Continuing the journey of a lonesome introvert into the trenches of Manali.
Cueing up on my bed after a rejuvenating night of sleep, I scribbled down the words of despair in a pocket-sized notebook. The notebook which contained a synopsis of my recent excursion starting atop from Shimla and beneath; shall act as a memoir long into my life.
Glancing through it, I envisioned my lonesome treading in these past 4 days. Time really flew by; I couldn’t even keep track how these past few days panned out. Enough of the sentiments, there was still a day’s itinerary to kick off.
Grudging myself off the bed, I got myself readied for what seemed a long day. If the day went by as planned I would finish off my Manali trip by evening and would be able to ride back to Delhi in the night. To cut short, that’s how one could plan on a shoe-string budget.
With a quick bite to satiate my hunger, I tripped down the Hadimba Temple, the first one in my list. Anyone remember the scene from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone. If you do, you’re sure to know about this place.
The temple itself is an ancient heritage enriching almost 500 years. It’s a cave temple to Hidimbi Devi and features the temple made of wood and stone. The temple’s outskirt is carved with antlers and deities of all sorts. The temple lies in the midst of the forest glade and is located a couple of kilometers from the Mall Road.
After paying homage to the temple, I panned around to see the surroundings of the region. A definite peaceful and soothing place, this one housed a cedar forest in the backyard. However, the forest door was closed which put me off a little.
Stepping outside of the temple, a thing that caught my curiosity was the giant Yak seating eloquently. After inquiring around, I got to know that anyone interested can board the yak and have pics snapped for them. Well the ride’s gonna cost just 20 bucks, so why wouldn’t I give it a try.
It isn’t as easy to board on the back of an animal, not when it’s a big yak. The horseback ride on the Kufri region in Shimla did hold me in good stead. However, I can vouch, that was as terrifying as it can get.
With less time on my hand and a long list of places to visit, I jolted down to Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art. It’s placed just opposite to Hadimba temple and houses sculptures of different deities. It has a miniature model of different culture and arts present in Himachal. A welcome sight to watch.
Ending the trail there, I walked around to the Monastery region around the Mall Road. A monastery is a sacred place that houses the stupas of Buddha and different colossal arts of Buddhism. A sense of mind-enchanting peace anticipates on reaching such place. I spend a while in the garden of the monastery and watched over to the welcome sight of sunshine on the sky.
After an hour of sun-basking, I hovered around for lunch. With lunch done and dusted, I walked by the Mall road in sight of a tour operator to book my tickets back to Delhi. After going through a couple of them, I finalized my terms and walked back to the hotel to check out. You know the drill, don’t you?
One thing that’s keynoting is that the bus would leave only at 6 in the evening, which leaves a whole four hours to spend on. Lest there’s a nature park that allows for a welcome break.
I walked to the entry of the park and bought myself a stub for the excursion. That should allow me in. The inside is anything but a nature park. It’s more than a nature park. A green forestry area with ample pavements of stones and recreation, this is the real deal. I shared my time on the swing, arching back and forth with thoughts paving to my childhood. With enough of that, I explored the nature’s serving in a manner of true intrigue.
Climbing down on the path by the small lake with boats, I sighted a broken barrier on the walls. Being the ever curious guy, I jumped over the barrier and landed on the banks of a river. The roaring Beas river is what flowed by there. The banks filled with stones and boulders gave enough impetus to sit by.
Accompanying a boulder on the farther corner of the river trench, I playfully insatiated my hands with the cold water of the river. I ended up sitting watching gleefully into the flowing water and submerged myself into thoughts.
Just as the dessert acts as the final punch of digestive glance to the meal, the time by the river allowed me the final moments to reconcile all I have gone through these past few days. It allowed me a revision into my trip encompassing Shimla and Manali, a much-needed one.
In a few hours, I would be on board of a bus en route to Delhi, the place where my journey started. Back to the monotonous routine life that I so badly resent. The sudden thought kicks off a rush of emotions in me. I know deep down me that the trip wasn’t a complete one with many places left by. But here’s a catch, I will be back here soon. Back again to bask in this glorious moment. Till then, my memoir shall fill me up in times of dreary loneliness.