In Search Of Snow...!!

Thread Starter #1
Mar 19, 2014
Most of the family travelers like me keep looking for school holidays. School vacations are boon for planning longest road trips like this one. Luckily my project also got completed hence there was no issue in getting leaves approved like any other time.

In all our past trips we explored beaches, deserts, tea estate and temples but haven’t yet reached snow. Hence this time we made plan to explore Shimla - Manali circuit. Few travelogues and vlogs had confused us regarding expectation of snow in end time of March month. One more confusion was regarding permit to drive inside Atal Tunnel. As per famous saying “Better to see something once than hear about it thousand times” we decided to check all these things by visiting there.

The itinerary was chalked down by keeping some buffer days in hand. I performed regular car and fluid checks. With great excitement we packed our bags and loaded them in car.

Day 1: Pune - Ratlam
We all are now habitual to start early in morning for any long trips. Hence after short prayer we started our trip.

It was a usual way from Pune to Nashik with good quality of road. Noticed cops doing routine check at Shinde. This is their standard check point but this time they did not stopped me. Nashik to Ratlam has some truck traffic along with you. There are those notorious speed humps till Dhule. I have noticed the speed interceptor van located behind tree at Ojhar, Malegaon bypass and Dhule bypass. Last time I got speeding ticket at Malegoan bypass hence was careful this time. We crossed MH border after which we were zipping on fantastic stretch of MP highway. Within couple of hours, we reached our hotel in Ratlam. It was Holi weekend due to which entire market of Ratlam was closed hence we could not try famous Ratlami Sev.

Day 2: Ratlam - Shahpura

In today’s journey we had planned a short detour inside Kishangad so that we can spend some time at newly highlighted tourist spot “Kishangarh’s Marble Dumpyard”.

It was amazing drive on excellent roads from Ratlam to Chittorgarh. From Chittorgarh onwards we joined fantastic 6 lanes stretch till Kishangarh. I was happy to see speed limit of 100kmph in some of its section. There are high chances of getting doze off while continuously driving on this straight stretch of approximate 215 Km. We crossed Nasirabad after which we encountered few well marked diversions created due to ongoing construction of 2-3 flyovers. As we neared Kishangarh I started following google map to reach Marble Dumpyard which is now a days called as “Switzerland in Kishangarh”.

Below are few important notes for visitor,
  • Location website: Dumping Yard Kishangarh - Developed by JKPRS Technologies
  • First, we need to visit Kishangarh Marble Association office. The staff inside noted down total visitors along with me on small paper after putting official stamp on it. The same paper was handed over to me.
  • Google location of Kishangarh Marble Association office - Google Maps
  • We came back to the entrance of dumping ground where security verified number of persons against figure written on that paper before letting us in. Google location of Dumping Yard - Google Maps)
  • Entry to this site is free which remains open between 10am to 5pm every day. The entire area is white and dusty so be ready to get covered your hair, shoes, car, and cloths under white dust.
  • Caution: - Do not park your cars near to water where ground is wet.
It was hot afternoon when we entered inside. I was under impression that no one or few tourists will be there but to my surprise the many tourists and cars parked inside. The kids as well as elders were enjoying it that white dust. I noticed few pre-wedding shoots happening at one corner of dump yard where there was less crowd hence, I also selected same area for click. We were skeptical about getting actual snow in our trip hence enjoyed heart out in this fake snow area

Our beauty in Switzerland of Kishangad


After doing some dust bashing, we came out on main road. It took us some time to remove white dust which was settled on our clothes and car. Our journey resumed towards Jaipur using six laned toll road having speed limit as 90 Kmph to 100Kmph. Saw some heart in mouth overtakes done by few cars in this section. Also noticed speed interceptors between Dudu and Bagru. The signals from Bagru till Jaipur bypass creates huge jams where cars keep occupying every possible space.

Jaipur bypass brought some old memories of our past trip. This was second time I was driving my car on this road. Due to Holi weekend most of the hotels inside city were running full and were priced exorbitantly. I was aware about some excellent transit stay lined on this highway hence we continued our drive till Shahapura. The road after exiting Jaipur bypass was filled with heavy local and truck traffic post evening.

