This January, my friends and I decided to meet up after two long years and do something exciting. By exciting, I don’t mean watching movies together or having a few drinks; we actually decided to meet in Manali and enroll for the three day trekking organised by the Youth Hostel Association of India.
So, after arriving in New Delhi, we all travelled together to Manali by bus. A few vomits and 16 hours later, we were welcomed by a chilly wind and a friendly old man to the hostel who allotted us our rooms. The view outside from the rooms was breathtaking to say in modest terms.
After settling down and having our baths, we had our orientation where we were told about the places we would be visiting in and around Manali during our three day trek, the precautions to be taken during the same and also briefed on what was expected from us during the trek. The formalities over, we proceeded to Mall Road, the main market area of Manali to begin our exploration. After some sightseeing and gorging on some delicious sweets in the chilly weather, we came back to the hostel and went to bed early, eagerly anticipating our first trekking day.
The next day we woke early, had our breakfast and diligently assembled at the appointed time near the hostel main gate to begin our trek. Since this was our first day, the trek was to be an acclimatizing one where we would walk in the Prini and Shuru village in Manali and visit the famous Ram temple and also the site for the hot sulphur spring. The place has two temples-one dedicated to Lord Ram and the other to Sage Vashisht, and these two temples stand opposite to one another.
Legend has it that when Lakshman visited the meditating sage to ask for his help in warming up the cold place for a yagna, the sage fired his arrow to the ground and hot water sprouted from it. This water, believed to have medicinal values, is used for bathing and washing clothes by many even today.
After visiting the temples, we were free for the rest of the day to do what we pleased. So we decided to head back to the market place. After having our lunch, we then trekked to the famous Hadimba Temple. This temple, surrounded by cedar trees, is exquisite in its beauty. A temple dedicated to Ghatotkacha, Hadimba’s son, is located nearby. Having visited many temples in India so far, I was extremely pleased that the Hadimba temple is still very well maintained.
And thus ended Day 1 for us when we returned soon after to our hostel to a well deserved rest in preparation for our second day.
Stay tuned for the next post where the adventures of Day 2 are described.
Cheers till then!