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My getaway to Kullu Manali (part 2)

Continued from here :-  My getaway to Kullu Manali (part 1)

I had not at all imagined that the day 2 would be the most demanding of the whole trip. After coming back from ManiKaran the last night, I decided to go to Rohtang the next day. I took proper guidelines from my grand uncle there and was a bit baffled to hear that I’d have to start at 5 in the morning if I had to reach home timely in the evening.

Enthusiastically, I woke up at 5 in the morning and by 5:30 I was on the road to Bhuntar. As there was no transport at that time, I had to ask for a lift to Bhuntar bus stand in a tractor which was ferrying cauliflowers. The driver was an old man and was very cordial and told me the whole route very clearly. He dropped me at Bhuntar and luckily I didn’t have to wait very long for a bus, and that too I got a direct bus for Manali with a window seat offering me a majestic morning view of the Kullu valley.

Enjoying the view and travelling at a not very fast pace, we reached Manali at 8 AM in the morning. There I inquired about the ways to get to Rohtang and found out that the shared cab would be the best way out for me as I was alone. So I got a ticket in a 12 seater minibus via a travel operator there itself.

We started from Manali at around 8:30 and once again I got a very unusual seat in the bus, that of the conductor near the driver. I had the fullest view of the surroundings, both from the front window and the side window. En route to Rohtang, we stopped by a winter clothes store and took some heavy woollens on rent for a day. Then we continued our journey on the banks of the river Beas. The view was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist myself from clicking pictures even from the moving bus.

The road was so rugged that some people were a bit scared of it. I was chatting with the driver about the place and nearby attractions when another tourist requested me not to disturb the driver. LOL. The driver also had a laugh at him.

We reached Marhi, the base station to Rohtang at around 11:30 and took a tea break there. The moment I came out of the bus, my spine was chilled to the core by the chilly winds there. I immediately put on my rented fur jacket. I bought some chocolates there and ate them so as to get maximum calories in that cold weather.

We started from there and reached Rohtang at about 1 because of the massive traffic jam and some ongoing road maintenance by the Border Roads Organisation. There we got out of the bus and told the driver to collect us at exactly 3:30 PM. 

It was a majestic view as I had never seen such a vast extent of snow in my entire life. I could only identify 3 colours in the surroundings, white, blue and a hint of black. I was with a group of young boys from Delhi and started climbing the snow to reach the Beas temple there. After about 15-20 minutes of trekking on the snow, we reached the Beas temple.

The temple was just like an igloo and half submerged under snow. On entering it we saw a small circular room in the middle of which was an aperture on the floor out of which water was flowing. There the priest told us that it was the originating point of the Beas River. I was a bit shocked to see how water could flow amidst subzero temperatures which could freeze almost anything.

After that, we came out and started having some fun in the snow. We took 2 rides and decided that we’d walk to the highest point visible. On reaching half way we were exhausted and laid down to rest there. After clicking some photographs, we retreated back to the main area where the people were enjoying.

At around the scheduled time, we reached the bus and after every passenger boarded it, we started back to Manali. On the way, we again stopped at Marhi for some refreshments and afterwards we stopped at a big waterfall for some time. People got some photos clicked there and then we started back to Manali. On the way, we returned our winter clothes. I kept chatting with the driver about the local lifestyle and surrounding areas etc and learnt a lot about the place and its rituals.

He dropped us all at the bus station at around 7 in the evening from where I took the bus to Bhuntar. I reached back home at 10 in the evening where I had a very pleasing dinner after the day long trek.

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