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Old 7th November 2021, 12:58   #1
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Default Road trip to Himachal

Himachali Chronicles: To Kullu & Kinnaur Valleys


After dinner, we strolled through the garden until we ended up under a giant persimmon tree, from where we could see tropical undergrowth nearby, conifers slightly beyond and finally lay a few barren mountains. This view, so enamoured us, that we spent some time in silence disturbed only by the sound of the swiftly flowing Tirthan river. When, the cloudless sky beaming with stars made me realize that I had, hitherto, never photographed a star trail and this moment was not to be missed. So, I fetched the camera and positioned it over a rock. Set the focus to infinity, mode CL, exposure 30 secs and locked the shutter release as I watched the camera periodically capture the landscape and listened to the autumnal wind that blew across the face of the valley The capture, I wish, was a good one, for it was marred by an approaching full moon and confined by towering mountains. But then, there is always a first time - of which I experienced aplenty in this cross country drive!

* * *

During the Durga Puja holidays we went on a trip to Himachal . Even though small, it boasts of some wonderful places of our country. Prior to the trip, a basic planning was done with bookings made only for the first and last nights in Himachal. The intervening days, we felt, could be planned on the go. Finally, at the end of the 15 days, our itinerary looked sometime like this: Kolkata – Varanasi – New Delhi – [Suro Village, Shimla (2N) – Sangla (2N) w/ Chitkul – Tirthan Valley (2N) – Manali (2N) ] – Noida – Varanasi (2N) – Kolkata. And before, proceeding further, here are some of my favourite photos from the trip.

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Capturing star trails at Tirthan Valley.

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Snow peak rises about Chitkul.

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The Baspa river flows - water, which was snow probably a couple of hours earlier.

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Apples bloom in Sangla.

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Sun setting over the Jalori pass.

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Chicken Steaks at Johnson Hotel & Cafe.

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A pic of the ride.

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By now, I am convinced that Manali and Pizzas share a close bond!

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Thanks due to SS-Traveller, Predatorwheelz and the livewire of Kolkata Team-BHP ABHI_1512 for clarifications on route and accommodation. And thanks to team-bhp, which gives the opportunity to relive the journey atleast one more time!

Last edited by sayakc : 24th November 2021 at 16:51.
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Old 7th November 2021, 13:44   #2
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Journey to Suro Village, Shimla

08-Oct-21 Kolkata to Varanasi

By the time we usher in Durga Puja, a waft of cold wind is not uncommon, especially early in the mornings. The sky, by then, washed by deluges upon deluge, appears in the most vibrant blue and the kash phools that I had photographed during our last tour (A Monsoonal Symphony in Netarhat), are blooming, ripening now, especially the river beds that are flooded with them. So, it was with these accompaniments, that we embarked on a cross country trip, across the great Gangetic plains and into the Himalayas of Himachal.

We started at 5.30 AM in our dozen year old Swift (15 years of the Maruti-Suzuki Swift). However it was not really a smooth exit from Calcutta. Heavy traffic followed all the way till Palsit and beyond, which sedated the accelerator pedal. The previous night’s sleep, like always was distracted due to the excitement and more so for our son, who, within an hour’s journey slept off..We had our breakfast at a non-descript “hotel” near Asansol. Crossed Dhanbad soon, after which there was an excellent stretch of a 100 kms.

Somewhere in the corner of the mind, the feeling that we are on a long journey has started to settle down. The initial excitement has stabilized yet the mood is vibrant and upbeat. When there are less traffic distractions in the form of pedestrian and cattle, the blue skies and white clouds get the attention. And especially in Jharkhand, the hillocks look beautiful – fresh and green right after a prolonged monsoon.

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Lunch near the Jharkhand-Bihar border.

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On the Agra-Lucknow Expressway.

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Climbing the ghats to Suro village, Shimla.

