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Old 26th August 2009, 23:24   #1
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Default A Himalayan Sojourn:Hyd-Del-Shimla-Manali-D'sala-Wagah-Amritsar-Agra-Delhi-Hyd

I have been thinking of writing this travelogue for many days now(days is an understatement,as it’s a year now).This was a trip which I almost never expected to happen but nevertheless happened.Why I never expected it to happen,because the places which I went to almost always seemed too distant for me to reach.

Finally we gathered our courage went about planning it and decided this trip to happen for us to coincide with our marriage anniversary.Slowly inch by inch and excel sheet by excel sheet,the trip began to actualize.HV Kumar was bombarded by emails enquiring about routes & places and the ever good soul that he is,he patiently kept answering all of themJ.Even TBHPian Ramky helped me with some useful insights into travel within Himachal.Thanx due to both of them.

Ofcourse this was not a trip in which I was the chauffeur,but having said that,the 3 of us..me,my lady & our man Friday practically lived in the car for a large majority of the 10nights.Ofcourse not to miss out on our most important person for the trip(I prefer to call the car by a female gender)-Lady Innova.

Day 1: 18th March:Hyderabad-New Delhi

Hotel bookings,flight bookings,car,last minute shopping and what not.Everything was done and we said goodbye to our dear place @ Defence Colony on the 18th of March.Those were the last few days of the Begumpet airport and reaching the airport was a breeze.Checked in and thankfully the Kingfisher Red was scheduled to depart ontime and so it did.Arrival @ Delhi also was on dot and our luggage came out on the belt in a jiffy.Not many times do I remember this happening where I get to be the lucky one to see my baggage come out first on the belt.I always used to think how lucky those others are who get their bags in the first minute and for a change I was among them today.

Day 1: 18th March 2008: New Delhi-Shimla

Route:New Delhi-NH1-Sonepat-Panipat-Karnal-Kurukshetra-Shahpur-(Diversion to Panchkula)-Barawla-Ramgarh-Panchkula-(Right to Shimla)-Pinjore-Kalka-Parwanoo-Solan-Shimla


On coming out,I see our man Friday for the next 11 days waiting for us with a placard.I always get so conscious when I have somebody waiting for me with a placard.I don’t know why but I just abhor this idea of people waiting for people at airports with placards etc.Getting back to the topic,let me introduce you to our man Friday.Meet Mr.Sonu..all of 22 years(something that came to us as a shock when we came to know of his age.Simply for the matter that at 22 years I couldn’t even think of making a living for myself and here was this person….So much for the vagaries in our beautiful country).

Me & wifey were anxious to see what kind of a car was waiting for us,because all that we knew was that it would be an Innova.As we passed each Innova there were mixed emotions in our minds,thoughts that told us”Oh no hope its not this one..its so dirty” or “Hope its this one,it looks real swanky”.I am sure most of us would have experienced this feeling when you are to travel in a car which you havent seen .Finally we come to our gleaning White Innova.Spic & span and washed and most importantly smelling nice inside.We load our baggages into the boot and set off for Shimla.We left Delhi airport @ Palam at 9am.

On coming out of the airport,we see what a mess Delhi & the Del-Gurgaon road has become.I am quite a frequent visitor to Delhi,but this visit was after a long time.Flyover construction,BRTS work..you name it and everything was going on.However I am sure,by 2010 Delhi would be a totally different city and I am looking forward to seeing it.
We immediately set course onto NH-1 and our initial plans of a breakfast stop within Delhi was shelved after seeing the mess the city was in and the amount of jams that we had to encounter so very early in the morning.There was a suggestion of a quick bite @ Haldirams outlet,but on reaching there we find that they are just about cleaning up the previous night’s chaos.

We decide to have breakfast on NH1 and so taking some short cuts(via Pitampura,Alipore Village) we finally get onto NH1.Breakfast stop was at a Vaishno Dhaba at Sonepat.For the uninitiated(we too were until this trip and thanks to Sonu)a Vaishno Dhaba serves only vegetarian fare.Since this route catered heavily to people going on the Char Dham yatra,one would find big bold boards indicating Vaishno Dhabas which indirectly is aimed at the pilgrims/veggies.