It took us more time than estimated by google maps due to broken tar in few sections (especially on bridges). We opted to stay in one of the famous hotel chains named “Hotel Highway King”. They have excellent and economical rooms. As per me the taste of their food is something to die for.

The look of hotel is like some bungalow surrounded with wonderful lawn.

There was one more family that night else rest of the hotel was for us.

We ordered our favorite "Paneer Do Payza" in dinner

Day 3: Shahpura - Zirakpur

Before leaving Shahpura we had some heavy parathas for breakfast. The road condition between Shahapura – Panipat – Kurukshetra – Ambala – Zirakpur is good with some truck traffic till Panipat. It was hot afternoon when we reached near Kurukshetra.

We have planned to do a quick detour inside Kurukshetra to visit Geeta Updesh Sthal.

Entrance arc of Kurukshetra

The roads Inside city were potholed and dusty. The railway crossing on the way is a messy patch to cover. After negotiating two-wheeler traffic, we reached Brahma Sarovar. This is sacred lake where it is believed that you need to take a dip into it to get rid of all your sins. The lake is surrounded by walkway which have some wonderful painting and sculpture associated with Mahabharat on its walls

The area is huge where lot of walking is involved. Sarveshwar Mahadev temple which is dedicated to lord Shiva stands in middle of lake. It is said that this was installed here by Brahma himself. The temple is accessible by small bridge. There are many small temples of other gods and goddesses in this location

The rest of the campus has vast greenery along with walkways. The attention seeker is huge bronze statue of Lord Krishna depicting Gita updesh to Arjun.

The are many large trees in the surroundings which attracts different type of birds. We sat under shade of one tree for some time. There are many Chole Kulche vendors lined beside road outside the exit gate of lake. We thought of giving it a try and believe me those were very good in taste.

Gita Updesh Sthal is in Jyotisar which is located couple of kilometers ahead. We spotted many temples on this way but due to lack of time we kept moving ahead. After parking our car in dedicated parking place, we entered inside main gate. The area has lot of banyan tree and monkeys as well on it. There is marble statue of Krishna on a beautiful chariot, delivering the immortal Gita to Arjuna to remove his confusion and dilemma.

It is said that this is the same Banyan tree under which Gita Updesh was given


We had some lemon juice outside to cool us from hot sunny day. Once again after negotiating local traffic and messy railway crossing, we reached back to NH44. On highway as well there was lot of local traffic moving at high speed. Witnessed few minor accidents of two wheelers and pickup vans.

Saw few cops stopping vehicles at Haryana border. Somehow, they didn’t stop me.

It was evening time when we reached near Zirakpur. It is pain to enter Zirakpur from highway as entire traffic takes service road which makes bottle neck under flyover. Though this section is small but due to standstill traffic for minutes and minutes it took lot of time for us to reach hotel.

Thread Starter #2
Mar 19, 2014
Day 4: Zirakpur - Chail

At last, the day has come where we will be going to enter borders of Himachal Pradesh. The roads from Zirakpur to Pinjore are good with some office moving local traffic in morning hours. The Himalayan expressway is excellent and twisty. We exited it near Kandaghat and took narrow winding scenic route towards Chail. The road was dotted with tall pine trees and surrounded with some lovely views.

We took many pitstops on our way to enjoy nature

Views from road

It was almost lunch time when we reached our hotel. We had our lunch and rested for some time in that pleasant climate. Later we decided to visit Shimla to spend evening on famous mall road. That day Google maps did some blunder and shown us the road to Shimla via Junga. The winding roads till Junga were very good but ahead of it we encountered some bad patches. There was some work going on the road ahead will Shimla.

In my driving experience I found Shimla to be very challenging to drive due to traffic jams on steep inclines. Lot of people, school going children’s and pickup vans added thrill to this challenge. The traffic is either crawling or standstill. Lot of clutch burning smell in surroundings!!

We reached parking lot near Mall Road. Its multi-level parking lot where they take Rs.100 per car for 2 hours. You need to hand over them car which they themselves take inside. They do provide receipt showing the car number and time. This receipt needs to be shown to attendant after coming back.

