The town that you and I know as `Manali ‘ is actually a collection of three adjacent hills. Each hill has a village and an old temple dominating it. In the beginning was the village. People grew , and still grow, wheat rajma ,vegetables and apples. They kept and still do cows buffaloes and goat and sheep. The people weave their own clothes. The wheat was ready for harvest in spring, the apple would be ready for plucking by August –September, and the snow ripe for falling by December-january. The British never made a hill station here, never laid rail tracks or built a Mall Road.
Indian travellers come more for the temples, snow in Rohtang Pass and organized adventure acivities. Internet cafes offer bus services to Leh , tour operators offer opportunities to go paragliding in Solang Nallah or river rafting on the Beas .
Most importantly Manali offers that haunting Himalayan beauty to which hill stations in the lower Himalayan ranges can only aspire. Look around and there’s the river made of freshly melted snow, and protected stretches of deodar. Look up and the majestic Pir Panjal and Bara Bhangal ranges cradling the town mesmerize you.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Solang Nallah (or Solang Valley)is a beautiful green strench 13 km from Manali, where most of the area’s adventure activity is centered. Paragliding Zorbing and horse riding are the popular picnic activites here.Its a popular picnic spot, but also has plenty of getaway space for those willing to walk a bit extra. Travellers can make a day trip there by bus , or taxi or car from Manli or even camp overnight.
Kullu Valley, short for the ancient Kulanthapitha, ‘the end of the habitable world’, stretches from Rohtang Pass to Jalori Pass, the name recalling how the wind -blown Rohtang seperates this lush valley carved by the river Beas from the barren Trans- Himalayan Lahaul and Ladakh.
The temple of pre-eminent lord of the valley. The idol of Raghunathji was brought here in 1660 by a Kulla raja from the Tretnath Temple at Ayodhya .
Every Dussehra some 200 of Kullu’s local gods are carried in spectacular ceremonial processions from villages all over the valley to the maiden in Kullu town .
Bijli Mahadev Temple
The 10 km treck from Kullu to Lord Shiva’s shrine is a stiff but pleasant walk through forets of pine oak and deodar, passing throughvillages their rooftops a riot of color wiyh maize or chillies drying .
Kullu is famous for it handlooms ask the locals and avoid shops wich sells machine made Ludhiana products.Look for shawls, sweaters, socks,gloves and the Kullu topi. Try Bhuttico ,Himachal Handicrafts and Himachal Khadi Emporium in Akhara Bazaar.
Jammu , Kashmir and Ladakh' is a better way to understand this stuningly beautiful state. Hosting the most diverse of landscapes,J&K has plains and foothills in Jammu, lush high-altitude and meadows in Kashmir and the very high. Cold desert of Ladakh. which is snowed under for half the year. The majority faiths are Hinduism Islam and Buddhism respectively.
Location- State Capital Srinagar lies by the Jhelum River, and the Dal and Nagin lakes at 5214 ft in the western Kashmir Valley, with the Zaberwan Hills in the backdrop
Distance 293 km N of Jammu,400km NW of Pathankot, 512 km NE of Amritsar.
Shalimar Garden, Nishat Bagh are one of the places to be visit in Srinagar.
Dal is the most famous of Srinagar's attractions. Most tourism oreinted activites on the lake happen near the DalGate. Tourists can take a shikara ride on colorful high backed seats buy flower s from floating shops get yourself clicked, in kikitsch Kashmiri dresses ,see the floating vegetable market at dawn, visit Hazratbal, and traverse the smaller and quieter Nagin lake and the old Pundit quarter of Rainwari.
Jammu is the winter capital of the state Jammu and Kashmir as it was of the Dogra rulers earlier. Since 1872 in a move even today called the shifting of the Durbar, the administration has been physically shifting between the two cities, with thousands of employees and hundreds of truck laden with files moving to Jammu in NOVEMBER for the winter and back to Srinagar in May.