Since this was our first stop and our stomachs were growling away to glory.We settled down for a hearty meal of Aloo Paranthas & Gobi Paranthas alongwith curd.They were served piping hot and the curd which went with it was absolute bliss.Plonk came a huge tumbler filled with desi ghee and I thought to myself,there goes all my diet plans.Later on in the trip we found that anywhere in Punjab,the dhabas just didn’t bother with ghee it was always available in plenty and was never charged for.For people from the South of India this I am sure is quite a sight.Breakfast was wound up in 30mins and off we went.

Traffic was light and the 4 lane road was a treat to be driving on.We were touching speeds of 120kmph and did not even realise it.Not a jerk.Lives up to the NHAI claim that coffee would not spill if you leave it on the dashboard on this road.I second that opinion.

After the breakfast stop we got back onto NH-1.Passed by towns of Panipat,Karnal(hometown of the astronaut Kalpana Chawla),Kurukshetra and reached Shahpur.At Shahpur we took a right diversion turn to Panchkula.The highway heads off straight to Ambala.This was a state highway and the road is good and has its share of potholes,but nothing really bad.

Stopped for lunch @ a place called Baravla at 1330.Lunch was a good fill of phulkas & kadai paneer and we had our first taste of the big glassed lassis.We were so full with the lassis…believe me I don’t think I would ever have the kind of Lassis that we got to have during this trip.

Lunch was again Lassi and rotis.After lunch continued on our way to Panchkula.The road reaches a junction of 4 roads at Panchkula.The left takes you to Kiratpur Sahib-Nangal-Anandpur Sahib.Straight takes you to Chandigarh and the right takes you to Shimla.We continued on the road to Shimla and the landscape began to change noticeably to rocky and dusty terrain.You pass by the famous Pinjore gardens,the Kalka temple and Parwanoo.The highway gets very narrow with barely space enough for a single vehicle to pass.From Panchkula the highway changes to NH-22.At Parwanoo you see a cable car lugging by from the highway to a hotel on a mountain peak.Sonu tells us that this is the Timber Trail Hotel,Parwanoo.The only way you can get to the hotel is by using the cable car.Pretty scary.For non-resident guests,for a rate of INR350 per head,you could get to experience the cable car ride.But the sight of the cable car dangling around in the wind wasn’t exactly an idea of fun so we let it pass.

Next we passed through Daghsai Cantoment which has the distinction of being the home to the Gorkha Regiment/battalion of the Indian Army.After a while we see that the Kalka-Shimla Shivalik Express is running in parallel to us.It was a quaint little sight to see the little toy train chug alongside us.We suddenly have this brainwave inside us which told us why not board the train at the next station and get off at the preceeding station.We check with Sonu and he tells us that its possible and that he would get us to the next station before the train.We speed along and we see the town of Solan pass by.Finally we reach Kandaghat in time before the train.Sonu agrees to meet us at the next station which is Taradevi.

We run along and get ourselves two second class tickets.The ticket price was a bit steep I guess.Around 80rs for a distance of 45mins.Anyway who cares?Afterall we were getting to travel by UNESCO’s World Heritage Train and we definitely were not complaining.

The train journey was pretty uneventful.We had some co-passengers who were terrible bored(cannot be blaming them a trip from Kalka to Shimla takes around 8hours for the train to complete).However the scenery and the engineering marvel of the railway tracks was absolutely breathtaking.The tunnels were thrilling as well.

We reached Taradevi and we find Sonu waiting for us and we speed off to Shimla.On our entry into Shimla we were greeted My Mcdonalds at the entrance.It set us back as it wasn’t really what we were expecting to see in a place like this.But then we cannot be complaining,because afterall people in these parts also need to know what it is to be eating a Mcdie Aloo Tikki burger.

We headed straight off to our home for the next 2nights & 3days-The Radisson Shimla.The Radisson is a brand new hotel and has an amazing location.The hotel is built on three different cliffs and its quite a task to be walking around in the hotel.Go for breakfast and climb back to your room and be sure to be hungry all over again.We were served with a Radisson trademark Himalayan Tea on check in.We later enquired with them if they could share the recipe with us or if they could tell us where we could buy it and we were told that it’s a trade secret and that it cannot be divulged.So to drink a Himalayan Tea probably I might make my next trip to ShimlaJ.The room was absolutely gorgeous and the view was breathtaking.Facilities were top class.No room for any discontent of any types.