We lunched at a Dhaba near the Jharkhand – Bihar border around 2.30 PM. With Varanasi around 275 kms away, we figured out that we should be able to reach in another 5 hours. So, called up HHI Varanasi, who confirmed that rooms were available at Rs 3400 inclusive of breakfast.
Whereas roads continued to remain good, but it was nothing like the stretch near Jharkhand. May be its only me, but usually on the first day, I find it difficult to drive in the night. The incoming high beams distract me a lot and I faced that in epic proportions.

The traffic frenzy of Varanasi (which I discovered during our return, 2 weeks later) wasn’t present and a straight drive from the highway exit to our hotel – which we reached exact at 7.30 PM. 14 hours, door to door – not bad when all the breaks were considered.

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Suro Treehouse resort - the balcony is an awesome place to have a cup of coffee.

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A duplex chalet - exterior.

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The upper floor of the duplex. 2 adults and 2 children can be housed at ease.

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Encounter with the first of several butter chickens.

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Luxurious log huts.

09-Oct-21 Varanasi To New Delhi

We started from Varanasi the next day around 8.30 AM after a restful sleep, feeling fresh and relaxed. Varanasi to Allahabad is a delicious piece of tarmac which I knew from previous experience. We had decided to avail the Varanasi-Allahabad – Lucknow – ALE-YEW route to Delhi. The experience is noted here (Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 (now called NH19) in full detail).

We lunched on the outskirts of Lucknow at one of the ‘shudh shakahari bhojanayas’. Hence a wish to return to the city sometime in the future to savour its Biryanis and Kebabs remains still. As darkness fell and we moved further into the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, the stress of Lucknow traffic was behind. Mileposts zoomed past, and so did other enterprising vehicles – on one of India’s best roads. This newness, a quest to see things that we haven’t seen builds an element of discovery, as we watch shops, shanties, trucks go past. In Jharkhand, hillocks get added to the already versatile contents of this potpourri of cultures – the Indian highway. And it was I believe, shortly thereafter, that Khirmohan shops add their colour. And then the milky, extra sweet concoction, tempered with ginger and elaichi– chae! And then, once you have crossed Lucknow, the myriad paraphernalia disappear to be replaced, by the stone faced expressways that we were currently treading on. And that continues, till NH44 resumes, as we discovered it later.

At the time of writing this post, the Purvanchal Expressway has been just inaugurated and construction of several expressways are in progress in UP – and if construction continues at this rate, it not only means convenience for travellers – but also leaves a positive impact on the economy.

We took a refuelling break at one of the rest areas. It was around the same time that we decided to stay in Delhi. Searched for a few hotels and zeroed in on Tivoli Grand Resort, on the Karnal Highway.

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View from the restaurant.

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Shimla Mall.

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At the Rendezvous restaurant, near to the mall.

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Our lunch of Chowmein and chicken manchurian tasted awesome.

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View of Shimla from the mall.

10-Oct-21 New Delhi to Suro Village, Shimla

The drive to Shimla from Delhi, initially passes through a lot of diversions due to the farmer protests. Then comes the series of restaurants – traffic being high all through. We packed our lunch from a drive-in KFC in Chandigarh, insisted upon by our son – depriving me of Punjab’s famed Dhabas.

It made me a tad sad, because, the sight of a courtyard of red soil, that shelter a few khatiyas. And may be a big mango or a peepal tree at a corner, where a small pan shop is tucked away and then a greasily dressed waiter, in his shorts and vests – hair unkempt, comes up with a highly casual attitude to ask for the order, by which time, some have freshened themselves up and are on the rickety chair scanning the menu.
You can see through a window – may be a passing cargo train and intervening paddy fields and since the menu card doesn’t yield something interesting, you ask the shabbily dressed boy – what do they instead have readily available? And when the food arrives, hot. Rotis and dal fresh and out of the tandoor….this feeling, I confess, is very difficult to experience in a glass and brick restaurant.


Thereafter the hills to Shimla welcome with wide highways, but with 4 laning in progress, the thrill of driving is marred by diversions and under construction stretches. The road to Suro, is a narrow slip road that continues for around 5 kms. Once you exit the highway and because the dusk dimmed the visibility, we could feel the forest in the proximity, and imagine tall pine and deodars that are the signature of our hill stations.

