Saturday, April 20, 2013

"R" for "Rohtang Pass"

The below are the snap shots from an unforgettable trip to Manali. Our day 2 in the itenary was to visit Rohtang pass which I actually want to rename as Rohtang DUR (far) as we spent a good 6hrs on the road to cover a mere 52kms which will not take more than 2hrs! The trip increased our patience, controlled our temperament, taught us to cooperate with each other  and reminded GOD and gave the stark realization that the godly places are always tough to reach!
This was when we started

Now some facts--Rohtang Pass (Hindi: रोहतांग दर्रा) (Bhoti: Rohtang , lit: pile of corpses, due to people dying in bad weather trying to cross the pass) (altitude 3,978 m or 13,051 ft).

It is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km (32 mi) from Manali. It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India.(DO REFER WIKI TO KNOW MORE) and I am dedicating the below poem written long back to this road journey.

Some times road is smooth some times with friction.
Some times Life is real some times with fiction!
Road has many milestones to cross.
Life has many phases to pass!!

Road shows us mirages at times.
Life shows us dreams And dimes! 
Road ends with destination.
Life ends with re-incarnation!

 --------By Afshan----

The first glance at Himalayas was some thing like below which made me sing "Kyun nai lagrahi hai ye dharti gagan . Maine Poocha to boli ye pagli pawan Pyar hua chupke se" - It is a song from the Hindi movie 1942 a love story. Call me mad, I was even changing songs on my I-pod as per the locations.

The below one is the most classic shot . Don't you feel like living in that house along with grazing horses and cattle. Its like living in heaven.

The below pic shows the back yard of the house where we asked permission to go to loo. I clicked so many pictures here. I wanted to stay here for long but as driver started scaring us mentioning the land slides and the traffic jam we left the spot. Isn't the spot dreamy ?

As we started taking turns and zig zags it started getting hazy , foggy and icy. We visited in the month of  July and hence we did not come across snow fall . It was actually the best time to visit Rohtang pass as during winter all the roads will be blocked with ice chunks which are about 5ft in depth.  Sometimes people get stuck due to land slides and when there is no transport they may also die it seems hence the title of the place Rohtang.

Check the snaky traffic line. Not sure how many hot bhutta (corn) and tea breaks we took. Nothing passed the time and we were exhausted as we were stuck at the spot below for a good 2 and 1/2 hours. 

 Finally the traffic moved slowly after a total halt of 3 and 1/2 hrs.

The ice chunk was dirty as there is sadly no snow fall during that time of the year . The road flanked by ice both sides made me sing the song - Ye ishq haai baithe bithaye jannat dikhaye from Jab we met. The song was shot on these roads and I was continuously recollecting the song when our driver mentioned it. Needless to say I tuned in to the same song on my I-pod :) Trips and bollywood go hand in hand!

The day was both sunny and icy which troubled my sinuses. Many people puked on the way. I was later told it is called Acute Mountain Sickness. We ate nothing but still people were following the ritual to puke one by one which made the atmosphere uneasy and I got a bad head ache.

This is how I first saw the ice with my shades on :) Then I realized I have to remove them to actually see the hills , clouds and ice in real shades! We were lured by the shops on the way , who charged some 500 for the jacket and rain boots which we took on rent. Boots were useful but jacket was a waste as it was not freezing.

Aaahh. Isn't the above scene scenic? After all the hard ships , too many people falling sick in our jeep and an unnerving traffic jam it felt worth it when we touched the ice. We were actually on Himalayas. That made me sit on cloud 9 :) 

Yep ! I am holding the ice for the first time in my life!!

I started feeling slightly cold as it was evening 5 and as we ate nothing since morning my stomach started rumbling and the head ache got worse. I just rested on the shining rocks by the side for a while where we got a chance to get clicked again.



Finally this stall made me happy. We had piping hot ginger chai(tea) and maggi . Where ever you go you can find solace in maggi - the universal food and you can say the staple food of hill stations. Due to dizziness and nausea-tic feeling I couldn't have more than 2 spoons :(

Maggi - hot
The sight of this energized us

Some people wanted to go to bathrooms and I avoided them for the reasons best known to us. They were just booths covered with some wooden planks and there was no water available.

I kept staring at this for more than half hour and the furry mountain dog in the below pic was very cute. Couldn't click it from front. 


