Manali and Options

Someone asked for guidance to go around Manali and I emailed this to them and then I thought, now once I have typed it, may be useful for others who are planning to travel so sharing it with you all.

Route – Chandigarh to Bhuntar
Options of traveling –
1. Bus Volvo from Chandigarh Sector 43 Bus stand
2. Car
3. Taxi
There are two routes from Bhuntar , one goes to Manikaran and Kasol and another goes to Manali.
Manali is more of a tourist place and you will find like 5000 hotels in Manali to stay but I am more of a guy who won’t stay in Manali for more than 2 hours. So I am categorizing the information in to two routes A (towards Manikaran) and B towards Manali.
  1. Vashista Kund (B)
You guys can get a home stay between 300 – 500 in Vashista. I stayed in one of those and giving you number of the guy working there. If he is still working there then I paid him 300 Rs for a beautiful room. That guy has my number stored in his phone so you guys can give my reference. Sumit – 9418351060.
From Vashista there two beautiful virgin waterfalls which are called Jugni waterfall. At Vashista you will also get hot springs so you can take a bath in hot water.
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Himalayas
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Jugni Waterfall
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En route Jugni
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You can have breakfast here with this view
Don’t go to Rohtang , you will only find humans there.
2. Nagar (B)
I have not been to this place but this place is surely in my list to go. There is a trek of 5 hours from here called Bijli Mahadev. Other than trek you can also take the car route to bijli mahadev. The trails are easy, one of my friends did this recently. And yes you will either find home stays at Nagar or you can increase the budget of staying here at Nagar Palace which is the king palace. What I have heard any one can get a room for some 1500 – 2000 rs there.
3. Chalal (A)
There is no road which goes to Chalal, you will have to get off at Kasol and then cross the river on a bridge and walk towards Chalal, its some 1 km trail towards it. You need to contact Om Negi here. His number is 9805716616. You will get a tent here at 1000 rs and it can accommodate 3 grown up people. Tell Negi that Kshitij gave you his number. For food go to Kasol. Must try one meal at ever green cafe – you will get authentic israeli, lebaonese food here.
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Negi Bhai
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Chai with Parvati @Challal
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Tents at Challal

4. Manikaran(A) 

It is 5 km from Kasol, you can either walk towards it or take a bus, if you walk towards it you will find wooden bridges on your way and trails which will either send you to mountains or will bring you down to Parvati. Manikaran has a religious story behind it. Its a temple and a gurduwara. with hot springs again.
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Hot water
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Shiva – the destroyer
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Shiva Temple at Manikaran
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Manikaran Gurduwara
5. Varshaini (A) 
 
You can either get a bus from Kasol for Varshaini or Manikaran. I guess its an hour and half from this place. You can get home stays at Varshaini as well but my suggestion is either stay in Tosh which is ahead of Varshaini or plan to come back to Chalal.
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Parvati ❤
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Get down to Parvati from Varshaini
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En route Tosh
6. Tosh (A)
There is a small trek to Tosh from Varshaini , its a small village but the nature is amazing here.Have not stayed here ever so dont have any contact but you will easily get a home stay near 500 rs here as well.
7. Kheerganga(A)
You can ask Negi to send a guide with you for this trek, it is a 7 hour trek from Varshaini itself. Its a beautiful trek, the only thing which is coming in my mind is that you have kids with you and at Kheerganga you will find almost everyone smoking up so my suggestion is that do a half kheer ganga and then plan to come to Tosh to stay for the night. But the trails here and view of snow covered mountains is amazingly beautiful.
8. River Rafting (B)
On your way back from Manali to Bhuntar you will so many people offering services for river rafting. Its a good raft. I have done it so many years ago so not aware with the current pricing but I paid some 700 rs 7 years back. Negotiate well with them.
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And then I flew !

Imagine yourself standing at a 300 feet high cliff which can kill you if you jump of it. Now move back 100 metres and start running towards the jump. Feel your pilot shouting at you “Run, run, run, run faster” and then there comes a moment when you stop feeling the earth beneath your feet. You have actually jumped off the cliff and now you are a bird.

A bird who just learnt to open his wings and is tasting his first flight.

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The jumping point

This was me few days back when I experienced paragliding for the first time in my life.

It was my childhood desire to become an Air force pilot which I could never fulfill. I always had this craving of being in air which used to give me orgasmic feeling whenever I saw a plane.

Well this blog is not for that, in this I want to share more about my thoughts which came before, during and after I flew.

