Welcome along to Heavenly Manali – Winter Trip – Day 3. You can read about day 2 here. What a day it was to wake up and see this? If you thought why I wanted to see the sun the previous day so badly, the reason is below.
The day started as absolutely glorious. I just couldn’t wait to leave my hotel. I got up, put my camera’s up for charging and started getting. As soon as the batteries got full, I left with my backpack.
A day with no plans
There was no plan, just to walk around as much as possible. I stayed quite close to DPS, Dhungri(in the first pic). The area around the school had so much snow, I gave in to my temptation and went ahead. The crunching sound of cracking snow, the cold frosting breeze, the sun, the water droplets falling from the deodar tree leaves made the experience extraordinary. At some places, the snow was knee deep. I am currently preparing a video from my time in Manali and will add the link as soon as it is ready for you to see.
There were dried apple tree farms and few homes whose shades had inches of thick snow as a result of 2 day of heavy snowfall. Then I took a back alley route to Hidimba Devi temple. I had seen the temple from afar for the past two days but did not enter the compound since I wanted the experience to be slow and lasting and not in a hurry. The temple is a protected heritage, one of the oldest mythological temple. You can feel the beauty of the place just as you enter. I am not overstating that it is by far my most favourite place in all of Manali, along with a riverside seat on a snowy stone beside the old Manali bridge( a little later).
Going old ways
After spending more than an hour trying to absorb and capture everything this place had to offer, I made my way towards Old Manali. The plan was to visit the vintage Manali, go to Manu Rishu temple and come back and have food at one of the famous Old Manali cafe’s. But while on my way towards Old Manali, while descending a set of stairs, my eyes went across the left side where I saw River Beas flowing. There was a beautiful collection of snow-covered stones and the temptation led me there.
As mentioned before as my most favourite place, I couldn’t resist going there. I made my way through the knee and thigh deep snow. Finally, after throwing off the snow from the stone, I made myself comfortable beside the river. Spent a good amount of time, more than an hour I believe at that spot just looking at the flowing water.
I finally managed to break the trance of this river and crossed the bridge and reached Old Manali. It is an old looking town, but it has come along with the main town and doesn’t really look old right from the outset. But as you move towards Manu Rishi Temple, you will start to feel the vintage nature coming back to you. The cows strung together in a stable, old shack like houses, traditional Himachal outfit worn by senior members of the society, all give you that throwback feel.
Manu Rishi Temple
By the way, in all this, you should know that reaching Manu Rishi temple by walk is no easy thing. After walking a good 30 min of uphill climb, you will be huffing and puffing when you reach the temple gates.
It is an old temple, dedicated to Manu-Rishi, one of the oldest lawmakers of India. Located in a quiet place, you can sit here in peace for a while. A dog is here to play around with you if you are interested.
After walking so much, it was now time to eat. To my disappointment, I found that some of the known were not open or opened only during summer time. Finally, after descending all the way down, I got down to eat at Evergreen Cafe, right beside the flowing River Beas. Not bad, I thought.
After this delighful meal, I left and made my way towards Mall Road via the circuit house road. On the way I found the Himalayan Nature Park and walked for about an hour inside the park among tall deodar trees.
Finally made my way to Mall Road. It is the busiest place in Manali by far, and having spent so much lone time, I felt good to be back in amongst people.
After spending some time here, and having walked around pretty much the whole day, a total of 11 km, I made my way back to the hotel. Easily one of the best travelling days. Everything was random and with enough time at each place. That’s the whole essence of travelling where you get time to absorb each place. Today it felt like Heavenly Manali.
Next and final day report coming soon.
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