Shimla- Manali-Kaza-Nako-Sangla-Shimla

#1 Apr 20th, 2012, 01:41
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  • swetamukherjee is offline
#1
Day 1 - Shimla



Last Autumn we had planned to visit the state of Sikkim. The tour comprised of Dzuluk-Dzongu-Lachen-Gurudongmar-Lachung-Yumsedong. However, due to massive earthquake our tour which was scheduled from 1st October onwards got cancelled. Quickly we had to fit in some other destination, since we wanted to visit hills this time; we opted for Lahaul-Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh.
On 2nd of October, we flew to Delhi from Patna; at evening 8:40 p.m. we boarded theTata AC-Deluxe bus from Kashmere Gate enrouted to Shimla . (Note: There are plenty of buses which ply regularly to Shimla from Delhi, or else one can change it from Chandigarh also. Tickets for Volvo Buses can be booked online in advance, as during weekends and rush season it is difficult to reserve on the spot.) Around 10:30pm the bus had halted near Panipat for refreshment and then the second stoppage was at Kalka. Finally we reached Shimla’s new Bus stand at 5:00 am. All the Government buses ply from the new bus stand which is 5 km away from the main town. As we got down from the bus we could feel the morning hilly breeze that was bothering us. Immediately, I draped my stole and Tanmay jacketed himself.
We were informed by a few co-passengers that local buses would ply from 6’o clock towards outskirts of the town, so we queued up and waited for the bus. (Note: Private cabs are available from the stand, however their charge is highly expensive and services are rare during the morning.)
We combated the rush and managed some inches to grip in the bus, to pay for the fare,even pulling out coins from my pocket was a war. The bus had dropped us at the main town by next twenty minutes. 6:30 in the morning we reached the Shimla town which was our destination for the first day of our tour.
So far, so good, but wait a minute the real drama had just begun. Yes! We were mobbed by the porters. Since, this tour was a quick decision, we had a plan for all other stay than Shimla; we assumed, a room for a day in this tourist’s paradise can be fixed easily. However, our thought went wrong and these brokers sucked our blood out of skeleton! Finally, we got rid of them and came out of the mess after a couple of hours. We notched a room at Hotel Sheel. Though there was merely any view that we could see from the Hotel, but it was nearer to the Mall road; the only satisfactory point! (Note: Try to book your hotels in advance if you are planning to visit during rush season or weekends, by doing it you don’t get to face those whimsical and cheap porters)
The room was carpeted (so as usual it was little stinky) but the washroom was clean. We quickly freshened up and started venturing for the day. Our first break was at The Coffee House, where we had our breakfast .By evening we finalized our tour and the cab which would be with us for next five days. The rush in Shimla that we had faced was due to the Durga Puja. Here, there and everywhere we could find our clans chattering in this Brit muse!
Since, we wanted to explore the town Shimla and its eating joints, so, we didn’t go for any sightseeing tours. However, one may take a day trip locally. [Note: A trip to Kufri –Narkanda - Hatu can be done in a day or Naldhera – Tattapani-Mashobra or you can stroll around Lakkar Bazar, Christ Church (Ridge) , Institute of Advance Studies (Viceregal Lodge), Helipad, Summer Hill or can visit religious temples like Hanuman Temple in Jakoo Hills-2.5 Km , Tara Devi Temple- 12 km , Sankat Mochan 6 km respectively from the town. Or simply can enjoy the Toy Train ride to Summer Hill and Tara Devi, incase you haven't boarded it from Kalka. ]
Before this trip, I have been to Shimla twice so could familiarize with a few joints, and was able to be the guide to Tanmay. The fact that we were missing out Puja fun was partially taken care by the members of Shimla Kali Bari; every year they organize Durga puja with the same zest as a team in Bengal would do. This place is also a vintage religious spot in the town. That’s how we spent the ‘Saptami’ last year and concluded our day in beautiful Shimla.

