Manali
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Overview

Manali Travel Guide

Manali is located at the northern end of the Kullu Valley in the Himachal Pradesh on the road leading to Ladakh via the valley of Lahul Spiti.

The small town is situated on the bank of Beas River near the originating source of the river. Manai excels itself as a starting point for a number of treks [Beas Kund, Chandra khani pass] along with adventure sports such as White water rafting.

The valley is great tourist attraction, for it has a plus that sets it apart from other valleys in the region due to its proximity to the snow line. Snowfalls are the icing on cake for Manali. Manali can boast of many attractions. It has a flourishing orchard industry, it’s a popular Honeymoon Destination and a great place for adventure sport lovers. Our intensively researched Manali Travel Guide with detailed sections on how to reach, driving direction is designed to help you explore Manali like no has ever done before.

Manali is a small valley surrounded by several mountains of the great Himalayan ranges.

 

Manali

 

The valley is great tourist attraction, for it has a plus that sets it apart from other valleys in the region due to its proximity to the snow line. Snowfalls are the icing on cake for Manali. Manali can boast of many attractions. It has a flourishing orchard industry, it’s a popular honeymoon destination and a great place for adventure sport lovers. Our intensively researched Manali Travel Guide with detailed sections on how to reach, driving direction is designed to help you explore Manali like no has ever done before.

How to Reach

How to Reach Manali

Manali located at an altitude of 1829 M in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. Manali is one of the popular hill station of Himalayan range. Most popular way to reach Manali is by road or by air. The nearest airport is at a distance of 52 KM Bhuntar. Manali is 570 KM from Delhi and you can reach Manali through National Highway number 21.

How to Reach Manali by Railways 

Station Code Index: CDG

The Nearest Rail head is Chandigarh 245 km away. Chandigarh is well connected by rest of India.

How to Reach Manali by Road

Kullu – Manali is well connected to major parts of the country by a network of roads. There are regular bus services for Kullu and Manali from Delhi, Shimla and Chandigarh.

How to Reach Manali by Airways 

Bhuntar at near about 50 kms is the closest airport. Cabs and taxis can be hired to reach the Manali city, a cheaper option is to take buses run by HPTDC. It takes about two hours to reach Manali by road from Bhuntar. Jagson airlines operates flights from Delhi, Shimla and Chandigarh for Bhuntar. Bhuntar is also connected to Delhi by daily flights by King Fisher airline (Air Deccan). Jagson also connects the airport thrice a week with Dharamshala and Shimla. Extra flights run during the main summer season.

For further details you can contact Jagson airlines on 011-25674898, 65515132.  

Distance from Manali to other locations
Places Distance
Bhuntar 52 km
Delhi 570 km
Shimla 260 km
Solang Valley 13 km
Naggar 22 km
Chandigarh 280 km
Dharamshala 235 km
Dalhousie (via Lahru) 360 km
Rohtang Pass 51 km
Driving Direction

Driving Directions Manali

 

Manali is an enchanting hill station situated at an altitude of 6860 feet. It is the first premier hill station in the Kullu valley, Himachal Pradesh, North India. The Castle, Beas Kund, Chandra Khani Pass, Rohtang Pass and Solang valley are the well famed attractions of the region which can be visited by the travelers while on a tour to Manali. Bhuntar airport is the nearest airport located 43 Kms from Manali. The Gaggal airport is also amongst the nearest airport located 103 Kms from Manali in Dharamshala. The Indira Gandhi International Airport is nestled 401 Kms away fro Manali and it takes 6-7 hours to reach Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi. The Joginder Nagar railway station is nearly 50 Kms away from Manali. This rail head don’t provide good services on which the travelers can rely upon. The NH 21 highway is the best alternative road link by picking which the travelers can reach Manali. The NH 21 is well connected with Manikaran, Bhuntar, Keylang and Mandi.

Attractions

Manali Attractions

Places to see in Manali
Hadimba Temple Manu Temple Tibetan Monasteries
Vashist Temple Club House Solang Valley
Nehru Kund The Mall

 

Apart from the various snow covered peaks and beautiful apple orchard, there are a lot of tourist attractions in Manali. These tourist attractions can keep you occupied for three to four days. 

