If Himachal is the queen of all hill stations, Manali would be doubtlessly its tiara. Manali is the most frequently visited hill station in India and is accessible from all parts of the country. Though nestled in the mountains, reaching Manali is quite convenient. A valley located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, Manali overwhelms its visitors by flowering apple trees and adventurous snow covered roads.
Minimum temp could be below -5°C from October ‘thru March. December, January and February are the coldest months. Rest of the year, the minimum temperature would be 10-20°C.
How to reach Manali:
Manali is the most frequented hill station in India. Tourists mostly prefer a self drive to Manali as it offers one with breathtaking glimpses of the mountains while climbing the ghats.
One can drive from Kalka to Manali, which is approximately 300 kms and if you are planning your trip from Delhi to Manali, then en route Chandigarh, drive to Manali is approximately 570 kms and it takes approximately half a day to cover the distance by road.
Daily buses ply from Delhi, Chandigarh and Dehradun for Manali.
One, who is planning to reach Manali by train, may find the narrow gauge track up to Jogindernagar that is the closest railhead to Manali. The approximate drive from Jogindernagar to Manali is 3-4 hours en route Mandi and Bhuntar. Well, the Kalka Railway Station, which is a terminal in the foot of Himachal heights, circuitously connects Manali to New Delhi.
If you are thinking to reach Manali by air, then the closest domestic airport is Chandigarh that runs scheduled flights to major cities. The Bhuntar airport which is actually close to Manali, approximately 50 kms, has been shut down.
So far and by any means you map out to reach Manali, our suggested route is to reach Manali by road and one can avail discounts by booking now.
When to Visit:
Manali is a destination that has a certain charm throughout the year. The summers in Manali are from March to June and are extremely pleasant with the temperatures ranging from 10 to 25 degrees. The winters are chilly with minimum temperature falling to sub-zero levels. This is the ideal time for tourists to enjoy activities in Manali. If you want to see snow fall or glaciers, you must visit before April. At the end of March, you can see glaciers in Gulaba and Solang Valley. If you are planning to visit after March, you have to wait until Rohtang pass is open. You should not plan your trip from January to May as the roads to the pass are closed. Manali to Rohtang Pass road will be opened from May last week, and May to November is the best time to enjoy both glaciers and other activities. Valid ID Proof, valid Pollution Under Check (PUC) Certificate and Vehicle Registration Date (Age of vehicle not to be more than 10 years) are required to be produced to obtain a Rohtang Pass Permit. You can apply for the permit on the Official website.
Places to Visit in and around Manali:
Amongst the unexplored destinations one can even drive up to Keylong that falls on the Manali-Leh highway, which connects one to Ladakh. The distance from Manali to Leh-Ladakh is approximately 453 kms.
Rohtang Pass: The best thing to do in Manali is visiting Rohtang Pass. The drive is fantastic, the destination is fantastic! The scenery through the valleys is majestic. If you are not much used with cold, better to hire ski-suits, which costs around Rs. 300.00
In 2016, the Himachal Pradesh state government started issuing permits online to limit the vehicles to prevent pollution in this area. Permits are issued only to the first 800 petrol vehicles and 400 diesel vehicles. Permits can only be applied for next 2 days from the current date. Also, no permits are issued on Tuesday as the day is marked for maintenance of Rohtang. A tax of Rs.500 and sometimes, a congestion charges of Rs.50 is to be paid and accordingly the permits are issued based on daily quota defined by National Green Tribunal Act. The tourism permit is valid only for one day (to & fro). Valid ID Proof, valid Pollution Under Check (PUC) Certificate and Vehicle Registration Date (Age of vehicle not to be more than 10 years) are required to be produced to obtain a Rohtang Pass Permit. You can apply for the permit on the Official website.
Solang Valley: A half hour drive from Manali is the glacial Solang Valley offering the most stunning view and famous for its 300-meter ski lift. Owing to its fine slopes, the valley is a popular ski destination during the winters. In summers, it turns into a paragliding paradise. Sports like zorbing and horse-riding are also available in the valley.
Hidimba Devi Temple: It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hadimba Devi, who was a character in the Indian epic, Mahābhārata. The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest at the foot of the Himālayas. The sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground, which was worshiped as an image of the deity. The structure was built in the year 1553.