What we have exchanged for this engagement:

1. Bus fare – Delhi to Shimla : Tata AC Deluxe - 550 INR/Person
2. Local bus fare – New bus stand to Shimla Town – 5 INR/Person
3. Accommodation –Hotel Sheel - 1500 INR for a day; Hotel Sheel, Fingask Estate(Near Kali Bari), The Mall. Ph: 0177-2657369


May be its worth discussing:

1. The porter shouldn’t know that you are looking for rooms, incase you haven’t booked your hotel. Better stay away from them and their deals.
2. The vintage Coffee House of Shimla serves some lip smacking foods at an economic price.
3. You might just collect some great curios, while strolling down the Mall.
4. Do check Café Embassy, a cozy corner run by a cozier human.
5. Among the restaurants, we bow down to Alfa, the best fried chicken we ever had.
6. Collect a Guide Map from Himachal Tourism’s Information Centre, Scandal Point, and The Mall. Tel: 0177-2654589.
7. An economic accommodation option can be Hotel Gulmarg, Near the Mall; advance booking is advisable, as we didn’t get any room there. www.hotelgulmarg.com

Zoom in for pictures:
http://bit.ly/JEQjLQ

....Will continue
#2 Apr 20th, 2012, 19:21
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  • nkothiyal is offline
#2
Some good handy information; keep it coming. Do post some pics here too.
#3 Apr 20th, 2012, 21:51
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  • Duronto Jajabar is offline
#3
Hi swetamukherjee,

Nice going..... Nice TR and nice detailing

Wating for more and of course, the snaps.

By the way... is Begusarai on Purulia Route- that (in)famous Rail station of ghost story?
aamar payer tolai sorshe...(I have wheels under my feet)
#4 Apr 22nd, 2012, 00:07
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  • swetamukherjee is offline
#4
Ya in my next write-up will upload a few more images!
#5 Apr 23rd, 2012, 20:52
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#5

Trip Report: Shimla to Manali

Day 2 – Shimla to Manali

We got up at 7 in the morning, though we were late as per the day’s itinerary. Rushed and packed our bags in a hurry and some how managed to checkout by 8:30am. Since private cabs are not allowed in the Mall, so we had to walk down a kilometer or so to board the cab.Then the hotel agent acquainted us with the car (White Travera) and its driver (Uncleji), with whom we will be travelling for the next five days. Since Uncleji himself owns the car, he has maintained it beautifully with cushioned and clean interior.

Hurrah! We started with our journey. Destination for the day was Manali. Riding through Sanjauli Chowk, {none of the local drivers will ever miss to boast about Preity’s (Zinta) childhood days that were spent here} we joined the highway (NH88) towards Galoo. The sap coniferous valley was too running parallel with us.
As we were moving towards our destination there was a steep decline in the altitude, also concrete huts were replacing the greenery. Before Darlaghat, we halted at Kannauti for the day’s breakfast. Gradually the slopes of the hill were disappearing. Crossing the Bilaspur town, we were moving towards Kullu (NH21). Honestly, during the afternoon our journey seemed to loose a little interest. It was hot, nothing much to see, roads were just like the plains. Such a start to the mission cold desert was a little cold!

At Jalora (Hera Bagh), we had our lunch at a small Dhaba. Where, we chose the safe option of Dal (pulses), Roti (bread) and Scrambled egg. However, the served condiments were fresh. Particularly, the home made mango pickle was very tangy and refreshing.

After fueling ourselves, Via Sunder Nagar Dam (an ongoing project of NTPC) we reached Mandi. Our car turned right on the NH and in another half an hour’s time the hills appeared again along with Beas river on the left. In between, Uncleji updated us with various spots where many Bollywood movies had been shot. As we were nearing towards Kullu Valley, sceneries were transforming to beautiful sights. In one of those lush green hillocks, we saw Mata Hanogi’s temple; completely contrasting the background of green hues in its maroon and white checkers avatar. We stopped our car and paid a visit to the temple on the other side of the road. (To visit the actual premises one needs to cross the Beas river and climb up the steep slope to reach the temple) As we drive ahead, we found a waterfall gushing on our right side. It was picturesque, as if milk was flowing from a colossal green platter. We also crossed a tunnel, that is stretching upto 3 kms (supposedly, the longest tunnel of India) to link both the districts. (Mandi with Kullu)

On reaching Bhunter( nearest airbase for Beas and tribal circuit in Himachal), turn right for Manikaran (another 35 kms); since Manikaran was not in our plan, we moved straight ahead on the road. The streams of Beas and its fluvial depositories were getting richer by now.
Kullu, being a major tourist spot of this circuit, endows its visitors with an opportunity to raft on the high streams of Beas. Neither had we failed to avail! Speedy streams with bumpy rocks underneath, the experience was a breathtaking one. We also found sites where people were angling for trout fishes. The beds of Beas are quite enriched with this species.