The cool mountain air that blows off the hill tops, a gust that causes the pine trees to shake off the snow, or the twinkling lights of the hanging mountain villages, or a walk in the mall if you are in a hill station, or it may be that cozy little corner steaming with hot momos and maggi…for me, these are mountain vibes – precious and pristine. The Chadar trek, was the chief purpose of my visit to Leh in 2018. We had a couple of buffer days before and after the trek. During those days, we found a little shop in the market that used to make tea and samosas – a favourite with locals and apart from the warmth of the oven, it was the warmth from the assembled people that pulled us to that little joint. The trek was fulfilling, but it were moments like these add colour to an otherwise tough and almost monochromatic trek.

And once we reached Suro Treehouse Resort, our long transit was over and we had booked a couple of duplex chalets for the four of us – a perfect place to rest and ruminate as we travel slow from now on.

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Last edited by sayakc : 20th November 2021 at 11:35.
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Old 7th November 2021, 17:37   #3
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Default Re: Road trip to Himachal

Suro, Visit to Shimla Mall & Travel to Sangla


11-Oct-21 At Suro & Shimla
Chirping of birds, shrill pitched cry of the cicadas, alarm call of roosters, trees blowing in the wind and blades of sunshine pouring through the large glass panels is too compelling to get up from a warm bed. And without wasting a moment further we went on awalk across the sprawling pathways and when we returned, we sat on the balcony with cups of coffee and biscuits – so tranquil, yet exciting. The temperature neither too cold, right enough to wear a light jacket.

The 5 kms stretch of road from the Shimla Highway to Suro deserves mention because – it perhaps retains the gradually loosing beauty of the Shimla. It is a well paved, narrow road, interrupted by some water channels.. grasses that grow high and wild on sides, some bamboo shoots here and there…the ground is littered with pinecones. The sound of automobiles seems to have slid into an old age and so, it seems that once you are onto the village road to Suro, you go several years back in time. The only sound of machinery that reaches the ears is of the train that blares its loud horn occasionally.

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Enroute towards Sangla.

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At one of the view points enroute

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After breakfast we decided to drive to the Shimla mall. We parked the car near the “tourism” lift and then reached the mall after a short walk and spent the next couple of hours at a restaurant near the mall; purchased some cookies from a bakery shop; and some clothing and other essentials. When we returned to Suro, it was dark.

We called it an early night since we travel to Sangla the next day. However, that proved to be one journey where a lot of learning was involved!

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Trying out mountain maggi at one of the road side joints.

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Apple and apricot plantation in the distance.

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12-Oct-21 Shimla to Sangla

For many it is the journey and a few it is the destination. How a road trip is different from travelling by train or hopping on an airplane, is easy to describe But then there was an old campaign “Where will life take you?” by Louis Vuitton (their first commercial, I am told though quite dated by now), I believe, should provide insights – in a way, I cannot explain.

The journey, arguably. takes precedence over the destination and I am not only referring to the tea stops, lunch breaks, soaking in the ambience situations – but this feel when you turn on the ignition keys as you leave home..your vacation starts then and there and it continues till you turn off the ignition in the garage and take a photo of the mileage (for many?) - and everything in between included.



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I think this was at Rampur.

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So, we started from Suro at 9.30 in the morning – with Google map showing the distance of 220 kms to be covered within 7 hrs. With the breaks thrown in between – maggi & chae; and dal-chawal and some photography ones – we reached Sangla at 250 kms and 10 hrs later. The road condition from the main highway to Sangla wasn’t good and the final climb to the hotel parking was quite a steep one and in the darkness it was challenging.

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Hotel Batseri, Sangla

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Apple orchard on either side of the approach road. Pictures continued.

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Sangla valley as viewed from the hotel.

