One of the most picturesque places, Manali is a dream destination that is beautifully tucked on the banks of river Beas. Often referred to as the ‘Honeymoon Capital of India’, it is the best hill station in Himachal Pradesh that offers spectacular vistas of snow covered Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges. Serene environment, cultural vibrancy, host of thrilling activities and much needed seclusion are some of the prime features of this beautiful hill destination.
It is also known as the ‘Valley of the Gods’ as it is dotted with many ancient temples. Lately, Manali has emerged as a workation hotspot as it is well developed in terms of infrastructure, WiFi connectivity, and offers an array of options to stay and eat. Right from honeymooners to family holiday makers, adventure junkies, solace seekers, this place in Himachal Pradesh never ceases to impress visitors with its undeniable charm.
Best Time to Visit Manali, Himachal Pradesh
The peak season of Manali Tourism falls between October to December when a large number of tourists flock here from different parts of the globe. However, the best time to visit Manali majorly depends on the choice of activities you wish to partake in.
If you want to enjoy activities like paragliding, rafting and mountain climbing then you can consider planning your trip in the summer months which fall between April to July. But if you want to enjoy snowfall and take part in activities like snow-racing, skiing etc then the winter season that falls between November to February would suit you best.
It is best to avoid the monsoon months of July and August as there is heavy downpour and chances of landslides are high.
History of Manali
Manali is named after the sage named Manu who is considered as the law enforcer and the father of all mankind. According to the legend, it is believed that Manu was so awestruck by the beauty of Manali that he stepped off his ark to recreate life in this heavenly town which was named as Manu-alaya. There is an ancient temple dedicated to Manu in Old Manali which supports the fact that Manali was once an abode of Manu.
It is said that in the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh brought a statue of Lord Raghunath to ensure the well-being of his kingdom. And since then Lord Raghunath is considered as the presiding deity and the symbolic king of Manali.
By the 20th century, the Britishers invaded India. They began holidaying in Manali due to the pleasant weather. With their arrival, this secluded hill town witnessed many developmental changes as Britishers introduced roads, contemporary restaurants, churches, and activities like snow-racing, skating etc to make it their perfect holiday spot. It is also said that the Britishers planted the first apple trees in the region in 1865 and they introduced this delicious fruit to the farmers of Kullu region.
Best Places to Visit in Manali
Manali is an idyllic hill town overlooking the dramatic Himalayas and is the pride of Himachal Pradesh Tourism. It is a gateway to a host of fascinating places and adrenaline pumping activities that draws tourists from all over the world. Check out these 10 best places in Manali mentioned below which should be on travellers wishlist!
1. Rohtang Pass. This pass connects Manali to Himachal. The unmatched beauty of Rohtang Pass will leave you wanting more. Every year, the pass is open in the months of May to November. It was also a part of the ancient trade route for the people residing on either side of Pir Panjal.
2. Hadimba Devi Temple. This ancient temple is tucked in Dhungri Forest which is surrounded by the tall pine trees. Dedicated to Hidimbi Devi - wife of Bhima, this pagoda-shaped temple holds immense significance for the locals and is a must visit place in Manali to seek blessings and solace.
3. Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art. If you love to delve into the cultural diversity of this hill state then this museum is the perfect place to grab enriching insights. As you walk through the galleries, you will come across a large collection of brilliant masterpieces of art, along with weapons, musical instruments, utensils, coins, models etc that will take you back in time.
4. Manu Temple. Manu Temple is the essence of Manali as it has drawn its name from the sage who created mankind. This simple but significant temple is situated 3 km away from the famous Mall Road and is one of the best tourist places in Manali.
5. Old Manali. Brimming with charming cafes, reasonable hostels and rustic homestays, Old Manali is one of the best places for budget travellers. It is about 3 km away from the main town, however, is a buzzing place and ideal for younger crowds.
6. Manali Wildlife Sanctuary. A haven for wildlife enthusiasts, this amazing wildlife sanctuary of Himachal Pradesh is perfect to grab the exciting views of exotic flora and fauna of the region. This sanctuary is also perfect for adventure as there are some thrilling hiking and trekking trails to test the endurance level.
7. Vashisht Temple & Hot Springs. This beautiful stone temple dedicated to Sage Vashist is located at a distance of 3 km from Manali. It is also famous for its natural hot water spring which is said to have medicinal properties. Many tourists visit this temple to take bath in its hot water spring which instantly relaxes the body.
