It was final that we will be heading to Kasol – Manikaran and we called up Babloo to start from Baggi Village as we started descending from Prashar Lake Thanks to the signal at such a location else we would have had to trek all the 20 odd KMs down to Baggi Village. We started the descend which was quite fine and easier in comparison to the hike up last evening. This time we were carrying the water too 😉 😉 …
Sun was not out completely and hence, the advantage was that snow was not melted or soften so the road was less slippery. This helped us move down quickly and within no time we were almost half way through it. We were taking less pictures this time as due to the sudden change of plans to head to Kasol, we wanted to save time for it. Meanwhile we stopped for a break and both Bikram and Saurabh got the moment to create some Rum Kissed Gollas or called Rum Golas from the snow around 🙂 🙂 … After that there was no stopping from Bikram, even on the slippery shortcut we took while getting down 😀 :D. One was too risky but somehow we all managed to overcome it without breaking our ankles and even there Bikram was leading us almost one hairpin bend ahead. We asked him to stop taking shortcuts and follow the road as Babloo might be waiting somewhere on the road only. Finally, after couple of hours, we met Babloo who was ready there with his pickup to drive us down to Baggi Village.
This time I accompanied Bikram on the top and my god, on that bumpy, dirt track kinda road it was some experience riding in the back of a pickup. Both me and Bikram were being thrown to all sides of the pickup but the aerial views we were getting were just unmatched 🙂 🙂 … It took about half on hour to reach Baggi where we decided to call up children from homes nearby and spread some smiles with DoW Causes. You can read the complete account of it in the community at the link: DoW Cause | GYAAN 500 in action at Prashar Lake, Himachal
Since, the school was closed being Sunday, we had to do this mini cause kind of thing but feeling was still the same and smiles were equally heart warming… We asked the villagers for the distance of Bhuntar from here and some said just about 30 odd KMs and we were now more inclined to Kasol because we knew it is about 35 KMs odd from Bhuntar Hence, we were expecting just a couple of hours of drive. We started the drive back and after 4 odd KMs, you re-join to the main road coming from Mandi from where you need to take the U-Turn to right to go towards Kullu. The straight road leads you back to Mandi and is called Mandi – Bajaura road which passes through Neol – Ropa villages. Bajaura is the place where road ends and it lies on usual NH-21 that is Chandigarh – Manali Highway from where taking a left will lead you to Bhuntar. Keep in mind that you need to follow the main road to Bajaura and ask for directions for Bhuntar or Kullu or Bajaura as other villages like Neol – Ropa are a bit higher up and may lead to confusion.
The road was in average condition not good not that bad, not so wide not so narrow. So, speed wasn’t good. About 30 KMs passed by and there was no sign of Bajaura yet and it started raining which converted to hailstorm after a while and finally to snow as we reached a top of the mountain somewhere near Ropa Village. It was difficult to drive at that time as we descended the hailstorm got quite dense. We continued and finally managed to reach Bajaura only after 55 odd KMs and from there Bhuntar was further 7-8 KMs and Kasol 40 odd KMs. We had no option than to drive ahead to Kasol. Not much time was left before it went dark, so we speeded up. We were in drive for almost 3.5 Hrs now and then 3 KMs before Kasol, there was a long long traffic jam as 2 buses were stuck to pass each other and one of them could not move due to failure 😥 😥 … It was a long wait of about 40-45 minutes before we were let through as somehow the other bus fixed and moved few Mtrs to provide other bus to pass through 🙁 🙁 … Tired, we finally reached Green Valley Hotel Kasol where last year my brother in law stayed. We did not have energy to search anymore so settled whatever was provided to us.