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Towards Chitkul

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Old 7th November 2021, 17:52   #4
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Stay at Sangla and Visit to Chitkul


13-Oct-21 Sangla to Chitkul & back

The Hotel Batseri, is located in the middle of acres of apple orchard, flanked by mountains on one side and the Baspa river valley on the other. And in the glorious morning sun, even before breakfast was served, we went to orchards, photographing apples hanging from branches, some of which were bogged down by the weight of the fruits. We picked up the ones that had fallen on the ground and took a bite from one of them and it reminded me of the last day of the Rupin Pass trek (Crossing over the Rupin Pass). While we were climbing down the slopes from Sangla Kanda, I noticed that most of the road passes through apple orchards and in one of those apples were being plucked. I just remarked to a porter who was descending with me, it would have been great if I could have one of these. Then the porter said something to the apple plucker and a minute later we were eating juicy apples as we descended the slopes towards civilization. I relived the juiciness of those apples that morning.

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After a breakfast of toasts and omelette we headed towards Chitkul. The road initially was good but as the rule in mountains go, as the road condition turned poorer, the natural beauty amplified itself. And more so in the stretch between Rakcham and Chitkul. Describing the natural beauty in words is a difficult exercise. Hence, the collection of photos should stand testimony of the beauty of those valleys.

In the evening we went to Sangla to fill up petrol since we were running slightly low on fuel. We spent some more time in apple orchards where one of the ladies handed over a few apples to our son. Night was a quite affair since most tourists had left the hotel. We had rice, yellow dal, a mixed veg curry and chicken curry and it only confirmed our belief that food at Batseri was excellent.

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The next day, we had planned to visit Tirthan Valley and we had booked Himalayan Trout House for the next 2 nights, but not before writing the number of Bengalis whom we encountered, especially during the visit to Sangla.

Quote:
I knew that Bengalis travel a lot during the Durga Puja holidays. Apart from easy holidays, the excellent weather is also a reason.

During breakfast we met 5-6 Bengali families at the Hotel Batseri. In the last 2 days we met 6 self driven cars from West Bengal and a couple of Bengali bikers from Delhi. Apart from that there were several “Tempo Travellers” ferrying Bengali tourists. At a Dhaba where we had pulled in for lunch, the familiar smell of “Kosha Mangsho” (a Bengali Mutton delicacy) flooded the air – asked the waiter if “Roti and Mutton curry” is available – got to know that a few Bengali tourists had arrived with cooks in tow and were having their lunch. And in Chitkul we saw a restaurant with Bengali handwritten menu of “Bhat-Dal-Aloo Posto”. And when I talked to the hotel owner, he only confirmed that this year tourists are much less and more so for Bengali ones – who form a substantial chunk of their business.

Last edited by sayakc : 21st November 2021 at 19:30.
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Old 7th November 2021, 18:02   #5
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Sangla to Tirthan Valley


14-Oct- 21: Sangla to Tirthan Valley
With a cup of milky tea , watching the blooming marigolds and the Baspa valley, and basking in the morning sunshine, thoughts emerge travel about how futile is travelling: for no matter how long you travel, how frequently you travel, visiting all places that you want to see does not materialize – more often than not.

After a few journeys in North Bengal and having thought that we had seen most places, I recently saw the photo of a steaming cup of Darjeeling tea and meat platter at Keventer’s roof top, in the backdrop of monsoon and wondered that its something I still haven’t experienced. Consider then the number of villages that sprout out of the hills every year - be it the Orange orchards of Sittong or the tea gardens of Gopaldhara or the river bed of Tabakoshi - each of which offers an unique experience in each season.

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Blooming apple orchards of Sangla

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The arch of Kinnaur.

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The road from Rampur to Tirthan via Jalori.

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After breakfast we were on our way to Tirthan Valley and once on the highway, we could attain excellent speeds – driving past the Sutlej, which sometimes became a deep gorge and at other times came right beside the highway. At Rampur, we took the road to Kullu and after the initial 3-4 kms the road turned narrow. This, I was told, was the road that would take us over Jalori Pass and into Kullu valley. The road was supremely beautiful with vast tracts of forests of coniferous trees and the Tirthan river flowing in between. Vehicles were few but we met the occasional HPTDC bus, and in the narrow stretches, maneuvering proved to be difficult.

