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Trekking at Manali

Mrs. Joggy Dinoy Sunday, May 21, 2023
Trekking at Manali

It all began when one of my school friend posted on Social media about her trekking trip that put a spark in my heart about going for a trekking which was my area of interest. I am always an adventures person, who love exploring and trying out new things which I feel will give a new meaning to my life

From then I started to follow the group Yuvashakti from Pune through which my friend wentfor trekking . I had just delivered my 3rd child and had put on enough weight, so I challenged myself to reduce my weight and be fit, , my family was supportive from day 1 when I told them about my dream. That is when the Pandemic arrived and took away 2 years from our life, once things started settling, I again started dreaming about it.

Finally I decided to go for it when I felt I am ready physically and mentally and started to enquire about the trek from the authorized people. Based on discussion and the scenic view, I choose to go for Manali Chandrakhani pass which would be a good one for Beginners like me.

I chose the Eid holidays as my husband would be at home so he can take care of the family in my absence as it would involve almost 9 days.

I booked the Tickets to Delhi and had to meet the group there. When I met the group on the first day it was mix of people from those who just finished 10th, 12th some were working and a house wife.

At the first glance, I was like how will I go along, will I be able to enjoy???

But within no time I made friends with a group of girls with whom I continued my journey till the end.

We started from Delhi in a Volvo AC bus to Manali in the evening, in between our bus broke down and we had to change the bus shifting our luggage to another, in the process getting to know other people from the group. Finally, we started, and I was so tired from the flight journey that I just dozed off and got up only the next morning when we reached Manali Base Camp at Naggar Village. The morning sight was feast to the eyes as I had already reached to the beautiful paradise, I couldn’t speak and was just looking at the beauty of the place. We stayed there for 2 days before we started our trek to acclimatize our self.

Day 1: We rested for some time after breakfast and post lunch we were taken for a Heritage walk, Naggar Castle, few ancient temples and Art Gallery. We all started mingling with each other, all were from different sects of life, and it was fun to be with almost all younger than me. We were back by evening and welcomed by hot tea and pakodas, we played volley ball for some time and then day ended with chit chat and dinner.

Day 2 This day was spent in adventure activities like River Crossing and Rappelling which ended with a small orientation session about the preparation for the trek. Overnight stay at Naggar Base Camp with antakshari and chit chats. We all went packing our thing to be taken for trekking which has to be very limited in our backpack and went to sleep with excitement for the next day.

Day 3:We all got ready and started our trek after breakfast, there was an option where we could give our luggage to the porters who would carry it for us but we need to pay an extra charges for it, which is not that very high. But I decided to carry it all by myself to have a complete experience. We began our trek from Naggar base camp and pass through some old villages of the Kullu Valley traversing beautiful meadows between thick forest of Pine and Oak trees.

We were given refreshment of juice, biscuit and a dairy milk, also our lunch was packed. We halted by 12 and had our lunch and continued our Trek again, by 2 we reached our first camp site Steling (9,200 feet, 4-5 hrs. trek) ;where the porters had reached already on Mule and our camps were ready for us with a Welcome drink.

We rested and then it was time for tea and snack, we were then assigned to collect wood for bonfire from the nearby forest. Day ended with Dinner and some singing around the bonfire.

Day 4: Today we had to cover from Steling – to Chaklani (Approx. 10,400 feet 4-5 hrs. trek). We started today with a steep ascent through Pine, Oak and Birch trees and then continued through a gradual climb through the breathtaking grassy pastures up to Shedu Pathar and further to the Chaklani which is an open field from where the valley exposes the view of the whole surrounding ranges. We reached at Camp -Chaklani which is surrounded by thick layer of snow. As soon as we reached we all were screaming seeing the snow, though it was tiring but the view took away all our tiredness.

We had lunch and rested, and again the daily routine of collecting wood for bonfire, I use to bunk this session and hide here and there as our group leader would shout if we don’t do it :) but Youngsters would do it with full enthusiasm bringing loads of log.We halted at this camp and this was our camp for next 2 days.

This night it rained heavily with snow and we were inside the tent with dogs barking around our tent, it was very cold but we had worn thermals and multiple layer of jackets to keep ourselves warm, also they provided us with blanket and sleeping bags which are very warm.

Day 5 : Chaklani to Chandrakhani Pass (11,800 feet, 6-7 hrs trek) - Today the trek was a gradual uphill climb through the snowfield till the Chandrakhani Pass, this pass is covered with snow till the end of May - a true heaven for nature lovers. The high peaks of Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal Ranges are in your full view.

We couldn’t make it to the final point but we covered almost the ¾ of or journey as the remaining portion was covered with 10 ft snow, which would make it difficult for us to ascend. We halted at a place from where we could not go further and played in snow for long time, and started to descend back to Chaklani our Camp Site. We dint realize that all the snow had gone inside our shoes which made it difficult to descend as it was wet and freezing.

As soon as we reached our Camp, we removed our shoes and noticed that it was completely wet and couldn’t be worn the next day, so all were busy drying our shoes near the bonfire, but it hardly was successful.

Day 6: This day we had to descend to our base camp ( Naggar) , as our shoes were not dried we all had to wear plastic covers on top of socks and then wear shoes, which was quite difficult but we managed to wear it,after a while of descend it started raining and we had to wear our Ponchos and walk , it was quite adventurous and dangerous at same time, as the waters on the ground was making the surface slippery so had to be very careful.

We were almost exhausted. Finally we reached our base camp and it was pouring heavily, we felt as we were back to our homes.

We were welcomed by Tea and coffee, which was the best tea ever.

We took shower after 4-5 days and had lunch, post lunch we went to Manali market for shopping came back and had late night chit chat, as that was the last day in Manali.

Next day we got up, packed our bags thanked the staff and manger there and with heart full of memories left the base camp in bus to Kullu where our next adventure was awaiting .

Yes we all were excited for our last bit which was icing on the Cake the River Rafting. We were made groups of 6-7 and we had a wonderful time rafting on the river Beas for about 14km stretch.

After that we boarded our bus and reached Delhi the next morning. From there people started departing to their respective places, by trains and flights. I boarded my Flight in the evening and reached back to Kuwait.

I have no words to thank God for giving me such a nice opportunity to experience and that my dream is fulfilled.

Of course, thanks to my husband without his support and encouragement it would have never been possible.


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Manohar Lal Sharma
Sunday, June 11, 2023
Mrs. Dinay, It was lovely to hear your experience, it is my native place and reading through your writeup reminded me of the peace and joy it brings.

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