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Manali Overview

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Summarise the city :
Eden of nature buffs, honeymooners, solitude seekers and adventure junkies.

Best time to visit (High & peak months) :
The year round except for monsoons

Experiences :
Himalayas, adventure, temple and spiritualism

City calling code :
01902

Recommended no. of days for a tourist :
2 days

Best buys :
Kullu caps and shawls, apples, jams, jellies and pickles

Essentials to be carried along :
Light woolens for summers and heavy for winters (November-March). Extra pairs of shoes if you are planning to go for hikes or adventure sports. The organizers provide most other gear.

All about the city :
Set in a picturesque landscape of ravines, ridges, peaks, glaciers and twisting trails, the hill town of Manali is an oversubscribed tourist destination of Himachal Pradesh. The town owes its name to a Hindu sage Manu, the Indian Noah, who saved all the species on earth after a devastating deluge. A fish that had been looked after by Manu admonished him of this impending peril. Manu accordingly carried a pair of all the species in his ark and first landed at this place, which is now known as Manali after him.

Although the tourist traffic to this Eden of nature buffs, honeymooners, solitude seekers and adventure junkies has witnessed a sharp increase in the recent years, but still it has somehow managed to remain unspoiled. Adventure savants will revel in discovering the variety of adventure sports that can be enjoyed here. Whether you choose to go skiing, rafting or trekking, Manali will get your pulse thumping and take your breath clean away.

There is no dearth of accommodation at this place. The entire stretch of 40 km between Kullu and Manali is strewn with luxury resorts. Manali is well equipped to satiate your palate as well. You can get authentic bakery items and specialized food from Italy, Israel and Germany. Tibetan delicacies especially thukpa and momos, are worth trying. For a change try some of the most friendly and colorful service at tiny nondescript roadside stalls called 'dhabas'.
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Manali Tourist attractions

Name

(suggested time required to see the place)

DescriptionInformation
Hadimba Devi Temple (15 min) Just 15 minutes walk from the main market and you reach the, Hadimba Devi temple, most famous and the oldest temple of the town, which dates back to 1553. Also known as Dhoongri temple, the sanctuary enshrines goddess Hadimba, the sister of demon Hadimb. The legend says, Hadimba was fascinated by Bhim (the mightiest of the Pandav brothers in Indian epic 'The Mahabharata'). She helped Bhim to slay Hadimb who in turn married her.

The temple is 4-storied structure made in pagoda style. The richly carved wood panels will definitely glue your eyes for at least a few minutes. Every May, there is a festival at the temple when sacrifices are carried out in honour of goddess.

Opposite the sanctuary is a fun park for children.

NA

No close day

Manu Temple (15 min) Situated at a distance of 3 km from the main bazaar this is probably the only temple dedicated to the legendry hero Manu, the Indian Noah, who saved all the species on earth including humans after the fatal flood. It is the place where Manu meditated after arriving in the valley.

NA

No close day

Time: 7 am-7 pm 

Gadhan Thekchokling Gompa (15 min) This is the most prominent Gompa at Manali. The Tibetan refugees brought it up in late 1960's. It houses a large size statue of Buddha amidst beautiful frescos.

NA

No close days

Time: 6 am to 6 pm

Vashisht (15 min) Just 3 km away towards Rohtang pass, this is a village named after sage Vashisht. The place is famous for its hot water springs where people take bath to avail its medicinal property. If you are shy to bathe in open, no need to worry, you have the option of bathing in walled bathrooms where hot sulphur water is piped into showers - courtesy HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation). Here are the temples of Lord Ram and Lakshman, the legendry heroes of great Indian epic 'The Ramayana'. It is said temple of sage Vashisht is 4000 years old.

NA

No close days

Time: 7 am-7 pm

Adventure Sports For the daredevils with a little more than normal of adrenaline secretion, Manali is an absolute paradise. The Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, located 3 km southeast of Manali organizes basic and advance training courses in trekking, mountaineering, skiing and water sports.

Skiing is a major attraction of Manali. Facilities for this sport are available at Solang-Nullah (between January and March) and Rohtang pass . Even beginners can try their hands.