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View from Jalori in the setting sun.

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The last 4-5 kms to Jalori turned steeper but the views on top with the sun setting on the snowy peaks on one side and the silhouette of dense pine forests on the other was stunning. Engine braking was used liberally during decent but even in the first gear, the tachometer was getting red lined.
We reached our stay for the night ‘Himalayan Trout House’ around 6 in the evening. The star lit sky at night, the gurgling of the Tirthan river, the rising mountains in the vicinity are sights to remember.
After dinner, we strolled through the garden until we ended up under a giant persimmon tree, from where we could see tropical undergrowth nearby, conifers slightly beyond and finally lay a few barren mountains. This view, so enamoured us, that we spent some time in silence disturbed only by the sound of the swiftly flowing Tirthan river.

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Chicken Steaks for dinner

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The cloudless sky beaming with stars made me realize that I had, hitherto, never photographed a star trail and this moment was not to be missed. So, I fetched the camera and positioned it over a rock. Set the focus to infinity, mode CL, exposure 30 secs and locked the shutter release as I watched the camera periodically capture the landscape and listened to the autumnal wind that blew across the face of the valley. The capture, I wish, was a good one, for it was marred by an approaching full moon and confined by towering mountains. But then, there is always a first time!

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Night scapes at Himalayan Trout House, Tirthan

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Last edited by sayakc : 24th November 2021 at 13:19.
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Old 7th November 2021, 18:18   #6
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The Day at Tirthan and the Drive to Manali

15-Oct- 21:Hiking to Choie Falls & Fishing

Morning was easy and relaxed. And after a leisurely taken breakfast, son and I decided to go on our first hike together to Choie Falls. So, with a light backpack, water bottles we walked initially on the metalled road, until a series of stone staircases climbed up the hill side that passed through a hilly village and house courtyards . We saw water being boiled over a wooden hearth, smoke rising from chimneys and corn being dried on the rooftops.

Stop for a while ....
because there is so much to listen as well. May be it’s a flycatcher’s call or a squirrel nibbling onto a hanging pine cone or a lazy dog that slips into the trail expecting some freebies from the visitors – slow travel has its own charm. Apart from a few rocky sections and a few exposed sections, where I had to extend a helping hand, the hike was fairly easy and one way took us an hour.

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The mud house at HTH

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A Himachali house, on the trail to Choie Falls.

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View of the Tirthan Valley from the climb.

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A break on the trail.

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When we finally returned to the guest house, we were ravenously hungry and after the Chicken Steaks of the previous night, it was time to have a full blooded Indian lunch, seated on the balcony, of Rice, Dal, Salads and chicken curry.

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A selfie of our first hike.

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The lunch (read more in the review)

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We went fishing!

And before I proceed further, quoting below our experience of Himalayan Trout House. So, if you have read the review, you would have known that the cook had put in parsley in both of Dal and the Chicken curry – rendering them unpalatable. And our ravenously hungry stomach left a very bad taste.
In the afternoon we went on a ‘fly fishing’ break in the afternoon. The result of which was a small trout fish that was returned to the river.

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The swiftly flowing Tirthan river

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With the fly fishing guide.

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16-Oct- 21:Tirthan to Manali and Stay at Manali

Tirthan to Manali is a quick jaunt of 100 kms. The road to Manali passed through the Aut Tunnel and were soon driving on 4 lane highways cut across mountains and with roads so wide, we reached our stay for the night, Johnson Hotel, Manali within 3 hrs. The rooms at Johnson Hotel are very well appointed and the icing on the top was its balcony where I spent most of the time.

With bright sunshine beaming down the lawns, we ordered our lunch of Pizzas and Chicken steaks in pepper sauce. Knifing through the steaks – how a chicken steak should taste – we had a very fulfilling lunch. And in the evening we went for a walk in the mall where we spent the next couple of hours shopping. At night we had roast chicken and bruschetta and slept off around mid-night.

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Johnson Hotel, Manali

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View from the balcony at night.

