#Me & #Manali – 2

Transit is way of life – a permanent one

Last time I wrote about Manali it actually wanted to write about Laddakh & Leh. Thinking about Manali makes me emotional I guess. Last time I went to Manali was for Cycling with in Manali and Manali was the base camp, however this time it was just transit, I had to reach Leh for another cycling expedition and I stayed in Manali for less then 24 hours.

The time one spends on #the #MALLROAD can give you an experience in itself and lessons as well. Talking about Mall Road, it has become fashionable name as most famous hill station has a Mall Road of their own. The trend originally started in Shimla and due to popularity of the road other towns in Himalayan region got one main road with same name.

During those hours, by the way hawkers approached tourist, I realised few things like:

Indian Men need “Shilajit” or Desi version of viagra

Indian Men definitely need this thing if they are with a girl roaming about Mall Road

Everybody must eat & shop

Consistent pestering of hawkers can be as irritating & tiring as dogs are for monkeys.

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Mall Road on a Rainy Day|Picture Courtesy: TripAdvisor

Passing time and observing around I happen to encounter couple of people playing musical instruments on road (which is not allow anymore for reasons best understood by Manali Police). Music was amazing and I stood there listening to them and in some time crowd gathered for the same. They kept playing & people kept listening peacefully. That was one of most peaceful road concert I have ever been part of.

I had made a mistake however which was to eat a sumptuous dinner and I was unaware to how was it a mistake till I boarded the mini bus that night round 2am for Leh. I threw each and every drop/morsel of fluid I might have had in my stomach in next few hours.

This visit made me see Manali I did not see last time, The one which tourist see as introduction, the one which makes you eat “softy” & buy “Shilajeet”. The one which is like  a mini carnival with all the colors scattered around. The one which is selling itself to survive that season. The one which sees much more Indian crowd then otherwise.

I bade my good bye for this one that night…. and boarded the bus for Leh.

Visual Delight

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#Brigde #rustic #himalayas #mountain #cycling #light #love #life #BRO #Laddakh #India #GoExtraordinary! @royalcaribbeanuk

Travel & Relationship

These two words are quite interesting individually and gives birth to heady cocktail when mixed as there numerous possibilities comes on picture when one think of these two together. Travel. Relationship.

We will talk about all the possibilities and to begin with we will put possibilities here. So here you go

Relationship with places

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Relationship within your mind & heart

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The Connection!

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Relationship with Travel things

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(That T-shirt is forever)

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Relationship between travel companion(s)

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Relationship with means of travel

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Relationship with passerby

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Travel & Relationship also bring me to, travelling with relationship(s) and how they evolve with that but that for some other day!

There might be many more which I missed, You are welcome to add them! we will go through each of them in future..!

#Me & #Manali – Inception

This post started as “#ME & #Laddakh” but developed itself rather like “#ME & #Manali” and I had to change the title as well

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It can never have a perfect start or end or enough of words when I write of #Laddakh because everything fall short for the #Laddakh. I run out of all tangible thing as I am flooded with………..this post would continue later…for now please keep on reading about #Manali

It started long back when I visited first ever time to Manali and when you are in #Manali you see every day some of groups leaving for Leh and some of them coming back. People talking about which mountain pass is open or not. There are road signs indicating just that. Whole atmosphere is like a transit camp, which is full of life and anticipation. Like any other transit camps, there are  unofficially defined zones for everything. Everything one might want to do to have fun and enjoyment, cafes, hostels, smoke zones, #hash-zones , grass/weed zones, some might like to argue that whole Manali is that only however it is largely divided in terms of type of people populating and hanging about that place e.g. Old Manali is den of foreign nationals and famously second home to Israeli people who come after their military service.

But I did not see any of it.

When I first visited #Manali, it was through the eyes of a cycling expedition and my exposure to real #Manali was as limited as it could be, however, I felt I needed to come back. As Soon As Possible.

First time ever, I was cycling in #Manali and visited all the places one supposed to be visited like #Hidimba Temple, #Manu Temple, #Vashishth #HotSpring, #Naggar Castle etc. and the highlight of whole time was not these place but the routes to go there which we covered by cycling.

Every day was marked with scenic beauty of #pine and air filled with fragrance of mountain flora and fauna. Body filled with strain of #cycling and #heart filled with #joy. It was a different experience and I did not know about it. I did not know I was not looking at Manali with a tourist point of view but a cyclist view.

