Manali: The Face of Nature
Sometimes I feel that nature tries to communicate with me. Winds try to whisper something in my ears, mountains challenge me to scale them, rivers want to wet me naughtily and trees want to dance with me. Nature is full of joy. We all want to explore nature. Manali is a place where every nature lover wants to go at least once in his life. Luckily, I got a chance to visit Manali. It was a heavenly visit to hills and I want to share my experience with you.
It was much like a school trip. Some of my classmates and I were selected for a camp that was to be held in National School of Adventure run by Mrs. Santosh Yadav. I was very happy wondering about the wonderful experience I was going to have. It took almost 3 days to reach our base camp in Prini village of Manali from Jaipur. The wonders got started even before we reached Manali.
A road in Manali
Way to Manali is itself an adventure. Where we feel joyful and frightened together. Roads there have width which allow only one vehicle to pass at one time. Only some points on roads allow two vehicles to cross. That’s why we had to face almost three to four traffic jams of more than one hour each. Curvy jam appears as a magnificent snake slithering on road. On one side the mountain was guarding the road and on another side Beas River was seemingly racing with us in the valley. The trees of Deodar were touching the clouds and few of the mountains were wearing white caps. The most amazing part of the journey was the night view of the hills from the side. The lights of the houses were appearing like the stars. It was difficult to differentiate between the two skies that we could see. Finally, we reached our base camp in night. Walking to the camp from main road we saw water spilling out from the ground, as I am from Rajasthan it left me to feel a little bit jealous.
Hiking in Prini village
Journey was cool indeed but that was only a mug out of whole sea. On the first day we were told that how to cope with the weather and all in the hills. We all went for hiking in the village in the morning. As the day passes it starts to become warm but never put your sweater off because it takes only a few minutes when cold wind starts blowing and make you shivering. There were so many orchards of apples nearby. We were prohibited to go out from the camp. But we couldn’t stop ourselves. We went and stole some apples. I agree that was wrong but sometimes being wrong makes us happy.
Way to Arjuna Camp
On second day of the camp, we had to go to Arjuna Camp that was on the hill at height of 4000feet from the sea level. It was very cold there and we were advised to take a strong bath as it was not easy to take bath on that height. We reached the Arjuna Camp walking through the narrow trails, passed the Arjun Cave and finally got to Arjun Camp. Guide instructed us to keep body slightly towards the hill to prevent fall in valley. The camp was very adventurous. We did rock climbing, rappelling, net climbing, and crossed many mock bridges of ropes and sticks like Burma Bridge, one rope bridge, two rope bridge and many more. The rope bridges and nets help soldiers to cross the rivers and mountains respectively that fall in the way in expeditions of the army. Wondering, that how difficult it would be for soldiers to do so made me to feel proud on Indian army. On the last day of Arjuna Camp we went for night hiking to the upper peak of mountain (without torches and lights in night). Soldiers use this technique while intruding in the enemy's camp. At a rock the guide stopped us. He spotted some sort of dung. He went near that, pierced his finger in that and instructed us to return towards the camp. I got confused that why should we go back just because he saw a dung. But reason was really very terrifying. That was dung of a beer and was hot. So, guide concluded that the beer might be nearby. I got goosebumps listening that. We returned, this time we used our torches as way down is more dangerous. We did everything in teams and the last task of our team was to peel potatoes for dinner. It was very entertaining and temped me to steal something again.
Hidimba Temple near Manali Market
Next day was our last day in Manali. And it was dedicated to visit tourist places which are those places that we dreamed of to visit in Manali. We literally filled up with joy when we heard of that visit. We visited Manali market and Hidimba Temple near Manali Market. Hidimba was Bheem’s wife. I could relate the story of Hidimba goddess with the episodes of Mahabharata I used to see in childhood. Yaks had furs ditto like snow as nobody could spot them easily in winters. Some of the people were wearing beautiful traditional clothes with that beautiful traditional cap, they were looking very pretty. Next, we visited Solang Valley and Anjani Mahadev Temple just near Solang Valley.
Anjani Mahadev Temple and Waterfall
I can’t forget the incident of Anjani Mahadev Temple even if I want. It is the place where Anjani goddess prayed lord Shiva for Hanuman. A natural Shivling of snow appears here in winters like Kedarnath. The water falling from Anjani Mahadev Waterfall freezes at the Shivling and a brilliant white Shivling is formed. I was expecting that. But there wasn’t enough snow as it was month of October. Floor of Anjani Temple was freezing cold near Shivling and also a little bit slippery. It was like standing on ice. Some ladies were clicking photos there. They gave me the camera and asked me to click their photo. Because of the cold floor they were adjusting their feet very frequently. But I was a little naughty. I was deliberately taking extra time. Sometime after that while I was clicking photos my foot slipped and then I was falling solely under gravity by the back. Somehow, I managed to extend my hand towards the ground and then my thumb felt the power of gravity. My thumb started to pain and got swollen. I played a prank with those ladies and in return nature played a prank with me. Nature is also somewhat naughty. I smiled and giggled thinking that. That was last place to visit. We had a lovely camp fire at night with songs and dances, and returned home next day.
Now sometimes when something hits my thumb even gently, it starts to pain again and gets swollen but it makes me to smile and throws me to those lovely days again.