Himalayan Saga- II  

Posted by Praveen in , , ,

Continued from here...

the sunrise at pandoh...our 1st view of the Himalayas...

I woke up from my wet dream as the bus stopped at Pandoh, in Mandi district of Himachal. As we stood sipping hot tea in the balcony of the cafe overlooking Beas river, we witnessed the visual treat of the sun painting a masterpiece in the sky. This was our first view of the great Himalayas and we felt blessed. Later our bus passed over the Pandoh dam, the water in the reservoir covered by mist with an yellow glow. We proceeded forward over narrow roads lining deep gorges. The hills on both sides were cradling the Beas river, which was violent at some places and deceptively calm at others. We passed through a tunnel at Kullu and came face to face with a fresh landslide which might have missed us by a couple of minutes. Some of us proceeded to remove the stones and cleared the small landslide soon.

We reached Manali around 8.30, when the locals were just waking up to a lazy sunday. The hotel facing the Beas river din't have such an awesome view as was advertised on the net. Our first trip was the walk up to the Hidimba devi temple, where the famous scene from 'Roja' was shot. The deity is Hidimbi Devi, wife of Bhima. Its believed that Pandavas visited this place during their exile. The temple is situated in the middle of a large deodar and pine forest. The view of the temple was blocked due to arrangements for the annual fest and so my cam got some rest. The entry to the temple is of very short height. Once you enter, you need to bend and get under a rock to see the deity. Only one person can do this at a time. Later, a lady sitting there puts a tilak on your forehead.

huge deodar and pine trees near the Hidimba devi temple.

himalayan apples...I ate these 2 after this shot :D

yawwwwwwwwwn!.....a Himachali lady carrying her baby

grass!!!!...The cannabis plant is common on the road sides of Manali...doper's heaven:P

view of Manali town from near the Hidimba temple.

Our afternoon trip was to old Manali. We had the trip's first encounter with the evergreen Maggi noodles, which turned out to be our major food in the coming days. We walked up along narrow roads selling shawls, bags and curios. We saw some steps leading up to a side road, which made us deviate from the main road. There was an apple tree in full splendour in a lonely place at top. Without second thoughts, I plucked and ate one. It tasted heavenly, free from all pesticides. Everyone savoured the gift of nature. A 'firangi' was seen on top with his laptop. Guess he didn't know about the free facebook provided by airtel mobile.

Old Manali provides you a splendid peek into the village life here. The roofing material of houses were neatly cut stones. Young pretty faces were seen peeping from the windows. The children here were hostile to the camera. One little girl shooed me away when I was clicking her playing with her little bro. But, she later asked me to click her toy arrangement, which I happily obliged. We reached the Manu temple, after a pretty long walk. Its a temple dedicated to the man who wrote the Manu smriti, some contents of which I don't like particularly. The temple is a fully wooden structure. It overlooked the Vashisht hills. After spending some pleasant time there, we walked down hill a bit and entered a cyber cafe to chart our new travel plans to spiti valley. Just after a minute, an accent car sped down uncontrollably through the road we had walked. It smashed into a shop, injuring two of the shop guys and one foreign passerby badly. As I ran down, I saw blood all over the bonnet of the almost overturned car. The shop guys were lifted up from underneath a stone block. Thankfully all of them were alive. Also, we four missed being hit thanks to the cafe on the way.

a typical house in old manali...well cut stones on top, wooden beams and windows and clothes hung out for drying all around....

near the Manu temple..


view from a local teashop...two heads watch intently as a girl walks by...bird watching is the same everywhere:P

a home in the valleys...surrounded by pine trees and the mountain air...

Manu temple..

The lady who gave us directions to the Manu temple..

We walked further down for dinner. My tibetan dinner ended up as a disaster-a momo without stuffing, chicken curry which was like sambhar and tasteless rice. Happily for me, everyone else had similar experiences in their foodie experiments. And that was the disastrous end to a wonderful day...more in store....

