"Are we there yet?"
**after 15minutes, though it suspiciously felt like forever**
"Are we there yet?"
"Madam, look, paragliders! Mountains!"
My mouth was shut for good 10 minutes. I don't blame myself for being on the edge of my seat after a close to 8-hour drive from Chandigarh. My onward journey from Chandigarh was a nightmare alright and maybe my choice to traverse the mountain road on a four-wheeler wasn't the brightest of ideas ever but the choice was made for two reasons:
1) Visiting Manali for the first time ever.
2) Desire to sight-see enroute Manali and stop for a break whenever I wanted.
Slept throughout the journey, only to wake up right before reaching Manali.
Feeling nauseous and tired from being rolled from one side of the car to the other on the snake-like road, I finally opened my eyes to look at bright sunny yet nippy day and paragliders gliding up in the sky. The distant snow-capped mountains welcomed me and reminded me of what was yet to come--my much-awaited stay at ShivAdya Resort & Spa in Manali. A sweet respite from the ever-increasing Delhi heat.
It took another hour to reach the resort after reaching Manali. Not because it was so far away, but because just like me, rest of the country picked Manali as their summer holiday destination. Fun! Feel bad about the tourist crowd as much as you want to, there is something special about Manali that the moment you lay your eyes on those snow-clad mountains, you forget the traffic jam, the winding road, nausea, you feel refreshed. There's something magical in the mountain air, they say. And for a first-timer like yours truly, Manali was great. Big credit goes to ShivAdya Resort & Spa. You just need these three beautiful reasons to pack your bags for Manali this summer.
The Gift Of Sight And Space
ShivAdya is located in Karjan village, just about 20 minutes from the town of Manali. Not being in the town places the resort in one of the quietest corners of Manali, away from the streets packed with tourists and the residual hustle-bustle of the city that may have made it's way to Manali through its visitors. At ShivAdya, the first thing that one experiences is the space. The vast resort grounds has just 15 well-appointed rooms. The folks at ShivAdya believes in free space and that's what they try to offer in all of their rooms. Speaking of rooms, did I already talk about how every single rooms at ShivAdya is a beautiful mix of stone, mud and wood. Not a single scrap of paint in any of the rooms, restaurant and reception included. Though you may find that singular room at the spa. Because steam, you see. The resort is flanked by snow-clad Himalayan ranges, vast valley below, luxuriant apple orchards and dense pine forest
There are three kinds of rooms: Luxury, Elite and Royal. All rooms are designed keeping the traditional Himachali homes in mind. The mud and stone walls add that special touch while the hardwood floor and ceiling give a warm homely feel. Complete with all modern amenities, each and every room at ShivAdya will satisfy your modern needs and at the same time take you back in time, to your roots.
Bouri, the in-house spa is another relaxing corner at the resort. Manali is far away, let's all agree to that. The spa is what you need to get rid your body of whatever exhaustion the winding road upto Manali had in store for you. Spa, massage and reflexology and that much-needed soak in the Jacuzzi...need we say more?
For The Explorer In You
Located just 8km away from the resort is Naggar, your perfect choice of a place for a splendid view of the valley down below. Here at Naggar one can visit the Naggar Castle, Gaurishankar Temple of Tripura Sundari Devi, Vishnu Temple and Krishan Temple. If temple is not your thing, then head to Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery.
A visit to Jana Village (21km) will bring you to the world of traditional Himachali style of architecture. The drive to this village is great, if you consider views of Dhauladhar Mountain and beautiful deodar forest as a beautiful travel companion. There is a waterfall for you to explore!
Kais Monastery and Hadimba Devi Temple are two very popular attractions around the resort, Hadimba temple being the nearest from the resort. The temple is built in the traditional Himachali architecture, not your usual kind.
Old Manali--backpacker's haven, Solang valley with its fantastic view of glaciers, snow-clad mountains and ski slopes, Rohtang Pass, Kullu and Manikaran, these are just some of the popular tourist attractions, not very far away from the resort. If you plan for just a couple of days, then worry not, for there are woods nearby where one can go and be one with nature. Go explore!
Live and Eat The Himachali Way
And this does not just mean eat local. Though the locally grown rice is a must try. Take a whiff of the cooked rice and you will know why. Sticky and fragrant, it will give any fancy sticky rice a good run for their money. The food at the resort is delicious, simple, traditional and locally sourced.
If you wish to stretch your legs a bit more, you can go visit neighbouring village and interact with the locals, explore their art, craft and handloom.
Where: VPO Karjan, Tehsil Manali, Distt. Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
Contact: www.shivadya.com; +91-9418005235, +91-8894348935, +91-8894346935