Search This Blog

Saturday, September 15, 2012

2 Months And A Half Off! (Part 8)

This series of posts is a day by day account of my two-month-and-a-half trip that begins with a stay in Bangkok, followed by a train ride Amritsar, a bike trip from Leh to Manali and a yoga teacher training in Kullu Valley, the end of the habitable world.

Day 14 (PM): Hadimba Temple
When I returned to the guesthouse I had a nice chat with boyfriend's old friend (who had arrived from Leh the night before). Since she was keen on doing some sightseeing, we decided to head to the Hadimba Temple which was walking distance from our guesthouse while my boyfriend sorted out our bike.

From the Eagle Guesthouse which is located around 100 meters from the clubhouse, we walked towards the bridge, crossed it and climbed up the steps opposite it. This led to the uphill Hadimba Temple Road which is lined with vendors hawking t-shirts, accessories and other wares. We even passed a couple of women asking for 50 rupees to have a picture with their extremely furry rabbits.

The simple wooden temple was built in 1553 by Raja Bahadur Singh. It was dedicated to Hadimba, a character from the Mahabharata, who became a goddess after going through tapasya which is a combination of meditation, prayer and penance. The Hadimba Temple, was built over a rock on which she meditated.

It was in this temple that I prayed for our safety during out bike trip. It was a very Indian experience -- The man in the temple placed a red dot on my head and gave me some red rice crispies. I smiled and tried some. But, since I didn't want to eat the whole handful, I chucked it into my bag and left.

The Hadimba Temple

Some kids singing outside the Hadimba Temple.

Ibex horns on the walls for warding off evil spirits.

A very nice park filled with pine trees.

A Tree Shrine
In the same area, beside a colorful carousel and a huge heart where couples are supposed to have their pictures taken, we found a tree with loads of flowers and other ornaments. It looked like a shrine of some sort. With no guidebooks to tell us to whom it was dedicated to, we had no idea why it was there.

A very beautiful shrine

A tattered carousel that shows a lot of character.

Green Forest Cafe (on the way to Hadimba Temple)
On our way down the hill, we decided to stop by Green Forest for lunch. They've got really nice cheese and vegetable momos (dumplings) and curry-flavored thukpa (vegetable noodle soup). This restaurant serves these Tibetan staples with an Indian twist.

Day 15: Test Drive
The next day, my boyfriend and I decided to take En Oi, the 500cc Enfield Machismo that we rented for our trip to Ladakh, for a test drive. Since he's gone through the road to the Rohtang Pass the day before, he was excited to share the stunning views with me.

After yoga, I walked up the steps to meet him in Vashisht while snapping some pictures on the way.

The area seems to be populated by these scaly things.

A man carrying some leaves up the steps.

The View of the Beas River from Vashist

Basho (Vashisht)
He drove pass when I reached the top of the steps. And, we headed to Basho for some breakfast before going for our drive. The view from the restaurant's terrace and they've got a really nice vegetarian burger. 

The River View From The Terrace Of Basho
The Road to Rohtang Pass
After getting a spare helmet from Bike Rentals Manali (where we rented our motorbike for 1,000 rupees a day), we began our trip up the road that led to Rohtang Pass. The road was fairly smooth with loads of switchbacks that looked like mutated hands on Google Maps. And, as we went higher up, the views became even more stunning.

With each turn, we were greeted by waterfalls sliding down the rock surface. And, as we moved up, we had a better view of the green valley before. The dark earth, the green grass and pine trees, the glistening waterfalls and the blue skies had such a rich contrast it was impossible to take a bad picture.

Tom and En Oi on Rohtang Pass


Two... Three...

Four... The pass is just filled with waterfalls.

It's a nice feeling to be so close to the clouds.

This is what dreams are made of...

And, nightmares as well...

We didn't get to Rohtang Pass that day. We stopped before we reached the challenging muddy bit that lead to the pass, took some pictures and headed back to our guesthouse.

Casa Bella Vista (On the way up to Hadimba Temple, on top of the steps across the bridge)
Since it was my boyfriend's birthday, we decided to have a long lunch in Casa Bella Vista, where they served cold beers and really good Spanish-Italian dishes. The staff was so accommodating that they helped make their desert (a scoop of ice cream topped with chunks of brownie floating in a cup of espresso) extra special by putting candles and flowers around it.


Their version of Patatas Bravas.

Four Cheese Pasta.


No comments:

Post a Comment