The trip was not planned to Manali at all. I and one of my friends took a long route to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh before reaching there. We were planning to go to Kasol which is also a beautiful place to visit. Initially, I had finished my night shift at work and rushed to catch the train from Delhi in the morning. My friend was waiting for me at the railway station. We didn’t even have any seat reservation. We were just going to the whim.

Finally, the train had arrived and we jumped on its general coach, had the tickets already. The train was jam-packed and we were looking for a corner to settle in. As I told earlier, I just had finished my night shift and was feeling sleepy and restless. Luckily, I found a little space to put my bum on. Well, the train had departed the station and we had to go to this dilemma. Sleep was already away and we had to adjust in that situation for 6 more hours. We arrived at Chandigarh and decided to stay there for the night. Before leaving, visiting some places wasn’t a bad idea after all. We visited the popular Rock garden of Chandigarh, boating at Sukhna Lake and a few other places. Then we came back to the bus stand and stayed in the public lounge where 20-25 people shared the same room. Well, we hadn’t planned anything so we had to go with whatever we are getting at that time.

We got ready early in the morning at 4 am and packed the bags to leave for Shimla. We took the private bus from the bus stand. We were trying to enjoy the view and have comfort because the night stay wasn’t that comfy after all. It was a non-stop bus so we reached Shimla at 9.30 am. Without wasting any time, we left the bus station to visit some places. As we both were new to this place, we asked people about famous visiting places. We detoured again and walk to another bus stand by climbing to Lakkar Bazar the famous flea market, all the way to Mall road. We took a bus to Chail to visit Kufri but it was not the right time, in those days of the year. We came back to the bus stand in the evening and instantly booked a bus to Manali because there was no bus at that time for Kasol.

The Turn

The bus was not so bad and all filled with tourists. The road was all zig-zag and the driver was driving like a crazy drunk even in the dark. When we saw a little daylight, my camera was already out in my hand. So, I started capturing the beauty of nature in my camera. I was very excited to see snow filled mountains the very first time in my life. Not only the architecture of houses and trees but also mountains looked alive to me. There were waterfalls and rivers on every turn in the mountain road. This was the most beautiful place I had ever seen in my entire life. I was very happy with the decision that we made to skip to Kasul and go to Manali.

When we had reached Manali, the first thing we wanted was to take a good bath and rest our eyes for a little. So we booked a hotel room nearby the bus stand. The hotel was small. But the view from our room was perfect. We can see the icy mountain from the window of our hotel room. We watched TV a little, recharged our phones, took bath and rested our spine a little. After resting a bit, we started looking for a restaurant where we could find a good North Indian food. We found a good restaurant and satiated the hunger we had for so long. It was Hare Krishna restaurant, where they served best food quality at very decent price.

The Twist

The main point of the journey had yet to come, The Solang Valley. We were seeking the cheapest way to reach there but nothing was cheap there. So, we decided to hire a cab there. Our luck was shining at that time as we hired a Scorpio at a very decent price. He took us to the Valley stop and at few popular stops and then brought us back to the station. When we reached Solang Valley, mesmerized by the beauty of it.

Snow was everywhere I laid my eyes on. My friend was just like a mountain goat. He was climbing the mountain as he lived there. This was all new to me. So, I was having a problem in adjusting that environment in the beginning. After a few minutes (30 minutes) of hustle, I was also a part of the Solang Valley experience. When I reached the top, I was really proud of myself. We saw people sliding down a slope made with ice. So, we decided to slide down. I was scared at first, but when I saw my friend was enjoying it thoroughly, I decided to take a chance and it really changed my life. It taught me, taking a risk sometimes are very necessary to enjoy life.

My heart wanted to stay there for entire life but the storm was about to hit that part of the mountain. We decided to head back to the bus stand. We reached the bus stand and instead of taking the same route we had come, we decided to take a direct bus to Delhi. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I want to go there time and again.