Day 17 – 18 – Mandi & Prashar

Started the day at a relaxed pace without an alarm. Set out from Shimla, destination for the day is Mandi. Not more than 130 KMs. But the beautiful roads of Himachal with mesmerizing views.

First half of the day was quite sunny and lucky not to have encountered any showers.

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Paneer Paratha with Dahi

Had a hearty meal for lunch and stretched a bit to get back onto the saddle. The roads ahead were in good conditions and was able to maintain decent speeds of 60-80 kmph.

Just a bit before reaching Mandi, it started to rain and took a break. To my luck, had managed to get stay sorted with the help of a sister whose friend stayed in Mandi.

Reached there by 4.30PM and started the now known routine of unloading the luggage and unpacking.

Stepped out in the evening for a walk around the area.

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Cloudy sky in Mandi during the evening

Figured out from the locals about the bus to Prashar Lake which would leave in the morning at 8 from the bus stop close by.

Stepped onto the bus in the morning to see more of the beauty that Himachal has to offer. Was happy to be traveling by bus and be able to see what nature has to offer.

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The last 10 KMs were quite bad and narrow. But these pahadi bus drivers know these roads at the back of their hands, as to which corner will need a small reverse and which corner will need the oncoming vehicles to go back and make space for the bus.

This being the only bus to Prashar lake, it halts for a few hours and leaves back for Mandi. One should make sure to ask the driver the return timing in order to not be stranded, which wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.

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First View of Prashar Lake

Was quite peaceful here to simply walk around and breathe in the fresh air. Quite a funny incident that occurred was that I landed up asking someone if eggs would be available to eat at the local tapri to which I was calmly replied that this is a temple area and only vegetarian food would be available. Much later on spoke with the same man, who turned out to be one of the pujari’s of the temple.

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Jeevan Thakur, Pujari at Prashar Lake

Later on got up to chatting with him and talking about all sorts of topics like money being a bigger evil these days to traveling on a budget.

For folks wanting to stay in Prashar, do contact Jeevan Thakur, the pujari

Mobile number: 9418196939

Stay ka jugaad
50 for room in temple
20 for blanket
500 for tent with blanket for 2 people
If you have own tent then as he said ‘dil se de do’

Basic food like dal chawal, chai, maggi is available.

Walked around to the other side to sit down for a while and saw the mist set it. Luckily managed to capture it on camera.

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On the return leg in the bus managed to chat up with a few travelers. One bunch was from Kerala. Managed to recognize the language, special thanks to Aditi for recommending the Malayalam movie Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi (Blue Skies, Green Waters, Red Earth). Surely a must watch for people who like to travel.

Chatted up with Ashish and his bunch of friends to know that they just finished a Ladakh bike trip and were backpacking for a few days in Himachal to then head back to their work life routine.

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Fog on the narrow roads while returning

Got back to Mandi and with the help of a few kids managed to hike up a trail to reach a temple on top of the hill to get a view of the town.

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View of Mandi

At this temple was just sitting by myself for a while and watching the natural lights go out and electric ones fill the town.

Met this interesting chap here who was chosen to serve at the temple and help around. He explained the history of the particular temple and showed another spot which had age old idols.

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He then left me with the words that be careful while going down as there are animals which can attack.

Hadn’t carried any torch, with sheer willpower and a phone with music, managed to get back without any so called animal attacks.

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