Hadimba Temple

Located 2.5 kms of Manali tourist office

Manali boasts many places of tourist interest but the main and the center of the attraction is the Dhoongri Temple. This temple is both historically and archeologically important. This temple is dedicated to the goddess Hadimba or Hadimba Devi. The epic of Mahabharata has a description of Hadimba. It is belived that Hidamba was the wife of Bhim the strongest of five Pandava brothers.

This wooden temple is beautifully designed in a Pagoda style. The carving works done on the walls and main entrance door of the temple are very beautiful. There is a long queue for the darshan in peak tourist seasons (summer). 

Manu Temple

Located 3 kms from the main bazaar

Manu is believed to be the re-creator of the human race after the Maha Pralay or the great flood. Manu is also known as the ancient lawmaker according to the Hindu Scriptures. This is the considered as the only temple of Manu Rishi in India. 

Tibetan Monasteries

There are 3 newly constructed colorful Monasteries in Manali. The Tibetans living around these monasteries in Manali offer a wide range of Tibetan handicrafts and carpets. Two of these monasteries are located in the main downtown of Manali and the third monastery is in Aleo. Aloe is located in Manali on the Left Bank of River Beas. 

Vashist Hot Water Springs and Temple

Vashist, a small village that is located on the left bank of River Beas in Manali towards Rohtang pass. The Vashist is well known for its Hot Water Springs and Temples. Nearby to the spring is the Pyramidal stone temple, which is dedicated to Vashist Muni. At the spring there are two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies respectably. 

Club House

Club House in Manali is at 2 kms. walking distance from down town. Club House is located on the Left Bank of Manalsu Nallah, which further flows down to River Beas. The Club House has indoor games facilities. Club House and its surroundings have been developed into beautiful picnic spots. 

Solang Valley

Solang Valley in Manali is located at a distance of 13 kms. It is a beautiful valley between Solang village and Beas Kund. Solang valley offers the view of glaciers and snow capped mountains and peaks. Solang Valley is world famous for its fine ski slopes. The Mountaineering Institute of Manali has installed a ski lift for training purpose. During the winters the skiing festival is organized here as well as training in skiing is imparted at this place. 

Nehru Kund

It is a natural spring of clean and cold water. It was named after the late Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. He used to drink the water from this spring whenever he used to stay in Manali. It is located on the Manali-Keylong road. This spring is believed to be coming from `Bhrigu Lake.

The Mall

Like most of the hill stations, Manali has a market known as ‘The Mall’. It is basically a long street, lined with shops that sell various traditional Tibetan, Himachali and Kashmiri handicrafts. Apart from Chinese clothes and shoes, prayer wheels, amulets, masks, musical instruments and jewelry are amongst the most popular items here.

Excursions

Manali Excursions

Rohtang Pass Jagatsukh Arjun Gufa
Beas Kund Kothi Marhi
Manali Sanctuary Katrain Naggar
Rahla Falls Kullu

Rohtang Pass

Distance- 51 km
Rohtang pass is located on the highway heading towards Keylong at an altitude of 4,112. A widespread panorama of mountain scenery can be viewed from the Pass. The valley offers a view of steep cliffs, huge glaciers and piled moraine, and deep ravines. Almost directly opposite is the well-defined Sonepani glacier; slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypang, jagged pyramids of rock, snow streaked and snow crowned. 

The Beas River rises near the crest of Rohtang from a block of Mica-Schist. The pass normally opens for traffic after mid-June and officially closes in November. 

To its left, 200 meters higher, is the little lake of Sarkund (Dashair) visited by a number of people, the general belief being that a bath in these waters effects a cure of all bodily ailments-real or imaginary. 

Kullu

Kullu the valley of gods is just 32 km from Manali. The Kullu Valley valley is considered to be the most enchanting region in the western Himalayas. More 

Jagatsukh

Distance- 6 kms
It is one of the biggest villages in Kullu district. The village is famous for its ancient Shiva temple, which is built in "shikhara" style and nearby is the old and interesting Devi Sharvati temple. The original name of this was Nast it remained the ancient capital of Kullu for about 10 generations. 

