Ever since I visited the hills of the Himachal Pradesh, I have been trying to situate my imagination in a meaningful context. I went to explore the beauty of the hills in 2015 and I was accompanied by a cohort of college friends. When I first arrived in Shimla, I was completely mesmerized by the sight of the quaint railway station and we were surrounded by some shrouded men huddling under shawls. There was a phantasmal silence of the impregnable hills and fronds of pine trees swayed in gentle breeze. I was in a kind of reverie and I said to myself that hills often brought back an entire panoply of joyful recollections.
The hills of both Shimla and Manali are breathtakingly beautiful and will definitely remind anybody of the “snow-enveloped peaks” of Bavarian Alps, featuring in Grimm Brother’s Hansel and Gretel or Johanna Spyri’s Heidi. Shimla and Manali are the most sought-after tourist places in the district of Himachal Pradesh and are visited by bevies of backpackers or casual voyagers from across the world. One of the most significant reasons to visit these hill stations of the Himachal Pradesh is the placid beauty of the Himalayas, matched by the serenity of nature. In order to explore the rich bounties of nature, one should take the toy-train ride, passing through the strikingly beautiful route of the Himalayas. The toy-train travels through a sinuous mountainous path and it is fantastic to see the wisps of smoke billowing out from the chimney. Apart from the snow-capped hills and mountains, Shimla and Manali are girdled by the chains of deciduous trees and some rare species of migratory birds. The red apples of these hill stations are greatly consumed by people of all walks of the society and the tourists. These two idyllic hilly towns have some of the artistic hamlets of neo-Gothic fashion and other imposing structures of old times.
Trip to Kufri
Perched on the Himalayan foothills, Kufri is a small, bucolic town of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. Swathed in clouds, Kufri exudes a mystic aura or has a mesmeric hold over the imagination of the travellers. We traveled to Kufri, which was just a few minutes distance from our hotel in Shimla. I popped on a fleece jacket and roved about Kufri on a horseback with an ardent zeal.
Enroute to Manali in Himachal Pradesh
The river ‘Beas’ or ancient Greek Hyphasis comes to our mind when we think about going to Manali from Shimla. It is one of the Saptasindhu or ‘land of seven rivers’ that is mentioned in the Vedas. The river rises at a height of 14,203 feet at Rohtang Pass in the Western (Punjab) Himalayas in Central Himachal Pradesh. Throughout our journey from Kullu Valley to Manali, Beas river adorned our path and we were so much enthused by the sight of the silvery water of the meandering river that we just could not resist ourselves from capturing pictures along the river bank.
Jaunt to the Solang Valley
Juxtaposed to the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, Solang Valley is a ‘Dale of beauty and grandeur’. It is 14 km northwest of the resort town Manali on the way to Rohtang Pass. It is remarkable for its sport and summer expeditions. The area is noted for paragliding, skating, parachuting and ropeway rides.
Our trip to summer towns of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla and Manali shall always be etched in our memories, needless to talk about Gharwal cuisines and huge spread of dishes that were all so lip-smacking. A trip comes to a close but the fond memories of the tour never wither away in the lifetime.