Folk Art Museum – Located close to the Hadimba Devi Temple, the museum flaunts a huge collection of artistic models of temples and forts around the Kullu Valley; domestic and artisans’ masks, traditional textiles, musical instruments and dance masks
Birgu Lake: Bhrigu Lake or Bhrigu Lake is a lake located at an elevation of around 4,300 metres in Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh, India. It is located to the east of Rohtang Pass and is around 6 kilometres from Gulaba village. Spring water of the ‘Nehru Kund’ is believed to originate from the Bhrigu lake.
Naggar: 26 KM from main town Kullu, is a calm and beautiful village in the Himalayan state, Himachal Pradesh. In ancient years it was the capital city of Kullu Kingdom. The castle and the rock temples prove this fact.
Naggar Castle: is a 16th century castle built by one of the Rajas of Kullu. Now, this heritage property is converted into Government run hotel, tariff is around Rs.1,700+. It stands on the edge of a cliff and from the open and cold wooden balconies one can have stunning views of Kullu valley. There is a display of masks, traditional musical instruments in the gallery.
Nicholas Roerich house is a popular tourist attraction. The house is converted into an art gallery displaying the Roerich’s paintings of Himalayas. The house is in a fragile state and hence tourists are not allowed inside. The interiors can be seen through glass panels of closed windows. The Roerich memorial is set in a very peaceful site. Svetoslav Roerich, second son of Nicholas, married Indian actress Devika Rani.
Maa Sharvari Temple. This temple is represented as KULDEVI of the kings of Kullu in early times and is worshipped as a manifestation of Durga, and image of the goddess is also enshrined here. The divinity is popularly worshipped throughout the region during the festivals and the Goddess is transported to Kullu to visit the Lord Raghunathji during Dussehra festival. This temple is on the top of above the Shaminallah village, which is around 5 km from Manali, across the Beas river on the left bank on the way to Naggar Castle.
Vashisht Baths and Hot Water Springs: Surrounded by dense foliage of pine trees are the Vashisht Baths and Hot Water Springs. Located in the famous Vashisht Temple, these natural sulphur springs are believed to be medicinal.
Located on the Mall Road, the Van Vihar National Park is a popular nature sanctuary. The park is populated by dense deodar and pine forests. A small pond in the park confines is the perfect picnic spot. You can enjoy boating in the waters of the pond or take a pleasant stroll through the park Gurudwara Manikaran is an important place of worship for Sikhs and has a major historical significance. The Gurudwara is unique in the sense that the ice cold waters of the Parvati River co-exists with hot sulphur springs known for their medicinal value.
The Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa is one of the prime attractions of Manali and hotspot of Tibetan heritage. Built by Tibetan refugees in the year 1960, this renowned Buddhist monastery draws scored of tourists. The monastery architecture is impeccable with a pagoda style yellow roof blanketing the structure. The interiors are rich in exquisite murals illustrating Buddha’s teachings. A giant statue of Lord Buddha is the highlight of the monastery. The Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa is another significant Buddhist Monastery in Manali.
Beas Kund, an igloo shaped temple, on top has a spring which is the origin of River Beas.
Fun Park: It is located near the Hadimba Temple
Gauri Shankar Temple
Monasteries. Manali is known for its shiny gompas or Buddhist monasteries. These are maintained by donations from the local community and by the sale of hand-woven carpets in the temple workshops.
Old Manali: At a distance of 3 km northwest of Manali is Old Manali, famous for its orchards and old guesthouses. There is ruined fort here by the name of Manaligarh. There is also the Manu Maharishi Temple, dedicated to sage Manu. The temple walls and pillars are adorned with many intricate scriptures.
Enfield Point, old manali.
Rahala waterfalls: About 16 km from Manali at the start of the climb to the Rohtang Pass, are the beautiful Rahalla Falls at an altitude of 2,501 m.
Rozy Falls: On the way to Rohtang amazing water falls worth seeing. This water fall looks amazing between the high hills.
Beautiful Log Hut Area and Club house: In fact both these places especially log hut area have some good hotels to stay.
Kothi: Kothi is located at the bottom of Rohtang Pass. It is a beautiful and photographic village where tourists can capture different thrilling views of the deep gorge through which the Beas swiftly runs. This is an amazing place to experience the natural beauty of high altitude mountain.
The Manali Gompa: Manali Gompa was built in 1960. It is one of the most important places for Buddhists. Buddhists come to this place from Ladakh, Tibet, Spiti, Lahaul and Kinnaur. Manali Gompa is world famous for a large statue of Buddha and for its wall paintings.
