Is Manali Worth A Trip?

Manali is a town in Himachal Pradesh. An overnight journey from Delhi, it is a great place to enjoy some peaceful time away from the bustling city. The hill station is a famous getaway for newly wed couples & young blood who are looking for some breathtaking experiences. This was my first trip to Manali & based on my experience I would like to conclude if Manali trip is worth?

The Town:

Manali town is divided into two parts old & new. Old Manali is perfect small hill station town. The narrow roads, cedar trees, fewer vehicles & peaceful environment. On the other hand, New Manali is far more commercialized, lot more vehicles & way more traffic. The main commercial hub of the place is Mall Road & most of the people visit this road for shopping & eating purposes.

There is not much to shop around & also not lots of options, but whatever options are there those are good. For city aspects, there is not much to see apart from temples. However, the real fun starts when one travel to nearby places. There are lots of places which are worth a visit. The diversity in the places is freshening & enjoyable.

Manali

Safety:

Safety is one of the major concerns before visiting a place. No body wants to have some bad memory about the place. Specially if one is traveling. Manali I felt is safe to travel. I boarded an auto during the late hours & he dropped me without any hassel or argument. Ofcourse nobody charges you by meter but that is expected from the touristic places. On a broader aspect. I feel the place is safe.

The place is decent for few days. It’s a typical small town not much advanced. However, offers alot. During summer if one is looking to check out some cool place. This could be a great getaway. I would recommend visiting the place once. City has its fun points & giveaways.

Manali

Feel free to share your thoughts in comments.

 

 

Prashar Lake: So Deep, It Touches Your Soul

Prashar lake is one of the most unexplored lakes near Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. Prashar lake trek starts from the Baggi village which is around 20 km from Mandi. I’ve been wanting to visit this lake for a year and suddenly in the first week of March, I decided to trek solo.

It was solo travel, but in reality, I wasn’t traveling or trekking solo. There were lots of people I met which never made me feel alone. I thought it was up to me to go down which path, whether to make friends during my journey or choose my own path and enjoy my own moments.

Delhi to Mandi(Prashar Lake)

I took a bus from Kashmiri gate at 6:30 PM on 9 March 2018 which left me at Mandi around 6 AM the next day. The first bus from Mandi to Baggi village leaves at around 8 AM. I took a bus to Shegli immediately which is 4 km from Baggi village. I met a group which was also going to the trek. I walked and hitchhiked to Baggi village.

There were a few cafes at Baggi village where I did my breakfast. Prices were nominal, not so costly. I had a few parathas there and filled up my water bottles.

Prashar Lake Mark My Adventure

Prashar Lake trek from Baggi village:

I started my trek at 10 AM from Baggi village with the group I met on the bus. The trek started from crossing a naala and then walking straight for around a km on the rocky path. Thereafter, I entered the thick dense pine forests. It was so beautiful in between those pine trees and I didn’t meet any other person on the trek except the group which I met on the bus. I found only one source of water in the whole trek. So, it was good that I carried enough water with me. Before one km from the lake, I reached this open area and found some mud houses. It was an amazing feeling to not find a single soul in the range of a km.

After trekking for around 4 hours, I reached this beautiful peaceful lake and it was all worth it. Prashar temple also lies just near the lake and its architecture was awe-inspiring.

Prashar Lake

The lake is surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of some large mountains. There is a 360-degree view of mountain ranges from the top area of the lake. Peaks of Triund, Indrahar Pass, Chamba, Hanuman Tibba, Spiti, Kinnaur and some other mountain ranges are visible from the top. There is no other two-day trek which gives such pleasant views within such a short distance.

Camp Site

I had my own sleeping bag with me and I knew that there were dorm rooms available in the temple. I went to the temple and talked to the Pandit Ji about the room and he told me to talk to the caretaker. Caretaker bhaiya showed me the room and gave me a mattress. And man, I swear that was one of the best nights of my life. I could see the lake from my window and it was amazing. After putting my backpack in my room, I went outside and ate some Maggi. I spent my entire evening watching the beautiful sunset and then ate Rajma Chawal and slept.

A local guy told me that there is a beautiful site 2 km from the Parashar lake. I followed the road, took a wrong turn and reached this place and enjoyed this stunning sunset alone.

Random place

Prashar lake to Mandi:

I wanted to go down by bus as I trekked while coming up here. So, I enquired about the bus from the people and took it to reach Mandi at 4:30 PM. Drive from Prashar Lake to Mandi was a treat. The bus went through some muddy path in between the lush green valley which was breathtaking for me. I ate some food at Mandi Bus Stand and took the bus to Delhi which reached at 5 AM.

