This is a short account of a refreshing holiday we took in the laps of mountains ,greenery & forests. Yes the area iam talking about is the beauteous kullu manali in Himachal pradesh. It can be accessed by train from mumbai,where it is a overnight journey,which is fun going into the hinterland in an a/ coach like we all 8 friends did. It was ten day trip .We reached kullu by train to ambala & thereafter took a six hour journey by car to reach teh outskirst of the town by night.wE were tired ,but teh first glimpse ,of te beauteous river flowing through the sides of the narrow kutcha road ,mad our exhaustion vanish,as if by miracle. The water was white,transparent & gleaming in the moonlight. We went through a security check ala "heena " Movie By the local darogaji,before our jeep was waved in.On the way we saw numerous shops selling beautiful kullu shawls & caps in all shades of coloured wool.Some shopss even had looms on dispaly .While most shops were quaint & had a rustic old-town feel with their glass fronted timber shops & local cap -clad himacahalis drinking endless cups of tea....when business was slow.It was at least an hours drive from the kullu outpost to our lodge in teh market place at amanli. It was named Johnsons .....a la.....the soap commercial....murmured one of teh friends in a joking mood.It was a two minute walk from the market place,easy accessible & quite large & comfortable. The hotel was a lodge,all made of wood ,with countless rose shrubs dotting its landscape. Roses grow in himachal pradesh in abandon.They are found in all colours & hues.Even a poor hoem will have a few odd pots in full bloom. But teh funny thing is ....not all species have that glorious smell & they are largely used for indoor & outdoor decorations in all hotels & resorts. The jOHNSON LODGE WAS A SPRAWLING PALCE WITH INDEPENDENT BUNGALOW UNITS & ROOMS ,WITHA CENTRAL COMFORTABEL OFFICE & KITCHEN .eACH COTTAGE HAD A WOODEN DOOR WITH LAMPS & FRONT PORCH. THE ROOMS COMPRISED 2 LIVING ROOMS,2 BATHROOMS & 2 BEDROOMS WITHA AIRY KITCHEN WHICH OVERLOOKED THE BACKYARD.hERE WE ALL TOOK TURNS TO COOK HOT BREAKFAST ON CHILLY MORNINGS....STILL DREAMING & IN OUR BASIC WEAR. The lawn had garden furniture , small groves of ornamental trees & BUSHES. oNCE WE MADE APLAN TO AHVE AN IMPROMPTU PICNIC ON THE SOFT DEWY GRASS IN TEH BACK-YARD,WHILE STILL WATCHING THE SU COME UP AT 10 AM IN TEH MORNING THROUGH TEH 100 MTRS TALL CONIFEROUS TREES. iT WAS LIKE YOU HAD A SMALL SLICE OH HEAVEN IN YOUR PALTE .....& NOTHING LIKE WHAT YOU HAD SEEN I MUMBAI OR ELSEWHERE. tHE PEOPLE HERE ARE FUNNY,INNOCENT & CHARMING,esPECIALLY TEH ABBIES.wOMEN WORK IN GARDENS OR HOUSE-CLEANING,WHILE THE MAN DO THE ODD JOBS. sOME SCENES WERE TPICALLY OUT OF A MOVIE SET.