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17-Oct-21: A Day In Manali
The next day was largely cloudy and it was reflecting our mood that the holidays were getting over. We went on to visit the Hidimba temple and while returning we had pizzas at Il Forno. Food, once again, was excellent. The rain continued to fell the entire day and by evening we could see the mountains in the distance had snowed out. At night we were craving for some Indian meals. And so we went to Khyber Restaurant . Had some Jeera Rice and Chicken Masala.

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At Il Forno.

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Chicken Escalope, Pizza and Coffee for lunch

Last edited by sayakc : 24th November 2021 at 17:34.
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Old 7th November 2021, 18:21   #7
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Return to Kolkata with a stopover at Varanasi


18th Oct & 19th Oct: Manali to Noida & Noida to Varanasi
Another rainy day at Manali and the cloudy weather felt depressing for all. We had purchased some cakes and biscuits the previous night because the day was quite long and we didn’t want to loose much time. The road was in poor condition for most of the way in the hills – primarily because of huge construction projects. Not sure, if the hills can retain their beauty for long. We lunched at one of the road side restaurants and still then the rain accompanied us.

Around 4ish we touched down the sunny plains of Punjab and we were onto a proper highway. The drive from thereon was smooth and we make up for a lot of lost ground. We had evening snacks at a Haveli and with the rapid progress everyone was spirited once again. So, another plan was made: why not stay an extra day at Varanasi (where we were supposed to reach the next day)? At night 12ish we reached our stay at Noida – a mere 2 kms from the YEW. The rice, dal and chicken curry which we had that night tasted superbly. Easily the best tasting chicken curry of the entire trip.

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Lunch break at a dhaba in UP.

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Benaras's famous lassi.

The morning we woke up after a sound sleep around 8 ish. Had a breakfast of Aloo paranthas, and then I called up my boss and requested one additional day of leave to which I got an approval. The next task was to book a hotel. Whereas the stay at HHI Varansi was very nice, we were searching for a hotel to get a real feel of the city. And voila, scrolling through my WhatsApp messages I see BHPian ABHI_1512 had posted the verdant blue autumnal sky as viewed from Hotel Surya Kaiser Palace. Showed the photo to my wife and received a quick approval to check for rooms availability. Called up the hotel and asked if rooms were available – received a positive answer.
So, we left at 1000 HRS from Noida and after a refill of petrol, we were on the ramp to YEW. Once on the expressway, progress was fast. From YEW, we took the ALE, but this time we took the Etawah exit. The road from Etawah to Kanpur was in pristine condition – but the expressways spoil you so better watch out the usually highway traffic. We lunched at a Dhaba around 2 PM. The road condition deteriorates due to construction of multiple flyovers after Kanpur and that continues till the start of the Allahabad Bypass. We called up the hotel and ordered for dinner. And at 11 PM we reached the hotel.


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At one of the "Tatighars" which make Benarasi saris.

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At Deena Chaat Bhandaar.

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20th Oct, 21: At Varanasi
We went to the different lassi and chaat bhandars of Varanasi on an auto rickshaw. We had planned to see the Arati in the evening – but the 4hrs of crazy cacophony of the traffic was an overdose and we were looking for some serenity. So, instead of watching the Arati, we returned to the hotel. At night we had some excellently cooked Biryani and then called it a night. The rooms of Surya Kaiser Palace and their food were top notch given the tariff.

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At Pahalwan Lassi of Varanasi.

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Sun setting on Surya Kaiser Palace, Varanasi

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Lunch Break at Shaan e Punjab, Dhanbad

21st Oct 21: Varanasi to Calcutta
We left Varanasi at 7.30 and with Google maps showing varied routes out of the city; a milk van driver helped us take the right path. We had breakfast on the outskirts of Mohania. Lunch was at Shaan e Punjab, just before reaching Dhanbad. And after picking up biryanis from Hotel Hindusthan, we reached our home at 9.30. The Pujo revelry was all over, but the bamboo structure of the pandals and lights stood like skeletons of the carnival like time which passed through the city only a few days back!!

