Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Numerical Singularity in Himachal

It was my second day in both Himachal & Old Manali and I had decided to explore one of the roads leading out of the town, heading north. You can peruse the entire write-up of that little adventure here, under Day 21.

I started in the morning and, some time in the afternoon, left the road at a point where I felt I had walked far enough, crossed over a bridge taking me to the east of the Beas river, and onto NH 21, specifically the section linking Manali and the Rohtang Pass, and then headed south back to Manali.

Here's where it got interesting, for the highway was dotted with shacks on both sides selling winter clothing to tourists visiting Rohtang. In fact the entire NH 21 stretch from Manali to Rohtang was pretty congested, with Sumos and Scorpios full of Indian families hungry for a glimpse of snow, shuffling back and forth between the pass and the various hotels in and around Manali.

Now, each shack had a number, which was usually in the 3 digit range. And as I passed them it crossed my mind that there must be a shack somewhere around there with the number one. However, I felt my chances of finding it would be quite slim. Imagine my surprise when I finally did chance upon it. I took a  picture as soon as I could (see above).

All the shacks on this stretch of highway were selling snowsuits, jackets and heavy duty gloves, the kind you'd need around these parts in winter, and this one was no different. It was the end of May though, and not too cold; a light jacket or simple sweater would do, even at the top of the pass. Maybe the tourists just aren't used to the cold, not that I saw many people stopping to purchase or rent anything, in which case their display seems to be more out of desperation on the part of the shack owners.

Have you visited Manali and Rohtang? Have any interesting experiences you'd like to share?



Roshmi Sinha said...

I also read the entire write-up. Gives a nice glimpse of HP. I hope it retains its natural charm and greenery... forever.

Anything on the handicrafts, mythology or dacoit stories... from this region... ???

Daniel D'Mello said...

Yeah, lots of greenery. Beautiful handicrafts too, though I didn't buy any. I particularly liked the caps that the men wore - roundish cylindrical ones with colourful borders.

As far as crime goes, the Parvati valley (everything east of Kullu) is famous for drug deals and foreigners disappearing. I tried not to wander off alone too often, but you don't have much choice when you're backpacking solo.

Roshmi Sinha said...


But did you get to hear any snippets or legends on dacoits, etc. Or some mythological anecdotes... ??? From the shop owners, local folks... ???

e.g., the present day Chambal area was part of Kunti's father's kingdom. It was also a major seat of learning...

Daniel D'Mello said...

Nah, but you really should visit Himachal if that's what you're interested in. The locals were friendly and I'm sure they'd be happy to share any stories they may have.

Post a Comment