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Nestled in between the snow-capped slopes of the Pir Panjal and the Dhauladhar ranges, Manali is one of the most popular hill stations in the country. With jaw-dropping views, lush green forests, sprawling meadows carpeted with flowers, gushing blue streams, a perpetual fairy-tale like mist lingering in the air, and a persistent fragrance of pines and freshness - Manali has been blessed with extraordinary scenic beauty. From museums to temples, from quaint little hippie villages to bustling upscale streets, river adventures to trekking trails, Manali has ever a reason to be the tourist magnet it is, all year round.
Clean roads, swaying eucalyptus trees, endearing little eateries, small kitschy local market places, and cafes which serve delicious local food at unbelievable prices, Old Manali is a serene, tranquil place, whose lingering silence is broken only by the twittering of the birds and the sound of the roaring waters of the Kullu river.
Solang Valley is the of the most visited places in Manali, with the drive up to Solang being as picturesque as the valley itself. Not only does Solang Valley offer some breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, but its slopes are also a very popular skiing destination, especially during the winters. In summers, the place turns into a paragliding haven. If you?re an adventure enthusiast, Solang Valley has adrenaline-pumping activities such as zorbing and horse-riding available.
With more than 25 lakh visitors every year, Rohtang Pass easily stands out as one of the most popular scenic spots to visit in Manali. Connecting the Lahaul and Kullu valleys, the Rohtang Pass is famous among nature lovers, photographers and adventure seekers alike. Mountain biking or skiing whilst surrounded by the awe-inspiring glaciers and snow-capped peaks on all sides is an exhilarating experience.
Manali is also home to a tiny slice of history, in the form of the Naggar castle. Located among the breathtaking forests in Naggar town, the Naggar Castle is a stunning historical edifice. Once used as the residence of Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu, the castle is a fine blend of traditional Himalayan and European architecture. With majestic fireplaces, beautifully built staircases, and meticulous wood and stone works, the Naggar Castle is a must-visit when you're in Manali.
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Manali is like the go-to spot if you're into mountains and nature. I went there in the month of October last year and the weather seemed to be perfect. I love winters and the cold weather so it was great for me. I went with my family and a bunch of our family friends in a traveller bus. The journey was quite hectic and uncomfortable since many of us got altitude sickness and we had to stop quite a lot on the way. But after reaching the destination, we had a great view of the mountains and really good food along with warm cups of tea which made all the difference! There are many sporty activities like para gliding to do there as well so you'll definitely be entertained. If you're undecided on where to go in your vacations, are looking for a hilly area to visit for cheap and can deal with the twisty roads of the mountains, Manali could be the place to be!
I had visited Rohtang Pass when I went for a trip to Himachal Pradesh with my family. It was a two hour drive from Manali. One can actually feel the dip in the temperature as one ascends high up the altitude. It was very windy at one particular level making it super chilly, but as we moved upwards, it was less windy and the weather became more bearable. This was the only place which was snow covered among all the places in HP that we visited, and so was my favourite! We spent a few hours here enjoying in the snow. We carried our breakfast as high up only tea and Maggi stalls are available. It is not necessary to rent garments and snow boots as we easily managed in our own woollens.
The 14 kilometre drive from Manali to Solang was totally worth it when I reached the start point of the ropeway that takes one up in Solang Valley. It just got better with every passing minute. As I the cable car started up the hill, I saw views that I won’t ever forget. It was almost as though I entered a postcard. Upon reaching the top, I encountered breathtaking views like never before. The snow top peaks majestically soared and the alpine slopes covered with confers together made it magical. One feels like they’re in wonderland.
Very beautiful. Snows through most of January and February. Can be visited throughout the year. Snow sports, paragliding and other adventure sports available. Starting point for drives to Spiti valley and Ladakh.
Can be crowded during peak seasons. Slightly difficult to access as it's 8 hours from nearest major airport.
Great for someone looking to experience snow in winters. Perfect for couples, adventure enthusiasts, family holidays. Ideal for people in North India, but Manali sees tourists from all over the country and also for foreigners.