The authorities have made good facility by providing lift to reach mall road. Lot of tourists were roaming on the ridge. The church at the end was looking very beautiful that afternoon!

Entire mall road area is sort of market and is no vehicle zone. Lot of walking is required to explore market and food. Our waving national flag can be seen from anywhere.

There is a hill behind the ridge which has famous Jakhu Temple dedicated to Hanuman. It is said that this is one of the highest peaks in Shimla.

We explored mall road and reached back to parking lot. There was no attendant at entrance hence I walked inside. It seems to accommodate more cars they park all cars inches away from each other. I spotted attendant inside who directed me to my car. You yourself need to drive the car out which was a challenging task.

Once again after negotiating through some stand still traffic and jams we somehow reached near the junction of Jakhu Temple road. When I started climbing that hill, I came to know that this is going to be very tough. The width of road is so narrow that it hardly fit a car. The gradient is steepest with narrow pin bends. The pin bends are so n arrow that one need to reverse the car to negotiate it. It becomes challenging task to give way if one encounter car going downhill. The parking on the top is made messy by local cabbies. They have left no space for others to park hence we need to wait on that steepest incline till someone moves out. The situation moved from Tough to Tougher to Toughest. Looking at my MH registered vehicle one guy asked two cabbies to repark and made a slot for me. I heartfully thanked him!!

One of the tallest statues of Hanuman at entrance of Jakhu Temple

The temple is associated with story in Ramayan. It is said that Hanuman has landed on this hill while carrying Sanjeevani. Due to his immediate landing this hill has reduced its height. The temple has some calm surroundings from where you can get some good views of Shimla.

We clicked few more pics inside small garden around temple before starting back. When I reached parking lot one more cab was parked inches away from my driver door. When that driver saw me coming, he moved his car a little ahead so that I can open door. Out of curiosity I imitated a small talk with him where I came to know that there is separate but similar steep route for cabbies which start behind the Church on ridge. They take Rs.500 per car on To and Fro basis from church to temple. Looking the route and driving skill this is cost effective to reach temple in relaxed way. Out of curiosity when I asked him how long is your clutch life to which he replied “It’s just 2 months!! “ [shock]

I descended that 2 Km hill on 1st gear. Thankfully it was late evening time hence not encountered any uphill car. Took a sigh of relief when I joined main road back to Chail.

Day 5: Chail – Kufri – Fagu – Chail

This day was initially planned for relaxing but later decided to do a small drive towards Kufri. The roads are fantastic for driving. They are dotted with tall pine trees and goes winding throughout with no traffic till Kufri. The section from Kufri to Fagu is bit broader with some local traffic on it.

Tall pine trees enroute

Beauty on one of calm section

On the way back we visited “Kali Ka Tibba” temple which is famous among locals. The temple is situated at higher hill hence the approach road is steep and very narrow. One need to stop earlier if you see vehicle coming in opposite direction so that you can manage your way.

We found some great views from this temple.



First sighting of snow-clad mountain somewhere very far from us. We were happy to see it for first time

No idea about these trees but they were looking fabulous beside road

In early evening we reached back to our hotel in Chail. We could experience the coolness in the breeze as temperature was dropping with setting sun.

Thread Starter #3
Mar 19, 2014
Day 6: Chail – Manali

The sighting of snowclad mountains yesterday made us more excited of getting snow in Manali. With great hope we started our journey towards Manali. From Chail we reached back to Kandaghat junction from where we took highway towards Manali. Came across lots of car and tourist bus traffic all over till Shimla bypass. The road condition in some patches were not good so have to maintain 30Kmph – 40Kmph speed.

Our initial plan was to visit Taradevi Temple and Viceregal building but due to time constraint we dropped our visit to Taradevi temple and decided to visit Viceregal Building. I was once again tackling my way through heavy traffic of Shimla. We reached at main entrance of building post which only official cars are allowed. It was a task to search parking space beside road. Somehow, I managed to squeeze my car beside road and came walking back to main gate.

