To the rocky river
that raced beside me
To the mighty white painted mountains
who welcomed me
To the herds of sheep
that made me halt in my way
To the kind rosy people
who made my day
You are a beauty that cannot be described in words
Oh Manali, you are a place out of this world.
Manali, a smile appears on my face as I take a walk down the memory lane of this beautiful place. Bright blue sky adorned with the cotton clouds, gigantic mountains covered with different shades of green and the soft sunlight giving an edge of shine to the notoriously flowing Beas river.
Manali can be relished during the summers and winters as well. Winters in Manali can be particularly enthralling, especially if you are a big fan of snow. Winters in Manali means an open door to the various snow activities like skiing, snow tubing, snow sledding, zorbing in the snow, snow scooter rides or forming a snowman (carry a carrot) and also throwing snowballs at each other. Wow! Or you can simply take a lazy stroll into the town, breathe in the chilly air with the temperature dipping below zero degrees Celsius many times.
While Manali seems to be straight out of the Harry Potter world, Hogwarts during winters, it is nothing less magical during the summers. The sun spreads its warm light over the entire town, making it more alive. As you move around this place, you will start loving the soft sun, the pleasant weather in the day and the nights, though cool, will not fail to make you feel warm. There’s something about this town that will make it difficult for you to remain upset, maybe it is its subtle fresh energy flowing in the air.
I still have the picture of a particular memory vivid in my head. It was evening, somewhere around five when we reached Manali. The road was bustling with people, the sun hadn’t set yet, Beas was hopping over the rocks and pebbles, its waves white in color and then, at a considerable distance stood the mighty Himalayas, their peaks covered with snow.
Silent. That is what we all became, silent. Silent in awe.
For a few moments, there were no thoughts running in my brain. I was just watching the mountains, taking them in. It’s difficult to take your eyes off these snowy ranges. And even when you are back to the normal zone, having conversations, laughing, listening to the music, staring out the window and whistling, subconsciously you will still be a little dazed. Your heart will be captivated. And as I am recalling those memories and writing this blog, I realize that unknowingly the Himalayas have made a place in my heart, forever. Maybe from that very first sight itself.
Ruskin Bond said it right,
“It is always the same with mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape”
Mighty, majestic, beautiful, strong, quiet and serene, mystical and breathtaking. The Himalayas, bar none.
And among these beautiful Himalayas, nestled is our Manali, with its dreamy sceneries, rich and many-hued culture, and vibrant festivals. Manali is a haven for those souls who love to be in the company of nature, for those who seek thrills and adventures.
Manali has a number of treks in and around it offering breathtaking views and humbling experiences. Hampta Pass trek, Bhrigu Lake trek, Beas Kund trek, Parvati Pass trek, Deo Tibba Base trek, Chandratal lake trek are some of the treks which along with giving you incredible views are also going to give memories and experiences lasting for a lifetime.
The adventure junkies can have their adrenaline pumping with other exciting activities as well such as rafting in the cool and abundant waters of Beas, paragliding down the lush landscape of Himalayas, feeling like a bird, zorbing in the Solang valley, having a vista of the surrounding beauty from all the angles, thrilling jeep safari and the refreshing mountain biking.
Manali has something in store for everyone. If you are not a trekker or already had enough of adventures, Manali is still not going to upset you. It has got the lovely and beautiful Hidimba Devi Temple, famous for its wooden structure, the mythology, and legends associated with it and also its colorful festivals and fairs.
There is Manikaran Gurudwara, Manu Temple, Arjun Gufa, The Great Himalayan National park, Monastries, museum, Vashisht Baths, Solang Valley and the list of such interesting places goes on. You may get tired, but bored? Never.
There is also the ever so famous and glorious Rohtang Pass, located at a distance of 51km from Manali. The word Rohtang means the pile of corpses, due to the people dying in bad weather trying to cross the path. It stands at an imposing height of 13,051 feet and although the road is a little tricky, it offers one of the most exhilarating, breathtaking and majestic sceneries in the world. The place has altogether different magic. The mountain ranges and the natural beauty was seen from here is stirring and heart-stopping. Not only the destination, but the journey also offers some spectacular and miraculous views. And cherry to the cake, there is a lot of snow. Rohtang is definitely a must visit.
Manali is gifted with a bounty of natural beauty. There is magic in its air. Magic which you could feel and smell and breathe.
The town will lift and refresh your spirit.
Come to Manali. Roam through its streets, whistle in its woods and sit by its river. For it’s a wonderful place to dream of. A wonderful place to explore. A wonderful place to discover. And also, a wonderful place to discover yourself.