Saturday, 18 February 2012

Day 9 - Himachals in Winter - "Farewell Angelina/The sky is folding/I'll see you in a while"


I start this post with this famous song of Bob Dylan as I feel this could be appropriate for Day 9. Obviously, Manali was the Angelina in our case, and it was a farewell day for us, unfortunately.

Leaving Manali is always difficult, since it embraces you with its outstretched arms, no matter where you come from, with so much warmth that it is damn difficult to turn your back on her. It certainly offered a special memory in our hearts. So when we hit the road to leave this beautiful hill-town after a quick breakfast at around 7 am, we were obviously feeling sad and a bit low as our adventure was coming to an end.

The road was a smooth drive. The dawn was just breaking, we left the snow-capped peaks glowing as gold behind. The ever-beautiful Beas joined as a faithful companion along the way. Whenever we looked back we could see the hills under both light and shadow, which gave the surroundings a magical effect.

Manali gradually became invisible and we were on those hills through which we came. We passed by Kullu, we passed by Bhuntar Airport, we passed by the cute villages. Through the hills and through the planes, we drove on. Beas never left us.

The sun felt scorcher by every minute since we were descending. At around 1 pm, we dropped by a small place – excuse my poor memory as once again I could not recall the name – and stuffed ourselves with a non-veg thali. Now the real bad roads started since we took a shortcut. And our most trusted fellow traveler – the Beas – headed to some other direction. We missed her really! It was just like parting away from one of the closest and trusted friends!

The road became narrower, dustier and rougher as we moved on. The cliffs came closer to the car. It was a real scary road. And as if that was not enough, there came a couple of trucks from the opposite sides and the road was totally blocked for everyone. Our car had to move backwards. That ran a chill through our spines. But anyway, we somehow managed and overcame all the obstacles.

We were on our way after some time to Chandigarh. This was the same road which went from Shimla but we have bypassed Shimla using that short-cut route.

We drove on through the traffics, noises, people and the pollutions, it felt like we were experiencing something new and things and we didn’t belong there – I guess this happens to everyone while returning from the hill-havens – we belonged to that pretty hill town.

We reached Pinjor Gardens – where we planned to stay at the Haryana Tourism’s resort inside the garden – around 5.30 pm. After that tedious journey we were desperately in need of a shower. We were allocated to ‘Sheesh Mahal’. It was like a place which was used by the Moghul Emperors to enjoy the beauty of the garden. The rooms were really spacious and cosy for 2 persons.

We had the full morning on the next day to explore the surroundings hence we concentrated most on the basic elemental needs of the modern mankind – a roof, a bed, a shower and food. The first 3 were already satisfied so we started our hunt for food. There was a restaurant in the premises by HRTC which can delight you with their delicacies. We two devoured a meal for 3 perhaps. And we started roaming around a bit. In the inside the complex were lit up by colored lightings which was really good for photography. But no tripod and no dSLR meant I had to be satisfied with my PAS (Point and Shoot, a rather known name really). The outside was made like an amusement park – toy trains, karting, food stall etc etc.

We did not really have much energy left so we thought to call it a night by 9 and after we retired to bed, we both perhaps dreamt of the snow-covered mountain peaks, of the tallest of trees, of the snowfall and of course, of our friend Beas.


Pictures -
This is what we left behind

...and this as well
A bridge near Kullu
We crossed the bridge..
The green Beas
The friend whom we had to leave
Somewhere on the way
The Sheesh Mahal of Pinjore Garden

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