One day before my ride I decided to stay in a tent near my jump. When inquired about this place the tour and travel people warned me that there will be no electricity or network in this region and I was like wonderful 🙂 what else a man needs 😉

I was so much at peace with the bonfire, moon light, dance , alcohol and nature and honestly there was no emotion associated with the jump, I think this is what being in the moment means.

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Bonfire and celebrations with local kids

I slept in my tent and woke up early on the day of my jump to see the sun rise. And wooahhhh this day sun came with jewelry of so many clouds to prove its royalties as a king.

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I sat there for a couple of hours, spoke to sun, shouted Shiva to hear my echo coming from mountains. Whenever I do that I feel as Shiva is replying back to me.

Then after spending some time there I went for my ride and honestly I was scared a lot. The rider who jumped solo before me , I saw in his eyes and I perceived that emotion to be fear , I went to him and wished him luck. Now in this moment I am having doubts that do I have height phobia as well , I am not sure about it but then there came a voice ” Jo hoga dekha jaayega” (will see what ever happens)

 I asked my Pilot to get ready for the jump but before I did that I went to the cliff end to see and feel the height and then “run, run, run, run faster” boooommmmm we were in air with our glider up and the go pro stick in my hand. In that moment I so much wished that I was not having that with me because I wanted to open my hands to feel like a bird but then I was a bit scared as well.
I was scared to see down but then I had to and I did, I saw small small houses in this amazingly beautiful valley, I saw mountains dressed with snow on our right hand side and had this feeling to fly to them.
I saw a virgin waterfall somewhere which was shouting at me – Kshitij come and take a bath.
I shouted at my rider that Arvind bhai life is so beautiful up here then why do people keep on cribbing about it.
He kept silent, I think he has already achieved that level that he need not say anything about it. Then I told him that I am coming back again to learn solo from you. He said anytime. There did come a moment when I was again scared of death and I wanted to finish the ride as soon as possible and again I told my self, relax and be here , be in the moment.
After sometime I even stopped feeling my body and I was one with the Force.
This was the moment when I blessed my family, mentors, friends and everyone who is associated with me.
We were flying like an eagle now, swinging like it and I could see other Gliders from this moment as well.  I don’t know why but suddenly Arvind bhai (my Pilot) said do you want to go up and I was like whattttttttt we can take elevation as well ? He was like we can do a lot of things now. I approved of it as well. I so much wanted to see it. He did this awesome thing and we were on a road to elevation. This was it for me, I surrendered every thing now. Life and its limitations seemed so small here. It was like that if I can fly I can do anything.
Then I saw someone doing a zig zag below us and I asked Arvind bhai ‘yeh kya ho raha hai?’ (what is happening there?) and he asked apko karna hai? (do u want to do it?) and I said yes. The moment he started it I started feeling puckish and I shoted stop stop stop and he is such an amazing pilot that he did that in no moment.
Now I started feeling heaviness in my head and I was hoping it to end soon and then Arvind bhai told me two techniques of landing and told me which one to use.
In the landing I had to sit on my bums and when we landed it was like wow, I have a body again. I kissed the ground and just lied there for minutes. It was such a beautiful feeling to become human again. Saw other gliders landing as well and saw the guy who was doing solo went to him , hugged him and congratulated him.

Conversations with Banno

The relationship has been almost of 2 months old and everyday has been beautiful and divine. Not only she made me fall for her but she has also made me love trees, sky, birds, butterflies and dogs.

I think it is true love where she has not even tried to bind me with conditions but she has let me free and has let me explore life.

HAhahahahahahaaha ho gaya Bollywood dialogue over :p

So I thought I will share with you my experience with Banno and I was not able to think of a start so I thought thoda drama hee kar loon.

Those who know nothing about Banno, she is the bicycle I purchased 2 months back.

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Since then we have shared some 1200 kms of life together out of which 2 journeys were on National highways but that is not what is important.

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The important aspect is that since it has entered my life it has slowed down the race I was running in the stupid world. I have started realising the importance of seconds on clock and the importance of every breath I take.

The importance lead me to a moment which made me experience my body movement in each and every moment.

It has also made me realise that I live in a city where we have the most beautiful trees and cycle tracks. Trees which gives us energy, trees which speaks to us, trees which dance with weather. I have had these conversations with them only because of Banno. Thank you !

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There have been moments of pain as well where I have even shouted because of pain in body while peddling specially when I tried doing Jabli somewhere last month. That was my first experience of riding Banno on hills and my average speed then was 7 km/hr and I was taking breaks in every 10 minutes & Banno kept on telling me that I can still make it.

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The moment when I kiss her on the handle while riding it, it tells me that only I have the right over her.
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Yesterday we even achieved our highest speed which is 29 km/hr.