Last edited by sayakc : 24th November 2021 at 17:45.
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Old 24th November 2021, 18:11   #8
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Mod note: Thread moved to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 24th November 2021, 19:17   #9
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Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
Return to Kolkata with a stopover at Varanasi


And after picking up biryanis from Hotel Hindusthan, we reached our home at 9.30. The Pujo revelry was all over, but the bamboo structure of the pandals and lights stood like skeletons of the carnival like time which passed through the city only a few days back!!
Really well written travelogue and some of the passages read like poetry! Also loved all the pics and details, especially the pic of the star trails which was truly wow!

Your travelogue reminded me of my own trips to Varanasi and HP - only that I never drove down to Chitkul in my own car. Shimla is as far as I have gone in HP in my own car, and that too when I used to live in Delhi. The road past the Nathpa Jhakri project is pretty treacherous so I also appreciate your courage to self-drive on this trip. Wish you many more such awesome trips!
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Old 24th November 2021, 19:54   #10
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SayakC back!

Am a fan of your narration, your travelogues are like a poetry on wheels!
Loved reading this. You have done full justice to the beauty Himachal.
Rated 5*.
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Old 25th November 2021, 00:02   #11
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Thanks due to SS-Traveller, Predatorwheelz and the livewire of Kolkata Team-BHP ABHI_1512 for clarifications on route and accommodation.
Firstly, it’s little embarrassing to find my name alongside some legendary figures of the forum. While I am glad that I could be of some help, it certainly didn’t warrant a mention here.

Now coming to your journey, you have now come to define what a perfect journey of a traveller looks like and for that you have my admiration Sayak. This log of yours has everything that a traveller yearns for. Good roads, perfect weather, great food and some lovely vistas and stays. That you could take time to trek and go to the riverbed as well as to the points where one can see a whole valley in front of your eyes is simply brilliant. Congratulations to your family on a fantastic trip.

The pictures are just so good specially the car pictures with the greens or with the clear blue skies. The caramel custards, the pizzas, the butter chicken, you name it and you have it all throughout your journey. The Suro Tree Resort surely looks divine and is a winner amongst the Johnsons and the Suryas. Just the kind of place where one can spend some gingerly time when there is no end to your leisure time

Nothing to add more about your writing skills which I always find so captivating. Keep travelling and keep writing, we all need good things to see and read every now and then

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Old 25th November 2021, 00:39   #12
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The opening sequence felt like a poem set amidst a night sky filled to the brim with star trails. Thanks to your vivid description we could re-imagine the scenery pretty easily. And then those stunning photographs ensured that it stayed etched in our minds for years to come! This is indeed one of the best travelogues that I happened to chance upon while reading up on the ‘tribal circuit’ of Himachal. The amazing photographs coupled with your penchant for telling tales made this ‘journey’ extremely enjoyable ! Thank you sayakc for taking us along this trip of a lifetime
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Old 25th November 2021, 10:08   #13
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Wonderful pictures from Sangla. I've seen the Satluj valley upto Kalpa. Now your pictures inspire me to explore Sangla as well.

Thank you
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Old 25th November 2021, 10:26   #14
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Very well written and beautiful photographs. Looks like you (and/or your family) like pizza a lot ! One small advice. I see that in many photos you have parked car on the road. It could be dangerous for you and others. Take care of it and keep sharing more travelogues with us.
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Old 25th November 2021, 12:37   #15
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Well written travelogue.

I had descended Rupin pass on 9th Oct and I was in Sangla from 10th to 12th Oct before proceeding to Spiti Valley. Your writing about munching apples while descending from Rupin pass to Sangla reminds me of an awesome time I had while doing the trek. Unlike your time crossing the pass, we had beautiful and clear weather.

I was also in Manali from 16th to 20th Oct where two days went in heavy rains doing nothing. There is Come a napoli pizzeria in old Manali which has very good pizzas. I stayed in old Manali and was lazy to walk all the way down to Johnsons Cafe as old Manali had really good food.

Last edited by rst89 : 25th November 2021 at 12:38. Reason: Spell check
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