Weekend Trip to Rohtang Pass (Sep ’10)

This trip was basically for my in-laws who flew from Chennai to witness snow as it’s impossible in South. As I had exhausted all my holidays, I had no choice other than utilizing the weekend for this trip. Our primary target was Rohtang Pass where we can witness Snow for sure. As the trip got planned, another family joined us and we booked a ‘Tempo Traveller’ from Delhi. This was the first time I engaged a third party for travel and it turned out be a quite disappointing experience. The main reason being the driver incapable of driving smart, who took 19hrs to reach Manali, which could have been easily done in 14hrs max. There was no traffic jam at all except a small landslide near Kiratpur, which was also cleared in 30 min. I can keep on adding the disappointments we faced along this trip with these inefficient drivers and it deserves a separate post. Let’s leave that and move on to the exciting part.

We reached Manali at 3.30 PM and checked into the Hotel near Vashist, located around 3kms from the Mall. The views from the hotel were majestic and it would have been fantastic if the weather was clear to witness snow peaks. On a clear day, you can witness snow covered peaks from the balcony with the Beas river flowing just below it. So, after a tiring 19hr journey from Delhi, every body begged for some rest. We all rested for an hour and moved on to the restaurant, which served some delicious North Indian dishes. Once we were done with late lunch, we started for some sightseeing & shopping. Group of people moved on to ‘Hadimba Temple’ and another group went hunting for a vehicle for next day trip to Rohtang.

Finally, we found a sumo driver who accepted to carry all of us to Rohtang the next day. We decided to start as early as possible. After few negotiations, he agreed to start at 6 AM. Once this was done, we joined the other group in Hadimba Temple and offered prayers, followed by a short photography session. The last agenda was to spend some time in shopping on the mall road. Groups parted on the Mall road and entered different shops. Couple of hours passed and everybody was done with their shopping and seemed tired and hungry. We all headed to famous ‘Madras Cafe’ for dinner where we were served ‘South Indian Thali’. Day 1 was quiet hectic and everybody wanted to hit the bed ASAP and we did so.

Day 2

We all woke up around 4.30 AM and everyone got ready by 5.45 AM. We reached the mall road where we were supposed to meet the sumo driver and we all boarded the vehicle at 6.10 AM. All were excited about the travel and were eagerly looking around for snow clad peaks. The road till Gulaba was somewhat OK and we alighted there to get our snow dress. Once done, we proceeded our journey towards Rohtang. The rest of the travel was so tiring, as we had to do a couple of water crossings & traverse through the slush roads. When we reached the zero point, disappointment awaited us, as there was no sign of snow. The driver demanded extra bucks to get us to a bit far away place where one can witness snow. We agreed to that, as we didn’t have any other choice and eagerly awaited the destination. After travelling a couple of km, driver stopped near a turn and asked us to get down.

As said by the driver, snow was there but one had to trek around 1.5km to reach the place and the path was also not so good. It was too steep to climb as well. Once we reached, we saw a bunch of men doing some decoration work with snow, preparing for skiing activities. The snow was not fresh and the area was covered by black ice. Walking into the snow seemed to be difficult, as there were a few pot holes in between the snow covered area. We enjoyed some moments there and took few snaps and returned to the base. We didn’t have much time to spend there, as we had to reach Delhi by early morning on Monday. So, we left the place with no heart and reached Manali at 2.50 PM.

We boarded our ‘Tempo Traveller’ and started our journey back to Delhi. Mission accomplished with a bit of disappointing experience with the travel agent. All in all, we did our best to keep our spirits high and enjoyed every moment in Rohtang Pass. This place requires at least a couple of days to explore. The most disappointing part was that, there wasn’t any photography stops in between from Manali to Rohtang. Had I taken my car, I would have stopped not less than 50 spots where I found the nature at its best.

But there is always a second chance and I will conquer the pass leisurely.

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Weekend Trip to Rohtang Pass

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