Manali is a beautiful hill station in Himachal Pradesh. It is among the most visited tourist destinations of India. A number of winter sports like snow skiing are held in Manali toward the end of the year. It is a place for fun, adventure, and relaxation. Read on to know more.
Located in Kullu valley of the Himachal Pradesh region, Manali is one of those places which you would never be tired of visiting again and again. At a height of approx. 2,000 meters, this seemingly magical hill station commands a charm that is certain to overwhelm you. Green surroundings all around, snow capped high mountains ahead, and the limpid Beas river flowing along, with such a setting, Manali appears to be the dream portrait of a serene and picturesque hill town. Tourists keep arriving here throughout the year and the Old Manali area is a great hippie sanctum mostly thronged by foreigners.
Essential information for tourists visiting Manali
Nearest airport – Bhuntar airport is the nearest terminal for flights. It is about 50 km from Manali and 10 km from Kullu. It is more commonly called the Kullu airport.
Major attraction – About 13 km from the center of the hill station, Solang Valley is the main attraction of the place. The annual Winter Skiing Festival held here.
Accommodation – You can find all range of hotels in Manali. Tariff soars during the peak season, but drops drastically during the off season.
Best time to visit – Manali remains attractive throughout the year, however, the period between November to February is the best time to visit the hill station. Newly-weds like to visit it just after the monsoons, which is mid-July to September. March is the perfect time for a less-crowded, self-indulging trip.
How to reach Manali
Besides through Kullu airport, Manali is also accessible by road as it is connected to NH 21. People coming from Delhi take NH 1 to Chandigarh and then switch to NH 21 which connects to Kullu. Tourist buses run from Shimla, Delhi and Chandigarh. There is no direct rail route to Manali and it is best to take a train till Chandigarh or Delhi and take the bus or private taxi to Manali from there.
Staying in Manali
Since the town is a tourism hotspot, there are many resorts, guest houses, and hotels. About 4 km north of the Manali bus stand, there is the Manu Allaya resort perched slightly off the hustle-bustle of the town. You can check in this 5 star hotel for a luxurious staying experience and great view. The warm hospitality and modern amenities provided by the premium hotels add more enjoyment to your vacation. If you are looking to spend lesser, you can also go for the budget hotels in Manali. You would find more of the economy range hotels in the Old Manali area and Vashishth, which lie north to the main town.
Manali and its mythical past
Legend has it that Manu, the lawgiver according to Hindu mythology, took shelter along with other gods at this town when a flood swamped the earth millions of years ago. In the 20th century, the British rediscovered the place and soon made it their favorite summer dwelling. Ever since, Manali has remained a prime tourist destination in India and people swarm the place in thousands every year. Snowfall and winter sports are very popular among the tourists who visit this town.
Buddhist monasteries around the Tibetan settlements, Hindu temples such as the Hadimba temple of 1553, nature parks on the bank of river Beas, Arjun caves on the way to Naggar, Brighu lake, etc. are some of the sites of attractions in Manali. You can also indulge in some amazing excursion trips to nearby sites and places, such as Rohla Falls about 14 km from the town at a height of 2,500 meters and the beautiful village of Kothi Kothi about 12 km. The best place to visit around Manali, however, is the Rohtang Pass which is 50 km from the hill station. Gateway to the amazing Lahaul and Spiti valley, the pass is an adventurous experience at an elevation of 4,111 meters. Further ahead as you journey into the Lahaul and Spiti valley, a more breathtaking region of Keylong unleashes its charm upon you.