The security person noted down my name along with number of persons entering with me. The main building location is on hill due to which it is not easily seen. The campus is huge with many college students and staff around. I could not spot any sign board showing direction towards building hence kept on asking for directions to students around. After negotiating few steep climbs, we could see the colonial building.

There is a café at the entrance which has ticket counter. The colonial architecture also houses museum inside it for which one need to take separate ticket. Due to lack of time, we just took ticket for external access.

The architecture reminds of British Imperial period.

Took stroll around building. It was a beautiful structure from all side.

This detour ate one and half hour of our time. We resumed our journey towards Manali by taking Shimla – Ghagas – Mandi – Aut route. There were occasional broken patches on section from Shimla to Mandi. I could see lot of fuel and food outlets around. Mandi is busy town with some local traffic, it has service stations of almost all brands.

We were greeted with some terrible dusty roads around Sambal till Bajaura. Saw tunnel construction and road widening work happening due to which there were lot of undulations on this stretch. The construction workers keep sprinkling water on road to minimize dusty environment which makes road slushy. One splash of water from opposite side traffic can make your entire car dirty.

River Beas flowing beside road

Inside Aut tunnel

Ahead of Bajaura there are smooth roads going to Manali.

We were excited to see snow clade mountains very near to us. The authorities take green tax of Rs.200 per car to enter Manali which can be paid via Fastag. In evening we reached our hotel and called out for the day.

Day 7: Manali – Sissu – Keylong – Manali

Big day for us! Today we will achieve for what we have come this long. From last 2 days I was enquiring about snow to which many said that I need to reach Lahaul valley or Rohatang for it. The option of Rohatang was ruled out as it was close for traffic which left us with Lahaul valley. With great excitement we started our journey. Many tourist vehicles were overtaking us all through the road out of which maximum vehicles were Maruti Alto. A light drizzle happened after crossing Nehrukund.

We reached near Solan valley which was hustling bustling with tourists. There were ATV rides moving all around. Spotted shops renting snow suite and boots lined up beside road. So many tourist vehicles were parked on both sides of road which has left a narrow passage for others. We were not interested in any adventure activity hence moved ahead from this crowdy place.

While approaching towards Atal tunnel we sighted snow beside road. It was wonderful experience to touch and handle it.

The roads towards Atal tunnel were fantastic with snow on both sides.


Traffic movement inside Atal Tunnel keeps on changing as per authorities’ decision. That day two-wheeler traffic was restricted for safety reason while rest of the traffic was allowed to go till Darcha.

Looking so many Vlogs I was under impression that our car will be stopped by cops for checks, but nothing happened. We straightway driven our car inside tunnel. It was delightful experience to drive inside one of the longest tunnels. The speed limit near entrance and exit is 40Kmph while rest of the tunnel is 60Kmph.


It was altogether a different world when we exited tunnel at north pole. The area was surrounded by mountains covered with snow. The cops at tunnel exit were not allowing anyone to stop or park their cars hence we clicked this photo from car itself.

Snow everywhere

After this bridge the left turn goes to Lahaul valley while right goes to Spiti valley. We took left and continued Manali - Leh highway towards Sissu.

Snow at Sissu

Hardly any tourist on this spot

Chenab river gusting in snow.

The feeling of mission success was on our faces as we started enjoying inside that white snow. I was thankful to almighty for giving us cheery on top experience by making very light snow fall for 10-15 min.

Slowly tourist vehicles started to arrive making this place filled with lots of people. Professional photographers were also available for clicking your photos in snow at some nominal price. Few ladies renting traditional Himachal costumes were also present along with these photographers.

We enjoyed a lot here before resuming our journey towards Keylong. The drive till keylong was planned just to get feel of Manali-Leh highway as Leh-Ladakh trip is still in my bucket list.

Saw this section beside road having many dry pine trees

We came across a check post where we need to pay Rs.200 per car as development charge of SADA (Special Area Development Authority) of Lahaul valley.

Ahead of this check post there were almost no other tourist taxis hence entire road, snow and mountains were for us. We done lot of pitstops to play in snow which was away from crowd.