When I left her arms and surrendered to the humongous sky the divine whispered in my heart ‘ You and I are one’

Even if death came in that moment it could have been the most peaceful death. These conversations with Banno have happened at different intervals and on different days so there is no connect of these dialogues hence if you are looking out for one then :p :p :p

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When I make Banno jump beyond a certain limit, it punished me by removing the necklace of chain from its lever 😀

I am a little insecure about her also specially when I lock her without a fix pole or a stand.

She has an amazing will power to stop her where she wants to, she dont even move 1 mt from the space where you tell her to stop.

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Sorry for being an Entrepreneur

Yes I am an entrepreneur and I have missed weddings of distant relatives and sometimes closed ones as well.

Yes I am an entrepreneur and I have not attended birthday parties of college buddies and of their children.

Yes I am an entrepreneur and I have cancelled movie plans and out door trips with family and friends.

Yes I am an entrepreneur and I have not given time to my relationships with the girls I was with in past.

Yes I am an entrepreneur and I have been wearing the same formal jacket over all the conferences over all these years.

Yes I am an entrepreneur and I never contributed in new mobile phone discussions and their features.

Yes I am an entrepreneur and have failed at so many instances, people, relatives, friends and family.

Today I want to apologise for every failure and mistake but before I do that I want to ask –

As an entrepreneur did I miss funeral of any relative no matter close or distant ?

As an entrepreneur was I not there when my friends had break up with their childhood lovers ?

As an entrepreneur was I not there to listen to your dreams and discuss the challenges you would face in the race of fulfilling them?

As an entrepreneur didn’t I hear your fights with your family and loved ones ?

As an entrepreneur didn’t I answer your calls or reply to your messages when you were feeling lonely ?

            With most of you I never shared the moments when I had two or three rupees in my pocket, I did not share when I was feeling lonely that I needed a friend to cry with.
I did not share the desire to hug you when you shook hands because you became too formal because I could not join on your last birthday party or wedding.
Yes some of you labeled me as workaholic or insensitive but my friend, relative and family member, the only way I knew was going towards establishing my start up so that in future I am there for all those things I was not part of in past.

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Planning the unplanned

From dream to reality an important aspect is a perfect plan. Sitting here and planning for my next dream, I don’t know whether it will be the so called perfect plan or not. In fact in particular this is the only plan where I am sure it can never be perfect. There will be so many unexpected events on the way which I can not even visualise right now – what will happen and what will not.

My life has taught me planning to be done on the basis of expectations and on the basis of visualisations. I failed miserably on that theory so many times and I want to come out of that paradigm now to fulfil this dream.
Having said that plan is still important for me right now. Probably some conditioning is still left in me, probably this conditioning is important as well. Ohh you must be thinking what this idiot is talking about 😀
I am having double thoughts that should I share it with you right now or not or should I involve you in this dream or not. Ok let’s see that who follows my blog after reading this post. The ones who will follow it, I will email her/him the dream and then they decided that whether they want to be a part of it or not.

I lived 8 Travel stories with in 33000 rupees

This year is going to end soon and I am revisiting my travel journeys from last 12 months.
I feel happy and am grateful to the opportunities I got this year. I did 8 journeys within Rs 33000 (approx) which includes my travel, stay, food, alcohol and entertainment 😉

I felt like sharing it with the world and if it can inspire you to do it on your own my purpose will be fulfilled.  🙂

In this post I will share –
a. Routes I took
b. Expense (approx)
c. Whether it was a solo trip or with someone else ?
d. How many nights I travelled

During all these journeys at times I slept on couches, tents, mud houses or home stays to keep my expense low. I never skipped a meal for controlling expense or never stopped myself from doing something special like camel safari or crossing a river on a rope or alike.

December – Solo Trip

Route : Chandigarh -> New Delhi -> Jaipur -> Pushkar -> Jaipur -> New Delhi
Expense : 7000 INR
Nights : 7
Must do : Sit at Pushkar ghaat in night till the sun rise, camel safari for sun set.

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Sun rise at Brahma Ghaat

November – With a friend

Route : Chandigarh -> Barrot Valley -> Kasol -> Chalal -> Tosh -> Chandigarh
Expense : 4500 INR
Nights : 2
Must do : sit across Parvati for hours

October : Official tour

Route : Chandigarh -> New Delhi -> Bangalore -> Chandigarh
Expense : No expense
Nights : 5
Must do : eat at small small cafes or do a beer hopping session 😉

September : Solo

Route : Chandigarh -> Recong Pio -> Nako -> Kaza -> Lausar -> Chandertal -> Manali -> Chandigarh
Expense : 8000 INR
Nights : 10
Must do : sleep in a tent at chandertal, cycle around in Kaza, trek every mountain that calls you.

