DEORIA – UTTAR PRADESH – INDIA JUNE 19 , 2012 11.45 P.M.
It is much delayed blog . I wanted to write and post it immediately after my return from Manali on April 10 , 2012 but couldn’t do it because of my eye operation . Then there were other works like ; training actors and writing my book on acting and this particular blog got postponed and delayed . I decided to complete it and post it today , while sitting in the office cum study of my Deoria house .
One day while I was in my class in Mumbai , I got a call from Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions . They wanted me to train the stars of their new film which stars Ranbir Kapoor , Deepika Padukone , Kalki Koechlin and Aditya Roy Kapoor . And for that they wanted me to travel to Manali for a month . I jumped at the idea because Himachal Pradesh , along with the Union Territory of Chandigarh , are the only provinces of North India , which I have not visited yet . And my second temptation was that I would be able to meet Ranbir Kapoor after a long time , whom I have trained for ” Saawariya “ . In addition to that I would get an opportunity to work with Deepika Padukone and Kalki Koechlin also .
From Mumbai , I took early morning flight for Chandigarh on March 18 , 2012 . I reached Chandigarh and proceeded for Manali by car , I saw this Union Territory for the first time . Chandigarh is the first planned city of independent India . I was simply amazed . Swanky airport , 4 / 6 lane roads , gigantic traffic islands and neatly maintained colonies ; Chandigarh is pride of India .
I could not watch much because I was put in a car and immediately proceeded for 310 km. long road journey to Manali . My impression of Chandigarh is what I could see through the window of a speeding car .
Travelling time to Manali from Chandigarh is 11 hours . As soon as I entered Himachal Pradesh , hills started. Snow capped mountains and rocky landscape is beautiful and breathtaking . As per Hindu legends Manali is associated with Manu , who started procreation on the pious land of Manali after the great deluge , MAHAPRALAY , the end of the world . It happened in SATYUGA . Manali is also associated with Maharshi Shringi , who performed PUTRESHTI YAGYA for King Dhasharath and thus the king got 4 sons ; Rama , Bharat , Lakshman and Shatrughna . It happened in TRETAYUGA . In DWAPARYUGA , Arjun worshipped Shiva in a cage near Manali and got PASHUPATASTRA . His elder brother Bheem married Hidimba here and had a son Ghatotkach . Thus from SATYUGA to TRETEYUG to DWAPARYUG , Manali is closely associated with our history , culture and ethos .
Known as Queen of Hill Stations , Manali is situated at an altitude of 2050 metres and is 40 km. away from Kullu , the district headquarters . One can reach Manali by road via Chandigarh or you can take a flight to Kullu and then proceed for Manali by car .
After 11 hour-long car journey from Chandigarh , I reached Manali and was put at Hotel Quality Inn River Country Resort . Chilli winds greeted me at the arrival . I was forced to take out my woollen jacket . I was amazed at the difference of weather condition in India . When I left Mumbai , its temperature was 35 degree celsius . In Manali inside the room heater was on .
Hotel Quality Inn River Country is a fabulous hotel . It’s only drawback is that it is 2/3 km. away from the Mall Road , main market of Manali .
Manali city is evenly divided in two parts by Bias river . I could see the streams of Bias through the window of my hotel room .
It is not easy to get autos in Manali and that too for a short distance . So next day I gathered courage and walked to The Mall . And I was hooked . A small but beautiful market welcomed me . One can buy woolen clothes from various shops . It is made of pure wool and cheaper also .
Due to some prior booking at the Quality Inn River Country Resort , I had to shift to another place , Hotel Piccadilly , after a week . It is again a beautiful hotel with some minus points . It’s main plus point is that it is situated at the Mall . So shopping and even strolling is easy and convenient .
Hotel Manu Allaya is another fabulous hotel where I used to go to train Kalki Koechlin .
As I have stated earlier , Manali city is divided in two parts by river Bias . City is situated on both the banks of Bias and beyond that there is snow – capped mountains on both sides . Weather is simply heavenly and salubrious .
Colourful Tibetan monastery is another landmark place . It is situated near the Mall .
I never knew that Hidimba of MAHABHARAT belonged to Manali . There is a pagoda like temple dedicated to Hidimba , known as Devi Hadimba in popular parlance . King Bhadur Shah built this temple in 1553 . This four tiered pagoda shaped temple is made of wood . Front door is carved with figures and symbols and is also made of wood . King Bhadur Shah was very happy to see the temple when it was completed . As per local tradition , king ordered to cut off the hand of the person who made this temple , so that he can not replicate this temple elsewhere . Undaunted by this misfortune , the artiste trained his left hand and made even better version of this temple at Trilokinath in Chamba district . It is so unfortunate that local people thought that this masterpiece should not be made anywhere , so they chopped off the head of that artiste . That poor nameless fellow lost his hand first and his life later on , for creating two masterpieces .
In the compound and vicinity of Hadimba temple , one can see yaks in abundance . I myself saw a yak for the first time in the compound of Hadimba temple .
Span Spa & Resort is a marvellous property , which is though modern but still steeped in tradition . It is situated few km. away from Manali on the banks of Bias .
How come someone complete any travelogue of Manali without going to Rohtang Pass . At an altitude of 3980 metres , Rohtang Pass is situated 51 km. away from Manali . This pass connects Manali to Leh in Ladakh . It is open for public from June to September every year . So when I was there , it was closed . Road was cleared till Gulaba only . So I did not get the opportunity to visit Rohtang Pass . I went up to Gulaba only . Despite inclement weather , I enjoyed my 5 day consecutive visits to the place . 4/5 layers of woollen clothes were not sufficient even in the month of April .
I reached Manali in the night of March 18 , 2012 . Stayed there for 21 days . It was a different experience . I thoroughly enjoyed my paid holiday , courtesy Dharma Productions .
After every visit I remember Hindi poet Agyeya’s lines . In the case of Manali , these oft – repeated lines are more pertinent and relevent .
पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
- Manali trip details (coffeetimeconversations.wordpress.com)
- Travel Guest Post: Mesmerizing Beauty of Kullu Manali & Shimla (jetsetera.net)
- In the beautiful mountains (trektraveltadka.wordpress.com)
- Tales From My Backpacking Trip – Day 5 (posteritythings.wordpress.com)
- Manali is considered to be the Best Place for Honeymoon in India (theholidayindia.wordpress.com)
- Manali – The Queen of beauty (zeopodes.wordpress.com)
- Marvellous Manali !!!! (bhagwatijoshi11.wordpress.com)
- Leh Safari (bellwort.wordpress.com)
- CPCL wants ban to go on new projects at Manali (thehindu.com)
- India’s hill towns getting hotter (todayonline.com)
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