Zana Falls (Jana Waterfall): 15 km from Naggar and 35 km from Manali, at Zana Village, beautiful Water Fall is worth visiting. The valley provides amazing views. There is one water fall on the road side and two other waterfalls which are not much explored by tourists and are amazing. Moreover Traditional Himachali food is available here at small hut like shops.
Nehru Kund. Nehru Kund is located at the distance of around 6 km from Manali. It is one of the natural springs of natural water in India. Nehru Kund is named after the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru used to drink water from this Kund, while his journey to Manali. Nehru Kund is on the Manali-Keylong road, about 6 km from Manali. It is understood that a landslide has wiped out this spring.
Where to Eat:
Where to shop:
After reading through the rocky Himalayas all day, Manali offers some of the best ways to enjoy a tranquil nightlife. From the relaxing aromas of Cafes to groovy Bars and Lounges, this beautiful hill station is full of vigour and energy. Dine party and enjoy away the night time with your friends in exotic stations such as Johnson’s bar and restaurant or Zing Zing Bar. If you want to spend some downtime with your partner in low laid Discotheques, The Chelsea club and Buzz are some of the top choices. The local markets and sidewalks are also excellent spots for catching a glimpse of traditional night routines of locals; stargazing around the circuit street parks is also a serenading experience.
What to do:
What to buy:
Key chains, name plates, etc. which are customized to one’s own message are worth buying as mementos. Also one can get his name carved/written on a single grain of rice. One can also visit Manali Market to buy woollen stuff like sweaters, pullovers, shawls, blankets, etc. Hippie clothes/ jewellery can be found in Old Manali.
Chingu. Local shops are aplenty selling chingus (a type of blanket) claiming to be warm in winters and cold in summers. Be wary of these. They will show you parcel ready chingus. Do not fall prey to them.
Fruit products, honey and apricot oil at Himcoop Juice Bar Manali are also something local produced in the valley. Jam from Himcoop taste like real fruit due to high contents of fruit pulp and apricot oil is good for joint pains and also general massage.
Do not buy saffron (kesar), musk (kasturi), or shilajit from street vendors; most of these products are fake. Buy from government-authorized shops only.
What to Drink:
The locals drink two kinds of alcoholic beverages: Lugdi (plains) or Chang (Himalayan), a kind of crude beer made from fermented rice or barley and Sharab (plains) or Arak (Himalayan), an alcoholic drink distilled from Lugdi/chang. Arak can also be made from jaggery or apples or any other fruit.
It might be an interesting experience to visit a local home when the ladies make arak (quite regularly). You can sit in the fields where the ladies make it, have hot water from the distilling to wash with and “test” the product at frequent intervals.
Because there are apple orchards all around Manali, it’s often possible to find apple cider. Besides this, there is alcohol available in bars, larger restaurants and the larger hotels.
Kullu-Manali Valley is known as fruit bowl of India. Himcoop Juice Bar at The Mall Manali is one of the well know corner shop since 1972 selling 100% Natural Apple Juice and fruit drinks made from local fruits besides some syrups known as Fruit Crush to carry home to prepare fruit drinks after diluting with fresh water. Himcoop Juice Bar is located on the Main Mall as one of the corner shop next to Temple.
Manali is a safe city but during seasonal time a surge of visitors keep visiting this beautiful place and some transients exploit this opportunity for their own benefits. Best is exercise caution if in a crowd.
If you get lost and don’t have enough directions get around the city then just ask for Mall Road (Manali town centre). From there you can easily head to any destination of your choice.
Don’t exchange currency in illegal market. Always ask for receipt after doing currency trade with exchange dealer. There is a Western Union office on the Mall Road.
Be cautious with Paragliding activities and go for the best options
Travelling northward from Manali is the breathtaking region of Lahaul and Spiti across the Rohtang Pass. The “highway” crosses the pass and forks at Gramphoo (12km) the left one goes to Lahaul and is the Manali Leh highway and the road on the right leads to Spiti via Kunzum La. The Rohtang pass also marks the boundary between the fertile Kullu valley with its lush greenery and the sparse vegetation Lahaul and Spiti. The Ladakh, Zanskar and Changthang areas further on are even more barren.
How To Book: To book your trip to Manali, visit Voyanture website and choose your dates and activities you prefer or email to email@example.com or call us directly on 0484 486 1335 / +91 8281 480 982
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