Why do you visit Himachal Pradesh? Let me put it another way. Why do you visit the mountains? And I am sure everyone will come up with their own version of things they want to do in the mountain. However, if you are someone who seeks peace in the mountains; high five. I visit mountains for isolation and silence. Yes, camping and trekking are also activities that I love to do however; seeking peace is the top priority. And that was the reason I had never visited Manali. During my first trip of 2021 to Himachal Pradesh where I visited Shangarh for the second time, I got a chance to spend a day in Manali. How? Yes, you may ask how I visited Manali while I hated the crowd and never liked the vibes. So how come I visited this town.
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Well, when I left Shangarh, reached Aut, and waited for the bus to either Mandi or Delhi, I was told that the bus would come in an hour and a half. Waiting for this long didn’t seem to be a wise decision. The same guy, who told me about the bus to Mandi, also told me about a bus to Manali which would come in 20 minutes. So the person, who avoided visiting Manali, boarded the bus to Manali. I got down at Patalikuhl which is a small town with a bustling market, I took a cab to Naggar and that’s where I stayed for the next four or five days. And one of those days was my visit to Manali from Naggar.
How was my experience of spending a day in Manali?
After spending a day in Naggar, I took a bus to Manali from the Naggar bus stop, and in the next half an hour so I reached Manali. I guess I waited for nearly ten minutes sitting at Naggar bus stand for the bus to Manali. It was a sunny day with little dust. Passing through several villages, I don’t even remember the names; I reached the bus stop of Manali. I was excited all through this short journey I was visiting Manali because it was never a part of my to-do list. I visited Shimla in Dec 2019 and I was so crowded that I go tired of the chaos. I took a bus to Kasauli and spent a day there. Anyways, after reaching Manali, I headed to the main area, the mall road. The area was full of restaurants, eateries, hotels, and the crowd. It was damn crowded, something that had always pushed Manali from my list.
I was carrying a strong urge to eat samosa all this while when I was in Shangarh when I was in Naggar. And when I reached Manali, I couldn’t resist it and reached a restaurant to eat some really lip-smacking, spicy samosa chholey chaat. Though it wasn’t what I needed but it did put out the fire. My plan of spending a day in Manali was to head to Hidimba temple and then some other nearby places which I could visit in a day in Manali. So, after relaxing at that restaurant for a while, I started walking towards the temple. And then I started to rain on the way. Yes, it was the Monsoon and I had no umbrella. It was close to Old Manali’s bridge. I took shelter in a café in Old Manali to save myself from the rain.
I spent a night in Manali which counts as two days. In the evening I went to Solang Valley and Sissu village, visited the waterfall and lake. The next day, I had a light breakfast at Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted Coffee House. If you are a Bob Dylan fan, this is your go-to café and coffee place in Manali. From there, I moved to Café Kathmandu. After spending a few minutes sipping my favorite beverage Lemonana, staring at Beas River. Next, I went to Hidimba Temple, Ghatotkach Temple, and visited a small museum on Himalayan art and culture. I came back to the main market from where I shopped for a jacket and shawl for my mom. I again had samosa at a tea café and a full North Indian meal at a restaurant that looked nice from the outside but the food wasn’t up to the mark. To change the taste in my mouth, I went to Super Bakery and shopped for some yummy cookies for the way. I visited a Methodist church in Manali; Lady Willingdon Hospital however the church was closed so didn’t get to see it.
After spending a day in Manali, I moved to Aleu. It’s a small village near Manali. There’s a monastery where I spent some time in silence and then I took a bus back to Naggar. I had to wait for a while and then I got stuck on the way in a traffic jam. So I reached Naggar in the night.