Tag Archives: Vacation

Amritsar trip – ended with a joke by almighty

It was a weekday late evening in December 2011, my family was sat together after supper, just chit chatting and laughing. We, casually celebrated year 2011 as year of tourism, with many trips and vacations! I just asked if there is one more plan to celebrate the year and so quickly we decided to book tickets for Amritsar for January 2012. Me and my brother finished travel booking on the very same day after tentative planning!!

With some words of mouth, we got to know that Sarai is right and clean place to stay. With my uncle’s reference, we also managed to get booking at one of Sarai.

This started executing on 13th late night with train to Amritsar at early morning on 14th. It was general cold, as expected throughout the root. By the time we were reaching destination, we already saw glimpses of rainy weather. And it was indeed raining in Amritsar. We reached on 15th morning with 2 hours delay from schedule.

The very same day, just after dropping our bags at Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Yatri Niwas – Sarai and little relaxation, we thought to have quick visit to the Golden Temple. It was Sunday and so was pretty crowded, of course moving ahead in well discipline. We decide to visit the temple and pray very next day in early morning. We only did a circular walk in the temple campus and moved for lunch. With quickly finishing lunch, we booked a taxi and by the time driver came with his car, we made a not-so-in-hurry visit to Jaliawalla Baugh.

With light rain, we moved towards Atari, border and junction to Pakistan. It is itsa kind of experience to see flag lowering ceremony live!

By evening, we returned to Amritsar. Before going for dinner, thought to check for woolen specialities and winter wear. We checked in Oswals and almost completed shopping!!! After decent shopping experience, went for dinner and finished with sweet hot Gulab Jamun! It was bit exhaustive day since we did not spend much time for rest or sleep and so we went straight back to Sarai.
We adjusted our beds and all were just relaxing. Suddenly daddy thought to have a bottle of water (in Sarai, everything is self serviced!). And he went downstairs.

We were completely unaware, but this was beginning of gloomy side of our trip…

He did not return in half an hour. We were just bit serious and thought to start his search. Very soon, a person shouting if somebody’s on floor, came around and he was shouting an ‘unknown’ person fell down. Without thinking anything we rushed to ground floor and found him laid down on a bench. The Sarai authorities had already called up ambulance and also informed the ‘uncle’s reference’ about this man! We immediately rushed to Shri Guru Ramdas Hospital by the ambulance. Doctors did EEG and gave immediate report – what I cannot believe, hear or even listen. Dad left me, us and all wondering…..! 🙁

It is very hard to write in words, what happened further.

Uncle’s reference was none but Iqubal Singh, branch manager of Vijaya Bank, Amritsar. He reached to hospital, with almost shocked, unaware of final verdict. Knowing the situation, the gentleman and lady (aunty) gave immediate support and were the host to arrange our night stay at their warm home.

What happened next is again difficult to write in one go, shall add it to the post after gaining some energy.

Many of photos taken by dad are here.

Exploring Himalayan Valleys

It’s been more than a month since I already returned from the vacation, but this summer reminds me to write and ruminate about it!

Yes, already excited since planned. The journey began from Chandigarh, a shared capital of Punjab and Haryana, 2 neighboring states. We reached Chandigarh on 28th March, 2010 morning.

Plan was to catch booked taxi and have a quick city tour of Chandigarh. But the taxi operator had some problems with the reserved taxi and driver. Also he could not manage for alternate.
With another contact of my uncle, somehow managed to get another taxi, fortunately, with that delay we could adjust the schedule to reach Mandi, by skipping Chandigarh sight seeing!

We reached Mandi, a pre destination place for halt on 28th late evening. Almost everybody was tired.

We again started for Manali on 29th morning. On the way to Manali, we found one of the best utility of gravitation force, an automated ropeway to transfer goods – between higher peak to lower peak in diagonal distance!

Automated Ropeway 1

Automated Ropeway 1

Automated Ropeway 2

Automated Ropeway 2

Idea was simply good. Use of 2 trolleys, one for carrying goods, another (with heavier water containers) for pulling goods to upper side!
Passing appx. 5 KM long tunnel and beautiful mountain ranges, we were following Beas river almost throughout route.

Tunnel

Beas River

Beas River

Rope Bridge on Beas River

Rope Bridge on Beas River

During this, I realized the value of rope, especially in mountaineering. Be it making a bridge or transfer of goods, ropes make these things dynamic!

View from Hotel @ Manali

View from Hotel @ Manali

We touched Manali by evening; found and finalized stay at a hotel, little away from main city and market, but closer to nature, a very peaceful area.

Hidimba Temple

Hidimba Temple

The next day we visited Hidimba Temple. The design was very different, had a touch of Mongolian building style.

