It was like the Sun playing hide and seek with us. The whole country is sweating in hot summer and we are trying to hid ourselves to get rid of the chilling breeze. It was at Rohtang Pass 13500 ft. high from sea level on 5th May 2010. To our surprise it started drizzling. Many of us attacked Nurjahan”s (we interviewed her and had her family bio data) stall to have hot noodles and yummy omlettes. Actually by that time an hour would have passed returning from Rohtang, had not our tempo traveller’s tyre got struck up in the damp mud.
After hectic schedule of the year it is the summer time to go in search of some hill station to beat the heat for some time. So this year we decided to visit Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh in the first week of May. We booked a package as very first customers at Thomas Cook , Khammam. We were five nuclear families with ten adults and five children. We all met in Shamshabad Airport reaching Hyderabad separately at our convenience. We boarded Indigo plane at 6.30 a.m. and reached New Delhi by 8.30 a.m. Thomas cook people recieved and landed us in a 20 seater AC tempo traveller. The journey started to Shimla with Jaspal Singh ji in the driving seat and Raghu from Rajasthan to help all along.
On our way we had breakfast and lunch. Children started playing dumb charades and adults too joined and had lot of fun. By the time we reached the foot steps of HP all of us were tired. But there is some magic in the air, going up the hills we were thrilled to see high mountains and green valleys. Girls started singing songs from 3 Idiots. Apart from the storyline, A. Khan and Chatur's performance, the locales in and around Shimla captured by the cameraman fascinated and us inspired to select shimla for summer outing. We were accommodated in Marigold Resorts at Mashobra, 12 km from Shimla. The very moment we got down, me and some others could not bear the chilly winds and rushed to our rooms to switch on the room heaters.
The place where we stayed is on the top of a hill and it is green every where. Sunrise from behind the mountains was the morning feast for us. It was a dayout to Kufri and Mall Road. Kufri is 16 km from Shimla with high mountains and valleys. To reach the hill top one have to hire a horse for a min. of Rs.250/-. All the girls were frightened. To be honest at first I too was but went ahead to get our angels out of their fear. I believe that children learn from examples. The way is not even easy for a horse to go up alone and it had to carry us. There are beautiful locales for nature lovers. Rs.75 will be charged if we want to see some view points through telescopes. After lunch we spent some time wandering on the Shimla Ridge. This is the place where official functions of HP government and National festivals celebrated. The Christ Church of 18th century built in the neo-gothic style is the major attraction. Then we spent ample time in shopping in the Mall Road. It was a great experience watching Shimla at night with lights, like stars decorated on the hills.
Shimla at night
Next day we were on our way to Manali ,260 km.from Shimla. The beauty of the whole trip lies in the journey. Never ending valleys, river Beas flowing parallel for more than 150 km .adds attraction. There was a 3 km long road tunnel through which we passed and our people made a hell of noise with joy. On the way we took a break at Kullu, famous for shawl factories. We saw the shawl weaving procedure and some of us bought the stuff. There were a few hanging bridges over Beas. Our stay was at Maple River View Hotel ,3 km from Manali.
On the fourth day we went on local sight seeing in Manali. We visited Hadimba ( Bheema’s wife in Mahabharata ) and Ghatotkacha (Bheema’s son) temples. We recalled the scene from the movie Roja shot on Madhubala and Janak raj in the temple. They both are surrounded by tall oak trees and we didnot recognize time running. Manu temple is a place from where we could have a look of mountains covered with snow glowing like silver rocks in the sun light. Tibetan Monastry is a must visited place. We purchased some decorative articles and dress materials as a sign of memory. We were treated with delicious lunch by Arun’s family on the occassion of their daughter’s birthday. In the noon we planned to visit Jana waterfalls,14 km from Manali towards Naggar palace. It was a breath-taking journey but amazing to watch very deep valleys. Even after travelling for 2 hours we did not find any signs of waterfalls. (For our surprise both the driver and helper did not knew the place). We got down at a place as we thought the vehicle could not go beyond. With the help of two local kids we started walking in search of waterfalls. Some of our friends stayed back in the vehicle. After walking for half an hour we could see the falls which is not to our expectation but we were not disappointed. The journey was like an expedition and it will be a worth remembering thrilling experience. By the time we reached the falls, our friends who stayed back in our vehicle came there by another small vehicle. There are a few people like us enjoying the beauty of the location.
Christ Church on the Shimla Ridge
at Rohtang Pass
The next day we started very early to Rohtang Pass 51km. from Manali .On the way we hired the dresses suitable for the weather conditions over there. We come across many waterfalls small or big on every hill side of the Ghat .We could not stop shouting on the sight of Himalayan ranges coming close good condition We had our breakfast in the vehicle which we got packed from the hotel. By 8.30. am we were in the midst of snow mountains. We weer enthralled on the glance of the nature's gift to India, the magnificient Himalayan mountains. It took some time to get accustomed to the weather. Then all of us enjoyed some rides and played in the snow. We had hot tea/coffee and thought of returning back soon. To our shock Jaspal Singh revealed the vehicle’s condition.
It took two hours to get back the vehicle on the road. In the mean time we enjoyed the sun and rain. When we reached it was down pouring in Manali so we had to sit back in the hotel rooms. The next day we started to Chandigarh. It is a well planned city and we could only visit Rock Gardens. There were a few more worth visiting places but we ran short of time. Last day we were in Delhi and could spend some time at India Gate. We came to catch our flight at 3.30 pm which was being announced 2 hours late. This time we were waiting for the surprise gift of the obstacle. Yes, it is there, after going up 37000 ft. high we had a grand show of the Sun set above the clouds at around 6.45 pm. Our seven day trip is colourful like the rainbow with excitement, entertainment and enjoyment.