A hearty breakfast later, the Rohtang Pass road beckoned us once more, all set to embrace and guide us on our journey ahead. We passed by the same turn yet again. Not a single soul there now, but one view of those steep steps, and fond remembrances of our trek flashed on my mind. It was only few days before that we had trudged up those very steps and embarked on our journey to that sacred lake up ahead.
I took a final glance at that path before our vehicle whizzed ahead. So long until I come again ! This was September, so perhaps in June next when the path would open yet again to reveal magical glimpses of the semi-frozen lake. Of course there would be lot more snow on the trek itself.
Added Bonus: This second trek to the same location is a free one from Indiahikes, and you can do it anytime again in your lifetime; no restrictions ! Looking forward to the same indeed, but for now, Ladakh it was !
How to reach Manali
Manali can be approached from Delhi as well as Chandigarh. Three of us had taken a bus from Delhi, and we had a decent ride ( Some of the mountain roads were getting repaired yes, but no major jams/bad roads ). My friends who joined me from Chandigarh did not crib about their journey as well, so I guess the roads from that side are not bad either. I had heard something to that effect before I started off, so I'd advise you to check before you decide.
If you're gonna go the car-rental way, these should help you out:
Delhi to Manali Cabs, Chandigarh to Manali Cabs, Savaari Car Rentals
Stay at Manali
Hotel Vikrant Inn; a mid-range hotel walk-able from the mall road. Nice View and comfortable accommodation, and with a restaurant too. Very courteous and friendly staff. We got a great deal from MakeMyTrip. Thumbs up all the way !
I would recommend staying in old Manali as well; would be an experience to cherish.
Food in Manali
Shanti Dhaba, on the way from Mall Road to Old Manali. Simple homely food for the most part, and pretty economical too. Seating is very basic, and it’s truly a dhaba. Don’t expect any ambiance or comforts other than nature. Sher-e-punjab on the mall road is your place if you’re looking for something more restaurant like for your family. Not sure if you can eat all your courses here though; a ‘pukka’ Punjabi restaurant this.
In Old Manali, as mentioned above, ‘People Cafe’ and ‘Lazy Dog Lounge’ are highly recommended.
Shopping/Strolling in Manali
Mall Road and Old Manali will take care of all your shopping/strolling needs. ‘Bhuttico’ inside the club house can be recommended for woollens.