Category Archives: Travel Guides

Manali Mania

If you have not visited Manali, visit it; if you have gone in the past, go again and, if you have gone a few times in the past, visit again and again. This is my feeling culled out of my intensive experience at Manali. The place is a visitor’s paradise: a place where nature has descended to spread its fragrance and to give its feel to each and every man everywhere.

From the tourism point of view, Manali may not be the substitute of Srinagar, but, certainly, an alternative. It has to offer so many breath-taking places to the tourists and visitors that you have to stay a minimum of fifteen to twenty days, if not more, to enjoy your outing to the brim. and Manali has a great share of apple production of the state. I, with my family, left for New Delhi Airport from Bhubaneswar Airport by Indian for a two-hour journey during Mid-August, generally considered as an off-season chosen by me as ideal because I got all my reservations for journey and lodging at a big discount.

The next morning, an eighteen-seater single-engined aircraft was ready to start at 06.30AM, but took off at 09.30AM as the climate in the Himalayan ranges was cloudy. Ultimately at about 10.30AM, we reached Kullu Airport. The experience inside the aircraft was very exciting because co-passengers were only four, not to speak of the pilot who could be considered as a co-passenger in the sense that his driving seat was at our front like the seat in a luxury bus and he was a nice fellow who talked to us all through our journey. He, also, had tea, coffee and snacks for us and a packet full of chocolates besides fruit juice.

There was no air-hostess or attendant and self-service was the provision. But what was irritating was the sound of the aircraft; but to get something you have to give up something and at the end of the journey, we were disappointed that such an exhilarating experience had come to an end. Kullu area is a valley and very nice in every way. The Dussera Festival here is observed with much pomp and ceremony and the Kullu King leads a huge procession which is almost the best in the country and must be seen to be believed.

We hired a pre-paid taxi to Manali from the Kullu Airport and reached Manali at about 02.00PM and went straight to our officers` association guest house arranged in a star hotel at a nominal cost of Rs100/- per day, though the actual cost would have been Rs3000/- per day during off-season. So, comfort at less cost guaranteed us a longer stay at negligible cost.

Also, that being an off-season, we could extend our stay for fourteen days at a stretch, though we had to change to three rooms in the process. Off-season, also, gave us discount of 25% in our boarding bill. Area 7.12 Sq. Kms. Altitude 2,050 Mtrs approx.. Temperature Max. / Min. Summer 28 °C / 20 °C Winter 18 °C / 2 °C Languages Himachali, Hindi, English Religion Hinduism, Buddhism Best Time to visit Kullu Manali April – June / September – December Manali is located at an altitude of 2050 m along the banks of the Beas.

STD Code 01902 Hospitals: Civil Hospital, The Mall, Manali, Tel: 253385 Lady Willington’s Mission Hospital Manali Tel: 253714 Population 6,265 (2001 census) What to See Hadimba Temple: Over available tourist huts and rest houses for trekking enthusiasts. Naggar Fort: is a castle converted into a rest house and luxury hotel. It has architecture and design from the Pal Dynasty. Manali is known for its shiny gompas or Buddhist monasteries. The smaller and more modern Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa stands nearer the bazaar. It has a colossal , Naggar was old capital of Kullu District.

This is now converted into Heritage Hotel by Himachal Tourism. Roerich Art Gallery made by the famous Russian painter to be seen, also. Manikaran: It is 86 km from Manali. Here icy cold waters of the Parvati river and hot-water springs co-exist How to Get There By air: The nearest airport is at Bhuntar (Kullu), 50kms from Manali. By rail: The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Jogindernagar (135 km). The nearest broad gauge railway station is Chandigarh (310 km). By road: clip_image001 From Delhi – 585 km via Mandi. clip_image001[1] From Simla the distance is 270 km.

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Forced Occupation at Grand Road, Puri

Posing a straight challenge to law enforcing authority and municipality members, some influential people, forcefully opened “shoe-stand” in front of the famous Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri. The shoe stand is straight in front of “Patitapabana” in front of auspicious Lord of Universe “Lord Jagannath”. In earlier times, some parts of famous “Emara Matha” was broken into to make way widen the road in front of temple, and in this way the primary aim was to clear the “forced occupation” in front of Lord Jagannath Temple as well as to restore sanctity of this famous Heritage.

Desire is the obstacle to liberation:

Some influential people energized from the support of political power have created a shop through invading ten feet of the grand road just in front of “Patitapabana” of Lord Jagannath Temple. Powerful, political people are creating all these harakiri straight under the nose of the law enforcing authorities and municipality people. Now, good citizens of this ancient town are questioning the ability of both these institutions who have sole responsibility to promote peaceful environments in and around all these areas.

