We didn’t expect snow in Manali when we travelled there in November 2015. Normally, the schedule for snow in Manali is around new year or in late January and the beginning of February. However, it does snow in Manali, at higher attitudes, once in a while out of the main season. But, as you can guess from the post title, it did snow in Manali (vuuuaaah!!) when we visited here. Actually, there was a fresh snowfall in the upper hills the day we reached there and the next day. Due to it, all the mountain peaks around us , till half way down the mountains, were covered in fresh layers of snow.
I must say, this was the best part of our journey, as, we had not expected an endeavor with so much snow in Manali at the time of the year. Although it didn’t snow right in the town (which would have been a real real bonus!) . Nevertheless, this bout of snow came as a sudden delightful surprise for visitors like us! (something is always better than nothing, isn’t it!)
How did it all start?
We were out on our first day in Manali. And, we had already visited quiet a few places like Hidimba Temple, Manali Club House, Monastery. Finally, we settled down for lunch at Mall Road. After having lunch we were deciding where to head next. That is when the weather started taking a sudden turn. It became cloudy. And after sometime, it started drizzling a bit. With that, the temperature also dropped down drastically. And we started feeling the chills. Some of the locals around us excitedly told us that it looked like an outlook of snow. If the drop in temperature and chill would continue, soon it would snow.
Our ears were immediately alert. And we could already feel the excitement thinking about the perspective of snow..this is something we had not at all expected when planning our trip. Meanwhile, looking at the sudden change of weather, we decided to head back to our hotel. We got into our cabs and started back to our resort. Upon reaching the resort, we all gathered in a room and ordered some hot coffee and tea. Meanwhile, our eyes were glued to the windows to get that first glimpse of snow.
Although it did not snow right there. But soon, we saw it was snowing higher up in the mountain ranges. Slowly, as we talked and sipped our coffees, we could see snow blanketing the mountain just in front of us from top down. Almost till halfway through, the mountains got covered with snow.
Solang Valley after snow in Manali
The day after the snow in Manali, we started our drive towards Solang Valley & Rohtang pass. The view of the mountain peaks on the way towards Solang Valley was stunningly beautiful. It felt like the road was leading right into the snow covered peaks, as we travelled from our hotel near Hidimba temple towards the Solang Valley. The higher ranges were completely covered with fresh snow from the day before.
Soon we arrived at Solang valley. The Solang valley had become a velvet of green, surrounded by snow covered mountain peaks from all sides. We reached here around 11am. The place was not so crowded as it was the start of tourist season. We chose to sit on some of the rocks and enjoy the scenic beauty around. Cabs were lined up at the road side near Solang Valley.
But we couldn’t sit still for a long time. The valley was beckoning us to walk and explore. So, we started to roam around, and trek a little on the slants of the valley to the extent we could. The whole stretch was moist due to fresh rain overnight. The shades of white snow peaks, green trees, and the earthy rocks were all glistening into the fresh sunlight post the snow. There is a cable car in Solang valley that seems to take the tourists up into the mountains. But for some reason, it was not operational at that point of time. The office operating the cable car was closed as well. We strolled around in the valley, wondering how it would be to trek up into the mountains and reach those snow covered peaks.
Towards Rohtang pass
From Solang Valley, our original plan was to proceed towards Rohtang pass. But unfortunately, we came to know that the way to Rohtang Pass was closed half way through for vehicles post the heavy snow in Manali and the mountains around. Initially we had thought that we will go till Solang Valley and then return back. But after reaching the Solang valley, it was impossible to contain ourselves from indulging deeper into the snow game. So, we decided to venture towards Rohtang, till the point we could. We heard that the vehicles were allowed further up till a certain point after which snow had blocked the way. Also, there is special permit to be taken to reach Rohtang Pass. We had missed obtaining the permit also. So, it was not possible to take our vehicles further.
But we were constantly thinking, there must be some way to venture further. Finally, we thought we will go enquire with the locals. There must be local vehicles available with prior permit that we can hire. Luckily, soon we got a jeep hired. And hence started our journey from Solang Valley towards Rohtang Pass. And, we were not disappointed in the least by mother nature as we proceeded.
Snow and more snow
Soon the way from Solang valley towards Rohtang Pass enters into the steep incline of the mountain. As we ascended, we got the first glimpse of snow from closest range. First, we encountered trails of snow on the foot of the mountain where it met the road. Then we saw snow scattered on the rocks. Then slowly the layer of snow kept increasing until we arrived at the point beyond which the jeep was not allowed.Here, we got down to walk further.
The slope of the mountains at this point looked like a soft velvety blanket of fur owing to the fresh snow. And, the patches of green below the snow made little beautiful patterns over this blanket. While, on the other side, majestic mountain ranges covered in snow added a charm of a different level to the whole scene. The more we comprehended the beauty of nature around us, the more we felt like staying there forever!
We walked for quiet a bit up the road towards Rohtang. On the way, we sometimes stepped into the snow. And at times we stopped for some quick beautiful snaps. Sometimes, we enjoyed making soft balls of snow and throwing on one another. Although our little one worried a lot looking at the snow. She felt, it was milk scattered all over. And she was literally disappointed on so much spillage of milk 😛 . But, still, she also had a wonderful time. She enjoyed feeling the snow and playing with it as much as we did.
Inspired by this, we have put on our chart a journey to Shimla and Manali way into the snow season to experience it live!!! Stay tuned and thanks for reading 🙂