Trip Duration: 24th Aug — 5th Sept 2015
Welcome to Part 2 of our amazing journey through North India!! If you haven’t read Part 1 don’t worry, here’s the link to bring you, up to speed:
Day 2: Katra → Pathankot → Dharamshala / Mcleod Ganj (25th Aug)
Our Train to Pathankot @Katra Railway Station
It’s a fine morning at the Katra Railway station, as the sun rises just above the beautiful backdrop of the Himalaya’s. The first ray of sunlight streaming in between the many pillars and hitting our tired eyes, as we rush to board our train huffing and puffing, carrying our bulky backpacks.
So with all our luggage we get onto the local train (ticket Rs.30) for a 5 hour train journey all the way to Pathankot. We manage to fight our way to 6 seats which were close to each other, seat’s…not in the best of conditions, but considering our exhaustion, even a wooden plank would have sufficed. Nonetheless, tired and exhausted we hear the train’s horn blow, signalling the commencement of our journey to our next destination Pathankot.
One would think that, this would be a peaceful and non-eventful train ride…Boy were we in for a surprise! Have you ever witnessed a pot smoking, cross dressing hippie? Well we certainly did! And let’s just say sleep was no longer a botheration! 😳
We finally reach our destination, Pathankot. But due to extreme exhaustion and the sudden change in temperature, our friend Ashith falls sick, and catches a fever. We quickly make our way out of the train and hire an auto rickshaw to go towards town to pick up some medicines and find a cab service that would take us to Manali. After 2 hour’s of search and negotiations in the scorching heat of Pathankot, we make a good deal (Rs.18,000) for a 6 seater scorpio to take us to Manali via Dharamshala / Mcleod Ganj inclusive of some pit stops and sightseeing.
After all the commotion we find a good place (Air Conditioning woohoo!) for lunch which also happened to look like a palace, but in actuality was a wedding venue. So after a good lunch and a couple of beers, we get back on the road and make our way to Dharamshala to give our due respect’s to the Dalai Lama.
Crossing beautiful valleys and breathtaking views, we roll down our windows to feel the fresh and chilly mountain air, and all our exhaustion and tiredness, vanishes in an instant. We stop at a place or two to take some touristy pictures, which thankfully have not seen the light of day.
After a delightful 3 hour drive through the mountains, we reach Mcleod Ganj, where our driver has already arranged our accommodation at “Hotel Kailash Regency”. And so we make our way to the rooms to throw our luggage and put our feet up.
It’s finally dinner time and we all head down to our hotel’s restaurant in our woolens, for some hot soup, noodles and chicken fried rice, realizing that we were indeed in the Himalayas.
Hazra enjoying his much deserved fried rice @ Mcleod Ganj
Stay tuned for Part 3 of our exciting journey through North India! See you later! 🙂