Arjun Gufa

Distance- 5 kms
On the left bank of the Beas, near the village of Perini is the Arjuna cave. It is said that Arjuna wanted the (Pashupata Ashtra) weapon from the king of the Gods Indra and he chose this place to meditate and please Indra to acquire the weapon. The place offers a charming panoramic view of the hills and the mountains around. 

Naggar

Distance- 25 kms
Naggar is located on the left bank of river Beas. A beautiful view of the valley from here is worth witnessing. It is also known for its castle and the Nicholas Roerich`s Museum. The paintings of late Nicholas Roerich are kept on a display at the Roerich museum. Naggar Castle was built in the sixteenth century and is a huge building. Naggar also has a number of temples; Gaurishankra temple, Vishnu temple and Krishna temple. 

Beas Kund

Distance- 16 kms
At Rohtang Pass the source of Beas River is known as Beas kund. The tiny round igloo like stone hut actually shelters the Kund. Water flows at the source of the river like 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.

It is said that great Rishi Vyas meditated here, the place is still hollowed by a celestial light. It is because of this the river got the present name of Beas. 

Kothi

Distance - 12 km.
A quiet but picturesque spot is situated at the foothill of Rohtang pass. It offers a magnificent view of snow capped mountains and glaciers. The Beas River flows through a very deep and narrow gorge at this point. Kothi used to be a camping site when Rohtang pass had to be climbed on foot. The site of the bridge provides an interesting historical episode in the early records of Kullu. 

Marhi

Distance - 39 km.
10 km before Rohtang is the barren-landscape of Marhi which hums with activity during summer and autumn months because almost everyone stops here for refreshments.

It offers extensive views of the valley and the mountains. It lies on the Manali-Leh road. It is one of the most picturesque places in Manali region. Marhi is a mountain plateau surrounded by lush green grazing land patterned with innumerable wild flowers. The place remains a stopover for transit visitors and tourists during summer and autumn seasons. It is also a transit place for the people to wait for the ferocious weather to improve at Rohtang Pass to cross over to Lahaul and Spiti valley, during the winter months. 

Rahla Falls

Distance -15 kms
It lies on the way to the Rohtang pass. Here the river Beas hurtles down from a height of about 50 meters. If one goes to Marhi on foot from Kothi from the old road, the sight of the falls is fascinating. It is a good picnic spot as well. 

Manali Sanctuary

A bridle path from the Manali log huts goes past the Dhoongri Temple and wanders into the dense deodar, kail, horse chestnut, walnut and maple forest which is a part of this sanctuary. Camping overnight in tents at Lambadug or Galiani Thatch is possible.
Lush green alpine pastures and glaciers lie beyond Galiani Thatch. Musk deer, monal and brown bear are often spotted. For those who venture still further into the glacier zone in summer, there are herds of ibex. 

Katrain

Distance - 20 km.
This place lies on the way to Manali. It is famous due to the apple orchards, a fruit research station and trout hatchery. It is also known for the bee keeping and Govt. trout farm at Patilkulh. Accommodation is available in Hotels of HPTDC.

Kiomoi Must Dos

Manali - Kiomoi Must Dos

  • Ballooning: Having a view of the whole valley from a height is worth witnessing. The hot air balloons are chained with a rope at ground and are left free in the sky.
  •  
  • Jeep Safaris: Exploring the untouched nature, far from the hustle bustle of the city.
  •  
  • Mountain biking: A freewheeling down the slope is definitely a thrilling experience for not only the avid bikers.
  •  
  • Mountaineering & climbing: The allure of Himalayas is enticing for the mountaineers, as they are the greatest range of mountains on earth.
  •  
  • Paragliding: It is all about flying free in the sky. Manali is a preferred location of the paragliders.
  •  
  • Rafting: Manali is one of the Asia`s finest sites for rafting. You don`t need to be an ace swimmer to experience the thrill of rafting.
  •  
  • Walking : You can opt for long walks to various temples, monasteries, waterfalls and beautiful hills.
  •  
  • Trekking: Trekking on the steep mountains of the Himalayas is a dream of the trekkers worldwide. Don`t miiss the chance.
  •  
  • Zorbing: Rolling down the hill in a ball is a thrill to hear itself. How exciting it would be to try it out.
  •  
  • Get photographed: A click in the traditional colorful dress of manali with a white rabbit or yak cost just rupees 50.
  •  
  • Making snowman: Snow point is closest to Manali with ample snow, here you can build snowman or pound your friends with snowballs.
  •  
  • Horse riding: Follow the Shepard`s trail, here you may not find any one other then your soul and some sheeps.
  •  
  • Shopping: Shop here for a wide range of woolens, world famous himachali jams, chutneys, pickles, handlooms and the famous Pashmina shawls and carpets.
  •  
  • Take a Bath: A bath in the spiritual and the medicinal Vashisht Spring is considered highly beneficial.
  •  
  • Camping: Camping is a much sought after activity at Manali.