Our trusted partner in all our trips

Beautiful mountains covered in snow on the way to Keylong




We had our lunch in Keylong. The mountains were looking amazing from Keylong


From Keylong we started journey back to Manali. On the way we again took some pitstops and enjoyed in snow. It was somewhere around 4pm when we crossed Atal tunnel towards Manali. We reached our hotel with great feeling of satisfaction. The temperature started to drop in evening which went to 3 degrees in night.

At dinner time we tasted popular dish of this region named “Veg Thupka”

Tried some Veg Biryani after long time. It was delicious!!

Day 8: Manali

It was a bit cloudy in morning. This day we have kept for local sightsee and some shopping. After breakfast we headed towards Vashishta Temple. Approach road after exiting main highway was very narrow and steep. The entire stretch passes through crowdy market. There is only one private parking lot where they charge Rs.100 per car.

Few ladies carrying “Angora Rabbits” were standing near gate of temple. One can click photo carrying rabbit for Rs.20.

Beautiful entrance gate of temple.

Temple has wooden architecture

Main sanctum

Hot water springs are present behind temple where one can take bath. Authorities have done great job by making separate kundas for gents and ladies.

We came here early still we got some rush. I can’t imagine how crowdy this area would be in later part of day. Outside of temple there were ample number of restaurants.

View from parking lot

We reached back to main road and started to drive towards Mall Road. The paid car parking lot of mall road is located beside main highway itself. There are few steps next to parking lot which takes you to mall road.

We decided to dedicate first half for temples and second half for shopping. The best option to reach famous Hidimba Devi temple in old Manali is by auto from Mall Road. We hired auto which was now passing through some very narrow roads. After climbing last steep climb auto reached parking lot. As expected, the parking lot was limited and was made messy by crisscross parking of local cabbies.

Tall pine trees all around

Hidimba Devi temple

The temple has wooden carved interiors with some skulls hanging at top. The experience inside main sanctum is soothing one. It feels like you are in different era.


Temple dedicated to Ghatotkach is just few meters walkable distance from Hidimba temple. There are direction boards for helping tourists. That few meters of walkable distance were filled up with various activities like photo shoot wearing Himachals traditional costume, horse ride, Yak photography and numerous activities for kids. Few saffron sellers were also present, but one need to be careful while purchasing it as maximum time it is duplicate.

Few tourists were taking pics climbing on these yaks for Rs.50

Temple dedicated to Veer Ghatotkach is not like any other typical temple but it’s a tree temple

Small flea market is present near this temple. Museum of Himachal culture and Folk art is present few meters ahead of flea market. Most of the tourists hire autos on full day basis or To and Fro basis hence we didn’t get any auto near parking lot. We decided to walk little further towards main road.

Interesting structure of some temple

On main road as well, we could not get any empty auto. We planned to head at Manu temple in old Manali which as per Google maps was showing approximate 1Km. Instead of wasting time for waiting for auto we decided to visit temple by walk.

Arc of village where Manu temple is located

Some old localities

Mansalu river on the way

We started walking on steepest climb after crossing Mansalu river. The road was lined up with leather items shops, cafés, and tattoos shops which gives feeling of hippy zone. We could now see temple in densely populated area. There is no parking facility nearby hence it is better to come here by auto. The roads narrower due to which making U turn itself can be a task.

Photography is not allowed inside temple hence clicked this beautiful surrounding from temple.

Luckily while returning we got one auto which has come up to drop some locals. We headed back to Mall Road.

Durga Mata Temple near old Bus stand at Mall Road

Mall road is walking plaza where vehicles are not allowed.

Our flag hosted at Mall Road

There are many restaurants on mall road as well as near old bus stand. Tried popular dish of Himachal named “Sidhu”

Eight in one ice-cream.

One can get good quality of jackets and sweaters in cheap rate depending on your bargaining skills. Before leaving mall road we had this wonderful walnut brownie

Took back our car from parking lot and headed to our hotel. The evening was cold and cloudy!

Thread Starter #4
Mar 19, 2014
Day 9: Manali – Chandigarh – Karnal

The climate was cold in early morning when we started our return journey. Due to lack of time, we have kept Naggar Palace and Manikaran for next time and planned to visit Dechen Monastery in Kullu on the way.

