Just a step away from the majestic heights of the snow covered mountains, Manali is one of India’s favourite hill stations. Thick forests rise over a carpet of varied foliage ad flowers. Terraced fields and small hamlets dot the slopes. There is an enormous range of sightseeing, activity and adventure that is available around the town. It forms the base of several trek routes, offers rock climbing, mountaineering, fishing, camping, white-water rafting and skiing. It is believed that after the great flood of legend, the boat of Manu, the ancestor of all mankind came to rest in Manali – which is named after him.
Height: 1830 m
Climate: Manali in winters can experience sunny days and freezing nights. This place receives a fair amount of snow and heavy woollens are required. In summers, light woollens are recommended.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Manali
Road: Manali is 575 kms from Delhi, 320 kms from Chandigarh and 260 kms from Shimla.
Rail: The nearest broad gauge is at Chandigarh, 320 kms from Manali
Air: The Kullu airport at Bhuntar is 50 kms from Manali.
Tourist Attractions in Manali
Hadimba Devi Temple: This is 1.5 kms from the Tourist Office. Built in 1553, and dedicated to the goddess Hadimba, this is also known as the Dhoongri temple. It is built around a small natural cave believed to enshrine the footprints of Hadimba Devi. According to legend, Bhima slew the demon Hadimb and married his sister, Hadimba who was subsequently elevated to the status of goddess. Superbly crafted as a four-tiered pagoda style structure, it has an exquisitely carved door. It is said that the right hand of the craftsman was severed to prevent him from replicating the masterpiece, but he trained himself to do as well with his left hand.
Tibetan Monasteries: The Gadhan Thekchokling Gompa was built in the late 1960s. It holds wall paintings and a large statue of the Buddha. For visitors, this is open through the day to early evening. There are recently built monasteries at Chadhiyari and Aleo too.
Mani Temple: This is dedicated to the sage Manu. This is in old Manali, whose narrow lanes evoke the idyll of Himachal’s villages.
Vashisth: 3 km. This village on the banks of the Beas is renowned for its mineral water springs and hot sulphur baths – which have been piped into shower-fitted bathrooms. The village has temples dedicated to the sage Vashisth and to Lord Ram.
Arjun Gufa: 4 km. Arjun of the ‘Mahabharata’ is regarded to have meditated in this cave. Near the village of Prini, this has an excellent view of the area.
Jagatsukh: 6 km. Once the seat of the rulers of Kullu, this holds he age-old temples of Lord Shiva and of Sandhya Gayatri.
Solang Valley: 14 km. The grassy slopes of this valley turn into excellent ski-slopes in winter. During the summer months, paragliding, zorbing, horse-riding and other activities are on offer.
Rohtang Pass: In Tibetan language, Roh means a ‘dead body’, Tang is a heap or plie and La is a mountain pass. In earlier times, many people died while crossing the pass. Rohtang Pass at an altitude of 3978 m is a high altitude pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 kms from Manali. It connects the Kullu valley with the Lahaul and Spiti valleys. The Pass remains entirely covered in snow during most part of the year and hence cannot be approached during the winter months. Half day excursion to Rohtang Pass in one of the most favourite attraction for the tourists in Manali.