 

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Eat n Dine

Manali Eat n Dine

There are various restaurant and eating joints, which cater to the tourists having a wide range in budget and taste. The restaurants serve a variety of Indian and international cuisine, serving vegetarian and non - vegetarian delicacies. A tourist further has a choice of having the vegetarian fast food. There are bakeries and ice cream parlors in Manali which are known to satisfy the sweet toothed. One can try the manali food on Saturdays at the Club House in Old Manali.

The Tibetan delicacies can be tried at Little Tibet. The German Bakery located near the Mall road is famous amongst the tourist for the carrot cake, banana chocolate cake, cookies, brownies, croissants and homemade cheddar and yak cheese etc. German bakery has its branches in Haridwar and Bangalore also. The Pastas and the shakes at German bakery are simply irresistible. The Green Forest Café and Manu Café located near the Manu Temple offer a variety of delicacies, including a delectable range of sandwiches. Café Manalsu is located the Manalsu River, serves a variety of Indian and continental food. The Chopsticks on the Mall road is known for its Chinese and Japanese servings. 

Local Foods

Fruits and vegetables are included in the food of Manali. During celebrations and festivities, Vada, Bhatora and Patrodu are served at the eating joints. Milk and milk-based recipes are mainly included in the food habit of Manali people. Home made wine Chakti and Lugri, which is made of barley and red rice are a preferred Drink amongst locals and tourists. The traditional Manali food includes rice, curry or cooked beaten curd, a curd based dish, pulses, raita made of dry fruits, and sweet rice. The food is traditionally served on pattal (leaf plates).

Shopping

Shopping at Manali

Mall is the main market place in manali. You can spend your evenings out here after visiting the tourist destination. The shops on the mall road sell mostly woolens. Manali is home to people from different cultures and places i.e. Kullu, Ladakhis, Tibetans, Kashmiris and Nepalese. Due to this difference in culture a tourist gets a variety of things to buy. 

Woolens

Manali is known for its great bargains that one can pick up. The valley is best known for its woolen shawls and Tibetan carpets, fur caps and mufflers. On the way to Manali from Kullu there is a cooperative shop selling various types of woolen materials at very attractive price. This shop is known as Kullu shawl factory. 

Tibetan artifacts

Tibetan arts and jewellery made of silver and turquoise is available at the Tibetan Bazaar. Also the shops, which sell Tibetan antiques, are interesting and popular among foreign tourists. 

Handicrafts and Shawls

Apart from the Tibetan jewellery a tourist can’t also afford to miss the Kashmir Handicraft Co-operation, which is near the Bus Stand. Here you can find a wide range of Pashmina shawls and Kashmiri mementos. Bhuttico and Himbunkar in Kullu on mall road are famous for the handicrafts, which are typical to the region. They also sell Kinnauri shawls. Sultanpur Market in Kullu is a place where you can find the traditional jewellery of tribes of manali. At Vashisht close to mall road there are a number of shops selling the idols of gods and goddesses and antiques.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Manali

There is wide choice of Accommodation near Manali available. There are several hotels, lodges, guesthouses, motels, resorts etc. The hotels and resorts are categorized on the basis of the services they provide. Based on that you can get star rated (five, four or two) properties in Manali. Further there is a choice of rooms which you can choose from i.e. standard, deluxe, executive, honeymoon suites according to your budget. Mostly hotels are located in and around Mall road. Almost all the hotels provide the view of the snow covered peaks and the valley. During the season time i.e. during snowfall or during summer vacations one should book their rooms in advance. 

