Why Go to Solang Valley:
Summer Sports (Parachuting, Paragliding, Zorbing, Horse Riding), Winter Sports (Ski, Ice Skating).
Elevation: 2560m (8400 ft)
Distance: 14 km from Manali, little diversion on Rohtang Pass road.
Date of Drive: 25th November 2011
Manali is a very popular hill station in the Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is a small town situated on the Banks of river Beas and is surrounded by huge cliffs from all sides. It is famous for its weather, location, Beas river, Hadimba Devi temple, Naggar Castle, Solang valley, Vashisht hot water springs and Rohtang Pass. It is on important route to Ladakh, Lahaul and Spiti valleys. Manali is also an important base for many trekking and mountaineering expeditions.Indian Institute of Mountaineering is also established here from where basic and advance course can be done.
Since I didn’t have any plan for today, so got up very late. Went out for little stroll in Van Vihar National Park which was opposite to my Hotel, Kenilworth International.
Nature park Manali, with dense forest, runs parallel to NH 21 and Beas river. Enjoyed walking in silence and among chirping of birds. The park is dense, dark and deep.
Came back to the hotel….had some food and decided to drive towards Vashisht.
After crossing beas river bridge, there is a turn to the left towards snow clad mountains. This road leads to Rohtang pass and beyond to Leh Ladakh, Lahaul and Spiti valleys. After about a kilometer I turned right and was in a small, bustling village with lot of foreign nationals and internet cafes.
It was Vashisht, small village, narrow lanes, wooden houses, hot water springs, temples, german bakery…popular with the foreign travelers, who stay here for much longer periods.
After visit to the temple, a cup of tea from Ganesha chai house and small walk in the narrow lanes of Vashish, drove back on the main road. Turned to the right towards Solang Valley.
Solang valley is a large meadow on the left of Beas river perched few kilometers above. Its a popular place for paragliding, horse riding, cable car and lot other adventure activities. Its a popular ski destination and other winter sports.
Had a nice time walking in the meadows, watching and chatting with excited first time paragliders.
After spending quite good time at Vashisht and Solang Valley, I drove back to my hotel room in the evening. Walked around the mall for a while. Watched tourists from different parts of India enjoying, making merry with their friends and families. Enjoyed watching Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara sipping whiskey in my hotel room till late hours.
Enough for me to have sound sleep.
The drive, cheerful tourists, colorful market, cool weather, enchanting atmosphere, snow clad himalayas, the paragliders, solang meadows, nice cosy hotel room, nice food, drinks, wonderful movie and a solo traveller, all this was a dream come true.
Here I was, living yet another dream.