Some amazing stories about this place

  • Till now, various attempts have been made to find the depth of this lake but no one was successful. Isn’t it astonishing in the 21st century?
  • It is believed that Prashar temple is built in the era of Mahabharata and the lake was created by Bhim’s elbow push.
  • No one is allowed to enter the fencing around the lake except the local people who use this lake as a source of water.
  • It is said that the small island which is in the middle of the lake changes its location with respect to the time of the year.
  • The water of this lake is used for drinking by the local people and it tastes amazing.

Useful Information:

  • Tents are available itself near the Prashar lake at the cost of Rs. 300-500
  • Bus from Mandi to Baggi village leaves at around 8 AM and costs around 50/-
  • There are a few cafes in Baggi village where you can eat and pack your lunch for the trek as there are no shops during the trek.
  • Direct buses also run from Mandi to Prashar lake which is the same bus that goes via Baggi village and reaches Prashar lake at 11 AM. The same bus leaves for Mandi at 1:15 PM and reaches Mandi at 4:30 PM.
  • Temple may also be closed in the month of January and February.
  • Various buses run from Delhi to Mandi in the evening and take around 11-12 hours to reach. The prices of Roadways HRTC bus is 530/-, Himmani Deluxe non-AC is 730/- and Himsuta AC Bus is around 1100/-. Prefer HRTC buses over the private ones.
  • This trek can be done within the budget of 1400-2000 depending on which bus you take and where you stay. I did this trek in 1400/-
  • You can take your tent if you want and camp near the lake.
  • Cost of food is nominal near the lake. Maggi costs 30/- and Rajma Chawal cost 60/-
  • Only Jio and Airtel networks are available at the lake.

Best season to visit:

This trek can be done at any time of the year. In winters, the lake freezes, so for the people who love snow, this lake is a blessing.

In summers, the area around the lake is fully green. This trek should be avoided in the Monsoon season as the trail gets slippery.

Prashar Lake

Prashar Lake temperature:

Temperature goes below -4 degree Celsius in the months of January and February. While in the other seasons, it’s between 10-15 degree Celsius.

Whenever you visit this lake, use water of the lake for drinking over plastic bottles. If you purchase some bottles then please take them to Mandi with you because it’s very hard to transfer all the plastics. Let’s make this beautiful lake pollution free.

This post is written by Mayank Gupta & one can follow his work at www.travelfortranquility.com.

Della & Pavana Lake: A weekend Well Spent

There are lots of places near Mumbai where one can spend a quality time. Mumbai has a space constraints so finding an open space is a tough thing to do.Della adventure is answer for such constraints, Della has established a park in Lonavala (some 2.5 or 3 hours drive from Mumbai & 1.5 hours drive from Pune). An adventure park which offers variety of outdoor activities & surely is good place to visit.

Della Adventures:

Della Adventures is located in Lonavala. The place has many activities like paintball, wall climbing, zip line,  archery, shooting, swings, obstacle, dirt bike racing etc. The prices of the activities vary. However, there is a basic plan which allows one to play games like snooker, table tennis, chess, carrom, net practice (cricket), archery. But, to play games like paintball, dirtbike racing one need to shed extra rupees. Other than this they also provide staying option if one is willing to spend another day. Click here to book a room in Della.

Della Mark My Adventure

The basic package starts from approx 2000 excluding taxes.  However, there are many offers available on online booking which can be cheaper than this price. The same can be looked by clicking here.

Dirt biking Della Adventure

I went to this park with my friends, I felt the basic package was overpriced. However, it is a good place for kids, as they can ride cycles, pet a dog & enjoy some time away from honking of vehicles. But, for adults, it might be disappointing because of the rush & the price.

Carrying out all the activities in a single day is difficult. The best would be to shortlist the activities one wants to do & only perform those. Although, it is possible to cover all the activities in 2 day.

A food court is available in the park. So, there is no need to worry about the food. The cost of food in restaurant is on a higher side, but that is expected if traveling to some adventure club.

We spent one afternoon there & for us it was a decent one time visit. We enjoyed our time over there. But, will think to visit the place again. After spending an afternoon, we moved to Pavana Lake for the evening. Lake is some 1.5 to 2 hours journey from Della Adventures.

Pavana Lake:

Pavana lake is a wonderful site for camping. Located at some distance from the city. The sites near a lake are owned by local villagers. Hence, it is logical to take a camping package from them. The charges are not high, so one can afford it easily. The package includes a tent, a camp fire, bonfire (if lucky enough to get one), food & morning snacks & the cost of the package was approx 1000 per head.

