From Chandni Chowk to almost China
One day we were stuck in a Toyota Innova going through old Delhi in pouring rain, competing with horse and bullock carts through the only open road to the Red Fort.. and before you know it we were flying into Kullu airport!
This was by far the most beautiful landing we have experienced!
We also had a great hotel in Manali called Snow Valley. It had really nice views and an apple trees everywhere. The land is so fertile here that there are apple trees on the side of the freeways. You can stop anywhere, pluck apples on the road and keep going! No wonder every rishi and his dad worth his apple lived in this area many thousand years ago.
Manali is truly breathtaking. The mountains, the clouds, the waterfalls from 10000 foot mountains, the rivers that gush through with such force, the lush greenery.... this tops all the national parks we have visited so far!
we should set up a bed like this at ground level in Cupertino! Truly loved this bed and the pillows.
This is a 4000 year old temple. Look at the stone placement on the original temple (it has a makeover roof and an outer wall now).
There are hot springs all over the place. Hot springs with NO sulfur. Fresh hot water that keeps coming. People wash clothes from open hot water springs that flow 24x7. The water going through the drains is steaming. Sat down in a spring in the Vashishtar temple and did not want to come out. The first few seconds, you feel like it is scalding you, but once the warmth gets to you, it just takes over. It was so refreshing. For a few minutes, forgot the world and then the word "daddy" got me out of my trance. Did not even feel like taking any pictures or videos after coming out of that bath. Luckily, FIL took a few videos to help with the blogging!
If I can feel confident of meditating here for a few days, it is not hard to believe that the gods meditated here for a few thousand years!
It was a pity that we could not stay there for a few days here and a few hours in that tank.
Truly felt blessed after spending that day in Manali. There seems to be a sizable Israeli population in Manali. Almost 20% of the local population seems to speak Hebrew. Shop signs are all in Hebrew! I was very envious of these souls who get to live in a place like this with so much peace and tranquility compared to souls like me who are trying to find themselves in the west. In retrospect when you visit Niagara falls or Yosemite on any long weekend you will find the place populated with desis to a point where any non desi from the east coast would feel similarly envious!
The next day we went to Manikaran and drove back to Chandigarh on what was really nasty weather. There were flash floods everywhere and it was pouring slush and rocks from the mountain walls. Thanks to our skilled driver and the kids being well behaved (and scared for the most part) we drove 12 hours through Himanchal Pradesh along the Beas, Parvathi and Sutlej rivers and around Bilaspur lake, with one 30 min stop, to make it back to the busy Mumbai.
Anyone living in Manali is very lucky. Next time, if there is a next time, we will try to go there when it is snowing!
Hopefully Vasishta Rishi has blessed us with another visit...