#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.

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continue…

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Here Mrigank Dubey come peddling….
 
You are welcome to join for whatever distance you like. The map gives over all direction, however there is no fixed itinerary.
 
Starting from #Jodhpur, if you would want me pass through your cities drop a #message . #cycle will #roll out of #Jodhour by #February end. #Hope to see #you #all #soon #cycling #fun #Life #awesome #Pan #India

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Cycling in Rajasthan

 

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Hello Friends,

Its my pleasure to bring this opportunity for you to be part of cycling expedition in Rajasthan which will cover Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Sojat, Pali & Jodhpur Cities.

It will be roughly 600 kms expedition in normal to medium terrain with every day offering you rough look of desert and semi desert landscapes and nights would bring occasions to spend time with local villagers.

Day 1- Registration in Jaipur , Transfer to Ajmer in a AC Cab. Stay at Ajmer, Cycling in Ajmer for local destinations like Khwaja Monuddin Chishti Dargah etc.

Day 2 – Ajmer to Pushkar by Cycling, Explore Pushkar at Leisure

Day 3- Ajmer – Beawer by cycle. Beawer is a less known city which has a lot to offer to travellers. We will explore local markets, cuisines and people, of course.
Day 4- Beawer – Sojat by Cycle;
Day 5 – Sojat
Day 6 – Sojat

For two and half day Sojat will be loaded with visit to town and Mehandi Farms.
Day 7 – Sojat to Pali, by Cycling
Day 8 – Pali
Day 9 – Pali

two and half day in Pali will see is explored local temples, hillocks, villages, cuisines, markets all on cycles
Day 10 – Pali – Jodhpur
Day 11- Jodhpur
Day 12 – Jodhpur
Day 13- Jodhpur
Day 14 – Jodhpur

Jodhpur is well known as Sun City / Blue City  and we will explore the city from cyclist eyes.
Day 15 – End of Expedition in Jodhpur

If you want more information or wish to register for the event; please contact on http://www.facebook.com/eenzwerver

Triund – Which was not to be just Triund!!

I found myself, when I got lost!!

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Yes, thats how it works for me. As usual I heard a lot about this hill top a lot and was inform it is an easy trek for a person with okayish fitness. I did not read much about this place, just started from my place out of no plan whatsoever. There has been a nagging thought of feeling guilty of not doing it despite of having the place so near by from Delhi. Little did I know, what was waiting for me there, in woods, few kilometres away from main/standard route for trek.

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I started off like without any mind to go Triund, I have this habit of choosing the place after I reach ISBT, Kashmere Gate, Delhi. I did the same this time too, earlier I have done this many times and have written about it one of them so far here. It happened to be one of the most amazing experience till then. I digress.

Coming back to this journey which later on turned out to be “not to Triund” but a different place and Triund became the side kick, I guess. The moment We ( Yes, this trip was done with one more friend ) started for the trek in morning, we met a shady fellow, right infront of the HRTC office in Mcloedgunj, We had time our side and wanted to see, what kind “great” deal he was giving us. He identified himself as John and promised to cover the trek in 2500bucks which included coming and going. All the expenses on the way were to be made by me. Well, I laughed with guy and promised to come back in some time after taking a breakfast which was not to be.

I had been informed by a friend about an alternate trail to hilltop which meet the standard trail half way but promised to be better in term scenic, difficulty level and overall experience. I took this advice and shot off to Upper Bhagsu where I was supposed to meet a local uncle who turned out to be nice experience again, but more on that later. I reached upper Bhagsu and met Uncle who indicated with his index fingure towards some huts and some poles in jungle, while identifying the trail. I started from there around 9:30am. I was about have one of the greatest experience of my life and I did not even know it.

I climbed up few stairs going into the jungle and looked for the “Said” trail and Voila! I found one. We started trekking in the mountain jungle enjoying every bit of it and hoping to find the main/standard trail to Triund in an hour and half at maximum. There were many time when there was no trail and we had to make diliberate attempt to find one. None the less we kept ont he mission and with 15 mins in hands, realisation dawned on me, we were still far from the mile stone ( sort of ), actually farther then we started and there was no way going in correct direction, no map, no network, little food & some water and one amateur first time trekker who was already getting tired & irritated, eventually soon going to hopefull ( if at all she knew, what was happening) , I was being reminded that about her being first time trekker already ( ahh, clear sign of fatigue and growing impatience )

I felt nice, rejuvenating and little unsure of what next I should do. Don’t get me wrong, nice and rejuvenating because of the excursion and sense that I was heading towards a place nobody goes ( whoaa), unsure for the company I had with me. I decided to go further on the current trail and what were we upto as we had plenty of time in hand ( it was only 1200 noon), I later realised we were continuously trekking a medium trek for 2 and half hour and thats good a new comer. It had to be. We continued, now after some time fellow trekker suspected me to be upto something as she too knew we should have reached the main trail by now.