Pavana Lake Mark My Adventure

The best part of camping is its view, so choose the view accordingly. Luckily, we got good location. You can search camping site by clicking on this link.

The night here was more about sitting near the campfire & chit chatting about different phases of the life or different experiences.

Morning View Pavana Lake

The morning views were mesmerizing, the never-ending landscapes & peace all around the camp is the experience which one can only dream of. I particularly enjoyed the morning scene because of the freshness in the air & nature.

Lake View Mark My Adventure

The pics are clicked by me through an iphone. If you like my blog, do subscribe & comment.

 

 

Bhandardara Camping

How often one spends weekends just procrastinating about activities he or she wants to do. But, we hardly take any steps towards it. This point is valid for me as well. I have spent many weekends trying to imagine things I want to do during my void time. However, I did nothing to change it. But, one weekend I tried to change this habit & left home for a camping trip. Camping is becoming a new fad among the city people & why not. A place where one can sit calmly & unclutter daily life stress is a need of this hour. People are running behind fame & money & because of which finding a time for self is getting obsolete. Not going into the details of stresses & all. This post is my experience of camping near Bhandardara Dam.

Bhandardara is approx 4 Hrs drive from Mumbai & approx 2.5 to 3 Hrs from Pune. The gigantic lake has many beautiful points to explore. Most of the sites near lakes have already been taken by local villagers. Thus, one needs to contact villagers to get the best deal. Camping usually a one day, in fact, one evening thing to do & is cheap in pockets as well.

The best way to find deals near Bhandardara click on this link Camps Near Bhandardara. Usually, in a campsite, a tent is provided along with bonfire, music system (which varies with the service providers). The only drawback of these sorts of arrangement is the crowd. For-profit margins, villagers are allowing more camp than the required ones which steals the calmness of the place.

If one is looking for more of a luxurious trip then it can be disappointing as there are no proper washrooms & not so comfortable sleeping arrangements. But, some things have to be sacrificed to gain other things & this is one such part of the trip.

 

The Journey

We traveled to the lake by car. It took us roughly 4 hours to reach the lake. We did our booking while traveling. Luckily we got one in time. The location of the camp was superb, the water was hardly 10 to 15 Mts away from the camps. We reached around 8:30 or 9 pm in the night & it was pitch dark. The time we reached, dinner has already begun; we told him that we will be having it late in the night. So, we sat there near the bonfire & chatted.  The temperature dropped drastically & after having sat there for few hours we slept in the tent.

The next morning, we woke up to the pleasant lake the temperature, the tea & the view made it a perfect morning. It was a refreshing feeling to see the water & greenery than concrete jungles & some fresh air (which is getting rare these days). The lake is beautiful & very calm. There is an island which can be reached by boat. However, due to some issues, we couldn’t able to reach the island.

Bhandardara Mark My Adventure

People earn to enjoy a view like these. The moment you open your eyes, there is a lake surrounded by the hills. Every place has its own high & this place certainly has its. The best way to spend some quality time is by having some quality conversation.

Lake View Mark My Adventure

This place is good for a day’s visit. Enjoy camping here & unclutter from the stress.

 

 

 

The Perfect Evening In Mumbai

Mumbai is a financial hub of India & also among the most famous ones. It is the only city in India which is running 24*7. Mumbai attracts approx. 4 to 5 millions tourists every year. There are so many things to do in Mumbai.

Why wouldn’t any one will fall for this city. There are many facts to support that Mumbai is way more than a city; some of the reasons are SAFETY, GOOD VIBES & the ARABIAN SEA. But, most interesting part of Mumbai is it’s people. I have hardly seen anyone fighting here.Local trains are jam packed with commuters but still, people help each other.  May be, this is the reason for the name “Amachi Mumbai

There are many to do in Mumbai. From pub hopping in Bandra to beach in Juhu; From nature abode in the national park to the hanging garden. But one thing which is epitome of Mumbai is “THE NARIMAN POINT“.

One of the so many things to do in Mumbai & one is to spend a perfect Sunday evening at Nariman Point. Nariman point is located at the end of 1.5 Km stretch of Marine Drive. This point attracts thousands of tourist

So, What Makes This An Exciting Place To Be In?

A place from where it is easy to see the skyline of Mumbai (Long tall buildings standing on the Arabian Sea is worth a view).

Marine Lines Mark My Adventure

A place from where it is easy to view; is an unending Arabian Sea. An unending view to mesmerize your perception of life. A place to lose yourself & enjoy some peace time with waves & also with yourself ;).

