With the New Year 2016, ringing the bells & telling the world of its existence, I started my travel to Himachal Pradesh, Manali, to fall in love with the winters there. The presence of snow tempted me to travel there. To enjoy, rather relish the charm of winters along with my bunch of friends from Delhi, We started the journey…
Just a weekend trip filled with a whole lot of memories to cherish a life time. After a tiresome night, bus journey from Delhi to Manali, we took rest for a couple of hours in the hotel. Explored the market with some eye catching Tibet stuff, some local woollens etc. I could not have forgot & picked up an ice cream too, to totally get frozen in that low temperature. I was surprised to witness the Winter Carnival with so much of excitement at the Mall Road. This started the same day we reached & continued for 4 days. It starts early in the morning with the cultural ‘dhols’ & that typical himachali melodious tunes which mixes up with the environment & makes one feet go tap-tap-tapping, super soothing to the ears. Followed by some folk dances, local people dressed in their colourful, traditional dresses, some live performances & in numerous stalls- some selling the local woollens, some selling local himachali food. Although, I did try a local dish called “Siddu”. It has powdered form of dry fruit filled in this big roll. It can be cherished with either “Chutney or Ghee”
Our hotel was right at the Mall road, Hotel Kunzam. Nice & clean hotel to stay belongs to Himachal Tourism. This was my second trip here, not getting into too much detailing though. We walked till old Manali which, I feel maintains its serenity all year around. Sat at this local cafe-Kathmandu Cafe for some snacks as half of old Manali shops & restaurants were closed due to winters.
The second day was full of fun & frolic. We started early from our hotel to Gulaba, a place full of snow all around. It was a good walk with gum boots, loaded with clothes on to me! Playing with snow & feeling the chilly air, gave a chill to my spine. I would say, “Welcome to Manali to enjoy the freezing temperature” will be a right statement. The whispering winds played with me, biting me on my face, my nose literally turned ‘red’ with the cold wind! Phew…I wish to carry a little rum to keep me warm but I couldn’t carry.After awesome snow fights between all my friends, this playful act resulted in, snow in our boots, made us shiver & totally stoned. This phase of nature is so beautiful, beyond imagination. You must visit Manali & the outskirts too, to view & enjoy every bit. Suddenly, a lady all stuffed with clothes, walked to us with a big kettle & a rucksack on her shoulders, offered us hot coffee, Rs.30 a small cup. Each sip made us feel the warmed in our bloodstream & body. Livelihood is indeed tough in such hilly regions! Every penny is hard to earn here as tourism is not 100% round the year. We thanked her for that most amazing hot coffee which helped us to regain the level of oxygen & re-built our stamina. This hot cup made us walk further up, more higher on the snow covered, white, slippery, uneven path of the mountain & view the most astonishing, magical views around us. It felt as if I was asleep with a dream of heaven, so untouched & virgin nature.
Next destination was Solang Valley, this Gondola which charged Rs.500 each for a round trip to the highest point of Solang & back was indeed worth every penny! After a couple of clicks, we ordered “Maggi with Hot Chai” in this small “dhaba”. Here, what we witnessed, “fresh snowfall”. We all were enchanted with the serenity of nature. Everything around me turned “white”- trees, and mountains. Everybody’s eyes were on the fresh snow fall. It was a blissful day indeed! It was a beautiful experience- snow charm with wild winters. If you enjoy winters & can take the freezing point too, I mean snow then you can surely have fun like I had. I will surely recommend Manali in Winter time too if you are a winter lover, love eating Ice creams in winters, one of those who enjoy the cold currents, loves to cherish & enjoy the spine breaking shiver. Just keep up those smart caps & gloves, overcoats & mufflers!