We checked into the hotel @ 1700.This meant a total distance of approximately 280 kms took us around 8hours with ample breaks.

We were dead tired by the time we had checked in and the temperature had begun to fall quite drastically and we were quite enjoying it.We took a quick 40 winks and decided to explore the local areas around the hotel on foot.No we did not venture out to Mall Road.We decided to do that some time the next day.We went around and downed upteen glasses of tea from the nearby tapris(tea shacks) and walked around the place taking in as much of fresh oxygen as possible.By 8 we were back in the hotel.We had an early dinner and explored a little bit of the hotel and hit the sack by about 11.Next day was going to be a hectic day.

Day 2: March 19th:Shimla-Kufri-Shimla :

The Radisson breakfast was excellent by any stretch of imagination.It was a regular buffet spread,the usual eat what you can & what you want kind of buffets,but very impressive and yummy.Had a light breakfast and an early one that too and got into the car.Off we went off to Kufri.We drove through Shimla’s roads and as expected they were all narrow and crammy and not suited to handle the kind of traffic that existed on those roads.Nevertheless traffic was free moving.Enroute to Kufri we saw the Oberoi’s Wildflower Hall which was nestled deep in the woods and saw some spots where a movie shooting was in progress.

At Kufri,you are swamped with mules.You see huge herds of mules everywhere.I was told that now a days its very orderly.The initial days were extremely chaotic apparently.The mules take you on a 1.5hour ride through some beautiful scenic trails and villages.We had a good person in Bishen who took us through the terrain.I uttered my apologies to my mule friend-Moti and later thanked him for carrying my enormous body mass through all that hilly terrain.My wife was kept company by Nilu.We struck up some interesting conversation with Bishen on the way.Came to know that Nilu & Moti never travel alone.They only travel in pairs,that Himachal had close to about 11 local languages apart from Hindi.The terrain as a whole was indeed very scenic and you could feel the air getting lighter and we were gasping for air.The air in these regions comes in gushes.

I suspect the mule trail was purposely maintained in the way it is to discourage people from walking up and taking a look. From one point we could see the Indo-Tibet highway.A strange feeling that was to stand at that vantage point and look down on the highway.

The mules brought us back safe and sound back to the car.

After a quick rest we decided to go around exploring Mall Road.We walked upto the famous Mall Road Lift and took the lift.Once on mall road it was like any other busy shopping area.Shops all over the place.The only saving grace was that traffic was not allowed on Mall road.

We took the longish walks on Mall Road,and the showers began all of a sudden.The unexpected rains got us drenched,not that we were complaining.It just gave us some more reason for those cups of chaiJ.After spending an hour or so on Mall Road we decided to walk back to the hotel.We suddenly realise that this is no easy task.Not the effort involved but the skill involved in finding the right steps to climb down to the road.We took one flight of steps and find that it led straight into somebody’s house.It was quite embarassing,but the true hospitality of the locals showed there.We were offered tea at the doorstep.Now that was soemthing totally unexpected.We politely declined the offer and took directions from there as to how to get back to the hotel.

We got back around 7 in the evening and settled down in the warm cosy room and decided to use the room service for dinner.As soon as we settled down in the room we realised that all the jerks and jumps on the mules were beginning to tell on our bodies.Every inch of bone was rattling and we quickly gobbled down the dinner and before we even knew it,we were in zzzz land.
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Old 26th August 2009, 23:56   #2
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Hi Ranjit, this looks like a fantastic travelogue. I am glad I just spotted it at the right time. This is what I am going to do the whole day tomorrow in the office..read your travelogue
The photos look too good and very nicely put together. You meanwhile complete the whole story
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Old 27th August 2009, 09:17   #3
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Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
Hi Ranjit, this looks like a fantastic travelogue. I am glad I just spotted it at the right time. This is what I am going to do the whole day tomorrow in the office..read your travelogue
The photos look too good and very nicely put together. You meanwhile complete the whole story
thanx FM..congrats on ur 100th post as well,just saw that..
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Old 27th August 2009, 12:23   #4
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Nice travelogue. Looking forward to the rest of it. Please do not take ages to jot it down
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Old 27th August 2009, 13:37   #5
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Day 3: 20th Mar, 2008 Shimla-Manali

