Manali, The Valley of Gods | Honeymoon Trip

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It’s been a long time since I had a visit to the hills. Suddenly out of nowhere raised an opportunity but this one was going to be unique. As it was the honeymoon trip, of course It had to be special. After much thought on Malaysia, Andaman and Nicobar, Kerala, Goa, Himachal we both decided that we shall go somewhere which shall be known to us and of course shall be beautiful.

The only beautiful place among the list known to us was Himachal to relax and enjoy. Finally, it was decided that we will go to Manali and Naggar. Immediately after the decision I went on with the bookings. I always dreamt of staying in cottages and huts with someone special, so searched the Internet and finalized on Hadimba Cottages, HPTDC for Manali and Naggar Castle, Naggar. In my research I never found any photos or pictorial details how did these Hadimba cottages look but I had fair idea of Naggar Castle and its breathtaking views. So there was always an apprehension for Hadimba Cottages. But never mind to make it easy for you guys I compiled a review of both hotels here viz. Hadimba Cottages and Naggar Castle

I did the booking of hotels and Volvo bus tickets from the HPTDC Tourism Office at Chanderlok Building C.P., New Delhi. For more details on bookings you can check my Hotel Reviews for Naggar Castle or Hadimba Cottages

Day 1 and 2 – November 10th / 11th, 2009 | Delhi to Manali

Coming back to the travelogue it started on 10th November, 2009 when we left from home at 5 P.M. and almost missed the bus 😉 Feel the HPTDC guyz are really strict on timings and I fell they should be. Bus started at 6.45 PM for over a 12 hour journey and first stop was Mirchi restaurant near Ambala, if I am not wrong. The dinner we had was pretty nice in fact and mineral water bottles were sponsored by the HPTDC bus service. It was the first time I was traveling in a bus for traveling purposes and my wife too and in the morning, yes, it was the first time that I had some stomach-trouble or felt like puking while traveling in the hills. May be driver had wrong speed ratio while turning on curves. My wife too had a rough journey but thankfully none of us puked. Finally after 15 hrs or so we reached Manali bus stand at 9.30 AM on 11th November, 2009.

Getting down from the bus was such a relief I can’t explain but there are always two sides bad and good. As soon as we got down we were flooded by local taxi walas, hotel agents etc for hiring a taxi or hotel accommodations. Somehow I managed to get out of that crowd and asked one lonely Cab driver for a drop to Hadimba Cottages. He agreed on Rs. 40 and it was fine considering the fact that auto-rickshaws take Rs 40 for a drop till Old Manali from Mall road. Finally we reached our cottage where we checked in and got our welcome drink as Tea along with some breakfast as butter toasts. It was just OK, not so good but we were tired, we had that and just went to sleep. But in between when the breakfast was coming I was quick to click few shots.

Reception……

A Passerby…

View from Cottage Window…

It was extremely chilly out there proving the fact that Manali did get a snowfall two days before and it had happened after very long time in Manali (snowfall in November ). We kept sleeping for next 6 hours that day, so nothing much to explain. In the evening we just roam in the so visible 😉 garden in front of cottages and checked to see if there are any other tourists as well. But sadly 🙁 there were none. Meanwhile we took these photographs.

Outside View…

Day 3 – November 12th, 2009 | Manali Local Sightseeing

After a sound rest of complete day it was the day for local tour. Morning was chilly but we had sun out today. In breakfast we had omelets and bread quickly and were out in a flash and target was local sightseeing.

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First we took an auto and reached Manu temple… well well well it was way up after crossing Old Manali…We visited the temple, had a prayer with couple of photos and back to find no auto there…there was hardly anybody there and empty lanes of old manali on the way back took some scary anxieties out of my wife and me too 😉 as I was with her for the first time alone…anyways there were some views to store in the camera..so I did obliged to them 🙂

Manu Temple…

Views Enroute Manu Temple…

Finally after some 10 minutes of walk we got an auto-rickshaw near bridge of old manali entrance and he agreed to drop us at the back side of Hadimba temple for 20 Rs…and then we went on to see Hadimba Temple, we had the prayers and photos again….Here are some of the clicks…

Hadimba Temple…

Then we walked to Mall Road, there lies the main interest for Women..i.e. shopping 😀 …my wife had a big smile but first she wanted to visit the monastery…we did so and It was fun revolving all the domes in the monastery

Here are few clicks of the Local monastery at Manali…

We explored the market behind monastery, bought some initials carved key chains for all the kids or bachcha party at home  :)…and came back to Mall with lunch in mind…neither of us wanted heavy lunch so we went to a restaurant having snacks, name forgotten (it’s the only restaurant at mall to have lots of snacks at door itself)….it’s right in front of Bus Stand…did some pet-pooja (i.e. lunch) pao-bhaji, dosa, pop corns etc. now we were out on mall and now all my wife wanted was shopping…so we had couple of round of the mall..she explored most of the shops bought so many things that I started worrying me regarding the luggage we would need to carry back 😉

Temple @ Mall Road, Manali..

After shopping we had coffee at Nescafé counter, HPTDC Office…Since the foodteacoffee offered at Hadimba cottage was outsourced to Kailash Hotel by HPTDC, the quality was extremely low. We decided at least there is an operational kitchen so we can have our own coffee/milk.

We bought the ingredients i.e. coffee, milk and sugar to cater the needs and at evening went back to the cottage to rest. Reaching cottage we checked the photos we clicked and then I got my hard disk which is used to play .avi/divX movie files and plugged it in TV at the cottage. We watched eagle eye for some time and then switched it off as the dinner arrived. It was silent out there and you could listen distant voices being alone out there in those cottages. After dinner we prepared some coffee in the kitchen as dinner again was of pretty average standard.

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It was a pleasant day but I didn’t expect night to be so scary alone out there. Since it was the mating season for dogs, already there were lot of disturbances going around outside the cottage and just imagine you are alone in all those cottages. There were sounds of murmuring against the window but I believe it was coming from distance but then suddenly lot’s of running steps next to our cottage window struck our ears in the middle of the night and we woke up. I called at reception only to find for two continuous rings no one picked up the phone and then finally third time someone picked up and I asked him what kind of trouble is up outside our cottage and he said I was the one sir. I came to make cow run away from your cottage. I was like, "cow at night?", very strange and my wife, typical bollywood or news channel style, "Cow in hills :confused:" , how come is it possible. She didn’t see any cow in the evening and neither did I, as the doubt started to tickle my head finally there was a grunt of cow and my wife’s mind stopped working directions 😀 and I was relieved. Finally we agreed that we will not sleep here next day and will leave the cottage or will go home as she has started getting fever and cold and was not feeling well enough. Next day was scheduled for snow point.

The Journey ahead-

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Helping travelers, backpackers & tourists in planning memorable trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, Responsibly and Economically. I am in love with Spreading Smiles in the Himalayas through DoW Causes. You can read more about me in detail by checking out About Me section from the main menu.

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