40kms from Kullu, Manali’s scenic beauty is breathtaking with majestic snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. On one side of Manali, one can notice the crystal clear Beas running through the town while on the other there are deodar and pine trees and fruit orchards adding to beauty of this little hill town. Manali is picturesque hamlet with sights and sounds of birds, trees and flowers.
Location of Manali
Manali is a small town located at the confluence of he Beas and Manalsu rivers in the northern Kullu Valley. It stands at a height of 6,726 ft above sea level and is situated at the end of the Kulu Valley on the National Highway leading to Leh.
What to see in Manali?
Hidimba Temple: Hidimba Temple, dedicated to Hidimba, the wife of Bhima is also known as the Dhoongri Temple and is a chief attraction in Manali. This is a four-storey, pagoda-roof temple built in 1553 around a natural cave that has the footprints of Hidimba. Wooden carvings of mythological characters and motifs of animals and cosmic dancers are engraved here. It is also a popular picnic spot among tourists in Manali. A large festival is held every year in May.
Manu Temple: About 2kms from the main bazaar in old Manali is the Manu temple, dedicated to Manu Rishi.
Tibetan Monasteries: Manali houses recently constructed three Tibetan monasteries where you can buy carpets and other handicrafts. One is located at Aleo, on the left bank of Beas while the rest two are in town.
Mountaineering Institute: The Mountaineering Institute is located on the left bank of Beas which organizes courses in trekking, mountaineering and skiing. Vashisht hot water spring: Located 3kms from Manali, is the famous Vashisht hot water spring. There is also a temple erected in this site, dedicated to Vashisht muni and Lord Ram.
Arjun Gufa: 4kms from Manali, near Prini Village is Arjun Gufa or the cave where it is believed that Arjun, one of the five brothers in Mahabharata had meditated.
Nehru Kund: This is a natural cold water spring located on the National Highway towards Leh. This kund has been named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, as it is said that he would drink water from this spring during his visit to Manali.
Jagatsukh: Situated 6kms from Manali, This was once the capital of Kullu. You can see temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Sandhya Gayatri.
What to do in Manali
Manali offers a lot in terms of adventure sports. In Manali, you can go for trekking and the common trek routes lead out to Leh, Bhrigu Lake, Chandratal, and Spiti. You can even take a short course at Manali Mountaineering Institute. Go for paragliding in Solang Valley. White water rafting is done on the Beas from the Pirdi to Jhiri. For anglers, some of the best places for fishing are Katrain, Raison, Kasol, Larji, and Nagar.
Excursions from Manali
Rohtang Pass: 51kms from Manali is the famous Rohtang Pass at a height of 3980m which once served as an important trade route for the country. Open from June to November, it provides an excellent opportunity for trekkers to cross the region. This is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley. Enjoy the panoramic view of the mountains from this region. You can access the Beas Kund, the source of the Beas River from this Pass.
Solang Valley: The beautiful Solang Valley lies 14kms from Manali. It is a wonderful valley between the Solang village and the Beas Kund. Solang houses Manali’s ski school, and several paragliding schools. There is heavy traffic of tourists during the winter months because of skiing options. Kothi: Below the Rohtang Pass is Kothi, an idyllic village which lends a great view of the gorge and the Beas river.
Accomodation selection in Manali
If you are looking for luxury, confort and some rustic charm, then the best option available in Manali are the Himachal Tourism’s Log Huts. The Log Huts and Cottages provide you with an exhilarating view of the snow-capped peaks. Other deluxe hotels and cottages include Hadimba Cottages, named after Hadimba Temple, Hotel Kunzan, and Rohtang Manalsu. Budget hotels of Himachal Tourism include Tourist Lodge and Hotel Beas. Manali has several private hotels as well like Snow Crest Manor, Banon Resort and The Orchard Greens.
Best season to visit Manali
Manali can be visited all round the year though if you want to enjoy the snowfall, plan your trip in winters
How to reach Manali
By Air: The nearest airport is Bhuntar and you can hire a taxi to reach Manali.
By Rail: The nearest broad gauge station is Chandigarh and the nearest narrow gauge is Jogindernagar.
By Road: The distance from Delhi to Manali is approximately 585kms while it is 270kms from Shimla. Luxuru buses operate from Delhi and Chandigarh.