Situated at the northern end of the kullu valley, Manali has spectacular
views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. Manali literally means
the 'Home of Manu'. Manu is the mythological character who is supposed
to have survived when the world was drowned in Flood. He then came
to Manali and recreated human life. Thus, the area of Manali is
sacred and Hindus treat the temples over here as pilgrimage.
Surrounded by towering peaks at an arm length, Manali's major asset
is its proximity to the snowline. It is a flourishing orchard industry,
a popular honeymoon destination and trailhead for numerous treks
as well as a great countryside ideal for adventure sport lovers.
Manali, with its mountaineering institute, is a popular base for
trekking and mountaineering in summer and skiing in winter. Interesting
routes into the surrounding valleys, over the high passes, are provided
with tourist huts and rest houses for trekkign enthusiasts.
Hadimba or Dhungiri temple in Manali is one of the most important
temples in the region. This four-story wooden temple is located
in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. Winding
paths through forests and glades of whispering Deodars form the
setting for the majestic wooden temple of Hidimba Devi in Manali.
The motorable road is shaded by Chestnuts, Chinars and tall deciduous
Deodars. This forested backdrop enthral one’s spirit and refresh
one’s mind all along the uphill path.
Vashist Springs (1,982m)
At about half an hour’s brisk walking distance from town,
there are sulphur springs-gush, hot and medicinal - emerging out
of the mountains at Vashisht. Here, in a bath complex with a restaurant
and a beautiful view, couples can soak in the privacy of their own
sunken bath, warming all kinds of ailments out of their systems.
It is one of the biggest villages in Kullu district. About 6-km
from Manali, Jagatsukh is famous for its Shiva temple that is built
in "shikhara" style and nearby is the old and interesting
Devi Sharvati temple.
Arjun Gufa (5-kms)
On the left bank of the Beas, 5-km from Manali near the village
of Prini, is the 'Arjun Gufa' or the cave of Arjuna. In here Arjuna
practised austerities to get Pashupata Ashtra or weapon from Lord
Further ahead is the Beas Kund. The tiny roundish igloo like stone
hut shelters the Beas Kund, the very source of the holy river Beas.
Water flows at the source of the river likfe a spring, so clear
and icy cold that it almost numbs the fingers. All around is the
rocky terrain with very little vegetation. A few mules graze around
while all and sundry try to brave the wind on a clear sunny day.
Rohtang Pass (13-kms)
Situated about 50-km from Manali town, at an altitude of 4,111m
on the highway to Keylong, is the Rohtang Pass. There is a beautiful
Dasohar Lake left of the Pass. The Pass, which provides the only
access to the Lahaul Valley, is open from June to November each
year. Snowfall is, however, unpredictable and blizzards can close
the Pass even during this period. Here one sees the majesty of the
mountains at its height and splendour. A few km away from the pass
is the Sonapani glacier and, slightly to the left are the twin peaks
of Gaypan-jagged pyramid of rock, snow streaked and snow crowned.
Adventures & Sports
The Mountaineering Institute located at Manali provides training
facilities for basic and advance climbing both for Indian nationals
and foreigners. This institute also conducts other adventurous sports
activities like high altitude trekking, minor mountaineering, rock-climbing,
skiing, and high altitude rescue and relief courses. The institute
has sufficient lodging and boarding arrangements and equipment can
be hired for trekking purposes.
The Beas river flowing through Kullu valley is suitable for not
only white water rafting but is ideal for canoeing and kayaking
too. The Beas River from the Manaki to Jhiri near Bajaura in Kullu
district has become very popular among the lovers of river rafting
and many competitions have been organised in the same. The trip
starts from Mohal and covers a total distance 10-kms. The season
normally starts from May to mid-June and rest depends on the arrival
of monsoon. The various clubs provide the basic equipment required
for the water sports.
Near Manali there are some slopes, which have been rated the best
for skiing in the world. The Solang Nullah, Patalsu, Kothi, Marhi
and Rohtang slopes are very good for skiing in the winters as well
as in summers. In fact Patalsu and Rohtang slopes are the only places
where one can do summer skiing. The slopes are being further developed
to accommodate more trainees and tourists.
The national level skiing competition is held on the slopes of
Solang Nullah and the winter carnival is organised at Manali. The
place has immense potential to offer some world-class ski slopes
and they are being developed on the same lines. There are private
organisations that provide training as well as equipment for skiing.
The Mountaineering Institute has put up a small ski lift at Solang
Paragliding is a combination of hang gliding and parachuting. In
parachuting one has to jump from an aircraft whereas in paragliding
one has to run down hill. The slopes of Solang Nullah provide just
the right kind of slopes for paragliding during summers. There are
organisations, which offer packages for paragliding. One can hire
equipment from the private organisations in Manali and around.
The nearest airport to Manali is that of Bhuntar, which is 52-km
from Manali. From Bhuntar one can take a taxi or a bus to Manali.
The nearest railhead is that of and this narrow gauze railway station
is 95-km from Kullu. The scenic beauty of Kullu while going to Manali
can best be enjoyed on a bus or a taxi. It is better to take a taxi,
which one can stop and enjoy the nature at will.
The road to Manali passes through the picturesque valley of Kullu.
The motorable roads to Manali connect the town with other major
tourist places in Himachal as well as in the nearby states. At the
Manali bus stand there are two booths, which do computerised reservation
for buses. The reservations can be made one month in advance. Both
private and state government buses are in service over here.
General Information & Accomdation info on Manali city of Himachal Pradesh - India