Route:Shimla-Darlaghat-Ghagus-Kol Dam-Sundernagar-Mandi-Aut-Bhunter-Kullu-Manali

Next day was back to being on the highways.We had a hearty breakfast(something that I rued afterwards)and started off for Manali at 930am.It was a bright and sunny day and so the drive was also pleasant.During our stay in Shimla we discovered that there is nothing much to see in Shimla.The place is just like any other hill station…heavily commercialised,thankfully not yet very dirty but its on its way there.

The drive to Manali was one of the most picteresque drives of the entire trip.Long winding roads,rocky mountains with their slopes jutting right onto the roads.It wasn’t long before I began to feel uneasy.The culprit was the hearty breakfast that I had had in the morning.Had I known that the roads were going to be this winding I would have settled in for a less than hearty breakfast.Luckily for us Sonu told us a local secret that is used by most of the drivers on the Himachal route.The secret is to sip on apple juice during the hilly climbs.Apple juice has an acidity regulator/controller which keeps the stomach from churning away.The entire highway is dotted with apple juice counters,but do buy the authentic ones only from the HPMC outlets.Economical & genuine.

We saw the towns of Darlaghat,Namhol pass by on NH-88 before we joined NH21 at Ghagus.At Ghagus the road coming from Manali and the road coming from Chandigarh(via Kiratpur Sahib-Bilaspur)meet.From here we get continuous and steady traffic.Most of the people were on their way to pay their respects @ the Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manikaran),which was 60kms from Manali. We had a noisy bunch of youngsters(more like teenagers)on their bikes cutting across our paths every now and then on the highway.They apparently were on their way to Manikaran Sahib which was around 130kms from Ghagus.The lunch stop was at Sundernagar.We were just surviving on apple juice.Our first experience with hill driving and we nearly pulled it off.Sundernagar is usually the lunch stop for vehicles to and from Manali and information is generally passed onto the people who are going up about the weather conditions on the top.We passed by NTPC’s Kol Dam(Koldam on NH21.At Sundernagar we saw the first sights of the Pir Panjal(Pir Panjal range - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) range and they were filled with snow.It was quite a sight.

After Mandi,we get our first sights of the magnificent Beas River(Beas River - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) flowing alongisde the NH-21 all the way uptil Manali. We passed a roadside temple,where all the truckers paid obeisance to keep them safe from landslides on the highways.

We continued on the drive and before we knew it we entered a tunnel that was close to 3kms long.The tunnel saves around 40kms of distance.The tunnel has been cut through two mountains.This tunnel is built as a part of HPSEB’s Aut Hydroelectric project.After the tunnel we reach Bhunter.The airport for Kullu-Manali is at Bhunter.From Bhunter till Manali the road is cut through mountains and at places the mountains jut out into the roads.Apparently only 2 flights operate out of there to Delhi.I wonder if they lock up the airport once the flights depart?

We reached Manali at precisely 1600.,which meant that it took us 7 hours from Shimla to Manali with a half an hour break for lunch.

We had our reservations at the Quality Inn River Country Resort.Later when we went around Manali,we realised that Quality Inn was the only hotel in town which offered a view of the river & the mountain ranges at the same time within such close proximity.Most of the other hotels we noticed either had a view of the mountains in close range or the river.Holiday Inn probably had the worst view(with all due respect to the hotel chain(apparently belongs Mr.ABVajpayee(the one in Manali)-local gossip).The General Manager @ River Country was more than welcoming and he ensured that we had a beautiful stay at the place.In terms of facilities and room,the hotel would be ranked around 6 out 10,but the views and the food on offer were simply superb.We were served with piping hot tea as soon as we checked in and it was freezing in there.The tea and coffee were more than welcome.Our room even had a quaint little fireplace.We were informed by the hotel,that if it was a must then they could have the fireplace lit up otherwise they requested us to refrain from using them as firewood was very difficult to obtain .So we did not use them instead sufficed ourselves with the modern day room heaters and layers of warm blankets.

