Manali tops the list when it comes to the most visited hill stations in the country. It is the most popular tourist destination owing to the beautiful scenery, picturesque setting, pleasant environment and the umpteen number of things to do in Manali. Because of the hilly terrain and the natural climate, there is no dearth of things to do in Manali. You can choose and try your hand at the array of adventure sports and activities this place has to offer from skiing, to trekking, hiking, camping and nature exploration. It also has a number of waterfalls, temples, monasteries, museums, and pretty gardens. The city is also surrounded by a lot of twee villages and dainty hamlets where you can take a day trip just to relax and rewind from the commericial touristy crowd. Check out our elaborate list of things to do in Manali given below.
Here is the list of 34 Things to do in Manali - The Valley of Gods
When heading to Manali for a vacation, two absolutely essential destinations in the itinerary are Rohtang and Solang Valley. Situated on the way to Rohtang from Manali, every year the valley welcomes tourists in huge numbers and taking a tour of this gorgeous place is among the top things to do in Manali. A favorite for adventure enthusiasts, Parachuting to paragliding, horse riding to driving mini open jeeps specially available for tourists of all age groups, Solang has it all.
A major tourist spot of North India, Manali is known for its excellent skiing conditions with skiing enthusiasts visiting from all over the country. The undulating slopes of Solang Valley and Rohtang Pass offers a perfect terrain for amateurs to learn their first move while a an ideal grounds for professionals and it is also the topmost things to do in Manali. So, if you are an adventure lover, leave yourself in the hands of your professional trainers to feel the thrill of skiing in the picturesque setting of Manali.
Manali is the hub of adventure activities in Himachal Pradesh. From white river rafting to trekking opportunities to zorbing to horse-riding to skiing to paragliding, Manali has everything to offer. Along with the other thrilling things to do in Manali, be sure to include this activity on your list as it is truly going to make your trip memorable.
The Beas Kund trek is a perfect weekend getaway plan which takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Get a chance to feast your eyes on the outstanding views of Pir Pinjal mountain ranges over the Beas river, let your soul get wooed by the spectacular meadows of Dhundi and Bakarthach and finally, the glacial lake at Beas Kund which is worth all the hiking. Trekking up the gorgeous terrain with a beautiful view is one of the most exciting things to do in Manali.
Located amidst the snow covered hills of Manali, the Hadimba temple is a unique shrine dedicated to Hadimba Devi, who was the wife of Bhima and mother of Ghatothkach. Surrounded by gorgeous cedar forests, this beautiful shrine is built on a rock which is believed to be in the image of the goddess herself. The construction style of the temple is entirely different from that of any of the other temples, with its wooden doorways, walls, and cone-shaped roof. This temple is a fitting dedication to its presiding deity Hadimba. Visiting the beautiful temple is one among the top things to do in Manali among both the localites and the tourists.
Located at a distance of just 51 kilometres from the main town, Rohtang Pass can be reached only by road. The pass is located at a massive height of 3978 metres, the way up the hills is a treat to the eyes. Owing to its splendid natural beauty, Rohtang Pass is a favourite among the community of film directors. Many blockbusters ranging from 'Jab We Met' to 'Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani' have been shot here. You can experience a sledge ride here, one of the most popular things to do in Manali. In order to travel up to or beyond Rohtang, a mandatory Rohtang Pass permit is required by all visitors. You will need to show a confirmation voucher or a proof of hotel booking at one of your destinations.
While most temples will leave you spiritually rejuvenated, there are a few where you can take a dip into hot water springs and baths, which leave you refreshed and maybe even healthier. Situated 6 km away from Manali, these are natural hot springs accompanied by beautiful sandstone temples. The government has made arrangements for separate bathing areas for men and women. The water in these natural springs contains medicinal properties that are believed to cure skin diseases.
This modest bit of paradise, with its share of snow and clouds is an ideal stretch for trekking and views to lose oneself in. At a flattering height of 3600 meters, nestled in the Parvati Valley, the Chandrakhani pass is a favorite for those who seek natural beauty as well as those in search of adventure with mountains and valleys in the backdrop.
Put your life in the hands of your experienced trainer/instructor and take a leap of faith for pure ecstasy in Manali. Considered as a most popular hub for outdoor and other recreational activities, paragliding in Manali is a memorable experience. Starting with a basic training course, the operators are well organized, competent and trustworthy. The surrounding valley is breath taking and the view you will get during your flying session of 5-45 minutes, depending upon the package you opt for, is simply beautiful.
Hampta Pass, situated in the Manali region of the Himachal Pradesh, serves as one of the most convenient and enjoyable treks. Laden with pristine form of nature, the trail comprises of dense pine forests, pristine glacial valleys, vast meadows and panoramic landscape. If in the hill town, you have got to trek here as this is one of the most exciting things to do in Manali.
Manikaran is a small town situated between rivers Parvati and Beas, famous for its hot water springs and beautiful landscapes. The town has a famous Gurudwara called Manikaran Sahib and it is frequented by Sikhs from all over the country. There are many small temples in the town as well making it a significant pilgrimage centre for Hindus too.