In later years, I went Manali for different purposes and got chance explore the place from different angles and god it was fun every way I tried but most of all it was a relief from summer heat of northern Indian plains in lap of #Himalayas. While one can feel the transit every day. Transit because #Leh felt like home later and by road Manali to Leh highway is the one of three way to reach Leh.

Manali became and hopefully be my favourite transit camp. More about Manali some other day!

Himalayas, Elevation, Rain & Cycling!

When I left Delhi for Aut to join the Jalori Pass Mountain Biking Expedition, little did I know about course of event are about to give me memories for life time. In small villages of Aut, Manglore, Jibhi and Sojha there were so many moments about to unfold themselves before me that I would be left in different array of expressions and emotion sometimes expressed otherwise not.

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Aut, situated roughly 68kms before Manali on Delhi Manali Route ( Right after the 3kms long tunnel , NH 3) is peaceful hamlet saving all day noise of vehicle passing by on the main road. There is one route which takes you towards Shimla.

Map – Aut – Jalori Pass

The route itself in scenic and exhilarating would be an understatement when you start moving toward Sojha, it feels like you are in the movie, Lord of the Rings and walking in the mountains where elves are about to appear any moment. Weather changes colours fast then a chameleon can and roads become a roller coaster ride. Every turn you take feels you have discover a new world which keep happening more often then not.

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When all this can happen and you choose to cycle your way around these mountains, it increases your fun quotient by several fold as it gives you time to take as much as possible without rushing through the region as the length of this route till Jalori Pass is roughly 40kms which not too long if you want to take a motorised vehicle.

I was fortunate enough that rain gods thought of gracing my ride with their blessings and it was fun to ride in light rain fall along the way and it was beautiful to be able to differentiate between area where it was raining and areas without rain in that comparatively small patch of route with naked eyes!

Anybody who wants to train themselves for high gradient cycling, it is great idea to ride this route as it starts with easy roads and take you to HQ gradient coupled with no roads. Reaching to each of these villages is fun and moving too. However entering Sojha is unparalleled possible for many reasons like its altitude, its proximities to the pass yet charm to hold you for stay. The fragrant air which one can’t get enough and many more.

If you want to just relax in lap of nature and cool your mind off. These are the places for you. C ya!

P.S. Don’t forget to pack your rain jacket.

Let’s Fly…..!

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This picture had been taken at village Tedagaon near Jim Corbett National Tiger Reserve, India while I was cycling there with a group of amateur cycling enthusiasts, the things on the branches are Not leaves but parakeets which are common in this region.

Jungle, People, Escape & Tamasha 

You might be wondering what kind of title is that! Well, its some what as incoherent as my thoughts are but don’t worry I would try to make these edible for you but in case I fail to manage ( not that I passed in that earlier post!!) please  cut me some slack and read it anyway. So coming to the main theme….

I have spent last few weeks in Himalayan foothills, cycling in and around Jim Corbett National Tiger Reserve along with couple of hundred more people while helping them out with various knick knacks of mountain biking and jungle as and when required and was fortunate enough to have a direct or indirect conversation with some of these people.

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During these conversations interesting phenomena came out. Many were behaving totally differently then they do in their regular lives. Notable point here is almost all the people were practically strangers to each other or most of others in this gathering of wanna be off road cyclists and they had an opportunity to portray themselves whatever way they would like and no body would know in their regular lives about it.

Whatever happens in jungle stays in jungle

People tried to engage in conversations at their will and possibly argued/ talked in more free way then they would do compared to their regular settings.

They cracked jokes, exchanged pleasantries, ate, slept, cycled, laughed, cried , loved, be loved, roamed, practically Lived their lives more as they wanted to and less as they were supposed to.

It felt like they were living an alternate reality , an alternate life.

An Escapade!

Not very long back there was a hindi movie released on similar theme with the title Tamasha, featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone as lead pair. Just it was taken more towards a happy ending where patrogonist is sucrssfully able to breakfree from his life and covert his alternate reality into the main stream reality with the help of his lady love. Cherry on the cake was everybody ( family, friend and other not so insignificant people in his life) understood his actions snd approved in one way or another. What did you say?! Unimaginable in real life? Ofcourse why do you think its called reel life?