She put her foot down and asked, I said the truth.

Disappointment hovered over her face but we agreed to go further and see if there is any chance of meeting main trail on this route, which we both knew had very thin probability. Not surrendering to this not to nice feeling of mutual disappointment, I focused in getting further in the trail and by 1:30pm, I knew why I was coming all the way here, to this place, where no body goes. We found a great cliff which had kind of pyramid made there by hundreds of stones. This cliff was directly overlooking the BHAGSU water fall, I shouted and called my friend to come there but she in her momentum had gone further on the trail. I thrown my backpack weighing 25kgs to gain speed and rain towards her. I got to her with in few minutes and lead her back to place I had found. Great!!

IMG_3681We sat there and had some thing to drink and eat enjoyed the view as much as we can. Out of the blues, I thought of checking the map on mobile phone and to my surprise I saw network, which In turned show us a arbitrary path to the hill top. We started again and went further for 20 mins more and I realised weather was changing its colors now, it was become shady, shadowy, misty and with mood of the my friend also following same trajectory, we decided to return for the day, to my own dismissal of self enthusiasm. Hence we start to descend toward to origin, with in an hour we reached the starting point though returning route was far more difficult and covered with dense bushes and a dead snake.

Version 2We decided to start again next day and stay with the local uncle who was as surprised to know we got lost as I was relieved to know the same. We spent the night with our host uncle who shown us great hospitality and we truly thankful for that gesture. It was great night as we slept like dead and woke up fresh like dew. We met few wonderful other member of uncle’s family and had sumptuous breakfast with them which ended with a photo session.

Today, we had to reach Triund and there was no scope for getting lost, I knew somehow we will be there tonight.

We started with same point with a slight different strategy, my friend was entrusted with job of seeker. She was supposed to find the trial, she resisted it little bit but I had decided in my mind. We choose different trail to begin with and I kept following her for next an hour or so which again led me to denser mountain forest then we saw yesterday but I had gut feeling we were heading to right way. This trail was far more arduous and steep but we had our spirits high like we knew we were on right path.

In further few more minutes, we were almost hanging by a mountain wall with the help of grass, yes you heard it right, grass. My friend started loosing hopes second time in this trek, now by this time, I took the lead and asked here stay put where we were. I went further to find a hut and asked her to come along. I went into the hut and met a a monk to my pleasant surprise. I wanted to know if we had come wrong but I wanted to hear we had come right way. I wished the young old man and explain what I was looking for, he assured me about the path and told me it was most steep trial toward main trail there were others too, which we could see on the adjacent mountains where clear view of stares chided our faces.

The monk lead the path now, to guide us as he was sure we could not find due to high grass density in that area, my friend was already scared to her wits, I asked her to be in between me and the monk which she refused, as monk was climbing at a speed which was unmatchable for her. I asked to to follow as close as she could and I followed the monk in next 15 minutes we reach a point where monk shown me cement poles and barbed wires and way to go to them. We were hanging with a wall inclined at almost 60 – 70 degrees, and my friend literally sticking herself like a lizard to the wall.I could not stop laughing.

I thanked the monk several times as without his help we could loose our will, patience & resolve to reach. We could have lost this war but it was not to be. I asked my friend to follow the trail to barbed wire which she refused at once as in her opinion, there was no barbed wires and no trail and I was hallucinating. Aha!! that moment.

Not to have a choice, I again took a lead and reach to the main trail, I felt I reached Triund. These last few meters proven to be most exciting during the whole journey.

We thrown our backpacks first time in that day and lied down on the main trial where many passer by looked at us ( lesser ones, as we were already almost done for the day). After resting for awhile and getting our dose for liquids and solids, we started to walks towards Triund, which was feeling to be a walk on nice paved roads now. We met an elderly Israel couple who has sailed half the world and exchanged notes with them wished them good luck. On the main trek trial, last couple kilometres are most arduous. We did them at leisurely pace as we were camping at Triund that night and hill top was already foggy. We hired a tent and after strolling around for some time and having the dinner. The view was breath taking again and it was spiritual experience to be there and breath in all the stars and cosmos.

Next morning was rather spectacular, as we waited for sunrise, taking pictures, looking all the colors around us and looking at the people around us. We started descending after some time and reached Mcloedgunj by early morning and bought our tickets  back to Delhi. Needless to say, we were hungry, We chose a restaurant at random and it was treat to go in and have breakfast there. Food was beyond delicious, chef herself came to us and asked if we wanted to say something or suggest. It was delightful moment.

It was leisure time and we went to the same restaurant where we had great dinner first time in Mcloedgunj. We got our dinner packed from there and barded the HIMSUTA bus thereafter to reach Delhi next morning.

IMG_6892It was an experience where I made a easy trek into a difficult one and God! I loved it.

This post was originally published by me on Tripoto.