The newest addition to the list of National parks in India, The Great Himalayan National Park is quickly becoming what the wildlife scene in the region is being identified with and defined by. Yet, it manages to be a quiet and good break from the crowded places in the town. It is home to around 400 species of fauna, and the paths here are ideal for a quiet and peaceful trek. One of the top things to do in Manali, camping inside the park is also equally enjoyable.
Manu temple, a beautiful temple dedicated to Sage Manu, is located in the mesmerizing valley of Manali in Himachal Pradesh, India. The temple lies in the Beas River Valley, in Kullu District which is about 275 kilometres North of Shimla. The topographical features of the valley are inviting, and trekkers all over the world are drawn to Manali. It has been a tourist attraction for quite some years, and travellers wanting to come closer to the divine powers of Indian deities usually come here seeking peace and to be spiritually enlightened. As one explores the region, they are sure to notice the calmness around the beautiful temple structure. Absorb the tranquillity as you breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the pleasant greenery around.
Nehru Kund gets its name from the first Prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru who is said to have had water from the natural spring, when he used to stay in Manali. One still finds here some cold and pristine water running here and a breath-taking scenery of mountains and valleys all around. With it gorgeous scenery and lovely view, visiting the Nehru Kund is one of the most wonderful things to do in Manali.
Bhrigu Lake is a high altitude lake located in the district of Kullu, about 40 kilometres away from Manali. The route to the lake passes through entrancing meadows which are also called the Bhrigu Lake Meadows. Not many tourists know about the beautiful Bhrigu Lake Meadows that can be compared with the alpine meadows found at high altitude locations like Switzerland. As one walks through the expansive stretch of grasslands amidst snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, they are bound to feel like they have entered a different world altogether. Considered one of the most beautiful places here, it is also one of the top things to do in Manali.
Away from the hustle and bustle that the town of Manali holds, Old Manali is a backpacker's paradise. Lying at a distance of 3 kilometers uphill from the central city, Old Manali is often frequented by tourists from all across the world. Here you can sit back and relax in the lap of nature, away from the hullabaloo of city life. Along with the myriad other things, this is one of the topmost things to do in Manali.
Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art located in Manali has a beautiful collection of ancient and traditional heritage belonging to the region. Tourists find the museum a perfect place to get a glimpse into the ancient way of life of the people of Himachal Pradesh. The antique artefacts on display give insights into the long forgotten art, handicraft and the ancient culture of the state. This draws not just tourists but also researchers from all over the world to study the ancient civilization and it is one of the top things to do in Manali among both the tourists and localites.
Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa is a monastery located in Manali which is a well known religious centre, especially for the Buddhists. However, people belonging to any religious belief are welcome to explore and soak in the divine spiritual vibe of the place. The monastery is a small shrine dedicated to Lord Buddha. One will find some decorative murals on the structure that depict Lord Buddha's ideas and values about humanity and life. One of the top things to do in Manali, you should visit the temple to have peek into the Buddhist culture.
Siyali Mahadev Temple is a place of worship dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in the quaint town of Manali in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is known as one of the oldest temples of Lord Shiva in the region and is frequently visited by devotees of Lord Shiva. The temple is also incredibly famous for its architectural beauty and visiting the temple is one the topmost things to do in Manali. The sight of the temple from afar astounds everyone as they witness this unique structure amidst the beautiful natural landscape of Manali.
Club House located in Old Manali is a retreat that offers several facilities and recreational activities and is, therefore, preferred by tourists. The Club House is said to be one such place in Manali that has something for everyone whether it is indoor games/sports, entertainment or recreational activities. There is also a restaurant where scrumptious local and international cuisine is served and a bar to have a drink with family and friends. It is a perfect escape for kids and adults both with many indoor games like the billiards room, the skating rinks etc. You should definitely put this in your bucket list of things to do in Manali.
Gauri Shankar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in the village of Naggar in Manali. The temple is a small structure carved out of stones but has immense historical importance in the region. Tourists and devotees of Shiva mostly visit it. It is quite a well-maintained monument that was built according to the Shikhara style of architecture. The ancient temple is preserved as a heritage site in Manali, but the divine vibe of Goddess Gauri and Lord Shiva can still be felt in the temple.
Adorned with sky touching deodar trees and laid by a dense carpet of vivid shades of green, the Van Vihar is a haven for nature lovers and avifauna enthusiasts. Manali is a city famous for its unparalleled scenic beauty, and this site stands as a testimony to the city's stellar reputation. The Van Vihar National Park is a park run and maintained by the municipal corporation of the city. This beautiful garden is a popular and frequently visited destination for children and adults alike. The favourite attraction of this park is a sparkling man-made lake that rests in the middle of the lush green landscape and brings the entire vicinity to life!
