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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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.
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.
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!
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.
After reading through the rocky Himalayas all day, Manali offers some of the best ways to enjoy a tranquil nightlife. From the relaxing aromas of Cafes to groovy Bars and Lounges, this beautiful hill station is full of vigour and energy. Dine, party and enjoy away the night time with your friends in exotic stations such as Johnson's bar and restaurant or Zing Zing Bar. If you want to spend some downtime with your partner in low laid Discotheques, The Chelsea club and Buzz are some of the top choices. The local markets and sidewalks are also excellent spots for catching a glimpse of traditional night routines of locals, stargazing around the circuit street parks is also a serenading experience.
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Day 1 - Reach Manali by morning. Have breakfast and relax for a while. After freshening up, you can start your tour with the Hadimba Temple. After this, you can head out to the Mall road for some grub and a little bit of shopping. The main market is bustling with activity and you will find a number of items from woollen clothes, shawls, local handicrafts and everything you need.
Day 2 - You should head off to Rohtang Pass. It remains open from April to November. It is a two-hour road journey from Manali and you need to set off early in the morning around 4:00 in order to avoid the traffic. The entry passes are available in Manali and you need to get it a day in advance. While returning, you should stop over at Solang Valley.
Day 3 - You can also go to Vashisht hot springs. Soak yourself in the hot water springs in the winters and it feels magical. After this, you can head to Old Manali for shopping and a scrumptious lunch.
Day 4 -While returning, stopover at Bhuntar and you can go for rafting in the season. Otherwise, you can also explore Kullu's market and temples. There are a number of things you can do, depending on your mood and the season.
Manali is a hill station glittering with amazing restaurants, cafes and bars, that an take care of any need, desires or cravings that its visitors may have. You will find countless restaurants with a rich variety and some of the most delicious food on their menus. You can find Italian, Chinese, Korean, Continental, Indian, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese cuisines here along with the popular Tibetan Momos
The cafes with a parallel culture of their own, cater to younger crowds. These cafes serve pizzas, momos, banana pancakes and apple pies throughout the day and you can also try Yak's cheese here. Along with these do relish the street food there with Samosas, Aloo tikki, Bread Pakoras, Paav Bhaji, Gulab Jamun and more filling the streets with colors and fragrances. Other than these, the city has an equally rich platter of local Himachal food.
Drifters Inn and Cafe, Johnson's Cafe are some good ones