What started with the denial of using the word ‘incredible’ in my first article, has to come to a stage where every sentence I spoke or even a thought in my head had the same word. Such was the magic and marvel of Manali. We planned ahead to take it slow for the day as we were tired of the long road trip earlier from Shimla to Manali. Read our road experience here : Road Trip Diaries: Shimla to Manali via Kullu. Today I am writing about Top Tourist Attractions in Manali.
Van Vihar : which is a Municipal garden located centrally. The tall deodar trees shadowed the perfectly sunny morning. Air was cold and fresh and while we spoke we could see our breath. A little photo-session and tree hugging later we proceeded for Tibetian Monstery which was right in the opposite of Van Vihar.
Tibetian Monastery : Being the oldest and famous place we were expecting Tibetian Monastery to be more crowded. But that morning it was rather deserted. Monastery has an aura of old world charm and Buddha statue resides inside the beautiful structure. After taking a full round of the temple and rotating all Buddhist prayer wheels, we clicked some pretty pictures with perfect blue skies in that lovely sunny morning.
Manali clubhouse : attracts tourists to offer local handicrafts and dresses. There is dead river boating facility around the clubhouse with a small juice junction and snacks section. More likely near to clubhouse you can experience rope bounce activity over Beas river. While we tried this activity, it became a memorable experience for us. Water was chilly and for the first time when my leg dipped inside the river, it froze for an instance.
Hadimba Devi temple : is a major tourist attraction which is located amidst of a forest called Dhungiri Van Vihar . Before entering the temple local ladies flocked to pursue us to hold rabbits and click pictures with them. It costs you Rs 10 to do so and these little round and furry creatures are worth the time. Moving on temple has a pagoda shaped roof. Wooden door was carved beautifully and after standing in the line for 10 minutes we got to go inside. The goddess resides under a stone cave which might be difficult to get inside and it made me feel claustrophobic. While coming out we were approached by other ladies who will not take no for an answer for trying out local clothes. A photographer also entangled us and made us click pictures and Shiv being the nice guy could not say no. Dressing up in traditional Manali clothes cost 50 Rs and photographer would charge as per negotiation. We also found the Yak guy offering a ride and as exiting it might sound, it petrified me initially. Later the yak was too calm to take interest in me, so I got down and moved away quietly.
Vashishti temple and Baths : We had to walk uphill to get to this place as our driver informed us that cars up there. On the way up we found people selling Sparu which is basically a blanket. The shopkeeper almost convinced us with his stories where he said this will be returned and we will get 6 gifts after buying it for Rs 10,000/15,000/25,000. I googled it and found such things to be a fraud trick. Hope my readers are careful and do not indulge in buying Sparu. Vashishti temple is built with intricate wood carvings and is believed to be 4000 years old. It is popular for hot springs which is believed to have medicinal value and is available for villagers to use.
Manali Mall Road : An Afternoon nap at the hotel, we decided to see Manali mall road. It was almost similar to Shimla, but I found it to be a little less reasonable and fashionable. Junk Jewelry(ear rings) starts at Rs 150 and locally made paintings might make a good gift for someone. We saw around 4 furry dogs day dreaming and chilling which melted our heart.
Locals sell Apple cider vinegar(starts at Rs 250) here with various fruity sweets which are worth a try. We had ‘Jalebi’ and hot milk in a small eatery there which was fresh and tasty. Local bakeries offered bake puffs which were good but nothing extra ordinary.
As the day ended, we came back to our hotel and just could not stop giggling thinking of the fuzzy-furry cute dogs we spotted day-dreaming in the Mall road. Shiv confided that he was tempted to lure the cuties and bring them back to Bangalore with us. But he had spotted a collar on their necks and left them alone. Next day was for us to explore Rohtang snow line and Solang valley. I silently prayed for a snowfall to add some more magic to our experience!