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26 - 29th Jan 2006

Situated in the north-West Himalayas , Shimla was the summer capital of India before independence and is now the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla derives its name from "Shyamala";- the goddess Kali, whose temple existed in the dense forest that covered Jakhu Hill in the early 19th century. The English named it Shimla. Shimla is well connected by air, road and rail to all parts of Himachal Pradesh, and the neighboring states of Punjab , Haryana , Jammu and Kashmir and the Union territory of Chandigarh . Covering the area of 18 sq. km. at a height of 7,238 ft. Shimla is surrounded by pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. It has well developed facilities, easy accessibility and numerous attractions make it one of Indian's most popular and biggest hill-stations.

Jakhu Hills:
Situated 2kms away from Shimla. Jakhu Hill is the highest peak and offers a beautiful view of the town and of the snow-covered Himalayas . At the top of the Hill, is an old temple of Hanuman , which is also the home of countless Jakhu Temple at 8000ftmischievous monkeys waiting to be fed by all visitors. We had experienced two such incidents. In One, the PRO of our team had been targeted by the monkeys. The monkey opened his chain (??? Jacket side pouch) and took the prasad which we were supposed to give as an offering at the temple. One of our members was completely unaware that in front of the Temple one of the monkeys had taken his glasses. When we all were shouting about whose glasses they were, it was then that our dear fellow realized that he was without his glasses. The motive behind the action was the monkeys wanted to be fed by the people. Fortunately the monkey gave up & dropped his glasses. But another member didn’t turn out to be as lucky and has lost his glasses which the monkey broke in front of all of us. It's really bad experience in terms of monkeys since they are loosing their food habits and depending on such easy source of food. Any way’s this is was the fun part for all of us, even though we lost the glasses. Some action must be taken by the authority for such incidents and ensure the safety of tourist and also keeping the animals away.

Hanuman Temple:
The High point of Shimla is Jakhoo Forest top. An ancient Hanuman Temple is built here. It has a very interesting mythological story behind it. It is said that once when lord Hanuman had been given the task of getting an ayurvedic medicinal herb to cure Lord Ram, he had visited this place while on the way to the Himalayas . It is said that due to his speed the forest sunk into the earth, and what we see today is only half of its original size. He got all required guidance from one of the Sadhus. Since then the temple is famous by the name of Hanuman. It’s at 8000ft above sea level.
Kali Badi Temple: Situated near the Mall road. Its called Kali Badi Mandir.

On the early morning of 57th Year of Republic Day of India, we decided to visit shimla -Manali 4 day tour from Christ ChurchChandhigadh. We were 11 heads in total. For most of the members it was their first ever experience of such high altitude and the cold. The temperature fell to 9 degree Celsius in the evening. As compared with other hill stations and my experiences this place is clean and pollution free. The Himachal government is taking good initiative to keep the place clean though the commercialization of the city has turned all surrounding hills into Hotels. The best example we had is when we were searching for our hotel (YHA) we asked a passer by for directions who turned out to be an agent for another hotel and he denied telling us the exact location and to top it all he suggested we give him Rs 50 to take us to the hotel. Another fine example I saw was on the mall road where there were small fire places separately made on the footpath where tourists can stand by and take respite from the chilling cold. This is a good way of making money from the tourists.

Due to 26th Jan holiday the crowd at the Shimla Mall was like the whole city had converged there. The famous mall road was full of tourist where people were standing on the road and spending time chatting and basking in the sunlight. One can find all sorts of amenities/shops in Shimla.

27th Jan 2006

Green Valley point on the way to KufriKufri:
White Toger in the Nature PArk at Kufri Early morning the temperature was -2 degree Celsius at Shimla. It was too cold for us. Early morning along with Parag Monkeys were knocking on our doors to wake all of us and to find some food on behalf of our Time keeper Abhijit/Tanuja respectively. We left our YHA hostel at 9:00am after a cup of tea heading towards Kufri another scenic place. We had our breakfast on the way. We visited a tourist place called Green Valley Point. The valley is really awesome. We had a photography session and then moved towards Kufri. Kufri is another high point of Shimla at 16 km's. away. We visited the surrounding forests and not to forget the Nature park. The Nature park is very well maintained. It was the first time we saw Snow Leopard. There were various other animals kept in the zoo in a well maintained environment. Other attractions were Wolf, Barking Bear etc. At 12:30pm we left Kufri for Manali. Manali is 280kms from Kufri. It was at 9:30pm one of our team member joined us at Manali Depot and further we moved to Palchan near Solang Nala. We spent that night at Ice Land hotel. Hotel owner Khemraj was waiting for us. We had our dinner in the hotel and closed our travelesome day.

28th Jan 2006

After Breakfast all of us spent 3 hrs in the Solang Nala for Skiing and playing in the snow. Few had ever had the snow scooter experience and also the tube ski. All members of our team enjoyed the snow. One of our Members, Mustaali kissed me in the joy of snow experience, since for most of them this was their first ever experience with snow. Our Food Incharge Chirag thanked me atleast 3 times for such a wonderful experience.

This particular day was good for skiing and snow related sports, as there was lots of snow at the Solang Nala. After the skiing experience everyone had hot cup of tea and left Manali to visit Manali City. After Lunch at Manali, we left forthe other attraction of Manali Manikaran Hot Water Springlike Hidimba Temple which was build in 1553. The Hidimba temple is completely designed out of wood. Then we left for Vashist Kund, a hot water spring. Later we left Manali for Jagatsukh to visit Kullu Castle which has now turned into a hotel. That was the last tourist place of our day. Then we returned back to our pre planned hotel Satkar(YHA). we had a memorable dinner party and then we closed the day.

29th Jan 2006

Left YHA Hotel at 8:00am for Manikaran Visit via Naggar-Kullu. Reached Manikaran at 12:00pm . Kullu to Manikaran is 45km by road. Manikaran is famous for the hot water spring. One can visit a beautiful Temple and a Gurudwara near the spring. The boiling water of the spring is locally used for boiling rice and making tea. The same is served in the Langar. It was the last destination of our 4 day trip and we all returned back to our Chandigarh home which is an 8 hrs journey(295km). It was a memorable trip for most of the team member. They all thanked Bhramanti for organising such a wonderful trip.
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Written By: Rajan Rikame
For more information request click here Rajan Rikame
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