As the dusk was draping the Sun, the outline of the mountains was getting stronger. The turns were getting sharper; we felt the thrust from chilling breezes. Finally, we reached Manali. As we entered the Main road, I called up Mr. Rabat seeking directions to reach his homestay – Apple View. It was a couple of kilometers walk from the Mall. We met his son near the club gate. From there, a five minutes hike led us to his guest house. On our entry, we were greeted by a few German tourists and Mr.Rabat. We were tired, panting vigorously; even the stairs to our room seemed a huge hurdle. This was my first time in a homestay. The rooms were clean, with very basic furniture. The washroom was dry and neat. Mr. Rabat told us that, we were their first Indian guests of the year. His rooms remain booked for months with international guests and no wonder why they wouldn’t ponder this place. From his Balcony, we could listen to the humming streams of Beas. We kept our luggage and armored ourselves with sweaters, also picked up our camera and torch. Climbing down the slope was not so difficult; luckily, we got an autorickshaw that would drop us to the Mall. By boarding it we surely saved 15 mins. The Mall road of Manali looked like any other shopping market to me. Nothing attracted other than a wooden temple in the middle of the road and the fact that most of the restaurants serve specialized Bengali food. However, we didn’t have them, as we always like to try local dishes. So, here in Manali, we ventured on Tibetan cuisine.

By nature I am a shopaholic person, but when we are travelling, I try to keep our bags light. (Ofcourse a great contribution of Tanmay here, who would never support my shopping activities) By 10:30 pm, we got back to our guest house, cleaned the memory card, put on the adapters to the electric circuits and concluded our second day.

What we have exchanged for this engagement:
1. Car fare – 6 days for 16000 INR.
2. Rafting – 600/person. (This rate can be bargained , if you are more in numbers)
3. Homestay rate – 300/day.

May be its worth discussing:
1. There are plenty of hotels in Manali,(including 7 HPTDC Hotels) catering every budget, however Home stay in Manali can an economic and beautiful experience. We stayed in Apple View Guest House, near old Mall. Contact Rabet Ram for booking. Ph. 01902 – 253899, 09816887844
2. The Mall in Manali offers various kinds of street foods to tickle your taste buds.
3. Contact HPTDC Office for local information. The Mall, Manali -175131.Tel: 01902 – 253531
4. Cab Driver - Mr. Vikram Sareen / Anuj Sareen (son)[Cab] – 08826753510

Zoom in for Pictures:
http://bit.ly/IgKe7K

....Will continue
Last edited by swetamukherjee; Apr 24th, 2012 at 19:56..
#6 Apr 24th, 2012, 02:05
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#6
Good write up; informative too. Keep it coming and upload some pics too.
#7 Apr 26th, 2012, 14:33
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  • suddhshelly is offline
#7
Good write up. Plz continue

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Refrain from using SMS language. Use 'please' instead of 'plz'. Thank you.
#8 Jun 22nd, 2012, 16:22
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  • mousumipaul is offline
#8
@ Swetamukherjee. Please Continue ..........

I will go these same places on October 2012.

It will be help full to me

Please carry on ......

Mousumi
#9 Jun 27th, 2012, 01:32
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  • aditya_j is offline
#9
nice TR with nice detailing...
#10 Oct 10th, 2012, 12:56
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#10
Hi IMers,

Was little tied up all through these months. Penning down further posts. However, for a quick view can go through these journey snaps.

http://www.swetamukherjee.in/2011/11...kept-wide.html
http://www.swetamukherjee.in/2011/11/nako-day-5.html
http://www.swetamukherjee.in/2011/10/day-4-kaza.html
http://www.swetamukherjee.in/2011/10...tang-pass.html

More to come .......
#11 Oct 11th, 2012, 01:14
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  • Duronto Jajabar is offline
#11
Very nice pictures, sweta.

I loved the Nako's.... AWESOME!!!!!!

Do post more and TR.
#12 Oct 14th, 2012, 23:22
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  • varabi is offline
#12
nice trip report eager to read more
#13 Oct 15th, 2012, 17:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duronto Jajabar View Post Very nice pictures, sweta.

I loved the Nako's.... AWESOME!!!!!!

Do post more and TR.
Thank you! Yes I am trying to take out some time and script the report.

Quote:
Originally Posted by varabi View Post nice trip report eager to read more
Thank you !
#14 Oct 19th, 2012, 15:59
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#14
Nice report! looking forward to more!!
Some of my ramblings!

http://windowtoindia.me
#15 Oct 13th, 2017, 15:14
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  • saptashwo is offline
#15
Some useful info

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