A beautiful hill station in Himachal Pradesh, nestled in between snowy mountains and thick forests, flanked by the Beas River, Manali is truly a travellers paradise. Situated at an altitude of 1950 meters, Manali offers stunning views of the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar range of mountains, which are considered to be the dwelling place of Gods and Goddesses.
Legend has it that Manali was founded by an ancient sage Manu whose ark found its resting place here after a great flood. Manali, which literally means “the resting place of Manu” is a popular tourist destination and offers a welcome respite from the heat of the plains during the summer months.
In and Around
The 15th-century Hadimba Temple was built to commemorate Hadimba Devi, from the Indian spiritual epic Mahabharata. What’s equally striking is the cedar forest that surrounds the temple, which adds to its earthy appeal.
Since a lot of Tibetans live in Manali there are many beautiful Buddhist monasteries here. A few of the popular ones are the Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa Monastery, which is famous for medium size statue of Lord Buddha and multi coloured wall paintings. The other popular monastery is the Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa, which is popular for a large statue of Buddha with a golden face.
The high mountain pass of Rohtang lies at an altitude of 3,978 meters above sea level and located in the eastern hills of the Pir Panjal Range. The pass lies at a picturesque location with the rivers Beas and Chenab that lies to the southern and northern side of Rohtang Pass. Rohtang Pass is famous for its picturesque views of the valley and various hidden waterfalls. Rohtang Pass is a must visit on your trip Kullu-Manali.
Solang valley is also known as the ‘Snow Point’ and is famous for hosting various winter adventure sports like skiing, parachuting and paragliding etc. The Solang Valley is located at an average altitude of 2,560 meters above sea level and is also one of the favorite trekking hotspots in the region. The views from the point are magnificent and give views to snow capped peaks and glaciers.
Located 2.5 km above the Mall, Old Manali still maintains that feel of a mountain village and has many old wood and stone homes. Apart from that, there is also the Manu Maharishi Temple which is dedicated to Manu, the founder of Manali.
Nehru Kund refers to a natural cold water spring that originates from the Brighu River. The springs are located 5 Kilometers from Manali on the national highway to Leh towards Keylong. The place is named after Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru who was said to drink from this very spring whenever he visited Manali. The place is a serene and beautiful picnic spot which is sure to refresh your senses.
Vashist Hot Water Springs
The place lies at a distance of 4-5 kilometers from Manali and is situated across the Beas River. The village of Vashist is famous for its sulphurous Hot Water Springs and is a popular attraction among tourist and pilgrims. The springs can also be enjoyed in privacy at the Turkish-styles bath houses which are available here. The village is also famous for its stone temples which are dedicated to a local saint Vashishta.
Basheshwar Mahadev Temple
Located at a distance of 15 kilometers from Kullu at a small village called Bajura, Bhasheswar Mahadev Temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity lord Shiva. The temple was constructed back in the 9th century AD and is famous for its intricate stone carvings and various small idols of the Hindu deities like Lord Vishnu, Ganesha, Durga and Laxmi.
Sultanpur Palace was formerly called as the Rupi Palace and is newly built on the remnants of the older which was damaged in an earthquake. The palace houses various wall paintings and its marvelous blend of Pahari style architecture and colonial style. The palace is the residence of the erstwhile Rulers of the Kullu valley.
Bijli Mahadev Temple
Located at an altitude of 2,460 meters above sea level, Bijli Mahadev Temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva. The temple is located across the Beas River and can be reached by a moderately easy trek. The name Bijli Mahadev refers to the 60 feet high lighting rod that is situated in the temple and is struck by lightning throughout the year.
Beas River is often described as the Heart of Kullu valley and is known for its various camping spots and water sports. The river also marks the eastern border of Alexander the Great’s empire in 326 BC. The flow of the river is very fast and is not fit for swimming, but is the perfect for Rafting. The shores of the Beas are famous picnic spots and the best place to relax during the evenings.
Ma Sharvari Temple
Ma Sharvari Devi is one of the ancestral deities of the Kullu Kings and a manifestation of the Goddess Durga. The views encountered on the way to the temple are quiet picturesque and the temple itself provides some breath taking views of the entire valley. The best time to visit the temple is during the Hindu festival of Dussehra when the festivities are at their prime.
The Manali Gompa
A new Monastery built in the 1960’s it is an important gathering place for buddhists from Lalaul, Spiti, kinnaur, Ladakh, Nepal and Tibet.The Gompa is famous for its wall paintings, Chortens and a large statue of Lord Buddha.
Kothi situated at the foothill of Rohtang pass and is just 12 kilometers from Manali at an altitude of 2500 m. It offers a magnificent view of snow capped mountains and glaciers, the Beas river flow through a very deep and narrow gorge at this point. Kothi used to be a camping site when Rohtang pass had to be climbed on foot.
