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Home   »   Travel   »   Day 72 – Bilaspur to Mandi, Himachal Pradesh (Kanyakumari to Leh Cycling)

Day 72 – Bilaspur to Mandi, Himachal Pradesh (Kanyakumari to Leh Cycling)

May 10, 2014

By this time because of previous day’s cycling, my mind was set for cycling in mountains. Now even if there was a long climb, nothing would happen and I would do it inspite of exhaustion. My mind gets empty. It is present in the moment and nothing comes in it when I cycle up slope. Anybody I used to pass by, they see me with smile on their face and knows that I am at least going to Manali. Unlike previous day, the truck numbers reduced drastically after Barmana as they go to and from ACC cement factory present there.

ACC cement factory, Barmana

ACC cement factory, Barmana

I came across the beautiful town Sundernagar and its beautiful man-made lake. It is also situated in a broad valley and I could see wheat cultivation as well. I like the market place in mountains. Beas river was flowing in the opposite direction all along my way. Wherever I used to stop by for water, I used to enquire about the further terrain from them.

Manali is not far had it been in plains

Manali is not far had it been in plains

From the starting of this tour, I have hardly bought bottled mineral water except few times in Kerala when I needed cold water. Otherwise, I have always got my bottle filled up from restaurants, dhabas, taps, hand pump, clay pots, etc. and have never fell ill or had stomach problems. Now as I am in Himachal, I do not have to think twice about the water I drink because I know its fresh and clean. My average speed also got better than previous day.

Riding green

Riding green

I stayed in one historic gurudwara at Mandi and slept in the langar hall as there was no room for a single person. Rooms were occupied by paramilitary forces because of the elections coming up. It rained a lot whole evening at Mandi and it became cold. I found myself in a really embarrasing situation there inside the gurudwara because of the communication gap and I went with a group where I should not have been at all. After seeing me sitting the group, the person conducting the ceremony called me before starting and that is when I came to know what was I into. It is known as “Amrit Chakhna”. Sikh people who do it can not shave or have hair cut life long. They can not intake alcohol and share their food with others. I would have also got a “kirpan” which I had to carry and there were several other obligation they told me. Later, they asked me if I am ready to follow all these, I can sit. But there was no way I could do it.People there were very friendly and peaceful. I took a leave from there and was laughing inside at what I had experienced and what I would have become had I been the part of that ceremony.


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Driven by my passion to explore.... a traveler, friendly, adventurous, self-motivated, considerate, trustworthy, enthusiastic, straight-forward, backpacker & mountaineer....presently a cyclist & a blogger :)

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