World India Himachal Pradesh Manali

Manali , Himachal Pradesh

Type of Destination
Hill-station, Trekking, Scenic, Adventure
Languages Spoken
Himachali, Hindi, Punjabi & English
Ideal Trip Duration
2-3 Days
Manali Altitude

Best time to visit Manali

Nearby railway stations

Airports near Manali

India Himachal Pradesh Manali

About Manali

Situated at an altitude of approximately 2,050 meters (6,726 feet) above sea level, Manali is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, and the meandering Beas River. It serves as a popular gateway to several nearby attractions, including Solang Valley, Rohtang Pass, and the quaint villages of Old Manali and Vashisht.

Manali is an evergreen hill station nestled snugly among the hills in Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh. This gorgeous town is a must visit for any and everybody. Family men to seasoned trekkers, this is a place for all. Situated by the lovely tanzanite river of the mountains, Beas, this town seems straight out of a fabulous collection of paintings created by a nature-loving artist of Victorian Europe perhaps! A number of temples and monasteries justify the sobriquet “Valley of the Gods”. This place is ancient and new at the same time. It was an eminent stopover for traders of the silk-route but its advent as a major Indian tourist destination can be traced back to the 80s. Legend has it that the ancient Indian lawgiver Manu recreated life in the hamlets of Manali when it had been decimated by a flood, thus the name Manali originated from “Manu-Allaya” (Abode of Manu).

This Himalayan hill-station located at an altitude of 2050 m is a place where you create pictures for your mind-album. This is the kind of place you create memories in. Do you want to hike? Do you want to visit temples? Do you want to wade about in hot springs? Do you want to click selfies against exotic waterfalls...rock climbing, paragliding, skiing, snow-scootering, river-rafting….life’s days might run out but not things to do in Manali! Be it Mahabharata’s Hidimba, Kullu’s presiding-goddess Ma Sharvari or the hero from Hindu mythology Manu-Maharishi, the temples bespeak beauty and immortality. The Hadimba temple here was erected in 1553 in devotion of Hadimba, Bhima’s wife from Mahabharat. The activities carried out in the temple include gruesome animal sacrifices and dances in the 3-day Dhungri Mela in May.

Amidst the mountains, surrounded by perpetual winter forestry, these places are like a dream. Are you in a mind to indulge your body and let nature pamper you to the extent of oblivion? Then you are waiting to visit the Kalath and Vashist hot springs, or do you have something like a hectic but fulfilling hike to a waterfall and then let the cascading waters drain out your fatigue.  There are the magnificent Jogini, Rahala, Rozy and Zana waterfalls waiting for your visit.

Adventure lovers can indulge in rafting, hiking, trekking etc. Don’t miss out on the trek routes of Deo Tibba Base Camp, Hampta Pass or Friendship Peak? Please make sure that you don’t? The snow point, Rohtang Pass is where you can ski and have that elaborate snow-fight you want to capture in your photo-album.

Tibetan Monasteries are also important places to visit in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. Manali Gompa to the Tibetian-styled temples of New Manali, this place is so replenished with wonders for travelers that it is simply impossible to cover everything in one go. You need to go there and stay there for a considerable period of time to cover all of Manali but beware, even then, some things might be left out.       

Old Manali is a popular backpacker destination. Apart from these, Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art and Buddhist Monasteries are promising visits. For culinary enthusiasts, a few upscale restaurants like La Plage and restro-bars like Lazy Dog Lounge might be good options to explore. Khyber and Mayur are felicities for those who prefer Indian cuisines.


Things to Do in Manali

1. Solang Valley:

  • Adventure Sports: Indulge in activities like paragliding, zorbing, and skiing (in winter months) amidst the stunning backdrop of snow-covered peaks.
  • Cable Car Ride: Enjoy panoramic views of the valley and surrounding mountains with a thrilling cable car ride.

2. Rohtang Pass:

  • Scenic Drive: Take a scenic drive to Rohtang Pass, located at an altitude of 3,978 meters (13,051 feet). Marvel at panoramic views of glaciers, peaks, and the Chandra River.
  • Adventure Activities: Engage in snow activities (available from May to November) like skiing, snowboarding, and snow scooter rides.

