The vibrant and colorful Manali, Himachal Pradesh, is a famous tourist destination in India. The things that make Manali mesmerizing and breathtaking are just many. The amazing weather, mountains and the lush green forests are just a few of them. All the adventurous and recreational activities that one can experience while being here make Manali much more alluring. One visit to Manali can light up your whole world.
Manali is a beautiful valley situated at an altitude of 2050m in the Beas river valley. It also serves as a gateway to Leh and Lahaul Spiti district.
If you are planning to visit Manali, here is the itinerary you need to follow and I promise you won’t miss out on anything.
Solang Nala/ Solang valley
It is at a distance of 14kms from Manali on the way to Rohtang Pass. It is famous for a number of sports activities such as paragliding, skating, parachuting, zorbing, horse riding, ropeway or climbing. Skiing is offered only during winters. Snow lovers should visit this place in the months of December-February. The ambience of this place away from the hustle bustle with picturesque view of the snow capped mountains is just great.
You definitely don’t want to miss out on this part of Manali. The streets are filled with foreigner backpackers and travellers. Old Manali is also famous for Hashish or Marijuana although the substance is banned and possession of the stuff is illegal. The cuisines, that the Cafes and restaurants of old Manali serve are mouth watering and you should definitely try some of the dishes while being here. You can buy souvenirs for your family, friends and for yourself. The market of old Manali has everything from funky stuff to warm cushy sweaters and mufflers. You can walk to old Manali from New Manali in about 20 minutes. You can hire a taxi or an auto rikshaw to this place or places around, but I insist on walking your way up here.
Manali is believed to be named after Manu. It is in old Manali. According to Hindu mythology, sage Manu is considered to be the creator of the world. It is believed that sage Manu meditated at the Manu temple after stepping on the earth. It is a primary tourist attraction and is the only temple in India dedicated to sage Manu. There is a dress code for the entry in the temple. Beas river flows near the temple adding to its sanctity and makes the location a definite delight to the eyes. Manu temple is among the most serene places in Manali which you can’t miss.
Naggar was the capital of Kullu in 1460. The Naggar castle was built by Raja Sidhi Singh, King of Kullu empire and is an architectural marvel entirely made up of wood. It is transformed into a heritage hotel which is run by the government of Himachal Pradesh. The management has done a great job in maintaining its charismatic beauty. The artwork is extraordinary and gushing river Beas flowing nearby adds immensely to the beauty of the castle.
You can also pay a visit to the following places in Naggar.
- Nicholas Roerich Art gallery
- Gauri Shanker temple
- Vasuki Nag temple
- Tripura Sundri temple
Gauri Shanker temple
It is near Naggar Bus stand in the village Dashal and is at a distance of 20kms from Manali. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed to be built in the 12 centuary AD. It is famous for its Shikhara style architecture and the intricate stone carvings. If you are in Manali ask your Taxi driver to show you this place for sure
Hadimba Devi Temple or Dhungiri temple
It is at a distance of about 2.5km from Manali and is one of the oldest temples here. It was built in 1553 by Maharaja Bahadur shah and is dedicated to Hadimba devi, wife of Bhima who was one of the five Pandvas from the Indian epic Mahabharata. It is situated midst tall trees of deodar and offers much peace and serenity. A lot of devotees visit the temple during the mela or festival which is held once a year. Because it is situated in the Dhungiri Van Vihar or Dhungiri forest, hence the name, Dhungiri temple.
Tibetan Monasteries are a major tourist attraction because of the beautiful Tibetan culture, art and craft work. There is a large population of Tibetan origin settled in Manali. The two famous monasteries are:
- Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa
The beautiful statue of Lord Buddha with stunning wall paintings all around in such a serene location make the monastery so famous which has Pagoda style of architecture. It is situated near the market square in Manali.
- Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa
It is near the mall road in Manali. There is a meditation hall in the monastery and a statue of Lord Buddha. The famous carpets and handicrafts can be bought from the several small shops as souvenirs for family and friends.
Manali Club House
It is Himachal Pradesh tourism department run entertainment zone with facilities of numerous indoor games. It is located on the bank of river Manalsu near Mall road. Adventure activities such as rafting and river crossing by ropeway can be experienced at affordable prices. It is built in the British style of architecture. There is also the facility of library and an in-house restaurant for snacks.
It is 6kms from Manali in Kullu district on the left bank of river Beas and is famous for its hot water spring. The Vashisht temple is believed to be 4000 years old. The architecture of the temple is great with beautiful wood carvings. The hot water spring is believed to have healing powers and there are separate bathing facilities for men and women. It is a sacred place for the Hindu devotees.
