Traveling To Vashisht Village
About 2 km north of Manali on the slopes above the Beas River. Vashisht village is a slightly quieter and more compact version of Old Manali and a popular travellers hang-out. Indian tourists mostly come to bathe in the hot springs and tour the temples.
On the contrary foreign travellers largely come for the cheap accommodation, chilled atmosphere and “charas”. Many guesthouses and restaurants close down from about November to April.
We woke up around 8 in the morning, hungover from the last night party. Soon we were greeted by our friend Hemant, who was the local from Manali. Today we were to prepare for our trip to spiti valley. Since “Spiti” would require a lot of traveling on foot, Hemant decided to take us though the vashisht. Trek of about 5 Km’s in order to get acquainted with harsh mountain climbing.
Way To Vashisht Village
We started from our backpacker hotel and were soon on the road. Trolling through the old Manali roads the view is incredible. Although we had plenty of option to rent a bike or a jeep, we decided to go by foot in order to get acquainted with the harsh travel conditions ahead. The way to Vashisht while crossing couple of small villages is breath taking. Country side view at it’s best. While taking is adventurous stroll, I managed to record few videos which I am putting together for all.
Even though the trekking was fun at Vashisht, one should have a lot of determination for doing this. For a non trekker like me, it was kind of hard. Had it not been the company of my friends and Hemant trying to back us up at each turn and push to our limits, this would not have been possible. The fact of matter is that over doing or exerting extra pressure would not help. So we took regular breaks when ever needed, relaxed for few minutes and then started off again.
We reached the waterfall after an hour of climbing, and believe me it was worth it. Ice cold water and in it’s purest form. No harm in drinking!!
We had a little jump in the water fall and rested for a while. With sun coming up on our head it was time to head back. Down hill is always easy then the uphill. We did not take much time and headed back to the foot hills. The journey however was exiting thought out the way.
Downhill is always easy on your legs as compared to uphill. However the ease brings a lot of things to be cautious off. Like the moment you come down hill your rate of decent increases as you come down with the gravity. It is important to come down slowly and making sure your legs are not fixated or come in tandem with the slippery slope. Watch the videos below. First one is the long video in which I have increased the speed as it has our journey of entire down hill. Second is the raw video in which we are coming down hill and Hemant was recording. (Wolf pack warning: Ignore the good words spoken, it’s a guys group)
First video of us going downhill..!
Second raw video captured by Hemant…!
On the way down you are going to find a lot of snake charmers. Snake charming is the practice of pretending to hypnotize a snake by playing an instrument called “pungi” or “bansuri“.
A typical performance may also include handling the snakes or performing other seemingly dangerous acts, as well as other street performance staples, like juggling and sleight of hand. We found one on the way down. It is also said that if you see the the whole snake charming show and do not pay to the snake charmer, they let go off the snake after you. Sounds scary, but we did pay the fellow to keep the snakes off our back. Watch the video of the snake charmer that we met on our way down hill.
On our ways down we fund number of cafe’s equipped with Indian stale food, “Maggie”. Tea was particularly nice and the noodles were icing on the cake. Always remember not to stuff your self while trekking and eat only the amount of food which is necessary. Over eating might give you trouble while trekking.
At last we were at Vashisht temple, tried to relax by bathing in the hot water springs. I really do not know if it’s the hot springs or what, but the warm water tends to take away all the tiredness. We thought of calling it a day and relaxing in the hotel as sun was about to come down and we had too much for the day.
Silently we retreated back to our hideout at backpackers thinking about the trip to “Spiti valley” the next day.
Important: While going for a long trek it is always advisable to do couple of short treks in order for your body to get acquainted to the harsh trekking. Thanks to our local guide and friend “Hemant” who was there at each escapade giving us tips and tricks to survive in the mountains of Himachal at Vashisht village.