Manali –the name which itself creates an enchanting spell in the mind, is a charming hill station situated at the northern end of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh. The hard-to-resist magical charm of Manali has made it one of the most popular and sought after tourist destination of India. The cool and lovely ambience with a tinge of romanticism has made Manali one of the preferred destinations for honeymooners and nearly an average of 350 to 500 honeymooning couples visit this hill town everyday.
Apart from being known for its natural beauty and breathtaking views, the lovely hill station of Manali with its serene atmosphere provides world-class facilities for various adventure sports like skiing, hiking, mountaineering, paragliding, rafting, trekking, kayaking, and mountain biking.
Where is Manali?
The charming hill town of Manali at an average altitude of 2000 m above sea level is in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh in India.
Nestled between the snow-capped Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges, the verdant valley of Manali with rolling meadows, hot springs, apple orchards dotting the hillsides, river Beas cutting across the town presents a wondrous canvas that has rightly been described as the “Valley of the Gods”. Apart from being the abode of a large number of Hindu shrines and Tibetan Buddhist temples, Manali also boasts of a rich culture amply reflected by the colourful and festive mood of its people.
After the arrival of the British during the colonial era, Manali first came into prominence and soon became one of the most preferred holidaying destinations of India. The beauty and magical charm of this quaint hill resort is impossible to be described by mere words, rather a visit to Manali creates an indelible impression on the mind and soul which remains vivid throughout the life.
Just 2.5 Km from the tourist office at Manali is the famous Hadimba temple dedicated to Hadimba, wife of Bhim (second Pandava brother). This 27 m tall four-tiered pagoda style temple was built by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in 1533. Located within the Dhoongri Vana Vihar amidst wooden forest of Deodar and Cedar, the temple shrouded in mystery and folklore exudes an air of austerity. Within the temple there are no idols, but a foot-print on stone is worshipped. The temple holds a large colorful festival accompanied by a fair every year in May which provides an interesting glimpse of the local culture.
The temple of sage Manu, who according to Hindu mythology is the divine creator of the human race in the world, is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus. It is believed that Manu, who is also regarded as the ancient law giver lived here. The lovely Manu temple is the only known temple of this great sage in India. The temple has remained as one of the primary Manali tourist attractions since time immemorial.
Located at a distance of about 4 Km from Manali, Vashisht is a beautiful place situated on a steep hill, almost seeming to cling to the slope. The place connected to Rishi Vashisht of Hindu mythology is famous for its hot sulfur springs. There is also a temple here that houses a black stone image of the sage. A temple of Lord Rama is close by which have idols of Rama, Sita and Lakshman. Bathing in the hot waters of the sulfur spring is believed to have relieving effect from various ailments. The place is extremely popular among tourists who enjoy bathing in the hot waters amidst cool atmosphere.
About 14 Km north-west of Manali and at an altitude of 8500 ft above sea level, the lush green Solang valley becomes milky white in winters. Situated between Solang village and Beas Kund, the pictoral valley presents the awesome scenery of snow clad mountains and glaciers. Ravishing beauty of the green valleys, snow lining on the distant peaks clear blue sky and serene atmosphere makes of being in the abode of heaven.
A hot spot for adventure lovers, this amazing place offers challenging activities like, Horse riding, Paragliding, Skiing and Zorbing. With the onset of winter, the valley turns into a ski resort when a skiing festival is organized and training in skiing is imparted to enthusiasts by the Manali Mountaineering Institute.
Just 16 Km from Manali at an altitude of 2051 m above sea level is the picturesque Rahall fall surrounded by forest of deodar and silver birch trees. This amazingly beautiful waterfall in the backdrop of magnificent snow clad mountain peaks is really worthy of a visit. This pretty waterfall, an after effect of the dribbling of water from precipitous rocks and melting glaciers is extremely popular among tourists.
Situated at an altitude of about 4000 m above sea level and 50 Km north of Manali, this high altitude pass connects Kullu valley with Lahul and Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh. The pass remains open between May and November provides a wide panoramic view of sky-touching snowy mountains, lakes, and thickly populated deodar and pine forests. The place receives snow fall for almost nine months of the year, which in itself is a major attraction for tourists.
The place offers immense skiing as well as trekking opportunities making it a preferred destination for adventure sports lovers. The most important site for skiing in Rohtang pass is Sonapani glacier. Because of its strategic location and military significance, the Indian government has began building the $320 million Rohtang Tunnel project in 2010 which promises to create a year-round link which is much safer and faster.
Located at a distance of 12 km from Manali on the Lahaul-Spiti-Leh highway, Kothi provides stunning views of the frosty Himalayan ranges and the lush alpine wilderness. An erstwhile base camp for trek to Rohtang Pass.
Kothi has a comfortable staying option in the beautiful PWD Rest House perched atop a ridge overlooking a narrow valley. Apart from providing magnificent view of snow capped mountains and glaciers one can have glimpse of the Beas River flowing through a very deep and narrow gorge at this point. Interestingly many Hindi movies have been shot at this magnificent place.
Among other places of tourist interest, Nehru Kund (natural spring of cold water where Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru used to drink water during his stay at Manali), Arjuna Gufa (believed to be the place where Arjuna of Mahabharata fame meditated), Jagatsukh (famous for old temple of Lord Shiva) and several Buddhist monasteries worth a visit.