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Sky at Chandertal
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Trek in Nako

August : Partially Solo

Route : Chandigarh -> Dharamshaala -> Sidhbari -> Norblinga -> Mcleodganj -> Kandhbari -> Bir -> Chandigarh
Expense: 3000 INR
Nights : 5
Must do : Shiva cafe in Mcloedganj and walk in the village near Bir

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Mud house i stayed
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Shiva cafe
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Monastery at Norblinga

July : Solo

Route : Chandigarh -> Kasol -> Chalal -> Chandigarh
Expense : 3200 INR
Nights : 4
Must do : play a musical instrument near Parvati

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Parvati will teach u

May : With 2 friends

Route : New Delhi -> Kotdwar -> Lansdowne -> Aljuni -> New Delhi
Expense : 2800 INR
Nights : 2
Must do : trek into the jungle near Aljuni to see the sun set

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Sun set in Aljuni
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One of the best selfies i could be part of

April : Solo

Route : New Delhi -> Nainital -> New Delhi
Expense : 3000 INR
Nights : 2
Must do : sit in honey cafe and read a book there

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Nainital Lake

January : Solo

Route : New Delhi -> Chandigarh -> Kasol -> Chalal -> New Delhi
Expense : 3000 INR
Nights : 2
Must do : Sleep in a tent near Parvati river in Chalal

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This is where i stayed

I hope you are inspired after this and have already started making travel plans and if I can help you in it write to me at kshitijmehra@yuvshaala.com

Meeting the Lord in Pushkar

One thing which was on my agenda list when I reached Pushkar was to see sun rise and sun set at the ‘Ghaat’. I will like to thank Team Google which helped me know the timings of it so that I have no chance of missing it.
7:14 it said that the sun will kiss the beautiful small town of Pushkar. After reading my book on 22nd night I set the alarm for 6:30, 6:31, 6:32 and 6:35 am.

The Ghaat was 5 minutes walk from my hotel room. With the first bell of my alarm, I was up.

I knew it will be cold outside so I wrapped myself in two t-shirts and a jacket, took my water bottle , camera and left the hotel.

When I reached Ghaat , there was already light but sun was yet to appear from a world behind the mountains. It felt like the King has sent the message that he is going to appear in the court.

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A pundit Jee asked me to buy Prasaad before I entered the Ghaat, some of the shops were already open. But I did not buy any material offerings. I was there to meet an old friend and the only offering I had for him was my love.

Someone asked me to remove my shoes before getting down at the Ghaat. Humans consider it as a taboo if you enter religious places with your shoes. If I think logically to this then this particular custom must have started so that the dirt from outside should not enter the house of lord but we humans as fool will take a bath in the same pond and leave our dirt or in fact offer our dirt to the God. Funny, isnt it ?

As I was waiting for the kind in his court, I had other guests in the court as well, some waiting intentionally and some didn’t even know that they are going to be part of a special moment.

I had company of a man who was taking bath in the pond and was enchanting some Mantras which I could not understand. Another Saadhu was coming out of this temple and he was not wearing any clothes, I do not know what we call them but there are devotees of Shiva who have stopped wearing clothes and apply ash on their bodies. There were tourists , some clicking selfies and some looking for pundits , some excited about the place and some shouting at their children to be cautious. There was a non Indian family who was caressing a cow near them and the reason was not religious.

Other than human existence I had company of countless birds (pigeons, crows, sparrows, swans and others whom I have never been introduced before). Some birds were flying around in the court , some were hiding behind whatever shade they got. Some were eating the delicacies humans offered them.
In addition to the birds, I was accompanied by two dogs, one was talking too loud and a lot and the second sat patiently behind me.
Then there were trees and the water inside the pond which was waiting for their Lord. The mountain doors were protecting the court.
Even with so much presence there was solitude and peace within.
As sun was approaching the court slowly, his aura was being reflected on the mountains which made me fight the cold inside. I could feel the warmth inside and then there was the first glimpse of the Lord who can’t be conquered, the one who is the Supreme, the one who feeds the universe, the one who lives inside everyone.
As he walked inside the court my eyes glittered with the awwness of his aura and my heart became one with him. Tears started falling from my eyes and smile became friends with my lips. I could have not asked anything else in that moment. I could see different color in its ring – yellow, red, orange, pink and many more which we humans are yet to find. I sat there and was just there in that moment.

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