In the evening we took a stroll on Mall Road.This Mall road is a poorer cousin of the Shimla Mall Road.Did some window shopping and went back to the hotel.

River Country is a good hotel by any stretch of imagination,however the attitude of the people coming into the hotel leaves a lot to be desired.We decided to have dinner at the hotel restaurant called Curry by the River.The place was in a mess with kids running around all over the place.The elders doing nothing to control the kids.I don’t think a holiday means leaving the children to run amok.Nevertheless it was a disappointing dinner and we went back to the room all disillusioned.

Night came quickly and we sat on the balcony staring at the snow clad Pir Panjal and the moon lighting up the entire mountan range.After a while sleep came over and we decided to hit the sack.
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Old 27th August 2009, 14:08   #6
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Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
Nice travelogue. Looking forward to the rest of it. Please do not take ages to jot it down
thanx.nopes i have taken more than a year to put this down..dont think i can take any more time lest i begin to forget the finer details
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Old 27th August 2009, 16:07   #7
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Nice pics.
When I went to Manali way back in Jan, 2002, we stayed at Hotel Beas, which was alongside the river and also had a good view of the mountains. The best part was that it was 200 metres from the Mall Road.
We got the corner room that was closest to the river, and it was soothing to hear that sound of the flowing water.
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Old 27th August 2009, 16:36   #8
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Hi,

Really nice travelogue. Well written and added with good pics.
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Old 27th August 2009, 23:40   #9
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Day 4: 21 March,2008 Manali

It was anniversary day todayKisses & hugs day

Morning breakfast was at the hotel and went around to see the Hadimba Devi temple.This is a World Heritage site now and is under the protection of the Govt of India.One experiences a rare kind of peace in the temple and the surroundings.All around you would see people with the Angora rabbits.Later we realized that the rabbits are for photography.They charge you 10/- for a photograph.Numerous ladies come up to you offering to dress you up in the Himachal dress.We decided to give the dress a miss,though we did do a photo shoot with the Angora rabbits & chatted with the ladies who reared the rabbits.

It was a wonder for them that we came from a land which was so close to the seas & oceans.We told them that it was the same feeling for us towards them as they lived so close to the mountains & snow.

This is the true diversity that is called India.

We came back to the hotel for an early dinner as we just wanted to soak in the atmosphere of the place and the mountains and the snow and the cold.We did nothing much except for some cups of coffee on the balcony and short walks on the road adjoining the hotel..Hit the sack early as next day promised to be an interesting day and a hectic day to Rohtang Pass.
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Old 28th August 2009, 00:36   #10
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Day 5: 22nd March,2008 Manali-Rohtang-Manali

We woke up to some very bad news and we did not realise it till we started receiving calls from family & friends asking us if we were ok.We said we were and apparently the previous day afternoon/evening there was a heavy landslide(in local lingo landslide are called “sliding”) on the road to Rohtang and several houses and cars were destroyed.Tourists also were trapped in the landslide.May their souls rest in peace.

After this piece of bad news we checked with the hotel & Sonu if the drive upto Rohtang was ok.They assured us that this was normal in this part of the country and that the road would be cleared by 8-9am by the Army.Manali administration is now a days under the Army and the discipline can be felt within the town and on the roads.More importantly its run by the GREF regiment of the Indian Army(General Reserve Engineer Force).

After breakfast set out for Rohtang and as expected the road was cleared and we passed through the sights of the deadly landslide with people rebuilding their lost houses.We felt a tad bit sad as here we were on a pleasure trip and there they were rebuilding their houses.Nevertheless life goes on.


The road got icier as we kept going up and up.There was a Punjabi movie shoot in progress and we got to see Gurdass Mann all cladded up in warm clothes and dancing away in the ice.Enroute we stopped to get the thermal clothes and the skis and gloves.We even treated ourselves to the luxury of a personal ski instructor-Yogi.He was a wonderful guy.The whole package costed us 3000rs.So people who are going up to Rohtang,,please make sure you carry ample amount of money with you as these are expenses that one would incur.Without getting onto the snow/ice,its pointless going upto Rohtang.After a certain point we saw that the Army had closed the road as there was no more road visible and it was just plain white anywhere we looked.Got down and had some fun on the snow.During the 6 months from November to May/June when Rohtang is inaccessible due to snow,all the skiing and winter sports are held at a place called Gulaba enroute to Rohtang.Our instructor-Yogi told us that he learnt skiing because that was the only way he could get groceries for his house.Now that’s what I learnt cycling for and here people learnt skiing.

