A Perfect Place to Soak in Beauty and Adventure
An all-time favourite hill station for travellers, Manali is situated near the end of the Kullu Valley. Placed at a height of 1950 m, this beautiful place is snuggled amidst snowy peaks, fruit orchards, lovely fields and deodar & pine woods. Fringed by the Beas River, Manali offers extra beautiful views of Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal range of mountains.
Manali, which literally means – ‘The Resting Place of Manu’ derives its name from widely known legend, according to which, the place was founded by ancient sage Manu whose ark rested here after the great flood.
Manali is a less populated, small town, which is awesome to spend a vacation. It is also a popular resort for trekkers with many excellent trekking routes to Lahaul, Spiti, Kangra and Zanskar ranges. The place offers a lot of attraction to the tourists with its ancient temples, scenic sightseeing spots and adventurous activities.
Manali, one of the most sought after tourist destinations of Himachal Pradesh is replete with many scenic places and religious sites. Places like Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, and Van Vihar are soaked in the blessed natural beauty of the place. Other attractions, which pull large number of tourists, include Hidimba Temple, Beas Kund, Nehru Kund and Old Manali.
Let’s have a tour of these major tourist attractions of Manali.
Perched at a height of 4,112 m, Rohtang Pass is the most scenic spot of Manali. Located in the eastern hills of Pir Panjal Range, the pass is surrounded by the River Beas on the south and River Chenab on the north side. The pass is situated at 51 Km from the main town of Manali and is famous for mesmerising views of valley and snow-capped peaks.
ADDRESS – Highway to Keylong, Manali
ENTRY FEE – Free Entry
Located at an altitude of 2,650 m, Solang Valley is also known as ‘Snow Point’. Situated at a distance of 13.5 Km away from the main town of Manali, Solang Valley offers stunning views of snow clad peaks and glaciers. The place is also a famous hotspot in the region for adventurous activities like skiing, paragliding and trekking. You can also take an exciting ride on its one and a half Km long ropeway. With many shops of tasty snacks, the place attracts many travellers and picnickers.
ADDRESS – Solang Village, Manali
TIMINGS – 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
ENTRY FEE – INR 500 per person for ropeway
INR 1200 per person for paragliding
Constructed by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in 1552, Hidimba Temple is revered site for locals as well as travellers. Devoted to Hidimba Devi - Bheema’s wife in Mahabharata, this pagoda style temple is unique in the country. Set amidst the pine trees and surrounded by serenity, this temple also serves as a venue for local weddings.
ADDRESS – Dhoongri, Manali
TIMINGS – All days of the week
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
ENTRY FEE – Free Entry
Located on the Mall Road, Van Vihar National Park is a perfect spot to spend some peaceful leisure time. Maintained by government authorities, the park is forested with deodar trees. Provided with wooden benches and a lake for boat ride, the serene place invites many travellers. With a perfect backdrop of beautiful mountains, the refreshing place is suitable to click some nice pics.
ADDRESS – NH 21, Manali
TIMINGS – 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM (summer)
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (winter)
ENTRY FEE – INR 10 per person for adults
INR 30 per person for boat ride
Located 3 Km away from the main town of Manali, there lays another world of Old Manali. Lined with charming roads, little eateries and beautiful woods; the place gives an impression of old sleepy village on hill. Apart from feasting your eyes on the beauty of this village, you can comfort your palate with some delectable delicacies like hummus-pita, momos, pancakes, pasta & ginger tea.
ADDRESS – Old Manali, Manali
Named after the first prime minister of India – Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, Nehru Kund is located 6 Km away from Manali. It is believed that Mr Nehru used to drink the fresh and clear water of this natural spring, whenever he visited the place. The spring originates from Lake Brighu, which is situated high in the mountain. This serene place, surrounded by lush and thick woods, is perfect spot to spend some relaxing moments.
ADDRESS – On Leh Manali Highway, Manali
Considered to be the origin point of River Beas, Beas Kund is a sacred place guarded by an igloo-like structure. It is believed that the great sage Vyas used to take his daily bath on this spot. The place surrounded by snow covered peaks, rolling rivers and blue sky can catch anybody’s fancy. One can also enjoy a number of adventurous activities here, like trekking, mountain biking or camping. The place is base point for many popular treks including Ladakhi, Shitidhar and Hanuman Tibba peaks. Perfect place to absorb in the natural beauty, Beas Kund is a must visit site for nature lovers, adventure junkies and photo freaks.