8. Jogini Falls. One of the breathtaking wonders of nature, Jogini Falls is a delight for nature lovers, trekkers and backpackers as it draws an enchanting view of a cascading waterfall which indeed is a feast for eyes. It is located in Vashisht Village and is about 5 km away from the centre of Manali.
9. Solang Valley. Located at a distance of 14 km from Manali, Solang valley is a must-visit place that can leave you mesmerised with its undeniable charm and scenic wonders. It is famous among travellers for its vibrant Winter Skiing Festival and adventure activities like horse riding, skiing, sledding, zorbing, and more.
10. Atal Tunnel. Located at a distance of 24 km from Manali, Atal Tunnel has become one of the prominent tourist attractions of Manali as it is the world’s longest highway tunnel built on the height of 10,000ft. This 9 km long tunnel passes through the lush green forests area and offers a vivid view of dramatic mountain peaks on one side and a rivulet flowing on the other side which is a visual treat for the travellers.
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Things To Do In Manali
Manali is one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh that is popular for many thrilling activities, shopping, trekking and much more. Check out the list of things to do in Manali!
1. Beas Kund Trek. Now, trekking to Beas Kund is simply one of the best things to do in Manali. The outstanding views of the Pir Panjal Mountain range over the Beas River are worth exploring and capturing in your camera lens. The spectacular meadows here will simply take your breath away.
2. Paragliding at Dobhi. Glide amidst snow covered mountains and grab the bird’s eye view of Manali from the height of 8000ft. Enjoy this thrilling adventure activity under the supervision of professional gliders to make memories for a lifetime.
3. Shopping at Mall Road and Manu Market. Mall road in Manali is a busy part of the city as one can find all the tourists strolling here during the evenings. It is dotted with handicraft showrooms, eating joints, garment stores, small shops selling local stuff and whatnot which makes it perfect for shopping. You can also visit Manu Market to buy local handicrafts and woollens.
4. Skiing in Manali. No doubt that Manali is one of the best tourist spots of Northern India. And when people travel to this place the one thing which they don’t miss out on is skiing. On an annual basis, a lot of skiing enthusiasts travel here to have fun and make some cherishing memories.
5. Rafting. Located on the banks of River Beas, Manali is a wonderful place to enjoy the thrilling adventure of rafting. It is once in a lifetime experience and adrenaline pumping to raft along the current of a mountainous river.
6. Mountain Biking. Manali is a paradise for bikers and cycling enthusiasts as it has some of the toughest terrains to raise your endurance level. Steep slopes, sharp cuts and cycling downhill here will surely pump your adrenaline.
7. Camping. It is one of the best experiences you can have in Manali as the campsite here is equipped with fully loaded tented accommodation along with various activities such as zipline, commando net, volleyball court etc.
8. Partying. If less crowded and more fun parties interest you then Manali is the place to be at. The cafes here are all about live performances and amazing food. Cafe 1947, Johnson's cafe, Sunshine Cafe, Casa Bella Vista, Martins, and Rasta Cafe are a few top spots in Manali where one can enjoy crazy New Year Eve celebrations.
How To Reach Manali
Manali is a refreshing travel getaway where you can hope to spend some of the best moments of your life. Situated between the herculean peaks of Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges. To travel to Manali, follow the below-given route.
The nearest airport is Bhuntar Airport also known as the Kullu-Manali Airport. It is situated 50 km from Manali. After deboarding at the airport, you can easily get a taxi or some other means of public transportation to reach the desired destination in the city.
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Jogindernagar station is the nearest railway station from Manali. But it doesn’t have very good connectivity with other Indian cities, thus it is best to travel via flight or roadways.
Manali is very well-connected via the road network. Tourists may also take the inter-state Volvo buses that will terminate at Manali Bus Depot. From the bus depot, one may take an auto or a taxi to further reach the desired place in Manali.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Manali
Q 1. What is famous in Manali?
A 1. Manali is famous for its breathtaking beauty, adventure activities, stunning places like Rohtang Pass, Solang etc and ancient temples.
Q 2. Which is the best time to visit Manali?
A 2. Manali is a year round destination where weather is always pleasant and calming.
Q 3. Is Manali expensive?
A 3. There are options of budget stays in Manali which makes it a reasonable destination.
Q 4. Why do tourists go to Manali?
A 4. Tourists visit Manali to enjoy serenity.
Q 5. Is Manali safe to go now?
A 5. It is safe to visit Manali.
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