We began our trip down to Manali by around 12pm and we see that the whole road is jammed with cars and vans and what not.People were walking after parking their cars almost 5kms down.So an important pointer for people travelling up to Rohtang from Manali,leave early and come back early.

Got back to the hotel for a hearty lunch of Dal Makhani and yummy hot rotis.It was beginning to freeze and we see outside that its begun to snow.So much for worrying if we would get to see snow in Manali.

Night was again spent doing some trinklet shopping and curio shopping on Mall Road,which was when we experienced our first brush with “Chingu”.

A shopkeeper came upto us suspiciously and asked us if we would like to buy “Chingu” and he claimed that he would also give us 12-15 items free if we bought it.Now we had no clue what Chingu was and for all the crazy things that we had in our minds,we though that he was trying to sell us some weird drug called “Chingu”.We said a firm NO and hurriedly left the place.Later when we described the incident to Sonu we all had a hearty laugh when Sonu told us what exactly a Chingu is.

A chingu is a rare animal found only in the regions of Kashmir.The speciality of the animal is that its body remains warm and blood keeps circulating even after its death.Selling or buying of materials made of Chingu hide was strictly banned in Manali and in other parts of India.Furnaces used to process Chingu hide is also banned by the government.So the shopkeepers have come up with this novel idea to con gullible tourists.The idea is as follows:Shopkeepers enter into a lease agreement with a tourist and tell the tourist that he is allowed to keep the chingu quilt for 21 months.Following this the quilt would be collected back and the customer would be given attractive gifts.The reason for this it is believed that the human body warmth expands the chingu hide and it can then be used to make approximately 5-6 shawls each fetching about 20K to 30K INR.Now the catch is that the person never turns up to collect the chingu quilt and neither do the gifts ever reach the customer,and the customer just ends up paying the money for nothing.But I must admit its quite a novel and interesting idea nevertheless.

Another interesting story that we got to hear was that of the Yak.The Yak in those regions is exactly what a cow is to the rest of India.Yaks are reared in Leh/Ladakh and the adjoining regions.They are amazingly innocent and amazingly beautiful.The interesting legend that goes is that a Yak is so pure an animal that if a lake runs by,and there are humans drinking water from it,the yak would only drink the water from a place which comes before the place at which the humans are drinking it from(upstream & never downstream).So much for interesting anecdotes.Its just to show how pure an animal the Yak is.A reason why the Chauri(yak hairs embedded in a wooden or metal handle) in the gurudwaras is made from Yak wool.

Later in the day visited the Manu Temple (of the Manusmriti fame).The road to the temple is pretty bad and very narrow.Came back to the hotel and decided to call it a day.

It was a hectic day with all the skiing and trekking around and add to that the snow and ice...it was zzz land before we knew it.
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Old 28th August 2009, 00:49   #11
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Day 6: 23rd March,2008 Manali

As usual breakfast was at the hotel and we decided to go check out the Hadimba Temple once again.The place kept attracting us over and over again.We didn’t do much,except for going to the temple and just sitting by the garden for a couple of hours.

For interests sake,the Hadimba temple was where the movie Roja was shot and more recently the BSNL ads featuring Deepika Padukone have been shot.

After that we headed off to the Vasisht Temple.The temple supposedly had the hot sulphur springs inside the temple.One look at the springs and we decided not to have anything to do with the springs.The water was very very dirty with people bathing/taking dips etc.Very unclean surroundings as well.

We realised that we still had some time to wander about,so decided to go check our Solang Valley.The place was a big disappointment.Tourists came in droves and spoilt the entire peace of the valley.There were some gliding and sone adventure sports guys doing their stuff,but just did not enjoy the place.Would recommend people to give this place a miss.The only plus point about the place was that we had the yummiest of maggi noodles at Solang.In fact at most of the heights,the only food available is maggi noodles as its the easiest to make.

