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.
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.
After spending three hours trekking towards Tiger’s Nest we reached the Monastery and last one kilometre is quite interesting as its very narrow lane along side the mountain and at many points at a time only one person can pass.
We spent almost two hours in the Monastery being overwhelmed by the way Monastery was built and folklores associated with it, about the monk who rode the tigress, about how he reinstated Buddhism in the region.
One suggestion I would give to visitors is carry a small lock with you if you visit this place at your own as when you reach the Monastery, you are required to put your belongings like any leather article, cameras in the lockers at the entrance however you might not find locks there.
We started to descend after two odd hours and it took less then half of the time, when we reached starting point, it was time to shop for some trinkets and niceties, those were supposedly ancient and had been sourced from interior villages of Bhutan. I bought couple of things irrespective of I believe these claims or not.
On the way back we decided to go to 700 years old ruins of most powerful monastery of Bhutan and my god! Ruins sing glory of the older times.
Walking in these ruins one feels how is it to age and still be gracious about it. Every wall, nook and corner has thousands of words to say about time which has passed by. Magnificent or nothing at all, depending who looks at them and how.
We continue in next post.