Next time you travel to majestic Manali, don’t forget to taste terrific (well, not in size) trout fish. Your trip to this hill town would be absolutely incomplete without a visit to Mayur Restaurant (Tel: 0192-252316) on Old Mission Road. We went on a road trip to Manali from Shimla via Mandi. My journalist friend Sujit (in Delhi) told me: “You must taste trout in Manali. Don’t miss that.”
After visiting Manu temple we reached the downtown Manali around 12.45pm.
Manu Temple is located in old Manali, at a distance of three kilometers from the main market. The temple is dedicated to the Indian sage Manu, who is said to be the creator of the world and the writer of Manusmriti. Though the temple is situated in a congested place, visitors from across the globe come to visit it. The fascinating location of Manu Temple, on the bank side of river Beas, adds to its attraction. The temple was rebuilt in 1992, when the vaulted ceiling and marble floors were added.
Manu Temple remains one of the primary Manali tourist attractions. It is believed to be the place where Manu meditated after stepping on earth. Manali has a distinct historical background that appeals to most people who visit the pilgrim spot. According to Hindu mythology, Manu is the divine creator of the human race in the world. It was in this region that the sage dwelt and meditated. Whenever you visit Manali, make sure you see the temple too.
Downtown Manali was bustling with activities as we stepped on the Manali Mall. The market square was swamped with tourists. “I haven’t seen such a maddening crowd around this time (first week of October) here. It’s because of Kashmir floods. People can’t visit J&K. Hence the frenetic footfall in Manali,” said a shopkeeper who sells utensils.
YUMMY TROUT AT MAYUR RESTAURANT
We walked into the Mayur Restaurant around 1.15pm. We were overwhelmed by the quiet and tastefully decorated interior! Even though it was lunch time, it was not crowded. Well, people started coming from around 1.45pm.
The restaurant offers a variety of mouth-watering trout dishes ((see photo). We ordered plain grilled trout and tandoori-do-piaza trout. “You’ve to wait for at least half an hour for the preparation,” said a steward politely.
“The interior was conceived by our owner,|” said the steward.
“Who is he?”
“He’s Naresh Sood.”
The dishes came after 40 minutes.
Wow! I had tasted trout in Papua New Guinea many years ago. But this was awesome. It’s simply out-of-the-world.
Words defy to express my gastronomic pleasure!
After the lunch, I met Mr Sood. Himself an accomplished chef, Mr Sood knows various types of cuisines. “I set up this restaurant in 1979. My brother and I manage it,” he said. “Today’s youth don’t know what good food is. They love junk food only,” he rued. “One has to wait if one wants to savor good food. But today people don’t have time. They want fast and immediate service.”
“You’ve tasted Rainbow trout. I get it from a local fish farm. But Brown trout (available in Himalayan cold water streams) is tastier,” he said.
Mr Sood’s restaurant has received visitors like former PM Vajpayee and his family members. Whenever Bollywood film-stars come here for shooting, they come here for lunch or dinner, said Mr Sood.
Take a pledge for a fabulous fishy trip next time to mind-blowing Manali!
(To be continued)