Posts Tagged ‘hot spring’

(Day 6 of our trip) We had to leave early in the morning by 6 AM to Manali. The agent had told that he would send a car by that time. My job to start the day was to wake these guys and pester them to get ready. I did my job promptly with all my friends cursing me for waking them so early on a cold morning @ Simla. It was 7 AM by the time the car came and we weren’t quite ready. We checked out the room in quite a hurry and dumped the luggage on the car’s carrier.

Enter RAJU from Patankot– our driver, from here on I(we) refer(referred) to him as “Annavru”. This amazing, tall, extremely tough looking, very soft spoken guy has left long lasting memories as a part of our trip. His Qualis was in a very good condition. Neatly decorated with saffron bands and shining wrappers. He said with pride that he loves his car more than his life!

We left to Manali by 7:30. The views were astounding as we passed through beautiful hills. We had bread jam and a few apples packed and managed our breakfast with it. Anirudh was suffering from severe headache by then. Annavru took out his first aayudha – “Laun ka tel”. On applying a little of that oil on to his nose, the headache was gone and he was alright! We then discussed about that oil for a while and asked him if he could get that for us to take back home. Annavru said he’s get it but its made at a place which is a few miles from Manikaran and there is no time to go there.

Then came scene 2 with Annavru. He said Mangoes at Simla are very tasty and stopped at a place. After lot of discussion we decided to buy half kg of mango (about 6 so that we can eat one each). We were scared that eating mango would spoil our stomach. As the vendor refused to give out half a kg, we decided we’ll buy 1 kg and give half kg to annavru. We ate the mango (Annavru was right. It was very tasty) and when we were searching him to give him a few mangoes, we saw him purchasing 10 kg of them! He came to us with the crate and offered us a few!

We started from that place and proceeded further towards Manikaran. We passed beside a beautiful lake and after a while Annavru stopped at a car service station. He got down, locked us inside, took a water gun there and started washing the vehicle! No wonder he loves the car so much. After 15-20 minutes of washing we left the place. He seemed to know everyone on the route as everyone would wave at him. We then passed through the Beas dam. Here the photography is prohibited. But we stopped after some 2 km from the dam where we had a good view of it and took a few photos.

The journey had us drive right beside the Beas river all long the way with sharp cut mountain on the other side of the road. There is a beautiful falls enroute where we stopped to take a few snaps. Then the next stop was at a kali matha mandir on the banks of Beas. Then comes something which was amazing – We passed through a 3km long tunnel which takes us from one side of the mountain to other side. It is the longest tunnel in Asia. It is well lit from inside with huge fans supplying oxygen. When we are near the other end of the tunnel, we can hear the sound of the bells from the hanuman mandir located outside the tunnel.

First view of snow

First view of snow

We stopped at one Vinayaka hotel located on the banks of Beas. It was late in the afternoon and Annavru was feeling hungry. It wasn’t clean and we decided not to have anything there. We went to the river bank and enjoyed the rush of water for a while. Then we ate a few apples,biscuits and cool drinks that we had bought.
It was 2 when we reached Kullu. We saw the Parvati and Beas sangam (We passed a bridge which is located right above it) before stopping at a shawl factory. Kullu is famous for its shawls and sweaters. After a brisk shopping, we left to Manikaran. Here we left the trail of calm Beas and caught the trail of an angry and violently gushing river Parvati. On the way to manikaran, we caught the first view of snow capped mountains. We reached Manikaran by 4PM.
Gurudwara at Manikaran

Gurudwara at Manikaran

Super hot springs

Super hot springs

Manikaran is located in the Parvati Valley between the rivers Vyaas and Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District. It is at an altitude of 1760 m and is located about 45 km from Kullu. Manikaran is a sacred place for the Sikhs. It is known for its gurudwara located on the banks of river Parvathi and hot water springs. We tied handkerchief to our head as Sikhs do ( It’s a must to enter gurudwara) and crossed the bridge. The view of the violent river underneath the bridge was scary. We were welcomed by the hot water spring bathing area as soon as we entered the gurudwara. The walls and floor of the sacred building was very warm. At some places it is so hot that we couldn’t keep our feet more than a second. We passed a gufa to enter a place where the main spring is located. This spring is located just below a huge life size statue of shivji. The whole area smells sulphur and is a kind of suffocating. The boiling water is made use of to prepare rice which is given out as prasadam. There is a pond where we can place a bag of paddy grains and cook it to rice. We tried out this for a while and hurried back to the car as we were getting late.

It was 6:30 by the time we reached kullu and stopped at another shawl factory where we did some shopping. We stopped at a dhaba to have tea/coffee and started towards Manali. It was 8 by the time we reached manali. We were not sure of getting the rooms that were booked in SBI holiday home. The owner of Apple view resort said its not possible to reach the place in pitch dark. So our Annavru took us to one vegetarian hotel named Hotel Natraj. It turned out that the owner is a kannadiga hailing from Bangalore. He offered to prepare dinner in half an hour time. It was a very decent hotel with neat dining area and maintained rooms. The owner persuaded us to stay in their place and even offered us to rent out the rooms at discounted rates. But we decided to take a chance at SBI and called up the SBI holiday home. The guy at the other end seemed to be very friendly and promised us to arrange the rooms. We promised the owner to come back if the rooms aren’t available at Holiday home.

We left to the Holiday home. After enquiring we were happy to know that rooms were available. Annavru promised to be back the next morning by 9:30 AM and left. We dumped our luggage in the room and got down to check if anything is available for dinner. We had 2 rounds of tasty tomato soup, rice dal and curd rice. Got back to our rooms and retired for the day.


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