The Base Camp:
Manali is a place where probably every nature lover wants a Retirement Home! Even crores of worth of Flats in cities can not give one the Tranquility and Pleasure of staying in such a place! When I got to live in this freaking Apple Orchard, I was the happiest! Let me give you a quick description of the Campsite. And then read on about some interesting facts about Manali.
Its an Apple Orchard (yes I said it for the 4th time!) and between the trees are the Tents. A huge stream flows behind the tents and the sound of its flowing water can be heard at all points😇! Water in it is coming directly from the Glaciers and it is Freezing cold!
Whenever we got time, my friends and I would go and sit on the rocks over this stream and enjoy! Moreover, we even started having our Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner on the stream! That is an experience I will exactly remember my whole life!
The first Orientation meeting is the most important. It is addressed by the Camp Director, Dr. Madhusudan who was a scientist at ISRO, Ahmedabad! He founded ANALA- Ahmedabad Nature Lovers Association, initially to protect the trees at Law Garden and eventually they started many ecological activities, including these camps.
Every year, for some months, he would come and stay in Manali with his beloved German Shepherd named Vasu! (#goals)
Madhu sir talked about many interesting things related to Manali.
- Manali gets its name as Manu’s Aalay i.e. homeland of Sage Manu. The writer of Manusmriti- Manu Rishi, saved the Vedas and rehabilitated the Earth after a massive Flood. There is a beautiful temple to worship him in Old Manali.
- Manali and the surrounding areas are believed to be home to the Saptarishi.
- What we today know as Manali is made of 3 adjacent hills each with their own temple: Old Manali- Manu Temple; Vashishtha- Vashistha temple; Dhungri- Hadimba temple.
- During the British rule in India, Manali was a favorite destination of the Officers especially during Summer. Eventually many of them stayed here, married locals and now Manali offers the experience of a Global Village. Some of its riverside cafes offer every cuisine from traditional Himachali food to Italian, Thai, Chinese, British and Tibetian.
- The people of Manali speak Mandiali version of Western Pahari language, derived from Sanskrit and Prakrit. Many people of Tibet have made Manali home. So Tibetian, Hindi and English can also be heard.
- All locals own atleast one Apple Tree.
- Manali has a lot of interesting plants. There are trees like Fir, Deodar, Rhododendrons, Maple, Oak, Kail, Spruce, Pine, Eucalyptus, Fig, Apple, Walnut, Cherry etc. This plant with Snake like appearance called Nagapushpa is commonly seen here.
- But the most Amazing of all plants is the Bichubutti – Stinging nettle (Urtica). People, see this picture below and never forget this plant because if you touch it, it can cause Paresthesia- Prickling,burning, numbness on the skin. When we used to get breaks after walking long, people would sit wherever they found place. And when they sit without examining, many of my friend got a sting from a Bichhubutti that had grown around the rock they sat😅. Phir kya, aadhe ghante tak khujate raho!
The Roses of this region are particularly Large and bright!
To Nehru Kund:
Later that day, we went on a small walk to the Nehru Kund. On the way, there were these beautiful houses with Colorful gardens!
Nehru Kund is a natural spring of cold water located on the Manali- Rohtang Pass Highway. This is the area around which some parts of the film Krishh were shot.
In the serenity of the place, one can sit for hours enjoying the Flowing Beas! Photography enthusiasts will also enjoy clicking at this place especially during the Golden hour.
This was the highlight of my 1st day in Manali. It still feels like a Dream!
I hope you had a great time reading or atleast seeing the Photos! Stay tuned to go on our first Trek of the Trip in the next Blog!
If you haven’t read the previous blog, here you go:https://diniwriteup.home.blog/2020/05/22/reaching-manali/
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