It's been twenty years since I last came to Himachal Pradesh, visiting Manikaran with my mom as a fifteen year old kid with long blond hair.
Kasol, in 1999, existed as merely a handful of local shops on one side of the narrow mountain road, and just two or three peaceful guesthouses down close to the river. Today, it's an unrecognizable explosion of tourism: a little mountain city.
Traffic jams back then were already ridiculous, with buses inching past each other between vertical cliffs up to the sky or down to the raging river on both sides of a ledge hardly wide enough for two. Today, in the midst of India's hunger for personal cars, the lines of jammed vehicles stretching for kilometers in both directions up and down the hill are preposterous. Manikaran, too, has transformed, with increased development around the old village and an influx of visitors.
But, some things never change.
The footbridge across the heaving, swirling, thundering Parvati River, festooned with colorful flagpoles right up to the entrance of the tall multi-storied Gurudwara [Sikh Temple] rising straight out of the water.
Billows of steam rising from boiling water pouring into the river out of the side of the Gurudwara's kitchen, natural hot spring water in which a huge amount of food served for free to pilgrims is cooked...even sacks of potatoes are tossed straight into the hot spring.
The huge open bathing pools filled with hot water rushing out of massive pipes with attentively regulated flow, beside pilgrims sitting on the edges of the pools scrubbing and washing...many hardly even daring to get in to such water so hot.
Immersing myself into relaxation both in the water and within the ebb and flow of endless people moving up and down the staircases of the Gurdwara between the temple, the dining hall, and the massive dormitory or rooms of free accommodation, twenty years ago feels just like yesterday. #manikaran#himachalpradesh#hp#hotspring#hotsprings#geothermal#sikh#gurudwara#trekking#himalayas#kasol#parvativalley#parvatiriver#travel
Travelling alone was always in my wishlist but never had the courage to do that. For this time also, I asked many of my friends to accompany but the schedule didn't coincidence. Finally I decided to go solo.
That thought of traveling "SOLO" was giving me scary feeling. How the things will go when traveling without any of my close friend? Will it be entertaining enough for me? How I manage to make new friends? What happen if something undesirable happen?..... But the burning desire to explore the mountains (and an escape from the office routine) fueled me to go on this adventure. Finally I thought to travel along with the strangers who comes from different-different places.
It's not about traveling only!!! It's all about find your soul to live the moment.
It's not about climbing the mountains!!! Its about exploring more about yourself.
It's not about meeting strangers!!! Its about to be the person from inside and out Infront of others.
Finally after doing lot of research, I tried my chance with @capture.a.trip , nd trust me the whole experience worth that try. I enjoyed alot that can't be put into words. We litterly don't have internet and ran out of batteries in our phones, but it didn't make me feel restless even a second. It was a much needed disconnection from outside the world and find happiness in smallest yet most realistic thing possible, FRIENDSHIP ❣️ Wanna thank @nitinkhannacat and @the_travelling_patrakar for supporting and organising this trip🤘. Will always cherish this experience for the rest of my life. This is my first trip with you, but will promise, it won't be the last one....Will meet yu soonnnnnnnn.....😍 @capture.a.trip
With whom you want to have a Cup of Chai here. Let us Know in the Comment Section
Distt. Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
Photo by - @sharma.ji (Shiddharth)
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Game of Patience.
I first tried night photography in 2015 and I was so fascinated by it that whenever I go to places where there are good compositions for shots at night I'd stay up and keep taking pictures. Most of my night shots are taken in the northern parts of India where it is freezing cold. Taking long exposure shots in such weather is very difficult, you need a stable base, you need to find a place where there is less or no light, you can't wear gloves as you have to operate the camera, you can't see anything so it's all on your judgement about focus and the exposure. It takes 15-20 shots of 10-20 seconds of exposure to get the composition, focus and the light right. Being patient, not giving up Is the key here. I enjoy that challenge, cold wilds, sitting alone outside in the woods at 2 am, it sounds scary but the excitement helps you forget the problems and enjoy the surroundings. And you are not alone here, the hooting of owls nearby, insects and other birds practicing their favourite music, the starry nights, the songs of the wind and the river, and it's the best kind of company to have, nature tells you so many stories, it always has a soothing effect. The wait for the perfect shot teaches us to be patient, sitting quietly for hours to get the shot, it tells us that struggle will always give you good results, teaches us to find happiness in the smallest of things.