Have you ever been to a place that is a paradise hidden inside a jungle, far away from any human reach, which is raw and fresh, that nobody ever had discovered. Well, Manihar is truly one such place. Before visiting Manihar, I never thought that the place would ever astound me to such extent. Earlier I had never heard of the place, even the region still is least explored or known to the outside world. The valley where Manihar is located is beautiful, raw and one of the unknown places in Himachal Pradesh. Manihar is located in Garsa valley. The place is also known for a hydro-power project being under construction.
You can also read about my travel experience in Naggar, a historical town in Kullu.
I already knew the region because my mother worked in a place on the way to Manihar. But I never visited Manihar then. Once in my childhood, I visited my mother’s workplace. I remembered the tall mountains and dense fir-spruce jungle; on the opposite mountain a waterfall splattered the water and its sound perfectly synchronised with the chirrups of cicadas. The place has a powerful positive vibrations, and the absence of society and humans adds up to the serenity of the place. The moment I came to know that Manihar is deeper far inside that valley, I was thrilled to encounter its wilderness and conquer one of the unknown places in Himachal Pradesh.
We started moving towards our destination from our place (opposite Bhuntar Airport). We crossed Hurla, then Garsa from where the drive towards the wilderness began. We travelled through the road alongside a brook named Hurla Nallah. The hill over which we were driving was chiseled off to make a motorable road. It showcased a beautiful canvas splashed with stripes of different colours from shades of red, yellow, brown, dark blue and everything that we could ever think of. The layers of strata in that sedimentary rock amalgamated into metamorphic one, was an amazement for me. I’ve always admired and wondered about the secrets that have been beautifully preserved and carved over time on these mountains.
As we moved further towards Thela (my mother’s workplace), the valley became a little broader. There were many land mines alongside the road, extracting the famous ‘Thela Stones’ (slates from the metamorphic rocks). They are known to be the strongest stones of the region, generally used for making roof tops and house walls.
The valley then gradually became narrower and the road started ascending. As we have moved upwards in the road, the river leaned down in a narrow george. We kept climbing the mountain, crossing through a couple of bridges and a few villages. Then we reached Shillagarh, the place where the Hydro-power plant is located. The road now was unmetalled and narrower from that spot. We crossed the last village of that zone and which was our destination too. Interestingly, they were having ‘Narad Muni’ as their village deity. We stopped there and parked our car on the road at a point from where any other vehicles can pass easily.
From there we hiked for about 100m and ta da! We reached the heaven, which was once one of the unknown places in Himachal Pradesh for us.
My first reaction was a frantic run with long jumps towards the lush green slope. I literally danced like a squirrel surveying a part of the place then running to the other.
There were many wild herbs, flowers and shrubs. Adding to the beauty of the place, there was a stream of crystal clear water running down the slope. The local people utilized the water to make traditional flour mill. There were many of them, around 30-50 m apart. The outlet of every mill dispensed a beautiful mini waterfall. I was awestruck by the raw and authentic charm of the place. The slope was about 500-700m high ending up in a dense coniferous jungle. There we could easily spot Himalayan birds and other wildlife.
The place is exquisite for camping and trekking. A perfect place for the ones who wanted to explore more raw sides of Himalayas, who wanted to be wanderer, who liked to discover more of the unknown places in Himachal Pradesh. I would definitely love to visit Manihar again and again whenever I get a chance. You can plan your trek or camp to the place with KPL Expeditions.
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