Beautiful scenic valleys, the Beas River, the Pandoh Dam and the Kullu Tunnel constituted my today’s ride. The weather was too awesome the whole way as it rained yesterday and I didn’t see the sun the whole day. Luckily, it did not rain as well while I was cycling. I was in touch with a person who posts about Manali to Leh road status on the Internet and I met him after crossing the Pandoh Dam as he was coming from Manali and I was going towards it. We had a good discussion at a tea stall about the opening of that road. I learned that this highway will not open at least before two weeks from now.

Winding roads

Winding roads

Snack time

Snack time

There were small, tented dhabas at places beside road, where I had Maggi and omelette. The view there could beat any good view you can get from an expensive restaurant with a valley going on the eastern side and it looked like the Beas river was originating from there. There came a long and steep climb as well but it did not bother me much as I was already mesmerised by the scenery.

Pandoh Dam

Pandoh Dam

When it came to going downhill, the wind blew too fast it didn’t let the cycle speed increase. It so happened somewhere in-between that I was coming down the slope speedily and looked backward at a beautiful valley with palm trees on the other side of the river. When I turned my head and looked in front, I was about to smash into rocks, which could have resulted in serious injuries. But thanks to the disc brakes on my cycle, I was saved the ordeal.

Roads in Mountains

Road Carved Out of Mountain

I entered the 2.97-km-long Kullu tunnel and it was quite dark at some places inside and water was dripping down through the rocks above. This ride was enchanting.

One day more for Manali

One day more for Manali

I reached Bhuntar and started looking for cheap accommodation, asking at various places, when suddenly I happened to look at the pole of a gurudwara on the other side of the river. I could not believe there was a gurudwara in Bhuntar as well. Nothing more I needed. I was really happy and went towards the other side through a bridge. For the first time, I found an expensive gurudwara, where room charges were Rs. 300. I enquired for a hall and per bed price was Rs. 50, so I took that.

View from bridge at Bhuntar

View from bridge at Bhuntar

There was something else on my mind. I thought of keeping my cycle in the gurudwara and going to Manikaran by bus and coming back for my further journey to Manali. So I asked the administration and they agreed. I knew my luggage and cycle were safe in the gurudwara. Then I left for Manikaran in Parvathi Valley, which is just 35 km from Bhuntar.