Manali: A Very Special Destination in India

Manali is the famous Hill station in the India. It is in Himachal Pradesh and one of the most prominent tourist destination. Old Manali is the prefix “old”, but it is way more awesome as compared to the main Manali town. Don’t get me wrong; Main Manali is a good destination for honeymooners or families. In fact, family travellers may not like Old Manali at all because it has too many backpacker and hippie crowed. Ola Manali is easily approachable form Manali. The 3 kilometres uphill walk takes not more than 20 minutes on an average.

Places to Visit in Manali

Rohtang Pass– A beautiful and popular spot in Manali. Rohtang Pass, at a height of 13058 ft. In winter, the mountains at the Rohtang Pass are completely covered in snow and it is impossible to get there. Hence, the pass remains closed during winters (from October) and generally opens again in May.

Solang Valley– Salong Valley is located at a distance of 14 Km from Manali and is best visited while returning from Rohtang Pass. Solang Valley is quiet and is best approached by road. The Valley is perfect for visiting during both summer and winter.

Old Manali – Away from crowded, packed streets of New Manali. Old Manali is famous among backpacker, foreigners and youngsters.

Naggar Castle – Naggar Located 22 Km from Manali. Naggar has one main point attraction which is the Naggar Castle. The Castle made of wood and stone and displaying an impressive amalgamation of European and Himalayan architecture, functions as a hotel and an art gallery.

Manu Temple – Manu Temple is located right at the top of the hill at Old Manali. Keep Walking through the lane lined up with shops and cafes until you reach the peaceful Manu temple.

Hadimba Devi Temple-  Hadimba is situated 2 KM from the Mall Road. The Hadimba Devi temple is an unconventionally architecture shrine dedicated to Hadimba Devi, the wife of Bhima and mother Ghatothkach. The Place is generally over-crowded but you can make a quick stop here.

Things to do in Manali

Paragliding– When it comes things to do on Manali, Paragliding is on the top. It gives special pleasure to do paragliding with the love one in the Solang valley.

Rafting– The river Beas is a remarkable sight when it flows gracefully along the stone cut pathways and just like Rishikesh, you can experience a thrilling sports adventure while you are here while rafting among the wild and racing waters. River rafting camps can be found along the way, where you can rest and meet with other people.

Zorbing – Zorbing, a one-of-its-kind adventure sport wherein a person is slid into a huge transparent plastic zorb ball which is then rolled down a mountain slope. It is surely not to be missed while in Manali

Ride a Yak in the Solang Valley- Among the various things to do in Manali is yak riding, best done in the months of November to February. Kullu, Kufri and Solang Valley are among the few places which are popular for yak riding.

Best Time to Visit Manali

Here’s a monthly breakup of Manali’s climatic conditions so that you can plan accordingly:

March to June –  This is the perfect time to indulge in outdoor activities such as paragliding, rafting, trekking and mountain adventures in the Solang Valley. However, because a lot of people take a family vacation over the summer holidays, Manali gets overcrowded during this time of the year.

July to August –  Monsoons in Manali can be tricky as the region experiences heavy rainfall, which can also sometimes lead to landslides. But considering a lot of tourists don’t prefer to travel during this time, the prices of hotels tend to drop.

October to February– The shoulder season between monsoon and winter as well as between winter and summer is the best time to visit Manali. To experience snow, visit Manali in December or early January.

Places to Eat

A Manali trip would be incomplete without touching upon these places to have something. Take a look some of the best places to eat.

Café 1947 – This café is located right next to the bridge in Old Manali, is well- known for its pizzas. Ask anyone for some of the best cafes in Manali and they’ll definitely mention café 1947.         

Café Sunshine – For good vibes and live music you can visit café sunshine. The food here is  quite decent.

Mount View Restaurant– Mount View is the oldest fine dining, known for serving exquisite Chinese, Tibetan, Italian, Japanese, Continental, and Indian delicacies. If you’re a foodie at heart, this place would be your new haven!

Renaissance Manali– Located amidst the busy streets of the town, Renaissance Italian and Mexican is certainly one of the best places to eat in Manali. Be it grabbing a quick snack or just chilling over fine music, this place is a great spot to stop by for a while.

Johnson’s Bar and Restaurant – The restaurant boasts of a talented Italian chef, good food and a well-stocked bar that serves a good selection of wines, liquors, exotic cocktails and shooters. It is considered as one of the good restaurants in Manali.

How to Reach

By Air – The nearest airport is at Bhuntar, located approximately 50 kilometres away from Manali. Domestic flights connect Bhuntar with Delhi and Chandigarh. Once at the airport, you can take a pre-paid taxi to Manali. However, owing to weather conditions, flights are not the most reliable option for getting to or out of Manali.

By Train– Chandigarh railway station is located at a distance of 315 km from Manali whereas Pathankot railway station is 290 km from Manali.

By Bus – Manali is very well-connected to important tourist destinations like Leh, Shimla, Kullu, Dharamshala and New Delhi by means of a network of state-run as well as private buses. The bus journey from Delhi to Manali is 550 kilometres, and it is advisable to book your tickets in the air-conditioned Volvo coaches, as the buses are more comfortable than ordinary ones, keeping in mind the long distance of the journey.

By Road/ Self Drive – The drive up to Manali is simply breath-taking! You can catch scenic glimpses of the adjoining mountains and valleys from almost every turn that the twisty uphill road throws you. Though a lot of tourists prefer a self-drive up to Manali, it is advisable to hire a taxi in case you are not comfortable with driving in mountainous regions.

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