From Solang,enroute to the hotel,we did a brief stop at the town park.Did some photo shoots and generally lazed around the place taking in the greenery and fresh air and lamenting over the fact that it was our last few hours in Manali.

We knew we were going to miss the place terribly.With this lump in our throats we went to sleep in the night.Next day was an early morning start as we were leaving to Taragarh in the morning.
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Old 28th August 2009, 02:25   #12
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I don't mean to spoil your day but for what did you spend 3000 on rohtang? for the clothes? I think we paid around 100 rs per person for that.

Sorry couldn't resist but your man Friday, did he have brilliant white teeth? lolz...

Btw excellent travelogue. Very Interesting and nostalgic.
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Old 28th August 2009, 06:17   #13
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Awesome Travelogue I would surely want to go my self someday!!
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Old 28th August 2009, 14:28   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiery enzyme View Post
I don't mean to spoil your day but for what did you spend 3000 on rohtang? for the clothes? I think we paid around 100 rs per person for that.

Sorry couldn't resist but your man Friday, did he have brilliant white teeth? lolz...

Btw excellent travelogue. Very Interesting and nostalgic.
thanx..wel we did ask around n it was more or less the same rates with everyone.as for th inclusions it was th clothes,the ski shoes,the skis and the instructor..well collateral damages are always expected during trips like this,so no worries.
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Old 28th August 2009, 16:03   #15
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Day 7: 24th March,2008 Manali-Taragarh

Route: Manali-Bhunter-Mandi-Jogindernagar-Baijnath-Taragarh

After a good night’s sleep we were up and early and ready to leave Manali by 8 in the morning.Our next destination was The Taragarh Palace near to Palampur.The River Country guys had packed us some interesting sandwiches for us for the way.All on the houseSomething thoughtful I must admit.

We set off armed with plenty of apple juice this time.We did a brief stopver at Babel at the Himachal emporium called Trishala.We took a peek of how the shawls are made and also bought a couple of them as souvenirs for people and friends back home.Its a regular stop for most people coming down from Manali.Found the stuff to be good.

From Babel continued on our journey towards Taragarh.At Mandi we turned off NH-21 to join NH-20 across the Beas River.The first major town on NH-20 after Mandi was Jogindernagar,followed by Baijnath.

At Baijnath,did stop at the famous Baijnath Shiv temple(www.baijnathtemple.com).It is a beautiful small temple nestled in between the imposing Dhauladhar mountain range.Calm & peaceful.

Continuing further ahead from Baijnath,the next stop was at Taragarh Palace.Home for the next two nights.

A little about Taragarh Palace.The Taragarh Palace is in the Kangra Valley and is located a few minutes from Palampur.The property belongs to the erstwhile J&K Royal family.However now it is open to the public as a professionally managed hotel run by the Welcom Group Heritage.(Resort Vacation India, Heritage Hotel, Heritage Resort in India, Indian Resort Palace)

The palace is by itself is a breathtaking property.They have now added 20 new rooms to a new section.We stayed in the new section and we were indeed treated as royalty.Excellent & well manicured lawns.A polo ground,horses being taken for walks,it was almost as if we were in a different world.

The reason for us to choose Taragarh was its proximity to Dharamsala.There were no real good hotels to stay near Dharamsala and we had decided that since we had travelled all the way,we might as well Dharamsala and come back.But after seeing Taragarh,it became our primary point of interest(with all due respects to Dharamsala).

We reached Taragarh around 1500 and did not do much other than have a late lunch and then lazed around in the lawns.Evenings were spent walking around the huge property and it began to get collllldddd by evening.Had some interesting Mutton Yakhni for dinner(A speciality in that region) and decided to call it a day.

For the past few days we were experiencing what it was to go to sleep in absolute stillness and without a sound.No BPO cabs honking at gates for people,not midnight Police beat constables walking around.A world of this type existed as well and we considered ourselves mighty lucky to be experiencing it.

To be continuedharamsala-Wagah Border-Amritsar-Agra.
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Last edited by ranjitp1 : 28th August 2009 at 16:17.
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