A Soulful Himalayan Sojourn | The Beauty

Manali was a shock.

After a 14-hour bus journey, I finally landed in Manali. And it was a shock to all my senses! The heat(Yes, heat!) traffic and the cacophony that is linked with it noise assaulted my senses. Hey! This was not the Manali that I dreamt about. My Manali is supposed to be serene! But I guess fate had its own plans, or should I say that the average Indian Tourist has their own plans.

We made our way from the chaotic bus stand to the semi chaotic Mall Road where our hotel was situated. And then began our search for a silent, Manali-ish place for us to grab a bite. After quite a bit of walking as we kept getting lost(But that’s the charm, ain’t it!) and we ended up at Johnson’s Cafe. Now we were talking!! This is exactly why I left my life behind for a week. The view was just fabulous, the food was excellent and the people! Oh! They were just out of the world.

This is a glimpse of the cafe.

Photos of Johnson's Bar & Restaurant, Manali
Image Courtesy: Trip Advisor

Absolutely quaint, ain’t it! After a hearty breakfast of yummiliciouspancakes, with the Forests of Manali for your view, I was satisfied with the world. Except for the heat! Manali was almost as hot as Delhi!

Later, after some recommendations from some of the locals, we found ourselves in the hilly area of Naggar.  Our first stop was the Roerich Art Gallery.  This guy Nicholas Roerich came here all the way from Russia in 1928 and settled in Naggar. The art gallery showcases some of his works and also his house. The artist stayed here, I can easily imagine him being captivated by the beauty of Himachal Pradesh, it is to die for!

Photos of Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery, Naggar
This photo of Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Here is an image of his car. Can you see him driving this through the scenic Himalayas, I certainly can!

Photos of Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery, Naggar
This photo of Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery is courtesy of TripAdvisor

I am a huge fan of palaces, so I was certainly looking forward to the next location. The palace of Naggar! It is a beautiful structure which compliments the surroundings. It has a rather interesting history too! It was initially the Royal Seat of Naggar. Then during the British Rule an Englishman added a fireplace and made a few other English-Architectural changes, later it was converted to a courthouse and finally it now functions as a heritage hotel. So you can only imagine the amalgamation of architecture that can be seen here. The view from its balcony is indescribable.

A View of Heaven

 

Magic with Wood

The attention to detail was pretty impressive. The palace also has an in-house temple. And when you take in the fact that building anything here, leave alone a palace, is a very hard task. Then you realize how tough it must have been to build this structure amid these hills, where transportation of the raw materials is a very arduous chore.

The Temple

The puny castles seem like a far cry from the mammoth constructions of Rajasthan, but the natural beauty of Himachal makes up for everything and in grand style! 🙂 Here the mountains are the kings!

After finishing the aforementioned touristy things, we came back to Manali and started trudging up to meet a friend of a friend. We had quite a walk ahead of us, we kept going up..up…up… and after what seemed like an hour of huff and puff, we finally reached a cafe in Old Manali.  Old Manali and New Manali are like two different worlds. The calm to the chaos, the grace to the rowdiness. So the view, the company and the food more than made up to the long walk uphill.

View with Dinner(Not the other way round!)

The day had given everything that I needed and some that I didn’t. But all in all, a great day!

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3 thoughts on “A Soulful Himalayan Sojourn | The Beauty

  1. I know what you mean when you say Manali can be a shock! But luckily for us, there are so many little places around (like Naggar) that are still so beautiful, and not swarmed with crowds (not yet anyway). I am so in love with the stone architecture of the Himalayas, not just the palaces, but even the village houses. Love how it is the only manmade construction that complements the serenity of the mountains 🙂 Great going on the blog btw!

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