After half an hour rest, time to rush to market for the dinner. Since, it was winters and no season time in Kasol, the market was deserted unlike any other day in season time. Most restaurants were closed by 8.00 PM too so we had to settle in to Evergreen Bhojanalaya, something that I stayed away to distant on my second visit to Kasol. A place to avoid, IMHO especially for a person who love North Indian food though we did not order any such food, whatever was ordered had a bland taste including Pizza and service was more preferential to foreigners. We just ate and went off to hotel where we ordered some French Fries + Peanut Masala to share on Rum on the final day of the trip 🙂 🙂 … You can read the detailed review and others review at DoW Community link: Review of Evergreen Bhojanalaya – Kasol
At Green Valley Hotel, though rooms were fine and clean and at Rs 900 per room, it was fine types. However, the service was not that good. The funniest part was that they have rates on rooms even based on number of quilts and blankets they provide 😯 :sock: … Rs 1200 Room had best quilts and blankets and the one we took had very thin liners of blanket and in zero degrees with rain outside, it was chilly at night. Service wise too it was like too laid back. So, only prefer it, if you are not getting likes of Alpine Guest House or Hotel Sandhya in Kasol. Otherwise, if you are tight on budget and a camping person, best is to get in touch with Om Negi at 09805716616 Om runs a camping site and offers at decent prices. He knows DoW very well as he participated in Kasol Cleanup Drive too which we undertook in June, so you can easily refer DoW or Dheeraj there. Plus walk to other side of the bridge to his camp site is too nice to make you feel in the mountains 🙂 🙂
Day 3 | Kasol – Manikaran – Mandi – Chandigarh – Delhi
Anyways, we slept like horses that night and woke up early morning to first visit Manikaran Sahib and then quickly leave for the home. We did exactly that despite too cold conditions. Car’s temperature meter read 0 degree as it snowed on the peaks around. It was so good to feel the air and its freshness with chill around. Loved it. We moved to Manikaran which is just 7-8 KMs from Kasol and were awestruck with the beauty of sunrise over Paravati Range Breath-taking it was and I barely could capture it in the picture, but still some shots worth sharing here. Then, we finally decided to move on as we did not want to get late in the night.
We reached Manikaran Sahib ji in no time and then had darshan there quickly as none of us dared to took bath, offered prayers, took prasad and off to car parking which was multi level… Loved it, seeing such a parking there. First glitch, the car refused to open. May be the battery died of the remote key 🙁 🙁 … Shook and beat that hard, gosh, it opened then 😀 … We were back on road then and making quick progress. Nothing much but rush towards Delhi, so I was driving fast. Had a quick stop from where the bridge of Kullu / Bhuntar is visible, took some pics but missed to take Beas – Parvati Confluence below the bridge and then went to cruise the Delhi – Manali Highway
The next planned halt was at Sunder Nagar where we called up our friend Tarun for a quick meet. But, as we crossed Aut Tunnel and were nearing Pandoh Dam, the car just refused to climb as I saw the RPM going to 7000 😯 😯 … It was a scary location too and landslide prone. After some analysis under the bonnet, we came to know that Accelerator wire had broken 😥 😥 … There was no help around, numerous calls to service centre of Maruti and all refused to help and asked us to bring the car to their workshops either at Kullu or Mandi. Mandi was much closer and Pandoh another 10 odd KMs only. Meanwhile Saurabh, took a lift from a car and got to Pandoh to get a mechanic with the wire. However, there was no spare available. On the other side, there were couple of stones that slid down in front of us where we were standing with broken down car just aside the gorge 😀 😀 …
This scared us and I decided to give it a try again. I pushed the accelerator with just as little force I could to get the car moving at 10 KMPH and it worked 😀 😀 … We kept moving at snail’s pace and reached Pandoh but no luck with the spares there. Finally, crawled our way in 1.5-2 Hrs to Mandi 😯 😯 but thankfully the fix did not took much time and we were free in half an hour as they changed the accelerator wire in no time. Again time to rush back home. I had a client call to attend at 8.30 PM and it look unlikely not that I reach by that time. Aashish too had an important call. But, there was o way out. We stopped for late lunch at Sundernagar and met Tarun there. Had some gup shups before running down to Chandigarh Roads at that time between Sundernagar and Kiratpur were very bad though now apart from 20 KMs between Kiratpur – Swarghat, rest all is fine. We reached Chandigarh at 8 PM, dropped Bikram at his home and went to main highway to Delhi just at the exit of Chandigarh. We decided to park aside and took our calls which further killed 1 hour, so around 9 PM types, we moved to Delhi. Had our dinner after crossing Murthal and reached home at 1.30 AM 🙂 🙂 … Then both Aashish and Saurabh went back to Noida to their homes after getting fuel in almost empty fuel tank of Saurabh’s car, glad did not turn up into further adventure of second breakdown of the day 😉 😉 …
I hope you liked this Prashar Lake Travel Tale of mine… Have you ever been to Prashar Lake? How was your experience or you looking forward to visit it? Do share you experiences or queries in either comments section of DoW Community with all other devils 🙂 🙂