Jagatsukh is a picturesque village, and the capital of Kullu locates about 7 kilometres away from the town of Manali. It is famous for its enchanting natural landscape and the ancient Jagatsukh Temples which are religiously important shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Sandhya Devi. Usually, Jagatsukh can be explored in a day. However, if one wishes to stay for a day or two, there are several hotels, resorts and homestay options available to choose from. Loved among both the localites and tourists, this is one of the topmost things to do in Manali and you should definitely experience it.
A visit to Manali is no doubt incomplete without a holiday at the Manali Sanctuary, which is an astounding and impressive wildlife sanctuary located in Himachal Pradesh in northern India. The wildlife sanctuary is at a walking distance from the main town and city centre of Manali and is the ideal spot to explore the rich flora and fauna that the place harbours. Other than opportunities of sighting a variety of these reptiles, birds, animals and mammals; the place also has ample options that will entice the adventurous and fun loving soul. These include the fabulous trekking routes and camping facilities.
Bara Bangal Kaliyahni trek, also known as the Shepherds trail trek, takes you from the lush green Kullu valley to the stark landscapes of Bara Bhangal range. A trekker will cross the Kalihani Pass and move northwest before reaching Bara Bhangal. From here there is a turn southwards to Thamsar Pass and reach Billing in Kangra valley to finish the trek. In the end, one may paraglide to Bir if the trek didn’t offer them a high.
Kothi Village is a quaint village located about 15 kilometres away from Manali on the foothills of Rohtang Pass. The village is a perfect camping destination and draws tourists for adventure and recreational activities from all across the world. The magnificent view of the natural landscape surrounding the village enchants everyone exploring the location. Most trekkers on their way to Rohtang Pass often camp at the town. One can get a beautiful view of the snow-capped mountain peaks, River Beas and the glaciers. The breathtaking sight is worth witnessing and capturing in photographs. Make sure you definitely put this under your top things to do in Manali.
Jana Waterfall is located in a quaint village named Jana in the transfixing valley of Manali. It is a natural waterfall and a famous attraction which is a favourite picnic spot and is often visited by people residing nearby to escape the chaotic city life. The scenic beauty of the region under clear blue skies and fresh air is hypnotic. One has to trek to the waterfall through dense deodar and pine trees amidst snow-capped mountains. The sight of the snow covered peaks is simply exhilarating. This attraction is a must visit for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.
Gulaba is a beautiful little village located about 20 kilometres from Manali on the route to Rohtang Pass. Gulaba has an enchanting natural landscape that attracts tourists in large numbers. One can explore the region trekking, set up a camp to soak in its natural beauty. The beauty of the location is unmatched, and the picturesque scenery makes the stay or the journey a memorable event. The site was featured in some scenes from the famous Bollywood movie - Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani.
Situated 7 km away from Manali, the Gayatri temple houses an idol of Goddess Gayatri, made of marble. This temple has some splendid architecture styles, is constructed with a stunning artistic finesse and with some of the most intricate woodwork. There are a few more temples around the area, such as a Shikara style Shiva temple, that one can visit. Along with the myriad other things to do in Manali, this one should also be there on your list.
Jogini Waterfall is located in the beautiful Valley of Manali in the North-Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is about 3 kilometres away from the bustling town of Manali and around 2 kilometres away from Vashisht Temple. Tourists have to trek ahead from the temple to reach Jogini Waterfall. The walk up to the waterfall goes through pine trees and orchard. The waterfall cascades from a height of 160 feet. Trekkers are sure to get mesmerised as they cross several smaller streams till they reach the beautiful waterfall. This is one of the topmost things to do in Manali.
Arjun Gufa is considered to be a legendary natural formation in Manali. The cave is a favourite picnic spot and is also famous for the adventure of exploring the creation from inside. It is located on the left side of River Beas and is very close to beautiful Prini Village. The climb up to the cave is exciting in itself with the surrounding natural landscape so beautiful it cannot be explained in words. The cave is a narrow path into a hill. With no light entering after a point, one has to explore and find their way into the cave through the darkness using flashlights. It is one of the most exciting things to do in Manali, make sure you definitely try it out.
Rahala Falls, located at a distance of 29 kilometres from Manali Bus Stand, is a well-known picnic spot for locals and tourists on their way to Rohtang Pass from Manali often halt to explore the waterfall. The water found at the Rahala Falls is usually cold as the water comes from a melting glacier situated in the Himalayas. The surrounding is thickly vegetated with deodar and Silver Birch trees. The snow-capped Himalayan peaks can be easily seen from various locations around the waterfall.
Himalayan Nyingmapa Gompa is a Buddhist monastery located in Manali and one of the most famous monasteries situated in north India. Its religious significance is highly important for devotees, but tourists are also drawn for its architectural beauty and tranquillity in the environment. The most prominent feature of Himalaya Nyingmapa Buddhist Temple is the enormous statue or idol of Sakyamuni in a sitting or meditative posture. Right from the entrance, the divine and tranquil vibe of the monastery can be felt. The icon, statues and the colourful paintings on the walls add to the beauty of the monastery.