Festivals

Festivals of Manali

Every day is a festival in Manali. The people are very lively and belong to various cultures. A blend of different cultures is seen in Manali. The celebrations in Manali last almost the entire year. Some event or a festival takes place every month. Some of the festivals celebrated in the valley are: 

Dussehra

Dussehra is the most widely celebrated festival of India. The festival is celebrated with great pomp and splendor to mark the victory of good over evil. On this day effigies of the Ravana are burnt to pay homage to Lord Rama`s victory. The festival has an added flavor in Manali valley. The festival is celebrated for a week. A fusion of the cultural attributes and religious fervor can be seen in the weeklong festival. The festival is celebrated in the month of October.

The festival begins by Goddess Hadimba’s idol being brought to Kullu. The idol of Lord Rama is placed next to Goddess Hadimba in a beautifully decorated chariot and is pulled up the hill. At the same time almost hundreds of gods and goddesses are placed on colourful palanquins and taken around in a procession. On the sixth day the gods get together for the Devta Durbar. On the ninth day the royal procession reaches the Beas River and a pile of thorn bushes are set afire to depict the burning of Lanka. Finally, the palanquin reaches its original spot and this signifies the zenith of Dussehra. 

Pipal Jatra or the Vasantotsava

Pipal Jatra or the Vasantotsava commences on the 16th day of Baisakh (April), The carnival is celebrated at the fairgrounds of Kullu`s Dhalpur. During the carnival songs and dance shows are performed. The colorful stalls add to the enjoyment quotient. 

The Bhuntar Mela (fair)

It is a three day long social event celebrated in the small town of Bhuntar. It is said that the festival is celebrated to thank the generous divinities for their blessings, due to which a prosperous harvest is obtained.

Bandhu or ghost dance

The festival is celebrated in the month of January in the morning hours. This festival is celebrated by males only. During the wee morning hours the males dance to ward off the evils. 

Horn Dance

The festival is also performed in the month of January but during the nights. This is a ten day festival. The traditional dance is performed by six people dressed as deer, clowns and women. 

Winter Carnival

Winter carnival is the most awaited event in the valley. The carnival is celebrated in Manu Kala Kendra in Manali. It is attended by students of various colleges across India. The festival is celebrated for 5 days during which several cultural competitions like Indian classical music, folk songs, dances, plays and personality competitions are organized.

Useful Facts

Manali Useful Facts

Location: Kullu District State: Himachal Pradesh

Climate: Very cold in winters and bracing in summer

Temperature: -5 C min and 10 C max

Languages: Pahari, Hindi & English

Best Time to Visit: April- June & September - October

Main Festivals: Dusshera

Attractions: Vashisth Hot Sulphur Spring, Rohtang Pass, Hadimba Temple

Clothing: Cottons and light woolens during summers & heavy woolens during winters. Scarves and gloves are must if traveling in winter

Nearest Airport: Bhuntur Airport [50 kms]

Nearest Railway station: Ambala [200kms] & Chandigarh [250 kms]

STD Code: 01902

Pin Code: 175131 

Facts to Remember

While traveling to the Kullu valley one should keep several things in mind. Some of such facts are mentioned here. 

  • Keep all the important numbers handy.
  • Do not visit the region in rainy season as there is a chance of landslides.
  • Carry woolens even in summers
  • Join a group if want to try some trekking or other sports.
  • Avoid walking alone and always let your hotel know where you are going
  • Avoid Sadhus and wanderers in the hills
  • The restaurants are open till 10 pm
  • If you planning to enjoy adventure sports then consultation with your doctor is advisable.
  • Avoid Saffron vendors
  • Mostly hotels and restaurants are close from October to April.
  • Beware of vendors selling fake branded goods and dry fruits.
  • Visiting the region during Dussehra and the peak season is a bad option, as you might have to pay more then double for the stay.
Local Holidays