Gmaps shown us very narrow and steepest road after Bhuntar Airport. I heard my instinct and stopped car beside main road itself to ask some local about proper road. Met an auto guy who told me to make right turn some 500meters ahead to connect with Gompa road reaching Monastery. He also added that he can take us To and Fro from Monastery for Rs.100. Looking at long drive today I agreed with him.

The roads were quite wide as compared to previous patch shown by gmaps. The area was surrounded by dense trees. There is no entry for vehicle after Gompa gate hence finally need to walk for some 300meters to reach Monastery

We were the only tourist there that time apart from monks who were busy in their activities. Monastery was colorful and calm from inside

Huge idol of Lord Buddha in middle at main sanctum.



Monastery was surrounded by accommodations made for monks. A garden and small playground was also present.

We came back to the gate where the auto guy was waiting for us to take us back to our car. Near Kullu market we stopped at roadside eatery and had some delicious and jumbo parathas for our breakfast

Rough roads from Kullu till Mandi. Came across lot of truck traffic between Sundernagar to Rupnagar which made our drive a bit tiresome. The broken patches in ghat section had made it more challenging to keep overtaking crawling trucks.

It was 4pm when we hit highway towards Chandigarh by saying bye-bye to mountains. After long days we got some straight roads hence started zipping through it. From Ambala onwards there was lot of fast-moving local traffic along with us. We reached our hotel in Karnal around 7:30pm and ended the longest and tiresome day.

Day 10: Karnal - Delhi

One of the busy highways with lot of local traffic doing some crazy overtakes. I was driving peacefully on left lane near Haryana border till one cop jumped in front of my car and asked me to take my car aside.

He performed routine document and license check in which he did not found anything. After looking at my car he said that I it does not have HSRP which is mandatory. I struggled to convince him that MH does not provide HSRP for older cars, but he was in no mood to listen. He was adamant to make me pay fine of Rs.3000. There was no point in arguing further hence with some requesting tone I was able to settle the matter for Rs.500 and left from there.[gun]

Within couple of kilometers, we entered Delhi. We were thinking of parking our car somewhere and exploring Delhi via metro. Somehow, I felt it little bit confusing as we were not knowing which metro line is to be taken and where we need to drop. Hence finally decided to explore Delhi by our car.

We reached Rajghat to pay our homage to final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi. The area is very clean and well maintained with lots of greenery around.

From here we went to Chandani Chowk. This is old Delhi area hence the streets were bit crowdy with buses and local traffic. The authorities have made good facility by providing a huge parking space. From parking lot, we walked for few meters to reach famous “Parathe Wali Gali”

The narrow passage has some oldest eateries serving delicious parathas.

Few shops were displaying namkeens and sweets


Red Fort was at walkable distance from Chandani Chowk but while walking we came to know that its entrance and ticket counter are located at opposite side. We opted for online ticket after looking some long queues at ticket counter.

We need to do a long walk inside to reach main entry in fort because it is located at opposite side of ticket counter. Lot of tourists were walking along with us in that hot sunny afternoon.

The view of Red Fort as seen from childhood days on television can be clicked from walkway itself.

Way into fort

Main gate inside fort

The passage from main gate till open area of fort is the oldest market known as Chatta Bazaar or Meena Bazaar. Many shops selling ladies’ purses, dresses, imitation jewellery and goggles are lined on both sides. Mind it that none of the vendor accepts digital payment so cash is the king here!

After crossing crowdy Chatta Bazzar we were greeted with lush greenery and clean pathways going to Rang Mahal

This building host archaeological museum



The area inside fort is vast and surrounded by big trees. Lot of walking is involved to explore everything. Our legs were already straining due to walks hence we sat to relax on benches kept by authorities before proceeding out.

Flag hosting point inside fort

The security checks ticket during exits as well hence one need to keep it safely. Thankfully, the exit of fort was next to main road hence we quickly reached parking lot just by crossing it. It was blazing hot that afternoon.

With help of google maps we reached India Gate and found that entry is closed. After enquiring we came to know that entry restriction from Covid times has not lifted yet. Tourist were just clicking photos from main road and moving ahead. We also did same!!