Apart from this, its an historical place. The building design was different from what I had seen so far, it was constructed with both stones and wooden slabs as packing. Possibly this combination is an invention to protect against earthquake shocks and frequently changing weather.

Yak, near Hidimba Temple, Manali

Yak, near Hidimba Temple, Manali

I saw ‘live – moving’ yak, for the first time in my life!

The owner asked for Rs. 50 for taking photo, after it was captured!!! The owner should not keep his yak in public then!!!! 😀

Evening @ Manali Market

Evening @ Manali Market

Manali was beggar free, one good point especially being a tourist place.

Way to Rohtang Pass

Way to Rohtang Pass

Snow fall @ Rohtang Pass

Snow fall @ Rohtang Pass

Snowsuit

Snowsuit

Get ready to ski

Get ready to ski

Bhojpatra

Bhojpatra

On 30th March early morning started for Rohtang Pass, probably most exciting, adventurous and beautiful place.

Rain wear was available on rent on the way to Rohtang Pass. Gum boots and snow resistant suit made all look fatty. I made some attempts to learn skiing, but low air pressure and suddenly started snow fall stopped me for more attempts. But experience and feeling being under snow fall was amazing!

The icy hills are best condition for Bhojapatra – an ancient white tree to grow self. These trees’ skin was used to write notes in old days.

My evening was bit boring as elders were busy shopping in Manali market. I passed time by updating through tweets.

The financial year may although passed with a tag like ‘recession’, but end was definitely going to override such tags as I was enjoying vacation at heavenly places.

On financial year end day, we visited Naggar, a nearby place to Manali. It has renovated and hotel turned castle. Although castle is not gigantic viz campus, the structure and design is perhaps unique.

Naggar Castle 1

Naggar Castle 1

Naggar Castle 2

Naggar Castle 2

Naggar Castle 3

Naggar Castle 3

Naggar Castle 4

Naggar Castle 4

Next visit was a Buddha Monastery and Manikaran, a holy place for the Sikhs, situated on the banks of river Parvati.

Buddha Monastery 1

Buddha Monastery 1

Buddha Monastery 2

Buddha Monastery 2

Buddha Monastery 3

Buddha Monastery 3

Buddha Monastery 4

Buddha Monastery 4

Manikaran

Manikaran Gurudwara

Rafting in Beas 1

Rafting in Beas 1

Rafting in Beas 2

Rafting in Beas 2

By evening, shopping of shawls from Factory outlets in Kullu highway was finished. Thereafter I enjoyed water rafting in Beas river with my daddy and rafting crews!

For safety measure, the authority was running a parallel raft boat with ours! This was probably next major adventurous and exciting experience for me, next to Rohtang.

On fools day, morning we left Manali and started for Dharmashala, another place with scenic beauty and closest place to headquarter of the Lamas. Highway was beautiful as Tea gardens passed by.

We settled at a hotel in Dharmashala by evening.

On 2nd April only plan was to visit McLeod Ganj, the most important and famous place, especially for Buddhist. This place in fact was giving essence like a capital of Tibet, too many Tibetians and foreigners.

McLeod Ganj 1

McLeod Ganj 1

McLeod Ganj 2

McLeod Ganj 2

McLeod Ganj 3

McLeod Ganj 3

McLeod Ganj 4

McLeod Ganj 4

3rd April was driving us towards end of vacation. We reached Pathankot railway station to catch train for return journey, by noon.

Visit to such places definitely expects good driving skills for any vehicle owner. The only thing we could not enjoy much is food, either traditional food in Himachal Pradesh consists more of non veg or that food is not much in focus. The only served Punjabi dishes, that we ate, were also not always satisfactory. But we did not go to such places to have food, so was ok to compromise at.

We had Ramesh & Bharati Dave, a known couple in Gujarati literature, with us, during the trip. To us, they are living encyclopedia of trees and flowers. Having them with us was another angle of fun and chance to grab some knowledge about nature! Sapling and shawls were the only shopping that they did!

Photos of trip are available at here, credit goes to my dad, brother and me! 🙂

Summer Programmes @ VASCSC

Vikram A sarabhai Community Science Center, Ahmedabad has announced schedule for special programmes for this Summer – 2009.

Click below image to enlarge.

Program Page1Program Page 2

VASCSC is really a wonderful place to learn and have lot of experiments.

It had been my favorite place to hang and do experiments in vacation time during my school days.

I highly recommend at least a visit to this organisation.

11 days vacation

After almost 15 years, my family has planned a very long tour – to Jain’s holy place situated in Jharakhand. Along with that, we will also visit few other surrounding places with holy and historical values in states Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

Since Diwali is passed, we hope to enjoy the trip in our own way – with less crowded places.

Sammet Shikharji in Video

Probably, I will not write details about the route that we will follow; but yes, I shall make an attempt to note traditional names (holy names) and their popular (as per political map) names.

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