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To Ladakh on Bike [Part 3]
by Tejas Mayure
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We started early the morning, as the plan was to reach Manali by night. As the day climbed we began to feel the heat again. The only thing that kept us smiling in face of the bright sun was that soon we would be in the region where there would be no trace of heat and the discomfort caused by it. On our way we passed through some pleasing regions of famous farms of Punjab.


Soon after we left Rupnagar in Punjab, the scenes began to change. We started getting distant glimpses of huge mountains in Himachal. The temperature started dropping down and the urge to stop point to point and take pictures came all over use, especially at the beautiful town of Mandi. If we had not the road to make we would have stopped at this beautiful place forever. While I urged Mathur, who wasn’t budging from a nice view point, to get a move on, I remembered the beautiful poem, Stopping by Woods, by Robert Frost.


The further region up to Manali was a brilliant stretch of land with captivating imagery. We arrived at Kullu around 5 in the evening and were strongly inclined to take a halt there as the hotels were much cheaper here than at Manali. But next day onwards, we needed to race with the clock to keep up with the checkpoints on our road ahead that went through a beautiful but hostile stretch of nature. The other idea was to have a glimpse of Manali in the morning, which we had heard was stunning. So we did not halt at Kullu and kept moving on.


We drove along with the famous Beas River in Kullu and then made a climb over a mountain way to arrive at Manali, by 7.0 pm. The temperature kept falling down as the evening drew in the mountains. By the time we reached Manali, at around 7.0 pm, it was already chilly and we could see what lay before us in terms of weather as we would set out in the Himalayas the next morning.


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