ADDRESS – Beas Kund, Manali
TIMINGS – All days of the week
6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
ENTRY FEE – Free Entry
Apart from natural beauty, Himachal Pradesh offers its unique and spicy cuisine to the travellers. The cuisine of this state is greatly influenced by the surrounding states of Punjab and Tibet. Although the local food of Himachal Pradesh varies from one region to another; people of Himachal Pradesh use a lot of spices in their meal. Paddy, maize and rice are the basic ingredients of a common meal, and a standard meal of Himachal includes bread or roti, vegetable, curry and non-vegetarian dish. In some places like Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti, people have coarse grains like millet, buckwheat and barley. During festivals Dham is prepared by ancestral Brahman chefs. It includes rice, green lentil broth and red kidney beans cooked in yoghurt, boor ki kari and dark lentil. Some of the special delicacies of the state are Guchhi Mattar, Sepu Vadi and Kaddu ka Khatta. Milk and milk products are also highly used in the cuisine of Himachal Pradesh.
Eaten with Dal, Ghee or Mutton, Sidu is a popular dish of the state, prepared from wheat & butter. A kind of pancake, Patande is also widely eaten, which is made from wheat.
Among other dishes, which are from outside the northern India, uttapam, dosas, momos, pastas are very famous and relished with delight.
Let’s know some of the best eating joints of Manali.
Located away, in a tranquil place, Il Forno invites the guests for a comfortable and hearty meal. Decorated with wooden interiors, this cosy restaurant offers relishing dishes accompanied with beautiful natural surroundings. Pan fried pizzas, pastas, cheese garlic bread are some of the delicacies you may enjoy here. Don’t forget to try its popular desserts.
ADDRESS – Hadimba Road, Manali
TIMINGS – 12:30 PM – 10:30 PM
PRICE – INR 600 onwards (for two)
Toasted and Roasted
Toasted and Roasted is one of the popular coffee houses in Manali. The moment you enter the café, you can’t help yourself getting affected by the strong aroma of fresh coffee and music of the 80’s. Unwind yourself in the cosy corner of this café with some tasty snacks and gentle music.
ADDRESS – Near Moon Dance, Old Manali, Manali
TIMINGS – 9:00 PM – 9:00 PM
PRICE – INR 300 onwards (for two)
If you have a liking for French cuisine, then come to La Plage – the only restaurant in Manali, which serves authentic French cuisine. The restaurant is spacious and provided with wooden décor, making it pleasing and peaceful. The food served here is simple and fused with original flavours.
ADDRESS – Club House, Old Manali Village, Manali
TIMINGS – 11:00 PM – 10:00 PM
PRICE – INR 1000 onwards (for two)
Casa Bella Vista
If you want to enjoy some Mediterranean and Continental cuisine in Manali, then come to Casa Bella Vista. Have some delicious meal in the nice ambience of this restaurant. Although, you will be served only vegetarian food, the simple and lip smacking food will surely win your heart. Try its popular pan fried pizzas, salads or spaghetti.
ADDRESS – Log Huts Road, Off Manali Road, Manali
PRICE – INR 800 onwards (for two)
It is one of the oldest and most famous eating places in Manali. Though the interior is not much spacious; the place is very comfortable and has bright, colourful decoration. Apart from usual Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese and Indian Cuisines, Chopsticks serves local river tout preparations. Try its special Chopsticks Noodles; Chicken Dim Sums and Veg Pan Fried Rice.
ADDRESS – The Mall Road, Manali
PRICE – INR 800 onwards (for two)
Manali is a charming hill statin to relax and spend some quality time in the lap of nature. Apart from this, one can behold the culture of that place with its fairs and festivals. Dussehra and Hadimba Devi Festival are two main festivals that are celebrated here with much zeal and excitement. Let’s know something about these festivals one by one.
Hadimba Devi Fair
Held in the month of May, every year, Hadimba Devi Fair commemorates the birthday of Hadimba, the wife of Bheema. Hadimba Devi Temple is a religious site and one of the highlights in Manali among locals as well as travellers. This fair pulls a large number of nearby travellers and features various folk dance and music performance by locals.
Dussehra is a noteworthy festival of Manali, which is celebrated with much gusto. Held in the month of end September or October; this ten days long fest hosts bands and processions. This is a good time to be in Manali and take part in this festival.
Celebrated on the 16th day of Baisakh (summer), Vasantotsava or Pipal Jatra is a famous fiesta of Manali. On this day; schools, colleges and offices remain closed and carnivals of songs and dances are hosted on the fairgrounds of Kullu’s Dhalpur.