Marine Lines Mark My Adventure

A place where every superstar has sat atleast once.

A place where people visualize their dream.

A place where the couples talk about their future.

For some peoples, it is a place to celebrate birthdays.

In short, it is a place for everything. While all these discussions are taking place there is small element “Sun” slowly slowly setting into the Arabian Sea. The transition of colors from orange to yellow to blue can be witnessed. The way sun disappears in the Arabian Sea, leaving its impression on the sky through it sunlight is one of the few precious moments which everyone can enjoy without paying a penny.  Nothing is much calmer than watching a Sun Setting & true colors of the sky.

Sunset at Nariman Point Mark My Adventure

I have their hundreds of times but every time I went there, it’s all new & refreshing each time.

Other Activites:

After relaxing at Nariman Point, head towards Colaba. Some of the must visit places in Colaba are as follows

Leopold Cafe: Very popular cafe in Colaba. The place has an amazing vibe &  food is good. The place was targetted by terrorist during 26/11 attacks. However, it is restored & fully functional now;  but the impression of bullets are still visible at some places in this cafe.

Leopold Cafe Things To Do In Mumbai

Mondegar: Another place to hang out. A customize music system add to the glory of this place. The rates are decent, food is amazing & ambiance is too good to be ignored. A must visit cafe in Colaba.

Mondegar Mark My Adventure

Gokul: One of the shady places in Mumbai & is located in the prime location of Mumbai. The reason this place is famous is cheap alcohol. This shady ambiance attracts lot of young crowds.Rates offered by Gokul is unresistable place compared to its surroundings.

Gokul Things to do in Mumbai

Bayview Cafe: If you like open spaces & sea view this is the ideal place for you. This cafe is way to go. It is at walkable distance from Gate of India. Sitting are in open. The breezy atmosphere & mighty Arabian Sea is its USP. Spend atleast couple of hours here.

Bayview

The Marina Upper Deck: This place is an open arrangement. Food & location is the USP of this place. Views from this place is amazing. The food is bit costly but with an amazing view & good ambience, cost part can be ignored.

Bade Miyan: The famous food outlet attracts every person at least once. The non veg is mouth watering. It has decend veg food. But, it is mainly famous for non veg. Recommended to try it once if you are in Mumbai.

Bademiya Mumbai

Gateway of India: Just visit this place & fall in love with the building.

This is my point of view to spend a perfect evening in India’s most vibrant city. I will be updating more on Mumbai in coming post. If you like my writing, do COMMENT or SUBSCRIBE to my website.

Why I Decided to Spend Rs 1500 on Camping on Rajmachi Fort

Start of an Idea

 
Working in a corporate world comes with only one perk; that is monthly salary. Bored of killing time in clubbing, I decided to try something new; so came up with an idea of camping at Rajmachi Fort. Thus, an idea came into existing. I recently bought a tent & was eager to put it into use & this seems to be a perfect opportunity to use my new product.

 

Sunset to remember

Ride To Unknown Territories

 
We fill the petrol, started a long journey to the unknowns. Mumbai – Pune highway is a   perfect territory for long drives. The ease with which car maneuvers is perfect. Put the music & relax every bone inside you. Long drives are fun & I wish I could do this more often. We reached Lonavala in 2 hours & from Lonavala we took a turn to Della adventures.

Mark My Adventure

There is two way to reach the fort one is through Karjat & another one from Lonavala; we chose Lonavala. But, the roads were worse, it was a road of stones. During our bumpy ride, we realized it is not workable to reach fort in next couple of hours. So, we came up with a plan B which was camping in one random cliff. Soon, we started to search for a place to park a car. We started our exploration of no man’s cliff. We reached the end of the cliff after crossing a river body, a small trail of forest, ups & down’s of rough path.
 
We lit the fire & used a tent to sleep. The most amazing part of that cliff was enjoying nature without any disturbance. Peace or the quietness of the place was an amazing experience. The feeling of staying on that cliff was adventurous & peaceful at the same time.
 

The Awakening

After few hours, nature showed its magic & everything seemed to be more beautiful & grand. We spend 3000 Rs on this trip we were 3 guys & after that night, I felt it was one of the good decision I made that day.
 
After Rajmachi Fort trek, I felt that sometimes it’s best to take a break from busy schedule & look back on things.
 
After spending so much time with technology which is making life busy. It is best to unwind yourself in such a pleasant place & enjoy unlimited inch of natural screen rather than enjoying a mobile 4-inch screen.

 

I will be documenting my journey through my blog posts. Do subscribe & share if you liked my posts.