Will the Himalyas be any less pretty if we see them from this side of the border as opposed to that side? I am guessing not. Different perhaps. But certainly as enchanting and picturesque.
Our Nepal plan has been shelved in the favor of a trip to Manali & Keylong. A decision reached after carefully considering the time and costs involved. I think we definitely need better connectivity between Delhi and Nepal (and by better I mean more regular and cost-effective)
So after the successful tour on the Sutlej circuit last year, we have planned a five night trip to the Beas circuit of Himachal – 4 nights at Manali Log huts of HPTDC (which we have been led to believe are serenely nestled away from the hustle bustle of the commercial town) and 1 night at Keylong – the capital of the Lahaul Spiti region. Keylong is generally the night halt for a travel between Manali & Leh and is a great camping area. It inherits most of what is beautiful about the Leh-Manali highway and I am really looking forward to the visit there.
From Manali we are also planning to make trips to the Solang valley, Kothi village (which is at the bottom of Rohtang pass) and of course the Rohtang pass. Some good places are mentioned here. I believe the weather in November will be perfect for long walks around the beautiful valley and I just can’t wait to go.
Given a lot of warnings about the road and our own experience of snow driving with an inexperienced driver last year, we are taking the bus route from Delhi to Manali. Both HRTC & Raj Express have overnight connections and at very reasonable costs of 800-850 rs. We have still not finalized the mode of transport onwards from Manali but depending on the availability and the mood, we will take either the bus or hire a four-wheel drive. Assuming that a driver from Manali region is likely to be a better bet than a Delhi driver.
As I said – in Manali we are taking the HPTDC log huts, which are slightly expensive, but we did not want to risk a commercial hotel of Kullu, situated perhaps on a pathetic mall road (I have not seen the mall road of Kullu, but going by my past experience of mall roads on all hill stations, I do not have any faith in them whatsoever). At Keylong we are staying at the Chandrabhaga – another HPTDC establishment. We had a great experience last year with HPTDC and trust them completely – they are reliable, will have good rates and are likely to have the best locations given their advantage in accessing lands!
Hope to publish a glorious Manali/Keylong travel review here soon.