The hike of a “lifetime” in the Indian Himalayas …
- .. "Manki point!"

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I should have probably included this one in my book on fitness recollections, but I forgot.

My bad, and anyway, I’ll talk about it here, but first, if you haven’t gotten the book as yet – HERE is where you can get it.

And now, on to the recollection itself and the famous “Manki” point in Kasuali, Himachal Pradesh, India.

It’s one of those charming colonial era “hill stations” (as they call ‘em here) that I so love to visit.

One of those quiet getaways in the mountains where you can walk, walk, walk all day long, and get all the exercise your body needs without ever feeling like you’re working out.

And Kasauli is safe too, unlike some other spots in the mountains. The Army maintains a base somewhere up there, and they’re no doubt responsible for the local policing etc, and anyway … great food, great hikes, and of course huge monkeys all over the place.

Which brings me to the central point of this dispatch.

My hike on “Manki point” (monkey spelt another way  – -hey, as Twain once said, “I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way!”) … a 10-15 minute climb that KICKS MY RUMPUS – bonafide ass kicking – EVERY TIME I attempt it.

Last time was in 2009, I believe. Been a while since I’ve been there, and though the FIRST time I went there was with family way, way back in 2000 (I think?) … I’ve gone there a lot over the years.

And believe me, I’ve gone there AFTER my China hill adventures, so this hike kicked my ass – AFTER I was used to the China hike, which should tell you a lot!

So what is this Manki point, you ask.

Well it’s an old temple situated at the very top of a SUPER STEEP hill.

You walk about 10-15 minutes out of town at a leisurely pace uphill (I think) and while that alone is enough to kick the average lard ass in the booty, what is waiting for you AFTERWARDS at the Air Force base there (again, the Army and in this case the Air Force seems to administer the place) will make your jaws drop, and legs sag in sheer anticipation. Hehe.

Suddenly, you come across this base and the first thing you notice are monkeys galore all over the place.

Monkeys are worshipped as a “God” in Indian culture (no not me – yours truly has always been an atheist) and this temple is dedicated to the monkey god, I believe.

And as you start your hike up the STEEP path that leads to the temple, it sometimes feels you’re walking upwards in a VERTICAL manner, so steep is that hike!

The first time I heard about this hike, I was like … no problem, I’ll do this easily. Hey. I’ve got experience hiking hills daily, and …

… and a short while later, after the blubbery mess of sweat I turned into at the top, I turned around and acknowledged the hike for what it is – one of the toughest short hikes I’ve EVER done, hehe.

I still remember doing this with my Dad once.

We did it.

Back to hotel.

“Dad, let’s do it again tomorrow”, I piped up.


And the sheer vehemence and (unintended) FORCE with which he said those words still make me laugh. Yes – that hike was that darn tough, and if you’re even in them neck of the woods, I highly recommend YOU to try it.

Guaranteed booty kicker.

And that’s it for now, my friend. I’ll be back soon!


Rahul Mookerjee

P.S. – Wait, I forgot to plug my product “Advanced Hill Training”, my friend – or what USED to be named that. I’ve now renamed it as “Eat More – Weigh Less”, and it’s been a roaring success due to obvious reason. Here is where you can grab it – –

P.S #2 – Be careful of them monkeys at Manki point – they’re adept at snatching food and handbags, for one! Hehe.

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