Lord Rama Temple
It is adjacent to the Vashisht Temple and is of great value to the hindu pilgrims. The temple has intricate wood carvings and is dedicated to Lord Ram. You can shop for wooden idols and many other things from nearby shops.
It is situated at a distance of 51kms from Manali. It is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas. It serves as a gateway to Lahaul Spiti. The pass is open from May to November and closed on other months of the year. It is on the highway to Keylong/ Leh. Rahal waterfall is situated at a distance of 16kms from Manali on the way to Rohtang Pass. It is the snow point of Himachal Pradesh which visited by a number of tourists and adventure lovers. There are number of adventure activities which can be experienced here such as skiing and scooter riding. The Pass offers mesmerizing views of the glaciers, snow covered mountains, Lahaul valley and Chandra river. Rohtang pass has snow all over the year.
It is 14-6kms from Manali at the foothills of Rohtang Pass. It is famous for its deep gorges through which the gushing Beas River flows. The picturesque landscape of the place is just breathtaking. The panoramic view of the glaciers, snow clad mountains and the enchanting Beas River is amazing. Camping and Paragliding can be enjoyed here at Kothi. Many scenes of Bollywood movies are shot here. It is perfect destination for poets and painters or anyone with pure love in their heart for beautiful and serene locations.
Manali Winter Carnival
The carnival is hosted in Manali every year in the month of February since 1977 and is a major tourist attraction. Number of cultural and adventure competitions unique traditions of Himachal Pradesh. People from all around the country from different states come to the winter carnival to participate in different events. During the Carnival the local culture is flaunted by the people of Himachal Prdaesh.
Jogini falls is a small trek of about 3kms from Vashisht. The trek is beautiful and you will come across beautiful apple orchard, small water streams and the panoramic view of the place will have an effect on you which can last for a lifetime. There is a temple dedicated to Jogini devi at the base of the waterfall. You can also climb to the top of the waterfall which may take another 20minutes. There is also a pool facility at the base of the waterfall for the tourists.
Jana waterfall is a beautiful natural waterfall in the village Jana of Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. This village is situated in the small town of Naggar (tehsil-Manali). Jana waterfall is one of those destinations which people often skip while travelling to Manali, not knowing how beautiful destination they are missing.
It is located to the east of Rohtang pass. It can be reached from the Vashishta temple. It is believed that this lake never freezes completely as Bhrigu Rishi used to meditate near the lake. It is named after the same Bhrigu Rishi. It is situated at a distance of 6kms from Gulaba Village. It is a difficult trek to Bhrigu Lake and may take up to 2 days to reach there.
It is at a distance of 5kms from Manali and is located on the left bank of the river Beas near village Prini. It is believed that Arjuna, from the epic Mahabharata, meditated in these caves and acquired the weapon, Pashupata ashstra from Lord Indra. The natural beauty of the caves is unique and appealing.
Manikaran is a holy destination in the Parvati valley of Himachal Pradesh along the banks of river Parvati. This place lies at a distance of 34kms from Bhuntar (nearest airport) and 4kms from Kasol which is also referred to as mini Israel. Manikaran is a holy center for both Hindus as well as Sikhs. Shri Guru Nanak ji Gurdwara and the Rama temple attracts a lot of pilgrims throughout the year. The beliefs are different for the different communities. This site also attracts a lot of tourists visiting Kullu Manali and Kasol because of the hot water springs and the religious value it holds. The water of the place is thought to have curative powers and it is so hot that you can cook rice in it. You can also plan your Kheerganga trek from here.
Kasol is a small village located at a sitance of 32 kms from Bhuntar(nearest airport) in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. The village lies adjacent to gurguling Parvati river ans is also called as the mini Israel of India. Kasol is also famous for availability of premium hashish and for its rave parties with international DJs performing all day night long. Many people call Kasol as the smokers’ paradise. The speciality of the place lies in the trekking routes to various places like Malana, Chalaal, Kheerganga etc.
The cultivaion of Malana cream(cannabis) makes this place so famous. It is known that Bob Marley visited this place just because of the reason that this place has the best quality hashish. It is near Kasol village and one can trek to Malana from Kasol. This village is isolated from the rest of the world and has its own rules and regulation. One should visit Malana to know about the mysterious culture of this place which is truly beautiful and unique.
Kheerganga is a difficult trek of 13kms uphill from Varshaini near Manikaran. On your way to Kheerganga you will come across many bridges and waterfalls. The trek is famous for its rawness and hot water springs. There is a temple of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and the holy hot water springs are believed to have healing properties. The panoramic view of the surroundings and the sky from Kheergana is an absolute delight to the eyes.
This was all about Manali. I hope you liked this article. If there is anything else you want to know, please comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.