Manali Local Holidays

Himachal Pradesh Public Holidays for 2009
Date Occasion
5th Jan Guru Gobind Singh B`day
8th Jan Muharram
25th Jan State hood Day
26th Jan Republic Day
9th Feb Feb Guru Ravidas B`day
23rd Feb Feb Maha Shivratri
10th Mar Id-E-Milad
11th March Holi
3rd Apr Ram Navami
7th Apr Mahavir Jayanti
10th Apr Good Friday
14th Apr Dr. B.R. Ambedkar`s B`day
15th Apr Himachal Day
9th May Buddha Purnima
7th Jun Sant Guru Kabir Jayanti
15th Aug Independence Day
21st Sep Idu`l Fitr
28th Sep Dussehra
2nd Oct Mahatma Gandhi`s B`day
4th Oct Maharishi Valmiki`s B`day
17th Oct Deepawali
2nd Nov Guru Nanak Dev`s B`day
25th Dec Christmas Day
28th Dec Muharram
Holiday Checklist

Manali Holiday Checklist

Those Hills, Valleys, Temples, Adventure Sports, cuisines, Wildlife Safari, Temples send tempting vibes!!! While you have decided on these holidays, set aside all your temptations and quickly take a fleeting glance at the things-you-do before your departure date. Here is the list. 

Before You leave the house

  • Empty your letter box
  • Fix up security for your house or ask some one to look after
  • Water your plants and ask some one to take care of it
  • Ask your newspaper vendor and milkman to stop supply
  • Clear out the fridge.
  • Switch off the electric appliances
  • Empty out kitchen, waste/dust-bin and kitchen area
  • Lock doors and windows
  • Recharge your mobile or carry coupons
  • Carry traveller’s cheque or ATM cards
  • Pay all due bills
  • Turn off gas/water tap
  • Call up the taxi driver/railway station/hotels and other important numbers to confirm and re-confirm
  • Rail Tickets and travel documents should be checked twice 

What to pack in your luggage

  • Woollen/cotton clothing
  • Extra towels
  • Extra pair of socks
  • Night wears
  • Raincoats
  • Wrappers
  • Bath robes
  • Jumper and track suits 

Equipment to carry

  • Battery Charger
  • Camera * Mobile
  • Mobile Charger
  • Torch/Emergency Light
  • Headphones 

Miscellaneous

  • Brochures or holiday book
  • Sunglasses
  • Sewing kit
  • Important stationary(scissors, tape and glue)
  • Film rolls and digital chargers
  • Ear Plugs
  • Watch
  • Umbrellas
  • Address Book
  • Shoulder bags/ Safety pins
  • Important Telephone Addresses/Travel Consultant
  • Few non perishable eatables
  • Medicines
  • Books / magazines to read
  • Binocular 

Crucial Documents

  • ID Cards
  • Credit/Debit Cards
  • Diving License
  • Maps/ directions(when in car)
  • Itinerary/Directions
  • Photocopies of documents
  • Traveller’s Cheque
  • Passport/Visas (For travelling abroad) 

Health/Hygiene

  • Sickness Pill
  • Mosquito and insect repellent
  • Vitamin and medications
  • Pain Killers/Balm
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Anti-infection lotion
  • Toiletries
  • Small First Aid kit 
Bank ATMs

Bank & ATMs in Manali

SBI ATM
Manali, Himachal Pradesh – 175131

Tourist Offices

Manali - Tourist Offices

HPTDC

Manali

THE MALL, MANALI -175131
Tel: (01902) 253531,
Fax: (01902) 252325
E-mail: [email protected] 

Kullu

DHALPUR, KULLU - 175101
Tel: (01902) 222349
E-Mail: [email protected] 

Chandigarh

INTER STATE BUS TERMINAL
SECTOR-17, CHANDIGARH - 160001
Tel: (0172) 2707267
FAX: (0172) 2708569
E-mail: [email protected] 

New Delhi

CHANDERLOK BUILDING
36, JANPATH, NEW DELHI-110001
Tel: (011) 23325320, 23324764
Fax: (011) 23731072
E-mail: [email protected]