After driving some couple of kilometers, we reached “Kutub Minar”. There is vast parking opposite ticket counter which seems to remain always full due to heavy tourists’ footfall. It was task to find empty parking slot.

Kutub Minar

There are many tombs inside the complex along with some broken architecture.

Iron pillar also known as Ashoka Pillar which is standing rust free from years.

Tried to click both Kutub Minar and Iron pillar in one frame

After spending couple of more minutes, we exited towards main road. Had some fresh cold lemon juice to cool down ourselves. Got this amazing view from outside

Our plan to visit Lotus Temple was dropped due to hectic day and heat. We reached our hotel to relax.

Day 11: Delhi – Noida

We reached Noida for attending a function at my friend’s house. This day was a sort of one day break from our trip schedule.

Thread Starter #5
Mar 19, 2014
Day 12: Noida – Vrindavan – Mathura – Agra

We started our journey from Noida. It was morning rush hours hence along with us there were many cars and office buses till Greater Noida. Within couple of kilometers, we connected to Yamuna Expressway. It was delight to cruise on this highway till Vrindavan exit. Later we encountered lot of city traffic till Prem Mandir.

Many paid parking slots were available opposite the entrance of Prem Mandir. it was 12:10pm where temple closing time was 12:30pm. We parked our car at nearest slot of main gate and hurriedly entered inside temple.

Had peaceful darshan inside temple. The complex has vast area around it which is very well developed and kept clean. There are few scenes based on life events of Krishna. I found Govardhan Parvat scene very detailed one.

Vrindavan and Gujarat are similar when it comes to temple timings. Almost all temples get closed by 12:30pm and open again at 5:30pm. Following this time even Banke Bihari Temple was also closed hence there was no point visiting there. We left by keeping rest of the temples for our next visit.

The day I saw “Ik Mulaquat” song from Bollywood movie “Dream Girl” we decided to visit its shooting location at Kusum Sarovar when we come to Vrindavan.
(Photo Courtesy : From Google Images)

Kusum Sarovar is in Goverdhan village near Vrindavan. I was driving on that single laned and tiresome road till I came across barricades with few cops some 2 Kms before Kusum Sarovar. After enquiring came to know that the said road comes under “Pradakshina Marg” hence no other vehicles are allowed except local village vehicles. To go ahead tourist either need to walk or hire auto.

I parked my car on the open ground near barricades where they took Rs.100 as parking charge. The auto takes fix charge of Rs.200 to and fro from parking to Kusum Sarovar. The second shocker came after reaching Kusum Sarovar was that it is kept closed for tourist from Covid time. We just took some photo clicks from outside.

Reached back to parking lot and resumed our journey towards Mathura. The plan was to see Shri Krishna Janmasthan and proceed ahead. When we reached near temple, we came to know that there is still one hour of time for its opening. We decided to consume time by visiting Nand’s palace at Gokul.

The Yamuna bridge passing towards Gokul is in bad shape with lots of deep potholes. This bridge sees lot of two-wheeler traffic. We reached the narrow parking spot from where we need to walk for few meters in some narrow alleys to reach Nand’s Mahal. There were many priests and devotees inside due to which It took some time to get the darshan. Photography is not allowed inside temple.

Refer these reviews to set expectation before proceeding this place


This area sees very hot climate post noon. We reached main road and had some lemon soda to cool ourselves before proceeding towards Krishna Birthplace. Thankfully the temple was just opened by the time we reached there. One cannot carry any sort of luggage, bags, phone, and car keys inside. They need to be deposited at the counter outside.

We purchased special pedha of Mathura from Brijwasi before resuming our journey towards Agra. It was a task to join Yamuna Expressway from Mathura. The road is single lane, dusty along with heavy truck traffic. It was breeze to drive on Yamuna expressway after which we joined Agra ring road. They still accept cash instead of Fastag. Due to ongoing Metro work inside Agra city, there was huge traffic jam. Lot of patience is needed to negotiate local traffic inside Agra. On the way towards our hotel, we purchased famous “Petha” and “Dal Moth” from Panchi Petha outlet. We reached our hotel and called off the big tiring day.