How to reach Manali?
The nearest airport is Bhuntar, 52 km south of Manali. Currently, Kingfisher Red operates daily nonstop services from Delhi, Air India provides twice a week nonstop services and MDLR Airlines provides services to Delhi six days a week.
The nearest narrow-gauge railway station is at Joginder Nagar at a distance of about 125 Km. The closest broad-gauge railheads are Chandigarh (310 km) and Ambala (355 km).
Manali is well connected by road to other important tourist places of Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. From Delhi, there is regular HPTDC Luxury and Volvo Coach to Manali. HPTDC runs Luxury coach from Shimla to Manali in
Where to stay at Manali?
Manali being a popular tourist destination has a number of good staying options ranging from luxurious to budget hotels.
For sheer luxury, nothing in Manali can surpass HPTDC run Log Huts. Here is a blend of rustic charm and modern comfort. About 2 km away from Manali, the Log Huts are set in glorious surroundings with the best view of the snow capped peaks. Each Log Hut has two double bed rooms, a living room with dining area and a fully equipped kitchen. The bedrooms have attached baths with running hot and cold water.
For booking and other related information of the HPTDC run Log Huts, just click HERE. You can also call HPTDC at 01902-253531, 253225, 253226.
Named after Manali’s famous Hadimba Temple and ringed by enchanting deodar wood, the cottages have a delightful view of the Beas Valley. These cottages are ideal for those who seek privacy and a touch of solitude. Each Cottage has one bedroom, a living room and a well equipped kitchen with attached bath and running hot & cold water. The rooms are airy, spacious, well furnished, having wall to wall carpet and Satellite Television.
For booking and other related information of the HPTDC run Hadimba Cottage, just click HERE. You can also call HPTDC at 01902-253531, 253225, 253226, 252334.
Located right it the heart of town, Hotel Kunzam is Manali’s most centrally located deluxe hotel. Run by HPTDC, Hotel Kunzam has complete facilities for holding corporate conferences. Rooms are modern with attached baths, running hot & cold water and satellite television.
For booking and other related information of the HPTDC run Hotel Kunzum, just click HERE. You can also call HPTDC at any of the following phone numbers: 01902-253197, 253198, 253531, 253225, 253226, and 252334.
The Rohtang Manalsu
A little away from the town’s bustle and yet easily accessible is Hotel Rohtang Manalsu. It is set amid large lawns. The Hotel is en-route to the Hadimba Temple and offers an excellent view of Vashisht. Rooms have wall to wall carpeting with attached baths and running hot & cold water and facilities like satellite television.
For booking and other related information of the HPTDC run Hotel Manalsu, just click HERE. You can also call HPTDC at any of the following phone numbers: 01902- 252332, 253723, 253531, 253225 and 253226
On the banks of river Beas, Himachal Tourism runs economy Hotel Beas. One of its greatest attractions is most of the rooms overlook the rushing Beas River. All rooms have wall to wall carpeting. They are airy, spacious, furnished and have attached baths with running hot and cold water. Satellite television is available in every rooms.
For booking and other related information of the HPTDC run Hotel Beas, just click HERE. You can also call HPTDC at any of the following phone numbers: 01902- 252832, 253531.
Hotel Silmog Garden
Hotel Silmog Garden is located just 300 meters from the near mall road of Manali. Not very far and yet away from the hustle-bustle of Manali city life, Hotel Silmog Garden Manali offers an ideal respite away from home. Being a Premium Budget Hotel of Manali, Hotel Silmog Garden offers you the simple gesture of genuine hospitality and high standard of services at par with the quality and standard of any Star Hotels in Manali, The hotel has an aura of peace, friendliness and a home-like environment that you can immediately connect to. This hotel is one among the few Manali hotels with separate kitchen and restaurant for vegetarians/Non vegetarians guests.
For booking and other related information of Hotel Silmog Garden you can either click HERE. or call at any of the phone numbers of the hotel at: 01902 – 252862, +91 – 9418205147.
Apple Paradise Manali
Situated at 6919ft. in the Himalayas, Apple Paradise is a great staying option of Manali. Set along 500 year’s Dhungari forest amidst ancient deodar’s, this idyllic retreat with beautiful and peaceful soundings of flora and fauna is an experience to feel the quietness and solitude. The accommodation ranges from standard rooms to luxurious suites to suite every budget. The 21 suiteand 04 cottages (02 has two double bed room with attached bathroom & drawing room, and two has three double bed rooms) offers spectaculars views over the pine forest , apple orchards, Rohtang and Hamta mountain’s ranges and gardens.
For booking and other related information of Apple Paradise Manali, you can either click HERE or call at any of the phone numbers of the hotel at: +91 – 9817500000, 9816000049 and 9318700002.
Hotel Magnolia (01902252258)
Hotel Lhasa (01902-252134)
Honeymoon Inn (01902-253234)
Hotel Meridian (01902-250484)
Hotel Lord Regency (01902-250323)
About the Author: Hi! friends, travelling is my passion and my only hobby. High mountains to deep seas, lush green forests to barren deserts, holy places to sites of historical importance, - every beautiful place attracts me the same way. I want everyone to feel the same and so through my writing I intend to take you all to a virtual trip to all those lovely places that I have visited.