Manali Winter Carnival - the colourful 5 day festival is hosted at Manu Kala Kendra. This fiesta comprises cultural shows & performances by artists from various parts of the country. Apart from the fest, it is also the best time to enjoy the snowy beauty and snow sports in Manali.
The religious festival, Mela Bhunter, is held on the 1st Ashad (June/July) for three days. Celebrated in the village Bhunter, this fair was started by Devta of the Suraj Pal region. In this, the newly harvested crop is cooked and offered to friends and relatives.
Blessed with a backdrop of Himalayan peaks and ample natural beauty, there are endless exciting activities to enjoy in Manali. You can go skiing, rafting, paragliding, trekking, zorbing or just relax yourself in the magical place.
Let’s indulge ourselves in some of these activities one by one.
Zorbing is a unique adventurous sport, where a person is slipped in a huge transparent ball and rolled down from a mountain slope. This sport, which really requires a lot of guts to take, offers a good opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the place from every possible angle. This activity is often done under the assistance of an organiser, and can also be enjoyed by two people at a time.
The thrilling activity of river rafting can be enjoyed at Beas River in Manali. The gushing current of Beas River offers many chances for activities like canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting. The most suitable time for rafting in Manali is from April to June and from mid-September to mid-October. It is often started from Raison and is led via Kullu.
Skiing is another thrilling activity, you can enjoy in Manali. There are around 2 and a-half Km ski runs in Solang. For those who are new to this adventurous sport, there are a number of skiing courses available at the Solang Ski Centre.
Manali is a heaven for trekkers. The place serves as a great base camp for treks, and in addition to this, Manali’s Mountaineering Institute offers different types of high altitude hiking and rock climbing chances. The best time for trekking here, is from April to October. Hampta Pass Trek is one of the most popular treks of the region.
Climbing a steep rocky cliff is not an easy task. Rock climbing is one of the new adventurous sports in India, which is gaining popularity with time. This activity ranges from easy to difficult and with proper training, you can try your hand and courage to this sport.
Himalayan Caravan Adventure
Himalayan Caravan Adventure offers well organised packages and tours to experience adventurous sports. From trekking, jeep safaris, mountain biking, camping and rafting, you can choose anything you want to try. Book any adventure and test your courage.
Shopping is one of the essential and enjoyable things to do in Manali. Take a leisurely walk in its sleepy lanes and pick some of the best things to buy in Manali. You can make a good deal for some quite interesting and unique things from this hill station like Tibetan handicrafts, singing bowl, prayers wheels, Kullu shawls & caps, thangas (paintings) and dorjes (ritual object).
There are many markets in Manali, from where you can buy these things. Here, we are providing you a precise Manali shopping guide, which will help you to shop, when you visit the place.
Mall Road is the centre of the Manali, which is lined with innumerable staying places, eateries and shopping places. It is close to all the main attraction and has many shops and emporiums where you can pick Kullu and Kashmiri shawls, wooden furniture, woollen caps and rugs. It constitutes many smaller shopping zones like Hong Kong Market, Lama Underground, New NAC Market and Dragon Shopping Complex.
SHOP FOR – Miscellaneous Items
Bhuttico is a cooperative shop, which was established in 1944 by a group of village women. It has three stores in Manali which are located at Mall Road, Manu Market and NAC Market. If you are interested in buying woollen clothes, then it is a good place to pick some good items from a variety of shawls, jackets, gloves, scarves and bags.
SHOP FOR – Woollen Clothes
Located near the Main Street in Manali, Many Market is spread in narrow lanes, lined with shops and eateries. You can try your hand at endless shopping items including footwear, food, utensils, Tibetan jewellery and electric appliances.
SHOP FOR – Any item for which you can bargain
Old Manali Market
Old Manali Market is located in the sleepy village of old Manali. This market is full of variety of selling items like t-shirts, jewellery, beads, jams, pickles and much more.
SHOP FOR – Pickles
Want to buy some Tibetan souvenirs? Then, come to Tibetan Market which is stocked with endless items like hand woven carpets, rugs, shawls, woollen clothes, silver jewellery, prayer wheels, bamboo artefacts , thangas etc. Don’t settle on any price before bargaining.