Kayaking can be enjoyed at the Beas river.

If you are visiting Manali in summers, then you can enjoy paragliding on the slopes of the Solang Nullah.

Rafting can be enjoyed at River Beas from May to July or from mid-September to mid-October. The starting point is usually from Pirdi and it continues till Jhiri, which is 16 kms away. The journey takes nearly one & half hour consisting of rapids from grade II & III.

Beas Kund, Chandertal and Malana glaciers are the most popular among ice climbers.

There are several good hikes from Manali. It is a popular starting point of interesting trek routes to places like Rohtang Pass, Lahaul and Spiti. The 12-km hike up the western banks of the Beas to the Solang Valley is worth all the efforts made. Lama Dugh meadow is a six-km hike up to the Manalsu Nala, west of Manali town. Day hikes to Jogini waterfalls (5 Hrs bothways) and Bijli Mahadev can also be undertaken.
 
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Getting there

AirRailRoad
Indian Airlines (only Wednesday & Friday) and Kingfisher Red Airlines operate flights between Delhi and Kullu. It takes 90 minutes to reach Kullu from Delhi. Kullu Manali Airport at Bhuntar is at a distance of 50 km south of Manali. The closest narrow-gauge railhead is at Jogindernagar, 135 km away. The closest broad-gauge railhead is Chandigarh (323 km). The distance from Delhi via Mandi is 585 km Approx., and from Shimla the distance is 270 km Approx. It is 235 km east of Dharamshala, 115 km south of Keylong and just 40 km north of Kullu.
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Festivals

Name of festivalDates / MonthsFestival details with link for more information
Winter Carnival2-6 JanuaryThe Winter Carnival in Himachal Pradesh is an event that means all round entertainment - folk dances to entertaining skits, variety of winter sports, that draw a good number of enthusiasts from all over, besides the contests like "Winter Queen" and "Mr. Manali.
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Manali Excursions

Excursion (distance in kms / time taken)Description
Solang Nullah (13 km northwest of Manali/25 minutes)It is a must visit on the itinerary of any tourist and consequently buzzes with tourist activities. It is an ideal place to view glaciers and snow capped mountains. Especially in winters it becomes the most happening place due to its popular ski slopes. The month of February is the best month to ski over here. No matter how novice you are in skiing Solang will not leave you disappointed if you just have the will and the grit for trying it. Try your hands at paragliding if you cannot make it in winters and happen to be there in Summers. About 2.5 km from the building of Mountaineering institute at Solang, a natural Shivlingam (symbol of Lord Shiva) of ice, varying from 8-10 feet in height, is formed in winters.

Trekking from Solang to Beas Kund (northwest of Manali), said to be the source of river Beas is a refreshing option.
Kothi, (12 km from Manali towards the Rohtang pass/20 minutes)It is an ideal destination for poets, writers and lovers of nature. This picturesque spot has beckoned a lot many Bollywood filmmakers to set their movies in its beautiful environs.
Rohtang Pass, (51 km from Manali/2 hrs) This gateway to Lahaul would surely captivate your senses and leave you awestruck with most drastic changes in landscape. One side you see lush green head of Kullu Valley and to the other bare brown mountains. Rohtang Pass is the highest point, 4,112m, on the Manali-Keylong road, which once served as a crucial trade route. It offers breathtaking views of Sonapani glacier, twin peaks of Gyephang and various deep ravines. The pass remains snowbound for most of the year and is open from June to November each year. On the way to Rohtang from Manali do not forget to catch the sight of Nehru Kund (a natural spring of clear, cold water, named after the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who used to drink its water during his stay at Manali) and spectacular Rahala falls cascading from an altitude of 2500 m.
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manali Climate chart

Month Max. TempMin. TempRainfall
January9260
February10349
March15557
April151040
May221051
June2416145
July1611400
August2015370
September1914200
October181040
November15715
December12520
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Suggested tour program with Shimla

Tour NameNo. Of days Other places covered
Himachal Highlights12 days Delhi - Shimla - Manali - Palampur - Mc Leodganj - Dalhousie
Hallowed Himachal 08 daysDalhousie - Mc Leodganj - Palampur Manali - Kullu
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