We got ready by 8:45 AM. Decided to have breakfast on the way. We met a Sardar family from Amritsar while we were loading our luggage. They were having Tea in the hotel we were staying. We had conversation with them. They were going to Leh and had stayed at Sarchu previous night. One of the elderly person in the group had breathing issue and they had to return. We enquired with them about the route to Chandigarh, possibility of visiting Amritsar and got some route options. We took a group photo with them and left for Manali.
Rajaprabhu and I checked the air for our bikes. We reached Tandi and had breakfast near the famous Tandi bridge. Few people were distributing prasad to all the people moving around. There were group of cyclists going to Leh. One of the person came and had conversation with me. He gave the number of a guy working in my company at Bangalore who was his close friend. I took couple of pictures of Tandi bridge, Chandra / bhaga confluence and we continued our journey towards Manali.
We stopped by for tea just before climbing to Rohtang pass at Khoksar. We met our friends driving Ritz from Bangalore.
We started climbing the Rohtang pass. There were couple of water crossings and roads were in very bad shape. Traffic too was heavy. We negotiated all and reached the top by 1:00 PM. We took pictures and spent around 30 minutes. There were so many vehicles around and crowd was thick. We started descending towards Manali and stopped at Rani nullah to take pictures.
We reached Marhi and decided to have lunch there. There was lot of traffic while coming down and we could see the adventure sports points on the way. We finished our lunch at Marhi and proceeded towards Manali. The road all along Manali was in excellent shape. We reached Manali by arround 5 PM.
We saw a guest house accommodation just before Manali and opted to stay there. We parked the bikes and unloaded the luggage. After freshening up, we decided to go to Manali market but Rajaprabhu stayed back. I got the chain tightened for my RX on the way. We parked the bikes in the market and went around. Had some chats, jamoon, jalebi etc. We purchased few caps, shawls etc from a shop. Then Narasimha went back to hotel room on his bike.
Vinod and I went to hotel Athithi were we had toned milk. We met a guy from Karnataka there and he directed us to a shop where we get kullu tops for ladies. We bought some tops from there and brought fruit burfies from Asli fruit burfi shop. We got some food parcel for Rajaprabhu from Hotel Athithi, came back to hotel room by 9:00 PM and slept at around 10:00 PM.
The hotel/guest house where we stayed was new and they had put varnish to wood in the room. It was kind of smelling and I was not that comfortable which was the only drawback otherwise the accommodation was good.
Stay : Hotel at Manali – Rent 1500 per day per room – accommodates 2
We got up at 7:00 AM, had tea and finished our morning routines. Rajaprabhu went to Manali to have some South Indian breakfast at hotel Athiti. We packed our luggage and started loading on the bikes. There was an apple tree in the hotel premises and we had parked our bikes below that tree for loading the luggages.
It was cloudy. Rajaprabhu came back and said that based on locals experience and predictions, it would be raining heavily and we might get stuck in Manali.
We loaded our luggages quickly and left the hotel rooms at 8:50 AM. We filled the Petrol on the way in Manali itself at an Indian oil petrol bunk. We reached Kullu at around 10:40 AM. The weather was clear and we didn’t find any rain on the way.
We saw a board about Roerich Art gallery and Naggar Castle about 22 KMs to Kullu. However we didn’t visit them.
We went inside the Kullu city to check for any sight-seeing place or hotel to have breakfast. We enquired a person about it. Since there was not much to explore in Kullu, we came out of the city and had breakfast at a Dhabha on the main road. We met our Ritz friends again at that Dhaba ! We thought of collecting the cricket bats back from them but finally decided to collect it at Bangalore only.
We continued our journey and had to stop as there was some road repair work was in progress. After continuing from there, we saw a colorful structure on a hill across a river. We stopped there and saw the board which read as “Mandir Hanogi Mata”. We took couple of pictures. We saw the rope way / cable car there which carries people to the temple. Just after the cable car point there is a bridge across the river and probably we can walk to the temple from there. Vinod and I stopped there and took few more pictures. The bridge itself was awesome.
We crossed Mandi and had lunch immediately after Mandi at around 3:10 PM. We met a bike riding team from Punjab during the lunch and asked them about how much time it would take to reach Chandigarh and they said 3 hours from there. The place where we stopped for lunch had straight 4 lane road and we thought that would be the condition of road till Chandigarh but it was not true. It was winding roads though 4 lane for some distance and double road after that. We rode for couple of hours and took a break for tea at Kallar.
It was already close to 6:00 PM when we finished having tea. The view from backside of that hotel was superb. Since we thought it would be too late when we reach Chandigarh, we decided to stay at the next available accommodation. We continued for a kilometer or so from the hotel and Vinod was enquiring about the accommodation to villagers. He came across a home stay, went and saw the rooms and we decided to stay there.
The family at homestay was very kind. They offered the evening tea. After having tea, we had bath and washed few cloths. Had a good chat with them. The family consisted of elderly couple, their son who is a teacher, daughter in law and 2 of their grandchildren. The son had injury in hand and leg which happened due to him falling from bike recently. It was a freak accident. Some goat ran in the hill when he was riding bike on the road and a stone fell from there in front of his bike. He could not avoid riding over the stone, lost the control because of it and fell down. Very unfortunate incident.
They gave us 2 rooms and prepared roti, dal and rice for the dinner. The elderly woman served the dinner with 4 of us sitting around on the ground. While having dinner, I was thinking about the famous hindi saying “dane dane pe likha hai khane wale ka naam”. Otherwise how surprising it is to have a homely dinner at thousands of KMs away from home in a small village ?
We sat outside their home in open area after the dinner and had a good chat about Bangalore, their visit to South India and other subjects.
While I was going around in their backyard in the evening, I had seen a dasheri mango tree in their verandah. I asked them if they have any dasheri mangoes. They said dasheri is not there but they brought some 20-30 small mangoes in a bucket. We had few of them and slept at 10:30 PM.
Stay : Homestay at Kallar – Rent 750 per day per room – accommodates 2