(Migrated from other blog) Most of the times when we plan for going to a hill station of Himachal, few obvious names come in our mind: Shimla, Manali, Dharmashala or Dalhausie. So we were planning a trip with our company colleagues and decided about Kullu-Manali. When we started planning, some of us wanted to go to some new place which is not very popular. And a few were interested in Manali and others were enthusiastic about a place where they could enjoy nature with peace. Different people with different opinions. Finally Puneet decided to visit Trilokinath in Lahaul & Spiti. He decided the place by giving a reason that we can cover Kullu-Manali on the way and route to Trilokinath is adventurous with amazing natural beauty.
On Friday night we started our journey from Chandigarh. First challenge came when out cab didn't reach at decided time and after some time we came to know that Taxi driver has gone home due to some unavoidable problem. After a long struggle we got a Travera.
We started at 11 pm from Chandigarh and Taxi got some engine problem near Bilaspur(HP). Now we hired Tata Sumo for next journey.
Everyone was so excited that no one of us slept that night. We stopped for 1 Hr at Kullu. We had our breakfast with DK Uncle. He is Sr. Scientist in a UK agriculture company at Kullu. After spending quality time with kids there we moved towards Manali. We were in a mood to reach Udaipur before 5 pm. So we didn't want to waste time with short breaks on the way. We stopped for 10 minutes near Manali and then moved further. After crossing Manali towards Rohtang Pass, other side Vehicles were signaling that the road is blocked near Rohtang so go back and come tomorrow. Since we had brave driver with us we decided to move further and then plan accordingly by looking at situation there. Near Marhi we came to know about the heavy Jam where approximately 5000 vehicles were on single hill. All of us came out of Taxi and started moving up on feet. On our halfway traffic was terrible. We spent some time on roadside watching vehicle movement on the hill and some of us estimated that the way traffic is moving, we would not be able to move from that place in next 3 hrs at least. Estimate was correct and we moved from Marhi after 3.5 hrs.
Now we didn't stop till dinner time. Again moved ahead without any break. We found land slide just before Udaipur, where we had booked rooms in a guest house. Time was 12:30 am and now we moved back towards Trilokinath where we had to go in morning. We reached Trilokinath at 1:10 am and then tried to search rooms. Its a very small village and there is a small guest house near Temple but we were unable to locate it. In morning we came to know about it. So we spent 5 hrs in an open ground and had fun. We had bonfire with some interesting discussions.
In morning at 5:00 we came to know about a guest house and we checked in for few hrs. At 6:30 am we were in a line for darshan in Trilokinath Temple.
Trilokinath means the Shiva. A Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated in the village which is about 4 kms. short of Udaipur on the left bank of Chenab river. Devotees from far off places come to pay their respects at this distinct temple. Temple is now sacred both to Hindus and Buddhists equally and pulls a large number of pilgrims from both these communities.
In ancient times this village was known as Markul and so the name of local goddess is Markula Devi. The temple here is unique and famous for its wooden carving on its roof and ceiling. This place is situated near the union of Chenab and Mayar Nallah. This place is therefore a starting point for Mayar valley and further on to Zanskar and other peaks.
At 7:45 we moved back towards Tandi.
Situated at the confluence of Chandra & Bhaga rivers, Tandi is 8 kms. short of Keylong. According to the legend, there were two lovers, Chandra being the daughter of the Moon and Bhaga the son of the Sun god. To perform there eternal marriage, they decided to climb to the Baralacha La & from there they ran in opposite directions. Chandra being active and smart easily found her way and reached Tandi after covering the distance of 115 kms. Soon Bhaga was found coming with great struggle through the narrow gorges to Tandi where consequently both met and the celestial marriage was performed. Bhaga covered about 60 kms. distance which was very difficult.
Guru Ghantal Monastery
At an altitude of 3020 m, this is on the right bank of Chandra river about 4 kms. above Tandi and is believed to be the oldest Gompa of Lahaul. The Gompa feature wooden structure with pyramidal roofs, wood carving and preserve the idols of Padmasambhava & Brajeshwari Devi. On the full moon night in mid-June a festival called "Ghantal" is celebrated by Lamas & Thakurs together.
We were overwhelmed with the beauty of the place and most of us were silent due to fear of Chandrabhaga flow. There was hardly 2 feet distance between tyre & the road edge. Candrabhaga was on one side and high rock-hills on other side. By 9:00 am it again started getting cloudy and in few minutes we were literally in the clouds, with visibility reduced to 4-5 meters.
We had our breakfast at Khoksar. At Khoksar, you can have Tibetan as well as Indian food. After Khoksar we starting moving up towards Rohtang pass and stopped there for 45 mins. Some of us went uphill on feet and some were interested to have snow-scooter ride. I tried snow-scooter ride and skying for a very short time. But tourists are not allowed to drive these scooters :) . After spending some good time in Rohtang we again wasted 2 hrs in traffic jam. We reached Vashishth(Manali) at 5 pm. Vashist Temple & Hot Water Springs are around 3 km from Manali, across the Beas river is Vashist, a small village with natural sulphur springs.
After darshan at Vashishth we went o Hadimba Temple. This four story wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar.This temple was erected in 1553 and is dedicated to Goddess Hadimba.
We spent some time in evening at Manali. We had dinner in Manali and headed back towards Chandigarh at 10:30 pm. Some
So overall we spent most of the time in Car and spent very few hrs at different places. I am really impressed by the natural beauty of Lahaul & Spiti. It was really exciting to reach the hilly area of Trilokinath through valleys and narrow roads on the bank of Chandrabhaga river. Really it was a very good and thrilling experience...
Activities for Tourists in Lahaul & Spiti:
Best period: September. Koksar to Udaipur (90 Kms) , Darcha to Udaipur (70Kms). Koksar the gateway of Lahaul-Spiti is best location for White Water Rafting, from here one can enjoy rafting upto Tandi bridge, the point of confluence of Chandra & Bhaga to become Chenab or Chanderbhaga entering through Pattan valley, the grain bowl of Lahaul. The other rafting route is from Darcha-Jispa and Gemure on Keylong-Leh route.
Best time: June to September. Suitable areas are Jispa, Sumnam, Dalang, Triloknath. Joy ride para gliding, (twin rides) is available at Marhi and Rohtang. Even the short duration training course in para gliding is available.
FISHING & ANGLING
Trout fishing and angling can b enjoyed at Sissu & Jispa.
In addition to Sarachu the last frontier on Leh-Manali route having Camping Site with a tent colony Darcha, Jispa, Gemur, Tandi, Koksar and Sissu the camping sites offer you a bountiful back to nature camping experience. Several private individuals are offering tentage/catering at these sites.
Best time July to Oct.
* Keylong to Leh : 365 Km. Darcha, Baralacha, Sarchu, Pang, Upshi and Leh.
* Keylong to Kaza : 188 Km. Tandi, Sissu, Koksar, Chhatru, Batal, Kunzom Pass, Losar, Rangrik and Kaza.
* Keylong to Manali : 115 Km. Tandi, Sissu, Koksar, Rohtang Pass, Marhi and Manali.
* Keylong to Udaipur : 55 Km. Tandi, Jahalman, Thirot, Triloknath and Udaipur.
* Keylong to Kilar : 130 Km. Tandi, Udaipur, Tindi, Purthi and Killar.
* Keylong to Tsomo riri : Darcha, Baralacha Pass, Serchu, Upshi and Tsomo riri.