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However lets hope everybody is able to live their alternate reality daily at least in bits and pieces to keep their mind sane and heart from exploding!

P.S. : The observations and thoughts completely belong to the author and are completely made up and has no gaurantee of being real/ facts whatsoever. People in the mentioned gathering ……..oh one minute? Which gathering?

P.P.S : Picture Courtesy : Cycles : Nitin, Riders : Shanil, Rest : Mrigank

Sun Light

Bright sun light, treading on harsher side but if you manage to look away in another direction while this sun light is falling on your skin, it make you feel better specially in winters like this, ok, only in winters like this or colder.


Beaches are famous for taking sun in and in EU, Americas and Australia its necessesiry to take sun while southeast asia its not much in fashion owing to availabliyy of sun round the year

What exactly do you feel when you do that? Taking Sun.

Do you feel sun light reaching in your body by penetrating in your skin pours?

As in you want to travel the world reaching to every nook and corner, noting and nowhere should be left virgin.

Is it continuous process? Like taking time off forever and keep travelling like a nomad.

or it like batch process? Like taking vacation every year for few months and ticking off one, two or more countries.

There are some people who follow a rule for their travelling, go to same destination every year. Is it like tanning only one’s arse and leaving behind whole rest of body because you like tanning your arse most ( not that you have tried any other part)

Share Sun is what we do, not that we have a choice. Hope we share mother earth’s love similarly, without hurting her so much.

Why every one should try and travel at regular intervals?

Looking at some places in real is different then looking at them in pictures apart from making you nostalgic, these activities tend to fire a train of thoughts which later have a chain effect in your mind.

Trail

Trail

Traveling is therapeutic. It is meditation when one can loose all the monkeys on one’s shoulder and changing landscapes & surroundings help as to assimilate newer information for day to day life mind tend to get busy in processing new information rather then being in auto-pilot mode with all known surroundings.

Some says it is an escape, I disagree. It is similar when I disagree if one say yoga is escape. An exercise to keep to mental and/or physically fit is merely an effort to live life in a more healthy and enthusiastic manner should not be called escape, whether it is travel or Yoga. With changing life, times, life style has taken very weird and contradictory situation as to destroying our mind, body and soul. Contradictory in a sense, things those claim to give us strength in any sense, food items in health, media in entertainment and so on, are actually performing opposite effect and sad state of affair is people are not realising it, being busy in watching the drama & being part of it.

Wandering one gathers honey

                                                                 ~YHAI

This quote has inspired many and continues to do so. However how many are really able to do it real time and real life. Every body is busy attending to Grihasthashram or Family Duties Wandering is clearly not a feasible options for everybody.

Decluttering of mind and soul is one of essentials for living a healthy life and travel help in that immensely. There are many type of travellers around and you can find your own style as well. There is this video which showcase normally lethargy for travelling and leaving the comfort zone objectively.

World would so much more fun to live in when everybody understand themselves, about their passions, desires and things they really want to do. Travel will help you do that.

Sikkim & Bhutan – 19

Well, well, this memoire is nearing its completion and few more days left before travelling to land of Druk

Planning & Research Courtesy : Insignia

Chimi Lhakhang was great experience after so much of sincere Buddhism for so many days in Sikkim & Bhutan. However we have not had once in life time experience of Punakha Dzong yet. The Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong, is the administrative centre of Punakha District in Punakha, Bhutan and one of the most beautiful Monastery I have ever seen.

Punakha Dzong!!

Punakha Dzong!!

We had to stop here, even before reaching the Dzong, just to stare at this beautiful thing and capture it. As usual they have built it on bank of river and there is a bridge way to cross the river and enter the Dzong.

We headed to the suspension bridge almost 1.5 kms away from the Dzong, walking there had become an experience as we had a small conversation we local ladies working in the vicinity and then asked way to school girls.

IMG_2711The bridge is about 200 m long and help you cross the river. We did cross the river just have fun of it and we saw this house at the end which is visible in the picture. I initially thought it might be a monastery as well but it turned out to be a house, where people were going about their daily chores.

We spent some time at the bridge and returned to the Dzong to resume the return journey as this was the point where we truly started to return to the place where we started but before that we have couple of more places to talk about which we will in next post.

Till then I hope you enjoy Punakha Dzong! Stay Happy!