I don’t think I’ve ever written about my trip to India in 2011 (when I got married) and the honeymoon with my beautiful wife in Manali and Agra; home of the Taj Mahal. I think I’ll write first about the honeymoon in a series of short posts and then in a different post, the memories with my grandparents that India brought back for me.
Manali is a hill station, a small village that is located far northeast of India. It is a pristine land that is surrounded by greenery and deeply hidden away in the deep valleys of the Himalayas. One must travel by plane to get to the outskirts of this land then travel by car through many winding passages for nearly 7 hours to get to Manali. The roads are treacherous, but the beauty of this land is unmatched.
Manali is named for “Manu,” the first King who ruled the Earth after saving humankind from a great flood (according to Hinduism). “Manali” translates roughly into the “Valley of Gods.”
The architecture is remarkably clean and beautiful. Many of the dwellings in Manali have high vaulted ceilings with strong sloping roofs with gently muted colors ranging from soft greens to bright yellows. Some of them resembled resorts, but I highly doubt that they are resorts because the state has strict limits on who can build properties there and who cannot (but all the same, I wouldn’t mind owning a vacation home there someday).
Manali gets about ten inches of rain every month and almost 6 feet of rain in an average year. It rained nearly the entire time that we were there. I saw cows drenched in water walking across the road and kids playing cricket on the streets as we drove towards our hotel.
I never knew how much I missed India until I saw my rustic childhood memories revived before my eyes.