Written by Inderjot, MJ

On September 21st 9th grade began an adventure to explore the district of Himachal Pradesh. With high spirits our departure was smooth leaving MPA Academy, Amritsar to Mandi our first stop; then to our final destination Manali.

On our way to Mandi, we made a stop at the famous Gurdwara Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji where we were able to see some of the belongings of Guru Ji even to this day.  As the story goes, Guru Gobind Singh was invited by the Raja of Mandi and when the time came for him to leave, the King of Mandi humbly asked Guru Ji who will protect Mandi in future; in response to this question, Guru Ji aimed his gun at a pitcher floating in the river and fired, the pitcher instead of sinking kept floating. Seeing this, Guru Gobind assured the King of Mandi that like the pitcher floated even after being attacked, so will Mandi remain safe from any attack.

We then arrived and settled into our Hotel in Mandi where we were greeted and served dinner. We had an early evening heading to bed shortly after dinner and meditation. We woke up early to the beautiful mountain landscape, starting our morning off with yoga and meditation.

We then continued our journey to Manali, traveling along the River Beas, enjoying the scenic view and stopping along the way. When we arrived at our final destination, Manali, we settled into our hotel and enjoyed an evening in the local market, exploring different shops and eating good food.

The next day after breakfast our group was collected by two trek guides who drove us up to Rohtang Pass ,which is known for its scenic beauty. Upon arrival at the very top of the mountain, we explored the landscape together taking a meditative breath walk around the vast landscape, stopping at parts to chat and meditate. On our way back down the mountain, we stopped to enjoy some corn on the cob. Further down the mountain we went Paragliding off the low point of the mountain all the way down to the bottom meeting point to enjoy some maggie noodles and chai together. After the ride to the hotel with an awesome scenic view, we settled in for the night.

The following morning, we headed out early after breakfast and meditation to visit the famous Gurudwara Manikaran Sahib and the Hot Springs in Kullu, which is located in the Parvati Valley in the district of Himachal Pradesh.  In the Gurdwara we went to show our respects and enjoyed Langar (community kitchen in a Gurdwara, where a free meal is served to all the visitors). The view from the Gurdwara bridge was breathtaking and the surrounding landscape surreal.

Our last full day in Manali we went to a local paintball range where the kids had a blast playing speed paintball. Afterward, we enjoyed the town market and strolled along the Beas River; and then headed back to the hotel for a nice bonfire and dinner to end our trip. On the following morning we headed back to Amritsar with relaxed minds and open hearts.


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