A picturesque hill station encircled by snowy mountains and dense pinewoods with the meandering Beas River, Manali in the state of Himachal Pradesh is famed for its aesthetic beauty. Lying at an altitude of 6260 feet, Manali is the premier hill station in the Kullu valley, whose splendor lies in the ever flowing Beas river with conifer gradients and crop orchards hiking up to the snow clad knolls of Himalayas. This awe inspiring hill resort is sandwiched between the imposing peaks of Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar. A land, which is the holy abode of numerous goddesses and gods, this gorgeous hill resort is puffed up with colourful festivals, fairs and pretty shrines.
Renowned as the queen of valleys, this beautiful hill station in the lower Himalayas is close knit with the legendary law giver of ancient India, Manu. It is believed that, Manali is the place where the ark of Manu found its resting after a great flood. Manali, which literally means the abode of Manu, has got remarkable significance in the ethnic culture and tradition of India.
With skyscraping mountains bounded by blizzards and deep rock spread ravines Manali presents a distinguished holiday spot for all. The chunky afforests with cool gentle winds, vast expansion of meadows, small quaint settlements and lovely orchards, give a majestic look to the serene ambiance of Manali.
Besides the splendor of its natural vista, a lot of other interesting activities are in store in Manali. A trendy holiday spot, Manali offers outstanding opportunities in mountaineering, and skiing. The unexplored hilly route to the adjacent valleys is an awe inspiring experience.
PLACES TO VISIT
Manali has many attractions but the chief centre of interest, historically and archeologically, is undoubtedly the DHOONGRI TEMPLE dedicated to goddess Hadimba, the Bhim of Mahabharat fame. It has four-tiered Pagoda shaped roof and the doorway is carved with legendary figures and symbols. This temple located amidst wooden forest of deodar is about 2.5 kms. from the tourist office. It is a pleasant experience to stroll in the temple complex which was built in 1533 A.D. A large festival is held here in May.
This temple is situated in the original village of Manali now called old Manali. Manu in Hindu mythology was the creator of the universe. The name Manali is derived from Manu. Though the approach to the temple is not good, it is a good place to visit.
The Manali sanctuary starts from behind the town square and goes up in the mountains behind Manali. There is a biodiversity trail for the visitors, which showcases all the flora and fauna.
Solang Nallah is a lush green meadow sloped to provide a perfect ski venue. It comes alive during the winter months for ski lovers and during the summer months it is a heaven for Paragliding, trekking and camping. It is just 13 Kms from Manali and 4 Kms from Whispering Rocks resort.
Rohtang pass is 51kms. from Manali on highway to Keylong/Leh. It offers a panorama and spectacular mountain view. The pass is open from June to October each year although trekkers can cross it earlier. It is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley just as Zojila pass is a gatway to Ladakh. There are a beautiful sight of glaciers, peaks and Chandra river flows down in the Lahaul valley. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypan. During summer(mid June to October) regular buses ply between Manali-Keylong/Darcha, Udaipur, Spiti and Leh.
The old capital of Kullu, it gives a captivating view of the upper Kullu valley
Rohriech Art Gallery:
The paintings of the famous Russian artist are exhibited here.
Vashist, a small village located on the left bank of river Beas towards Rohtang pass is worth a visit. It is renowned for its hot springs and temples. Nearby is the pyramidal stone temple dedicated to Vashist Muni. There is another Temple of Lord Ram here. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are always full of tourists. Turkish style showers fitted baths have also been built nearby. Hot water from the nearby spring is provided for bathing.
5 kms. on National Highway to Leh,a natural spring of cold clear water named after Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, who used to drink water from this spring during his stay in Manali. This spring is believed to originate from the Bhrigu lake situated high-up in the mountains.
The waterfall on the way to the Rohtang Pass.
Picturesque point on the way to the Rohtang pass.
This lies in the Parvati Valley of Kullu District. It is around 70 Kms from Manali via Kullu town. It is famous for its Shiva Temple and Gurudwara and also for its hot water springs.
HOW TO GET HERE
The nearest airportis at Bhuntar town, situated on NH21 about 50 km (31 mi) south of Manali and 10 km (6.2 mi) south of Kullu town. The airport is also known as Kullu-Manali airport and has more than a kilometre long runway. Indian Airlines and some private airlines have regular flights to the airport. Daily flight servicehas been started by 15May 2013 at Bhunter airport by Air India from Delhi to Bhunter and vice-versa. Chandigarh airport is the nearest international airport.
Manali can be reached from Delhi by national highway NH 1 up to Chandigarh and from there by national highway NH21 that passes through Bilaspur, Sundernagar, Mandi and Kullu towns. The road distance from Delhi to Chandigarh is 260 km and from Chandigarh to Manali is 273 km. The total distance from Delhi to Manali thus is 533 km (331 mi).
Manali is not easily approachable by rail. The nearest broad gauge railheads are at Chandigarh , Pathankot and Kalka . The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Joginder Nagar (135 kilometres (84 mi)).