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 02, 2010 at Thursday, September 02, 2010 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

14 comments

Awesome pictures! When I went to Hidumba temple, there were a couple of Yaks roaming around.

7:28 PM
dr pragya  

great snaps.how's rohtang these days?

7:53 PM

great pics :)

8:23 PM

superb Aliya

9:53 PM

kidilam!!

1:24 PM

I've never enjoyed a travellogue commentary post the way I have with urs rite now...keep going.

And omg..plz be careful. u dont want to run away cars coming along like that!

Chicken curry that tasted like sambar!! LOL! Well atleast it tasted like sambar! :P

And yes, bird watching is bird watching EVERYWHERE :D

1:08 AM

@nryn
I had to wait one more day to get my first sighting of yak :D

@dr.pragya
the last 16km to rohtang is slushy...so many vehicles are getting stuck there...And there's that eternal danger of the vehicle skidding off the road cos of the slush...but with a real good driver the road is manageable..
the weather is fine up at the top..lot of mist and those cold winds...its real good there..

@shaz
thanks man :D

@luttappi
thanks aliya :D

@scorpiogenius
thanks man :D

@aswathy
thats great to know...This is my best trip yet, so I've a lot to say n share;) can get quite boring after sometime :P ...my friends r running away these days fearing about yet another himachal story from me:D

1:16 AM

Hadimba Devi temple is beautiful. :) In fact, there's even a Gatothgaj temple nearby, inside the complex. Beas, the traveler's best buddy, you lose the way and it tells you. I agree, it's deceptively calm, you get in and then you realize how fast it actually is. I was damn scared. :|

You know plucking apples off a tree there is a punishable offence. You can go to jail. Really. Anna did that and the owner started threatening us with all sorts of abuses. Fair enough, apple is big business there.

Is Manu temple the same one that's next to the Vashisht Temple? Don't seem to remember.

And your documenting your trip has motivated me to pen down our North Indian Sojourn. In the process. :) Refreshes memories. :) Waiting for the next parts, wonderful photo-documentary, as always.

Didn't get the significance of a wet dream? Puriyale. :/ And see a relatively shorter comment. :) Have learnt to shut up. Finally. :)

4:53 PM

@Tara
dint get to see the gatothgaj temple..someone told its far away from there..

what u said about Beas is true...It guides you back to the right path ;)

I dint know that plucking apples in punishable...o god!narrow escape :P

Manu temple is not near vashisht temple..manu temple's in old manali..


So u r back to blogging at last? Do post all those trip experiences:D

wet dream...well...its better I dont explain it here:P

8:09 PM

The colors r amazing...u r real lucky to go for such trips!!

11:30 PM

No yaar Gatothgaj temple is right there, about a 100 m may be. Guess 100 m is 'far away' for that someone. Anyhow, it's not really a temple, it's a few photos, a trishul and a couple of lal chunnis. But it is said that if you visit the mum, you must visit the son too. :)

On the way there is this one dhaba where you can sit and eat your food and your feet are dipped in the Beas. It's actually on the banks of the river. That's cool. :)

Oh then, I am thinking of some other temple I guess. Haven't heard of Manu temple, will definitely go next time. Thanks. Also, now am even more interested in knowing why it was a wet dream. :-o Anyway, your wish! :)

3:26 PM

@Jon
thanks man:D


Guess that guy fooled us when he said its far away....missed it :(

dhaba....u r adding salt to the wound..

forget abt the wet dream;)

10:41 PM

Landed on your page via Jagruti..

Its a nice 'n buzzing blog of yours :-) Didn't you go to higher peaks... and to Manikaran?

1:42 PM

@shelly
yea...I did go to the higher peaks...infact all over himachal...
checkout all the other parts of the himalaya series here- http://crusadertvm.blogspot.com/search/label/himalayas

its a 11 part blog :D

12:26 AM

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