Shopping in Manali
The best place to go shopping in Manali is The Mall, where you will find traditional shawls, rugs, caps and footwear. Other places around The Mall where you will find interesting items to shop are Thai Market, Hong Kong market, Tibetan Market, Dragon shopping complex etc. The Old Manali market is also a good place to buy fresh fruit jams, juices and pickles. Don’t forget to bargain as shopkeepers here quote an extremely high price.
Activities in Manali
Manali, your gateway to another recreation, hiking tours, camping adventures, yoga retreats, pilgrimages, travel planning and much more
River Rafting is an exciting sport for those who are adventurously inclined and reasonably fit the 15 km (appr.) stretch of river Beas down stream from Kullu to Jhiri provides an excellent opportunity for the lovers of this sport to enjoy the thrill of the challenging and continuous rapids.
Para gliding is organised at Solang Valley, 13 KM.away from Manali. This valley offers one of the best and safest sites for amature flying. From april to december any clear and sunny day is suitable for flying.
Skiing is one sport that has gained immense popularity all over the world and in the past decade have become quiet attention grabbing sport because of the Himalayas. Manali has a small skiing slope at Solang. It is just 14 km away from Manali. A number of skiing enthusiasts visit Solang during winters.
Camp in lush green meadows of Solang Valley during summer and spring for a truly “close to nature” experience.
Bike to the highest motorable pass in the world, the Khardung La 18,370ft. This is a ride to some of the highest mountain passes in India, and amongst the most exhilarating. Beginning at Manali, the tour will take you to Rohtang Pass, Baralachala Pass (4,892 m), Lachalangla Pass (5,065m), Tanglang la (5,360m) and the highest motorable pass in the world Khardung la (18,370ft ).
Angling is a source of recreation to innumerable naturists belonging to different strata of the society. Himachal, with its many rivers and streams, offers vast opportunities for the sport of fishing and angling. Whether you’re the type who likes to string a worm onto a makeshift line and catch your own dinner, or a thoroughbred professional angler with the latest in fishing tackle – Himachal’s waters can be a pleasant surprise.
Rock climbing is often seen as the basic stage for mountain climbing. Yet, this may also be treated as an independent sport, where the most basic level is climbing or descending a rock face, using only hands and feet and a safety rope.
Quad or ATV
Quad(ATV) in summers or snowmobile in winter. Quad is an adventure sports option for all ages and is popular at Solang valley. Many operators offer ATV/ Snowmobile at Solang Valley.
Exhilirating experience as you hurl down the hill in a ball in a large, transparent plastic ball.
Rappelling is the practice of sliding down a rope to descend a rock face in a controlled manner. The technique was developed by climbers, but has turned into a sport of its own. When you want to descend, there are basically two options: you can walk or climb down, or you can rappel. When the terrain is easy, walking or climbing down is the best choice. But when the terrain becomes too difficult rappelling is the faster, easier and safer solution.
Trans Himalayan Jeep safaris gives you the opportunity to safari across the remote Kinnaur, Spiti & lahaul valleys & ending in Ladakh. Safari includes travel the off-beaten paths of Himalayas in jeeps. Himalayan region is not just suitable for those who like to trek or climb the snowy mountains, But there is a very unique kind of thrill present in Jeep Safari, especially for those who like to travel through the lesser known destinations.
Short treks of not more than three hours will take you to naturally-formed ice Shiva temple or to Solang water fall.
The best time to visit Manali is from September to June.
How to Reach
Bhuntar, which is located 50 km from Manali is the closest airport to Manali. The Bhuntar airport is well connected by flights to Delhi. There are taxi services available between Bhuntar and Manali.
Jogindernagar railway station is the nearest railhead to Manali that connects the hill station with several important cities of the country. Chandigarh and Ambala are other options to reach Manali by train. From the railheads, one can get several mode of transportation including taxi and bus at reasonable cost.
Manali is very well-connected to important tourist destinations like Leh, Shimla, Kullu, Dharamshala and New Delhi by means of a network of state-run as well as private buses. The bus journey from Delhi to Manali is 550 kilometres, and it is advisable to book your tickets in the air-conditioned Volvo coaches, as the buses are more comfortable than ordinary ones, keeping in mind the long distance of the journey.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
Solang Valley Resort
V.P.O. Palchan, Manali,
Kulu, Himachal Pradesh 175131
Span Resort and Spa
Kullu Manali Highway, Katrain,
Dist. Kullu, Manali,
Himachal Pradesh 175129
Manu Allaya Resort spa
Sunny Side, Chadiyari, Manali,
Himachal Pradesh 175131
Where to Eat
Casa Bella Vista
Log Huts Road,
Off Old Manali Road,
Dylan’s Toasted & Roasted
Near the bridge,