Tag Archives: Manali

Old Manali – Small town surprise

Forget beaches, mountains and palaces. How about a holiday in an orchard with some marijuana to go with it? If the idea reads interesting, head to Himachal Pradesh, the ‘apple’ capital ofIndia. The small town of Manali, divided into old and new areas, is a holiday experience as quirky as it gets.

 

A 15-hours drive fromNew Delhi, new Manali is your regular town. But it is old Manali which you truly want to visit. Unending apple orchards, friendly locals, an eyeful of foreign tourists, a playful riverBeas, inexpensive lodging and a good connection to the Internet is just the start of a memorable trip.

Apple orchard in Old Manali, India

 

Old Manali is dotted with little cafes decorated with the most unusual art. We are talking glow-in-the-dark curtains, drawings by customers, and animal antlers. Most cafes expertly whip up excellent Irish, Italian, Spanish and Jewish cuisines, apart from Indian, of course. Courteous waiters and freely available marijuana are incentives to get you to try the foreign fare. Do sample some Yak cheese available in select cafes.

 

On the singular main street of old Manali, there’s scope to shop for silver jewelry to your heart’s content. Be wary of the prices though, and quote less than what you pay for the item in a city. Knitted woollen wear in all sizes can be the next on your shopping list. Also not to be missed are the skimpy dresses stocked for foreign tourists that belie the fact that you are in a small Indian town.

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Ye Leh!

So, Leh’s been cropping up a lot recently on the blogs I read, triggering the ‘me too’ syndrome. Here are my two paise on the enchanting roads from old Manali to Leh.

Leh, the travails…

At first, you think it's only a traffic jam. Yeah, a traffic jam : |

Then you realise, "Oh, a car's stuck" : (

And then we see WHY it's stuck. "Fuck!" :O

Leh, the treasures!

Barely 3 hours into the trip from old Manali, we saw the clouds rushing to meet us at our level and then ascend further away. I also truly understood the meaning of 'rolling plains covered in velvet'

I touched snow. And I have no words to describe how good it felt, after craving snow for years

Mountains, snow, sand, grass, water... Everything that Mum Nature has to offer, all together

See the storm-in-the-waiting in the background? And we have reached a boastful 15, 547 feet

The breeze will play with your hair at all windy places. But when it does in Leh, rest assured you have discovered your most favourite place on earth.

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