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"Itni shiddat se maine tumhe paane ki koshish ki hai... Ki har zarre ne mujhe tumse milane ki saazish ki hai..."

Me and only me knows how much shiddat and convincing was to be done to go on this trip. But it was definitely worth all of that.

So, after almost 2-2.5years of not being able to travel anywhere, this was a much needed break. For those of you thinking why could I not travel, toh yeh suno, parents ke saath rehne ka daard tum kya jaano (Ramesh babu...)

So as anyone staying in Bangalore who needs to travel to the airport, hum apna saaman leye, 12th March early morning half asleep but completely excited reached the airport. Thats when we actually started realizing ki its no more a dream but we are finally on our trip. Early morning flights are a pain but when you are on a budget travel, its your best option.

We arrived at Delhi somewhere around 1pm, been to Delhi i guess 3-4 times earlier but was near able to see places and finally it was the day to start our "Chalo Deli" experience. Our first

reaction was actually confused, startled. We dint know how to react, boltey hai na mixed emotions. Super crowded, crazy shopping but yaar kuch toh baat hai Delhi me. I think the highlight for us was definitely seeing India Gate for the very first time.

Things you should not miss out in Delhi -

  • India Gate & Rashtrapati Bhavan - Bhai kya hi bolu, matlab bus fan moment tha for us. Is was just amazing, imagine always seeing something in movies and TV and when you see it yourself, its was just an amazing experience.

  • Connaught Place- If you are fan of some awesome cloth/jute bags this is your paradise. Some great non branded things that are surely are worth buying or atleast window shopping for.

  • Jantar Mantar- Again something seen in the movies, super easy to visit the ticket purchase online which is actually super impressive and easy. No more tension of change.

Finally, we started our journey to Manali on 12th March at 7pm. But the highlight here was our bus was supposed to be more Kashmiri Gate, but it got changed to Majnu ka tilla and we obviously were not aware until and unless we called the bus guy to inform we were running late.

#Protip 1- Always call your bus guy and confirm the time and pick up point

#Protip 2- Do not rely on cabs, autos are more convenient and pretty spacious (we were 3 passengers with 2 cabin suitcase + 3 laptop bags + 1 rugsack) we fit!!!

And here we go, after a bus journey of almost 14 hours which basically was a sleepless night for me since I have Amaxophobia reaching Manali was a relief to me. So the bus dropped us at the Manali Private Bus Stand and the view was amazing, we obviously dint to see snow clad mountains in March but it was breathtaking.

Here comes my #ProTravelTip-

  1. Always ask your hotel/homestay guys to help you with a taxi drivers number incase you do not have a pick up scheduled

  2. The drivers literally enter the bus once it halts, so be careful it gets super annoying and super creepy.

  3. Always BARGAIN

After a short ride of 20mins and 10mins of intense bargaining, we reach Bashisht. We chose this place since its-

  1. Off beat

  2. Less crowded

  3. Views to die for

We had booked a homestay - Olive Manali Cottage , this was a short ride from Manali bus stand and a 12mins walk from the parking area. But trust me this will be best 12mins since the views are amazing. The host was very accommodating and let us check in earlier. The food was amazing, if you are an Aloo paratha fan this ones for you. Amazing coffee (Caramel) we almost stayed here for 7-8days and trust me you will love the food, the vibe and the amazing view. There is a waterfall and a small stream that flows right next to this property. They have 2 dogs who are super friendly. We had booked an attic room without kitchen, it was a pretty huge for the price we paid and can easily accommodate 6 people.

Places to Visit when in Manali

- Mall Road- You can not miss this one. You can either take a cab/auto/ rent a bike (which is convenient if you are 2 people travelling). Mall road is a paradise for foodies, amazing shawls, Kashmiri dress materials, its a never ending list.

- Hadimba Temple- Besides being famous for the "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani" shoot, this is a must see place, its soo peaceful here, there is also a 1-2hr trek from the temple to a nearby place. For people who love taking pictures, this is your paradise. Pose with the Yak, rabbits, sheep. Its an amazing experience.

- Sissu, Solang Valley and Atal tunnel

These places can be covered together and are not to be missed. We had started at 10am from Manali, our first stop was Nehru Kund, it is know for its underground natural spring water which is surely needed after you stuff yourself with the delicacies. Sissu is about 2-2.5hrs from Manali and via Solang & Atal Tunnel. Your driver would ask you to stop on the way and get some snow suit but trust me you might really not need it especially in mid March just have some gloves handy on you.

No matter how long you decide to spend time here, it is still going to be less. You really cannot get enough of this place. Its covered with snow as far as you can see. Its BLISS

- Cafes- If you are looking for a cozy cafe to just chill then do not worry, Manali has something for everyone.


  1. Valentino Cafe, Bashisht , it a cozy cafe with amazing mountain view and if you are working from the mountains this is your go to place. Prem makes you some amazing fresh pizza, amazing cold coffee. You just cannot get enough of this place. #Protip they accept only cash, but were amazing enough to accept UPI since we had no cash on us.

2. Drifters Cafe, Old Manali, after a long walk from Lazy Dog Cafe, this was again a cozy and cute cafe at Old Manali, a place where you can work uninterpreted and some amazing cold coffee and decent wifi. And a super cute and super healthy friendly dog. #Protip- You cannot work from Lazy dog cafe, they strictly have a no laptop/ no work allowed policy. So drop the idea of working from this cafe. Secondly is a little pricey as well.

3. German Bakery and Dana Coffee House they are owned by the same owner and he actually has a cafe in Goa too. German Bakery is again a cozy and super cute cafe and you will see the love these super cute notes. After reading these you will feel nothing but overwhelmed to be here. The food without a doubt is amazing, must try the blueberry cheesecake, Coffee, Chicken sub, Chocolate bomb.

4. Freedom Cafe, Bashisht - Another decent cafe with amazing food and breathtaking views.

You can some awesome restaurants here too, Mall road offers no only the local delicacies but also some great chinese, northern and gujarati food.

You should without fail try these restaurants-

- Chopstick (the quantity is way too much)

- Mountain View Noodles Restaurant

- Shere Punjab (Must try the chilla, Lassi and Thali)

- Balaji Restaurant- try the jalebi- rabri & Rabri Gulab Jamun

- 6 flavour softy at Mall Road

Having spend almost 9 days in Manali and even after visiting Himachal for the second time. I still feel I have soo much yet to see, yet to explore. Manali is definitely going to be on the list again since I cannot get enough of it. The weather is pretty chilled at night and decent during the day. We have been to Mall road every single day and never got bored of it, as there is soo much to explore, soo much to eat, soo many options.

#Manali #HimachalPradesh #ManaliToDo #travel

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