The below pic is my most favorite. I appreciate myself every time I see it . My best Rohtang pass pic

Lastly my pic with my favorite travel partner - Harnoor from Chandigarh who made me smile all the way with her silly jokes and doubts . She was a relief when ever the journey seemed endless. Enjoyed her company hence a click was must. Among other partners there were Harnoor's parents , 3 fiery, feisty girls who worked in Delhi and Gurgaon, who were very co operative and offered us the middle and front seats when the back seat of the jeep made us sick! Half of the clan fell sick and I just wanted the trip of that day to end but in the return journey we again faced a Jam though it was not a prolonged one!
we enjoyed the sledge ride too on the ice where the person
pushes the sledge down the ice slope.

me with Harnoor
Thus our trip ended and even if the journey was little stressful I can never ever forget this first time Himalaya experience in my life. Lastly the song which one must watch when you read about Rohtang Pass. Do visit when you can :) 

My next dream destination is Leh- Ladakh.  A tunnel is being constructed from Rohtang to Ladakh to travel in all seasons. The works gets halted now and then as its very challenging to build the "tunnel" due to extreme weather conditions. I hope its soon completed . A glimpse of the tunnel below. Next time probably I will go till Ladakh and see a real snow fall. If you to go Manali in December you can experience the snow fall.
The Rohtang tunnel.
Happy weekend one and all !
This is my 18th post for  "A to Z blogging Challenge 2013" !


  1. I would want to do it one day too. Loved the pics.

    1. Ya , Trekking specially is tough here :)
      thanks for dropping by

  2. This makes me yearn to experience the trip from Manali to Rohtang Pass.... simply fabulous pics and hot maggi reminds me to have my lunch now :D

    1. haha hope u had a grt lunch !!
      Ya it was most memorable trip I had when in Delhi

  3. A lovely poem dedicated to a beautiful journey and moments :)

  4. I wish I were living up north jus to visit all thiese places....

  5. Snow!! How cool is that. Here in Kerala, we do not have winters, and no snow obviously. Would love to experience all that once :)
    Thank you Afshan for sharing these beautiful experiences with us

    1. @meena : yep north and north east r hheavenly

      @bhavz : But kerala is also one heck of a place. Its in my TO TRAVEL list :) have to see when it would be possible

      Thanks for dropping by bhavya

  6. Beautiful pics. Mountains always make me peaceful. So, thanks for that.
    And they are making a tunnel to Leh? That is wow!

    1. ya the tunnel is under construction from long. It gets halted due to various weather issues and drastic snow fall etc

  7. Lovely pics. Would love to go there one day. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Wow, absolutely loved your tour. Even I was introduced to mountain sickness when I visited Yosemite national park here. Your fav pic is beautiful and picture perfect, maybe you can even frame it. Also loved the piping hot maggi. And Rohtang is corpses? Scary ! :-)

  9. Lovely pics!And your poem too. :)

    1. @G Angela , Suzy , Me : Thanks for ur comments

      @Jazz : Rohtang was named corpses long ago when there was no proper conveyance or communication. M sure thr r not many deaths now :) but thr r more scary places if u keep on going up. :D

  10. Your headache was altitude sickness as well I guess. I am not sure I would want to do this trip although the views are spectacular. What is maggi? Not something I am familiar with living in Canada.


    1. yep . I get sick in high altitudes but I can take risk as this place ws truly heavenly . Its once in a life time experience. Am actually waiting for snow fall :)
      Maggi is same like noodles. Little Indianised. Not sure if U get them in canada. Heard its available in US
      Thanks for dropping by Jo

  11. I have to go to so many places now after reading the posts and seeing the lovely pics.

  12. Lovely pictures Afshan! And yes, Jab we met!:-)

  13. Beautiful captures Afshan !!Your favourite pic is my favourite too !

    1. @Sulekha : I have many pending places to see too !! thanks for dropping by

      @naina : Thanks for dropping by :D yaaa JWM - epic it is

      @sharmila : thanks for dropping by !

  14. After seeing that scene in Jab We Met, I definitely want to go there!! So worth it for you, I'm sure, despite a hectic journey!!

    1. ya it WAS worth it even if journey was tough !
      U shud go there . One time in life exp. as good as swiss grass lands

  15. Nice flow of words, punctuated with breathtaking pictures. Harnoor is so cute :) - Thanks for the mention of 1942's song....Back in school, every time I listened to that song, my insides used to dance:)

    My travel needs some spruce up. Thanks for all the inspiration.

    1. That's one amazing girlie song I love manisha in the movie. Thanks for dropping by :)
      This place is truly godly

  16. Loved your pics... ! yes I fell in love with the Himalaya's after my first trip to Manali !
    Infact one day I hope I can manage enough money to buy a retirement house somewhere in either Manali or NAinital ! :D two of my most loved places to live in :D

    that background pic is really really nice !

    1. I have similar dreams . If not Himalayas some cool calm place away from the buzz of city
      Not sure how it will turn out :(!
      Happy weekend

  17. I would so want to live in that little house.

  18. Those are some beautiful photos! This is a great post. I love your explanations in between the photos. Goo stuff!

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

  19. Stunning photo's! That picture of the house, that is my dream house. Just beautiful!!
    Awesome post!
    A to Z-ing to the end
    Peanut Butter and Whine

  20. I have been wanting to go there since such a long time re your post has made me think about my trip...

  21. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post. Manali has lot to offer, some other not to be missed Manali attractions include Hidimba Temple, Gulaba, Naggar Castle, and so on. Explore various hotels in Manali with rates and find reasonable accommodation option.


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