3. Old Manali:

  • Cafes and Restaurants: Explore the bohemian vibes of Old Manali with its cozy cafes, bakeries, and restaurants serving delicious international and local cuisines.
  • Shopping: Browse through the vibrant markets for handicrafts, clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs. Don't miss the opportunity to shop for unique Tibetan and Himachali artifacts.

4. Vashisht Hot Springs:

  • Natural Hot Springs: Relax and rejuvenate in the natural hot water springs believed to have medicinal properties. Visit the ancient Vashisht Temple nearby.

5. Trekking and Hiking:

  • Beas Kund Trek: Embark on the Beas Kund Trek, a moderate trek that offers stunning views of the Beas River, meadows, and snow-capped peaks.
  • Hampta Pass Trek: For seasoned trekkers, the Hampta Pass Trek offers a challenging route with diverse landscapes including lush forests, alpine meadows, and panoramic views.

6. Manu Temple:

  • Spiritual Experience: Visit the Manu Temple dedicated to the sage Manu, believed to be the creator of the world in Hindu mythology. Enjoy serene surroundings and panoramic views of Manali town.

7. Naggar Castle and Roerich Art Gallery:

  • Historical and Cultural Exploration: Explore the Naggar Castle, a historic royal palace showcasing traditional Himachali architecture. Visit the Roerich Art Gallery to admire paintings by Russian artist Nicholas Roerich.


Best Time to Visit Manali

Manali is a year-round destination, each season offering a unique experience:

  • Summer (March to June): Ideal for adventure sports, sightseeing, and enjoying pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 25°C.

  • Monsoon (July to September): Witness lush greenery, occasional rainfall, and fewer tourists. Trekking enthusiasts can explore the region during this time.

  • Autumn (October to November): Enjoy clear skies, cool weather, and the beautiful autumn foliage. Perfect for photography and outdoor activities.

  • Winter (December to February): Experience snowfall (especially from late December to early February) and indulge in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.


Where to Stay in Manali

Manali offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from budget guesthouses to luxurious resorts:

  • Budget: Hostels and guesthouses in Old Manali and Vashisht offer affordable stays with basic amenities. Recommended options include Zostel Manali and Backpacker Panda Manali.

  • Mid-range: Hotels and resorts near Mall Road and Hadimba Temple provide comfortable rooms with scenic views. Consider options like Apple Country Resort and Rock Manali Hotel & Spa.

  • Luxury: Boutique resorts and hotels in Solang Valley and Log Huts Area offer luxurious accommodations amidst pristine natural surroundings. Explore options such as The Himalayan and Span Resort & Spa.


Dining and Restaurants in Manali

1. Local Cuisine: Sample traditional Himachali dishes like siddu (stuffed bread), dham (a festive meal), and kullu trout fish at local dhabas and restaurants.

2. Cafes and Bakeries: Enjoy a cozy ambiance and delicious treats at cafes and bakeries in Old Manali and Mall Road. Popular spots include Cafe 1947, Johnson's Cafe, and The Lazy Dog Lounge.

3. International Cuisine: Indulge in Israeli, Italian, Tibetan, and continental cuisines at restaurants and eateries across Manali. Don't miss out on Israeli specialties like hummus, falafel, and shakshuka.


Practical Tips for Visiting Manali

  • Transportation: Hire a local taxi or rent a bike to explore nearby attractions and remote villages.

  • Weather: Pack according to the season, especially if visiting during winter for snow activities or during monsoon for trekking.

  • Altitude: Manali is situated at a high altitude, so take it easy on arrival to acclimatize. Stay hydrated and avoid strenuous activities initially.

  • Permits: If planning to visit Rohtang Pass, ensure to obtain necessary permits and check weather conditions beforehand.

This comprehensive Manali travel guide aims to help you plan a memorable and enjoyable trip to this enchanting hill station. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural exploration, Manali promises a rewarding experience amidst the pristine beauty of the Himalayas.

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