SHOP FOR – Tibetan Souvenirs
When it comes to stop over in Manali, there are ample options to choose from a number of hotels. Being one of the main hill station and tourist spot of Himachal Pradesh, Manali is dotted with a number of luxurious hotels, resorts, bread & breakfast, mid-range hotels, 3 star hotels, and budget hotels. Suiting to every traveller’s wallet, there are many hotels, from where you can have beautiful views of rolling hills and lush greenery of the place.
Let’s take a look of some of these staying places of Manali, in detail.
Snow Valley Resort
Situated at a distance of 2 Km from Manali Bus Depot, Snow Valley Resort is a beautiful residing place, surrounded by silvery Himalayan peaks, apple orchards and green pinewood forests. Ideal for business travellers as well as leisure sojourners, the accommodating place is provided with elegantly decorated rooms. The resort is also furnished with an on-site restaurant ‘The Orchard’, where you can have sumptuous meals, while feasting your eyes on the mesmerising views of the surroundings. The place has all the necessary facilities and is provided with a rooftop coffee shop and conference hall.
ADDRESS – Log Hut Area, Manali
Sun Park Resort
Located 2 Km from Bus Stand and 52 Km from Bhuntar Airport, Sun Park Resort is a perfect choice for a comforting holiday. The resort is furnished with beautiful interiors and all the modern amenities. You can indulge in a party in its onsite discothèque or relax by availing massage facility. You can have delicious Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes in its in-house restaurant – ‘The Dawat’, or refreshing drink in its cocktail bar.
ADDRESS – Left Bank, New Manali
Situated 3 Km from Hidimba Devi Temple, Hotel Jupiter is a good choice for budget travellers. Provided with all necessary facilities and 36 elegant deluxe rooms; the place also offers Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes in its in-house restaurant. Located on the Mall Road, the staying place is ideally near to many main tourist attractions of Manali.
ADDRESS – Hadimba Road, Circuit House Road, Near Mall Road, Manali
Heritage Village Resort and Spa
Situated 15 Km from Manali Bus Stand, Heritage Village Resort & Spa is a good choice for those travellers, who want to spend some quality time in tranquillity. Surrounded by beautiful landscape, the hotel offers various categories of rooms for a relaxing holiday like Premium Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Heritage Cottage, Family Suite, Duplex Suites and one Bedroom Cottage. The hotel is also furnished with fine dining place with on-site multi-cuisine restaurant. ‘The Tavern’, is its in-house bar, where one can relax and enjoy cocktails & mocktails. There is also an open air café, where you can soothe yourself with hot tea/coffee accompanied with beautiful surroundings.
ADDRESS – Jhonger, Village Sarsai, Naggar – Manali Road, Manali
Located 1.9 Km from Hidimba Devi Temple and 200 m from the bus terminal, Hotel Himgiri is placed in the midst of Himalayan peaks and pine trees. The complex has 31 well furnished rooms that come in two categories – Deluxe and Super Deluxe. There is also an in-house restaurant in the hotel, where guests can enjoy their favourite dishes.
ADDRESS – Model Town, Near Telephone Exchange, Manali
Manali is one of the most visited hill station of Himachal Pradesh. Large numbers of vacationers, families, honeymooners visit this place for an enjoyable holiday. With such a blooming tourism, this hill station is well linked with the other parts of the states and country by air, road and railway.
If you are planning a trip from Delhi to Manali, then the drive to Manali is around 550 Km via Chandigarh. One can also take a drive from Kalka to Manali, which is around 285 Km away. The distance between Chandigarh to Manali is approximately 310 Km.
To get around the city, the most feasible and easily accessible way is to hire a cab/taxi. You may book it for some specific hours or for entire day or even few days. You can also explore the beauty of this fantastic hill station on foot. It is the best medium to absorb the beauty of the place.
Reaching Manali by Air
The nearest airport to Manali is at Bhuntar, 50 Km away from Manali. It is well linked with domestic flights from Delhi and Chandigarh. Once you reach the airport, you can hire a pre-paid taxi to Manali.
Reaching Manali by Train
Joginder Nagar Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Manali, located at a distance of 143.4 Km from Manali. From railway station, you can take taxi/bus to reach the hill station. Other choices to reach Manali via rail route are Chandigarh and Ambala, which are well linked to other major railway stations of the country.
Reaching Manali by Road
Manali is well connected to important tourist destinations like Leh, Shimla, Kullu, Dharamshala and New Delhi by state run buses as well as private buses. The bus journey is convenient and feasible from these nearby places including Delhi (540 Km), Chandigarh (305 Km), Dehradun (227 Km) and Ambala (370 Km).