This blog is about a recent trip to Manali. I along with my friend drove to Kulu and Manali from 26th October to 29Th October 2018. My last trip to Manali was eighteen years ago. I sure was looking forward to this trip. A lot of memories were to be rediscovered. We started our journey on the 26th morning from Chandigarh. We left at 9 o’clock and took Chandigarh, Kurali road to Kulu and then Manali. The total journey was to take eight hours it took us ten. This is how the Manali trance fizzling.
I have a Maruti Wagon R, but I wanted to do this trip on an open jeep or a bike. I remembered how green and panoramic the last journey was! The Beas River flowing on one side and you driving alongside. However, I was happy that I came on my wonderful Wagon R. The whole road was either under construction that resulted in a lot of dust or smoke of the trucks. There were only a few places, where we could open our car windows and enjoy the road trip. It was ironic we had to pay tax to enter Himachal and then Rs.400 for entering Manali as a green tax. There was no road at the entrance of both the places, where we paid the taxes. Yes, I said no road.
Where are the environmentalists? It is not the tourist, who are polluting. They are doing it to themselves in the name of progress.
We got stuck in the jam, which is common due to land sliding. However, we were struck because of construction work. They let one side of traffic first and then the other side. As usual, one Himachal roadways bus driver drove even when people were standing in the queue. This lead to traffic blockage from both sides. This cost us almost forty-five minutes.
Bangkok Guest Friendly Hotels – No Joiner Fee
We were lucky as the Kulu Dushera Mela was still on. We booked our hotel through make my trip app. The hotel booked was Shobla Royale. The hotel was the center of the city, and the Mela was at a walking distance.
Hotel Review – Shobla Royale
Location was very good. It was in a complex which had its own multiplex and shops. They even had a dominos. The room that was given to us had a bathroom leakage and the water coming into the room. Even after complaining, they did not do anything. We ordered fries with tea. The fries were fried in the oil that was used for frying chicken. My strict vegetarian friend had a heart attack almost. We were too tired so did not make a fuss out of it. We had our dinner at the Dominos. The breakfast was average and was not a buffet.
The location is good to have all meals outside.
We left around 11:00 AM after checking the shops in the Kulu Mela.
It was one and a half hour ride. The road was a mix of good road, bad road, no road, and big potholes. We paid Rs.400 as a green tax to enter Manali. This was the most annoying and laughable tax I have ever paid. There was no road after that. Once you get into Manali from there the whole of Manali looks like is under construction.
My city Chandigarh is much better than Manali. It is clean the roads are great and we have better air to breathe.
We checked into Sun Park Resort in Manali. We had to cross a small bridge that can take one vehicle at a time. This bridge is in the heart of the city. Here again, all you can do is eat dust due to the construction work.
The hotel location was very good. They had good food and a nice Indian breakfast buffet. The room, which was a suite, was too small but with a view of the mountains. It was cold inside and we have to pay Rs.300/- per day for a room heater. The staff was very helpful.
Guest Friendly Hotels – No Joiner Fee
We went to the mall road as like any other tourist. I saw some desi sweet shops who were serving Kadai Milk, Jalabies, Rabdi, allooo tikka etc. Our first order started with Aloo Tikki Chaat and I ordered some rabdi. Both were disappointing the allo tikka was stale and the rabdi was made of something, it was not milk for sure. We complained this time and he understood what we were talking and took away the rabdi immediately. After that we left the shop to try another shop for Kadai Milk. Then again, it was just colored milk; they had actually put badam milk powder. The malai on top was just something. We just threw that, we realized all the shop in the mall road are frauds. We did not try any food on mall road after that.
However, it was very pleasant to sit there on benches as we were there in the off-season. There was less tourist. We just took some photographs and videos. We ordered some food and just crashed after that.
The 15th-century temple was a kilometer from our hotel. As you enter, you can see a Yak. You can climb on it take a ride and click some pictures. You have parking space, but I guess it would have been very difficult to get one if you go in the season. We passed by some shops selling offering for the temple. We also saw some women holding rabbits and an absolute white lamb. My friend could not resist. It was Rs.20/- to get your pictures clicked with them. I realized they were drugged as their eyes could barely open. We had darshan, which was easy as it was less crowded. The temple is part of the national park so a lot of trees and a good place to have a walk and click pictures.
There are a lot of shops to buy souvenirs. Somehow, they were selling cheaper stuff than the shops on mall road. Just 500 meters from the temple there are some food shop and Himachal Museum. The entry ticket cost rupees ten. It is a small museum. We did not go anywhere else as we realized all is under construction. We did go to discover more of mall road and we did discover the old market of Manali. Just ask people they will guide you. They had some good local products/clothes to buy.