We did a one week trip to Shimla and Manali in April 2017. Although a week is not enough to explore both Shimla and Manali. So, rather than hopping from one site seeing destination to another, we were looking for a relaxing getaway from the daily toing and froing of life. Also, we planned this one week trip to Shimla and Manali as a big family group. And we also listed down our preferred places to visit in Shimla and Manali before starting on our one week trip to Shimla and Manali. Finally, due to the slow indulgence we spent a very nice and memorable time with our family.
Although, Shimla and Manali can be visited all through the year. The best time to visit Shimla and Manali depends on what you want from these destinations. If you want to visit here as an escape from the summer that rest of India faces, then, visit in the months of March – May. And if you want to really enjoy the chilling cold and snowfall, then visit in the winter months of late October – February. You can avoid visiting here in the monsoon months of June – September because of the possibilities of landslides.
Finally, the day of the trip arrived we had already booked the taxi in morning at 7 a.m. we were ready and waiting for the same at 6.45 a.m. finally it had came and we started our journey and I was very excited. The road from Chandigarh to Shimla was very scenic. We took a halt in between for tea and breakfast. We started continuing our traveling. We saw a temple at the Kalka-Shimla highway (National highway 22). It was Sankat Mochan temple. Sankat Mochan is the temple of Lord Hanuman primarily. The main entrance is made of wood and has beautiful intrinsic carving on it. It was very beautiful.
Finally we arrived at our hotel in Shimla by 12 in the afternoon. After getting fresh and rest we had lunch and took rest and next day we started exploring the town.
After taking breakfast we straight headed to ridge post upon reaching the ridge, we relaxed for some time, sitting on the rustic benches and talking merrily. We had some pretty photo sessions done right on the ridge. From here, we started strolling down the mall road, stopping at the shops in between to pick some little souvenirs here and there. We walked our way till the government installed lift. (The lift is located at one end of the mall road. You can easily get to the lift by walking straight across the mall road. You can also take direction from locals and the shopkeepers. There is a board near the lift that would point you in the right direction). We came back near the church and decided to go by the huge statue of lord Hanuman which was at the hill top it was very far away from the town and it took time to reach there. Finally we are there and huge statue its height was about 108 ft. After offering our prayer and eyeshot the view we headed down back to the hotel it had turned dark and from the way we could see the whole town dazzling in red and yellow lights. It was very beautiful.
In the morning after breakfast, we went straight to Naldehra trekking path on the recommendation of our cab drivers. While we walked through the whole trekking path, our parents boarded the ponies available at the start of the trek. We walked slowly, syncing in the natural beauty that surrounded us, taking breaks and relaxing through the trek. Finally we arrived at the narrow stream of water and then the golf course ahead. From here, we returned back through the same path and by the time we reached back at the starting point. It was about to getting dark then we went back to our hotel.
The next day we started quiet early in the morning to Manali, since the Shimla to Manali road trip takes around 7-8 hrs. You would be forced to go slow, not only because of the steep climbs and hairpin turns but because the whole drive is so scenic, you would want to indulge into the natural beauty by stopping several times in between and driving slow through the extra scenic patches. No doubt, it is one of the most scenic road trips that we have taken in India. At Kullu, we stopped near the government emporium to browse their collection of shawls and woolen garments. The collection was nice. Thus, some of us bought a few things. From here, we started straight to our hotel. Finally, we arrived at our hotel by evening 5pm. Then we checked-in, got fresh, had dinner and slept.
Our resort was located quiet close to Hidimba Devi temple. Morning post breakfast, we headed straight to the temple. Adjoining this temple is the Manu temple. We offered our prayers at both these temples. The temple premise is quiet huge. We around the temple premises for quiet some time. There are green fields extending all around the temple, with tall deodar trees. Then we headed to our next destination – the Mall road of Manali.
Mall Road & Monastery
This is the main commercial hub of the town of Manali. After strolling from one end to another, looking on the offerings, we settled for lunch at one of the restaurant. Post lunch, we headed to the monastery adjacent to the mall road. This is a beautiful, colorful small monastery right next to the Mall road of Manali. You can ask locals for direction to the Monastery. As you reach near it, you will see threads of wire. Several colorful papers are hanging on these threads, marking the presence of a Monastery. After visiting this Monastery we crossed the mall road once again to head towards the Manali club house. On our way, we peeked into some of the shops. The woolen garments and dress materials in this market seem to be really worth a buy. The cost of material is very reasonable while the quality seems good.
Next, we headed to the Manali club house which is located at the banks of the river Beas. The club house houses a shopping complex and offers seating adjacent to the river bank. Most of our time was spent here exploring the grounds, and some doing a little shopping in the complex.
Finally, from here, we returned back to our resort as it had started to drizzle a little. We decided to gather in one of our parents’ room and order coffee as it was getting cold.
The weather again took its turn this morning and we were greeted with fresh sunshine and clear weather. We headed to Solang Valley today. The way to the valley is stunningly beautiful, with snow clad mountains visible all around. As they had received a good dose of snow last night, they looked even more beautiful. The valley looks mesmerizing surrounded by green mountains wearing white caps. We walked around, and rested here, taking snaps, admiring the beauty of nature and just sitting, doing nothing. I couldn’t help picturing this vast expanse in winter months of December and January. The valley seems to get a good dose of snow at that time. Thus it becomes a hub for snow sports, attracting tourists from far and wide.
From here, we wanted to head to Rohtang Pass. Because of the snow the day before, it was not possible to go to Rohtang Pass. We went uphill till the point the roads were clear of snow. Finally we reached Gulaba, the highest point accessible, and it was totally worth it. Fresh snow from the night before covered the area, forming a soft fleece all over the grass. We played in the snow, walked around enjoying every bit of it and snapped some beautiful pictures. After the we drove and reached at gurudwara at Manikaran and then we headed towards the river where the boiling hot water and cold water at the same time. We boiled beans in that water. We offered our prayers. And we returned from here back to our hotel and then relaxed as next day we had full day journey back to Chandigarh
Finally we arrived the last day of our awesome trip. We had breakfast in hotel. And we are going to remember this breakfast for long. Since here we had the most amazing aalloo paraths, tea, coffee and toast. We checked-out from hotel at 10 in the morning. And we drove continuously for 5 hours. We stopped at a road side dhaba (Small restaurant) for tea and lunch. Then we left and drove and drove, descending one mountain and ascending another, capturing memories of incredible natural beauty around. Until we reached Chandigarh by 8 in the evening.
It was most memorable trip.
Experience Shared By: Himanshi