagram.
Coming back again with all the struggle against the mud, we got the best buffet I ever had. It includes almost everything, from fruits to chicken. It was simply delicious. After the dinner, on special request we got the DJ on and a bonfire where we sat around with our palms facing towards it struggling to be warm. The temperature was severely down, atleast for us Maharashtrians. That night before going to bed, we called to other rooms and talked as the room service and manager. Some just ignored our call but some were terrified of placing false order and that they have to give money for that. It was fun, but not so much for them ;-|). And as I said way back earlier, the bond of friendship tightened between us. I didn’t notice back then, but now thinking of it it’s for sure that the bond was cemented and watered and it is now as hard as a rock. But the world is not a perfect one, and neither am I. As my friendship with some bonded, some other bonds were ready to be cracked and shattered by the end of the semester.
Next day, as I woke up with the noise of series of knocks, I satisfied my soul by showing her the most beautiful scenic view she ever saw, the view from our balcony of the mountain covered in snow. And for myself, a particular face was enough. We got ready and sat inside a sumo car to go on a more real, real than the previous one, adventure. We were going to Gulaba Snow Point. But before going there, we halted on a shop that rents the suit for trekking. We chose our suits and reached the Point. The place where we stopped and stepped out of the car was surrounded by mountains of different sizes and shades of blue and white. But one thing was common in them that they all were covered with snow and the sky had only a few number of clouds which paired perfectly with the mountains, creating a view that makes you go WOW. I was ready to face the challenge and climb the snowy mountain. At first, the snow was dirty and everyone was excited and filled with enthusiasm. We all were shouting and climbing and throwing snowballs at each other. But as we elevated, our number decreased and only a few were visible along with us. The time when we were enjoying and throwing snowballs was then turned into a mission with only one goal of reaching on the top (as far as we can) of the mountain. I was with a bunch of my friends who also wanted to go above.
The mountain had cement road constructed and it looked like snake resting upon a tree while his tail is touching on the ground and his body was curved to maintain friction on that tree. The area between a pair of layers of road was filled with shrubs and trees and snow was covering everything including the soil. At some areas snow was so deep that my foot was able to dive inside it till the upper surface reached my knees. It was very difficult to climb the mountain as we didn’t took the road but going up in a straight line. It was like climbing a slide but the difference was that the base wasn’t hot rather it was snowy and cold, and the angle of elevation was more. We climb by holding the trees and crawling like a baby, by holding hands and pulling each other up, by resting for 2 minutes and again forcing our legs and our spirit to do this here and right now, because that right there and that moment was an opportunity for me and for us to experience something very incredible, exciting, thrilling and breathtakingly amazing. Then, now and in my future there won't be any time that I am going to regret that moment and that adventure till the almost-top of the mountain. We reached a point where we finally decided to stop climbing. That point was, I suppose, the best place to experience a scene like it. Mountains were all around us, and everything was then covered with snow that reflected the sunlight only to show their shine to the world. The point from where we started climbing was looking like a city of ants, and so I felt like we were on the island of Lilliput. The people I was watching were probably the ants for the Lilliputians, which concludes that they were looking very very very small, and we were very very very high up.
Coming down was fun. We slide on ice and ran between the trees, exactly feeling like the character of Assassin’s Creed 3. But we did reached to the bottom and after changing and cleaning up, we had a bowl of Maggie together. It was like a newly formed group of friends, except it wasn’t a “group”. But separating all the odds and the fact that I was partially wet and my gloves were torn while climbing and sliding on ice, it was the best adventure I ever had! But I want to change that and do some more and better adventure in future as I pursue to be a Travel Blogger.
We again had a wonderful food, well not for some, and we took off for Chandigarh, leaving this beautiful place where I was lost in the fog of natural beauty that surrounded me while I was hiking, the culture and the passion in people, the views which mesmerized me every time I turn in a different direction, and the place that told me about the truth of this planet and about my life, and what I want to achieve was then somewhere inside my subconscious mind but I failed to realize it until when the day came when we had to go back to our normal life and to our home.
We were back in Punjab, although Chandigarh was the capital of both Punjab and Haryana, the all-nighter bus travel was not at all a problem now, and again that’s particularly for me. This side of Punjab was a little different from the side we visited before. Just by looking outside the window I can see the fog that covered the field and the very identity of Punjab. Further going on, one can see that the roads were perfectly build and everything was well developed. Also one can see many big buildings with logos on them. And after reaching inside the city it was almost like we were back in Amritsar, and if you have read one of my previous blogs, I don’t have to explain about this. We were tired and wanted to get out of that soul sucking, legs killing and mind f*cking bus. Even if one didn’t have any problem travelling in a bus, their human body won’t allow them to travel for so so long. But we reached our hotel and after getting fresh and again having an awesome and healthy brunch, we went exploring Chandigarh.
I know this is a very long series, but it’s my first time, and if you are reading this, then Thank You so much for keeping in touch with me. Please do comment below about my blogs and please do tell my mistakes and the type of blogs you would like to read.