Day 13: Agra – Gwalior - Indore

We started from Agra towards our today’s destination which was Indore. The roads at the outskirts of Agra city have many rough patches and broken tarmac. Rest of the section till Gwalior bypass was excellent with sparse traffic. Gwalior bypass seemed too long to cover. Rest of the road till Dewas was very good. I could see the scarcity of decent restaurants on this patch. Dewas to Indore is fantastic stretch with 100kmph speed limit. Most of the MP highways are notorious for cattle’s hence need to keep a good eye on road.

Indore always welcome us with its lot of traffic which we are now used to. We reached our hotel post evening. We took rest for some time and decided to visit our regular spot, “Sarafa Bazaar” for food. As usual it was busy with lots of people and food stalls. From all these years I could say that vendors selling dishes like Gulab jamuns, rabdis, samosas etc. were very less when compared to vendors selling Pav Bhaji, Chinese, Tandoors, Fruit shots, coconut water etc.

Day 14: Indore – Pune

Today was the last leg of our journey hence done a late start from Indore. We have done numerous drives on this section hence it is byhearted by now. The roads are good with speed limit varying from 80, 90, 95 till Nashik. Saw speed interceptor vans located at Sagamner bypass and at descend of Chandanpuri ghat. Encountered usual bottle necks at every signal from Chakan till Bhosari. After negotiating through typical Pune traffic, we reached home safely.

This trip has given us lot of memories and thrill of driving in mountains of Himalayas. The dream of seeing snow and snowfall both were covered on this trip. Thanks for reading!! [:)]

Few points from my experience:-
  • Start early each day to cover the distance. Do not rely on google maps in mountains
  • It needs some patience to drive in mountains. The speed normally remains within 40kmph due to lot of twist and turns hence do not underestimate travel time based on kilometers. Avoid driving post sunset on unfamiliar roads in Himachal Pradesh.
  • To be honest I felt Shimla to be a hyped place. It is heavily crowded with frequent jams on narrow and steep roads. I was mostly on 1st and 2nd gear in entire Shimla.
  • Felt some spots like Solan Valley and Kufri has nothing to offer. It is just like entering some adventure park with lot of tourists.
  • Don’t take car inside snow. Saw one Innova stuck in snow which later came out after lot of struggles
  • Keep your mobile safe while playing in snow else you won’t find it again if fallen. Secondly, there is no need to get snow suite and boots on rent. I was comfortable by wearing two round neck T-shirts along with sweater and pair of sport shoes.
  • Movement of traffic inside Atal Tunnel is decided by authorities based on climate and road condition hence always get firsthand information before proceeding
Oct 4, 2012
@GrandRk Great Write-up. Thank you for sharing. The images of snow in this season of summer are very soothing and inviting. Did you face any issue with your car for climbing the steep climbs on the way to Manali or while on to the way to Rohtang pass? I am curios to know because I also have a hatchback and may do the exact same trip in search of snow from 20th may with 10 days in hand. The only difference will be the starting point which is Hyderabad in my case. Will it be too hot in may to do this trip?
Last edited:
Thread Starter #7
Mar 19, 2014
@Need_for_Speed Thanks for your comments. In the entire trip I struggled inside Shimla City as the traffic was insane and climbs are steep. The road to Jakhu was test for me. Rest of the road till Manali and beyond was not an issue for car. In May I doubt whether you will get snow and yes, the temperature in MP,RJ and PB will be very high.
Oct 4, 2012
@GrandRk Thanks for your prompt response. Google Maps shows me the Hyderabad-Nagpur-Sagar-Noida-Kurukhsetra route to Manali. It is NH-44 all the way. From my search on Google and from weather sites, I feel there is a probability that snow will be there in Rohtang Pass till mid of June. In weather apps like Accuweather, the forecast is that it will snow until 25th May 2023. There is a forecast of snow on some days in the month of May in Rohtang Pass. My concern is about the heat in the month of May in Northern India.
Thread Starter #9
Mar 19, 2014
Mostly the snow might be in Sissu Lahaul Valley post Atal Tunnel. The heat in North India is too much to from 11am till 5:00pm

Top Bottom