A picturesque hill station encircled by snowy mountains and dense pinewoods with the meandering Beas River, Manali in the state of Himanchal Pradesh is famed for its aesthetic beauty. Lying at an altitude of 6260 feet, Manali is the premier hill station in the Kullu valley, whose splendor lies in the ever flowing Beas river with conifer gradients and crop orchards hiking up to the snow clad knolls of Himalayas. This awe inspiring hill resort is sandwiched between the imposing peaks of Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar. A land, which is the holy abode of numerous goddesses and gods, this gorgeous hill resort is puffed up with colourful festivals, fairs and pretty shrines.
Manali Sightseeing & Activities
KULLU – MANALI: VALLEY OF THE GODS
Manali in Himachal Pradesh, India derived its name from Manavalaya i.e. the abode of Manu. According to myth, Manu the divine law-giver, was the only survivor of the Mahajal Pralay – the great flood – and is said to have fathered the human race. He certainly chose enchanting environs. Manali still maintains its charm and beauty. Experience the local color and beauty in Kullu-Manali’s temples, quaint villages and the vibrant and festive mood of the people and their colorful clothes and handicrafts. Or encounter adventure; on the myriad trekking trails and routes, while skiing on the snow slopes, rafting down the Beas or just as you try your hand at some amateurish angling. Discover for yourself the Kullu Valley, going upto theRohtang Pass at 13050 feet and encompassing the beautiful Manali in-between, nestled between the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges. As its magical charms enamour, you ebulliently agree that it has rightly been christened as the “Valley of the Gods“.
HADIMBA TEMPLE: Manali has many attractions but the chief centre of interest, historically and archeologically, is undoubtedly the DHOONGRI TEMPLE dedicated to goddess Hadimba, the Bhim of Mahabharat fame. It has four-tiered Pagoda shaped roof and the doorway is carved with legendary figures and symbols. This temple located amidst wooden forest of deodar is about 2.5 kms. from the tourist office. It is a pleasant experience to stroll in the temple complex which was built in 1533 A.D. A large festival is held here in May.
MANU TEMPLE: 3 kms. from the main bazar in old Manali lies the temple of MANU RISHI. It is believed that this is the only temple of Manu in India, who was the creator of human race on the earth.
TIBETAN MONASTERIES: There are 3 newly constructed colorful monasteries, where visitors can buy carpets and other Tibetan handicrafts. Two are located in the town and one at Aleo on the left bank of Beas river.
VASHIST HOT WATER SPRINGS AND TEMPLE (3 kms): Vashist, a small village located on the left bank of river Beas towards Rohtang pass is worth a visit. It is renowned for its hot springs and temples. Nearby is the pyramidal stone temple dedicated to Vashist Muni. There is another Temple of Lord Ram here. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are always full of tourists. Turkish style showers fitted baths have also been built nearby. Hot water from the nearby spring is provided for bathing.
NEHRU KUND: 5 kms. on National Highway to Leh,a natural spring of cold clear water named after Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, who used to drink water from this spring during his stay in Manali. This spring is believed to originate from the Bhrigu lake situated high-up in the mountains.
Manali sanctuary: The Manali sanctuary starts from behind the town square and goes up in the mountains behind Manali. There is a biodiversity trail for the visitors, which showcases all the flora and fauna.
ADVENTURE OPTIONS IN MANALI
The Mountaineering Institute & Allied Sports – This institute located at Manali provides training facilities for basic and advanced climbing, both for Indian nationals and foreigners. It also conducts rock climbing, skiing, heli-skiing and high altitude trekking courses.
Kullu-Manali region, together with Lahaul and Spiti areas, offer possibly the best soft, medium and hard trekking opportunities. Besides the main Kullu and Parbati valleys as also Lahaul and Spiti regions, there are many idyllic side valleys, all leading to passes or snow covered summits of the Pir Panjal and Himalayan ranges. Some popular treks in the Kullu Manali valley are – Raison-Malana-Chandra Khani-Raison / Manali-Bhrigu-Rohtang Pass-Manali / Manali-Chhika-Hamta Pass-Manali / Raison-Padri-Khauli / Pass-Garsa-Raison / Manali-Chandratal-Manali.
A journey over the Manali – Leh road (the highest mountain road in the world) through a vast mountain desert provides a memorable experience. Manali – Rohtang Pass – Keylong, Lahaul, Kargah – Patseo – Ladakh, Lachu Lang La – Ramsey – Leh. Manali – Leh – 490 km. Jeep Safaris over other routes are also available.
13 km from Manali, Solang Valley has good skiing slopes equipped with an excellent lift. A splendid valley between Manali and Kothi, it also offers views of the glaciers and snow-capped mountain peaks. Season: January – March. Gulaba slopes also provide good skiing.
Whitewater River Rafting
Many organized adventure companies organise rafting along the River Beas between the stretch from Manali to Aut. The points where the rafting trips start from are Raison and Mohal. Season: May to mid June.
Angling and Fishing
River Beas is said to abound with trout and salmon.
Paragliding – Organized by the local adventure companies in the summers in Solang Valley.