8 memorable places to visit in Manali
Once called “the end of the habitable world”, Manali is a perfect escape for the lovers of nature, mountains, and most astonishing snow. Situated in Himachal Pradesh is the favorite destination of thousands of tourists.
Lying under the lap of Himalayas Manali provides a perfect treat to eyes with the breathtaking view of gigantic and mighty snow-covered mountains, lush green forest, freezing cold water of river Beas that pass through the town and beautiful wooden temple.
Manali is charming to visit throughout the year but each season has its uniqueness, while in summer it provides respite from heated summer and in winters it is covered with a sheet of snow that makes it more stunning. Along with sightseeing, you can partake in various adventure sports.
Visit Mall Road
Of all the places to visit in Manali, you must begin with Mall road. It is situated at the heart of the town, it’s the main street of the town buzzing with activities throughout the day. Mall road is close to all places of interest and provides a link to reach every other destination near town.
Here you can find restaurants, hotels, and bars, this busy commercial street also houses numerous shops and emporium where you can find a souvenir for your loved ones, from Kullu to Kashmiri shawls, rugs woolen caps, jewelry, wooden furniture, Kashmiri embroidered purses and Kurtis. Shops of dry fruits, honey, and the pickle will give you a chance to take Himachal’s taste to your home.
You will also find a wooden Hindu temple midst of the Mall road, it’s beautifully crafted and shows the cultural history of the town.
River Beas and Rafting
Beas river flows from the heart of the town, it’s 5 minutes walking distance from Mall Road. You can view the river from almost every corner of the town. Water is clean and freezing cold, don’t forget to stand barefoot at the bank at a safe distance from the rushing water. River stream speed provides the perfect thrill to adventure rafters.
Water rafting is best suited in the water-rich river and Beas river in Kullu-Manali stretch is ideal for the sport. The river has its origin in the Rohtang pass and it blesses Kullu Valley on its way down. With the right kind of stability over a stretch of 20 km from Manaki to Jhiri near Bajaura en-route Manali from Bhuntar is one of the best stretches for rafting in India.
The best river rafting in Manali happens in June and July. Monsoon does restrict it, for a couple of months and it restarts by late October and goes on till early February. Service providers will provide you with proper safety gear and instructions so that you can feed your adrenaline rush and stay safe.
Cost: INR 500 to 1000
Solang valley is one of many places to visit in Manali. Located 13 km from the Manali Solang gives you the beautiful view of glaciers and snow-capped mountains. Situated on the way to Rohtang from Manali, every year the valley welcomes tourists in huge numbers. A favorite for adventure enthusiasts, parachuting to paragliding, horse riding to driving mini-open jeeps specially available for tourists of all age groups, trolley ride from lower spot to the higher hill, Solang Valley has it all.
During winter Solang is covered with snow and skiing is a popular sport here. Ice slopes also give you the thrill of riding huge transparent balls rolling down the slope in summers. Don’t miss the valley when you visit Manali.
One other most exotic places to visit in Manali. It’s a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal range and is located 51 km away from Manali. Rohtang Pass can be reached only by road. The pass is located at a massive height of 3978 meters, the way up the hills is a treat to the eyes. As the vehicle climbs higher on the Manali-Keylong road, the beauty of the landscape around will leave you awestruck.
It becomes chilly with every increasing meter, so pack yourself in warm clothes and curl up in your car seat. Do gaze at the awesome raw beauty nature provides. The magnificent mighty snow-covered mountains, scenic view, and peaceful silence will provide you a mesmerizing experience.
Manali’s Nature Park
Manali’s wildlife sanctuary that starts about 2 km from Manali. It is the catchment of Manalsu khad. A path from Manali log huts and Dhungri temple passes through dense Deodar, Kail, Horse chestnut, Walnut, and Maple forests. Musk deer, Monal and Brown bear, Leopard and Snow leopard are some of the common animals seen here.
This place is heaven for nature lovers, here you can also paddle a boat in the small lake the park has.
Cost of boating: INR 30 for 15 minutes
Hidimba Devi Temple, locally known as Dhungari’s Temple, is another place to visit in Manali. It is made up of wood and rocks. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, wife of Bhima, a figure in the Indian epic Mahābhārata.
The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest called Dhungiri Van Vihar at the foot of the Himālayas. The sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground and is worshiped as an image of the deity.
Apart from the temple, you can go for photography with the Himachali traditional dress and beautiful furry rabbit. You can also do Yak riding and experience how peaceful and disciplined these mighty animals are.
Cost of a photograph with the dress: INR 100 per person
Cost of yak riding: INR 50 to 100 depends on negotiation.
Vashisht Hot Spring
This is probably the most fascinating phenomenon for nature for man. The geothermal effect in the earth heats the water on the surface that gushes out as a spring. Hot water springs are very popular on account of their therapeutic and healing properties.
Located 3.5 km from Manali in the small hamlet called Vashisht. Crossing its narrow lanes filled with shops you will reach a 4000-year-old ancient temple. This temple is dedicated to the ancient Indian sage Vashisht who was the guru of Ram and Lakshman. It has a hot water spring. The water from the spring is considered to have healing properties and is capable of curing skin disease.
It has a Turkish style bathing enclosure for men and women. Vashisht is indeed one of the most historical and mystical places to visit in Manali. A dip in the hot water spring here is sure to leave you refreshed and rejuvenated in body, mind, and soul.
Street Food and Traditional food
Apart from popular places to visit in Manali you must try the local food of Manali. Streets of mall road are filled with local food providing your taste buds a treat to remember, be it jalebi with ‘kadai wala dood’, or tiny ‘gulab jamuns’, beautiful and tasty cakes and pastries.
Don’t miss out on ….
The traditional Dham, which is usually cooked during wedding ceremonies in Himachal Pradesh. It often includes rice, curry, curd, and sweetened rice among other things. Often served as a special lunch, you will find it at many local food joints.
Red rice, which is locally grown and has a nutty flavor. Usually served with beans and saag. which you can taste at various local food joints.
Masala omelette and tea, you will find it in almost every corner of the street.
Trout fish, local favorite prepared with local flavors which are tangy and spicy, don’t miss on it.
Siddu, a traditional and famous “Kullvi dish”, is one of the most loved dishes in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. It is made up of wheat flour. You can find it in a few local restaurants only.
Places to visit in Manali needs a minimum of 4-5 days, there is no railway station or airport in Manali, so you will have to travel through the road. Although there is the nearest airport at Bhuntur 50 km from Manali and 10 km from Kullu.
If you have time to plan then book a hotel or cottage from the Himachal Pradesh tourism site, it will provide you options at a reasonable price and at prime locations. If you are an adventurer and a nature lover then Manali is for you.
Before you plan to visit Manali, do take a glimpse of the valley through these songs and scenes
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