At the grand road of Puri, in front of the famous Lord Jagannath Temple, are being difficult to manage due to the advent of large scale of population from around the world and now with these forced occupation, slowly grand road is converting into a narrow lane. Government agencies are surprisingly silent on these matters. Due to large khaja-pati” in front of Emara Math, the entire area became a narrow zone, and in 2012, administration breaks 15 feet areas of this famous heritage in order to widen the road, but after that the same khaja shop keepers are back in those places and it is being said in people’s circle as all these shops are being protected by influential political people.

Emara Math is a 700 year old heritage and the administration did not think twice before breaking some parts of it but now in those parts people from political parties are making a show stand and that is narrowing the line of the grand road. Earlier, it was decided that the areas which have been broken is to be assimilated with roads but after almost one year there is no single decision which leads it to this manner. The administration failed to take back those forced occupation and the incident is now almost two years old.

So, now the question arises, if the government could not enforce the law of the land there, then why a glorious history of 700 years of a myth is to be broken in parts? There are many unanswered questions which are yet to be solved and how to find all these answers and why the administration is not dispersing forced occupation in and around areas of splendid road just in front of the famous Lord Jagannath temple is still not answered. Those khaja shops have opened their temporary shops in those areas and that part of temple land is being taken over them and the road in those parts is being similarly covered and in day time the traffic becomes extremely difficult to control in and around in those areas. Those khaja shopkeepers have blessings of political people and they are openly selling these by openly violating laws of lands.

Now the shoe-stand in those locations have advanced five feet creating many blockages in and around areas nearer to this illustrious Lord Jagannath Temple. Now, from Sunday, a new show stand nearer to famous Emara math which is now advancing 10 feet towards the road and it is making many difficulties to people. People are questioning shoe-stand in front of Lord Jagannath Temple and raising the issue of ethics from them. Countless people believe a shoe stand just in front of Lord Jaganath Temple is unethical and unjust and this should be removed straight away without any delay. In order to earn money, influential people advanced this show stand nearer to the road and virtually near to Jagannath temple but law enforcing authority and municipality is not listening to what people are worried about.

Devotees from all around the world questioning on what morality and on what basis law enforcing authority and municipality have become silent spectators to all these misguided acts? Law enforcing authorities are saying what should we do, it is primarily the job of municipality but they are remaining silent as it is evident as most of their members are patronizing these shops, and why they should be stopping as it is their primary personal revenue generation elements.

Law enforcing authorities are stopped by big political powers and for this they could not stop these shops from mushrooming in these holy areas. They are saying the administration has to help them in order to act and it is true as administration is stopping them and in a way of handicapping them from performing these tasks. Higher law enforcing authorities are saying they are aware of these matters and they are considering action against those forced occupants.

Auspicious Sunday and traffic problems:

At this auspicious Sunday, in the month of Pusha or January in English, many influential people reached Jagannath temple and their vehicles have covered most portions of the grand road and closing half of width of the road and creating undesired traffic problems in and around these areas. Traffic police became a mute spectator and could not stop anarchy of lands in and around in these areas. People have been worried about all these rush hours and have difficult to find the way out from these rush places. In a private convention hall near to badashankha, there was a get together and many influential people all around attended the meeting.

Political class also joined these meetings. All those influential people have parked their vehicles in the middle of the road thus obstructing basic communication medium available to people. Almost half portion of the road had been covered by their vehicle. No one from the municipality as well as law enforcing authorities who have been travelling in these roads lodged complain or take any action on these people. On this Sunday many people reached to Puri to have pious glance of Lord Jagannath and this adds a problem as most roads have been taken over by vehicles of these influential people as well as shops for these forced occupants. Traffic police are facing huge difficulties in controlling devotees, but they are not taking action against those influential people who have parked their vehicle in the middle of roads.

One person collided with auto taxi due to intemperate rush and unable to find a free space for these mob. Cars are parked where people tend to walk and for this he just has to change the side of walking and running auto from other side collided with him. Law enforcing authorities are trying to convey all these messages to influential people, but they have not listened to their request. Inside the convention hall many considerate people are there and for this they are unable to convey these messages to them. Due to huge number of vehicles stranded there it is virtually impossible to control vehicles out there as one writer is not sufficient to control already huge number of cars.

Source & References:

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Acknowledgements: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puri
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