Old Manali

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Time Required: 3-4 hrs

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Old Manali, Manali Overview

Located 6589 feet above sea level and 3 km uphill from Manali, Himachal Pradesh, lies the town of Old Manali, a quiet settlement that lays beneath a valley with a vast coverage of apple orchards. Manali is divided into Old Manali and New Manali by the Manalsu River. Old Manali is led by a bridge over the river. In comparison to New Manali, it is cleaner and less crowded, thereby inducing a lot of travellers to visit this place more often than New Manali.

The serenity of Old Manali is perhaps unique. The swaying eucalyptus, gently winding roads, gushing waters of the Kullu river and beautiful hills of this destination make it the perfect natural retreat. Indulge in some delicious continental food at low prices here, and shop for knick-knacks from the local markets here. The sunrise and sunsets here are intoxicating, and you will surely love the energy of this place. Old Manali is most famous for its Hidimba temple. Tucked away in the lap of quiet nature, this destination is the perfect place to experience the pure beauty of Himachal Pradesh.

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Cafe 1947: Located at the starting of Old Manali, near Nehru Kund, VPO Bahang, it is one of the most famous cafes in that region. Its indoor and outdoor seating along with the adjacent setup next to the river makes the ambience of the cafe spectacular. The burgers and pizzas are a must for people visiting that cafe. It is open throughout 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM every day and 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM only on Wednesdays.

Drifter’s Cafe: Located in Manu Temple Road in Old Manali, this is one of the places where one can expect delicious breakfast along with other cuisines that make a person to come back to the restaurant for more. From the seating arrangement to hospitality as well as flavoured drinks, everything is good. This cafe is open from 9:00 AM to11:00 PM and if anyone is planning to visit Drifter’s Cafe, he/she is advised to surely try Egg Benedict, Waffles and Pancakes.

The Lazy Dog: Located at Manu Temple Road in Old Manali, this cafe is open from 11:00 AM to 1:00 AM. The food over here is an absolute delight to the tastebuds, but what forms the delicacy of the restaurant is the desserts which should not be missed. The food is affordable and one gets an opportunity to witness live performances of local bands like The Local Train and Rudra during its peak season.

Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted Coffee House: Located in the heart of Old Manali, this place is very famous for breakfast and coffee, due to which there is a huge crowd over there. It is open from 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM from Monday to Saturday, people enjoy spending long hours conversing with each other over a cup of coffee and having a great time.

Born Free Cafe: Known for its delicious pasta, Chicken and Hummus Pita Bread and Smoothies, this cafe, which is open in Manu Temple Road in VPO, Old Manali, is open from 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM. Even though it is not spacious like the other cafes in Old Manali, it is very simple.

Hadimba Temple
This is one of the most popular temples in the area of Old Manali. The temple is dedicated to Queen Hadimba, who was the wife of Bhima and has its roots enshrined in the old days of Mahabharata. Due to its unique style of construction, its doorways are made of wood and has a wall as well as a cone-shaped roof, which is not observed in other temples. It is open on all the days of the week, from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Jogini Falls
Jogni Falls is one of the most beautiful sites to see in Old Manali. It is a half an hour trek from the main city and is indeed a beautiful sight. The water dripping from the falls keep flowing backwards and forward and a person going underneath the water will be refreshed. However, it is advised not to scream or talk loudly since Jogni falls is considered to be spiritual and talking loudly or screaming is deemed disrespectful.

Vashisht Temple
Named after Rishi Vashisht, who was known as King Vishwamitra in his previous birth, it has a very long history. The temple is more than 4000 years old and has a hot spring which is the main attraction of the temple. The hot spring is believed to have medicinal properties as well. The Vashisht Temple is open from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM and the bath is open from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM and then 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM on all the days.

Naggar Castle
Located at an altitude of 2047 m above sea level, it served as the official seat for kings through centuries. According to a legend, it was built by Raja Sindh Singh 500 years ago and stones were used to build the castle. In 1978, the castle was converted into a rest house and is subsequently run by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation(HPTDC).

Old Manali is the perfect destination to try out some offbeat activities. You can hire a scooter and explore the roads of the city all on your own. Get your adrenaline pumping with the water rappelling activities available here, which will surely leave you gasping for breath. A nature walk here along with your camera is a must for this destination sure has a few sceneries to soothe the eyes. Don't forget to buy some of the delicious cherries which are famous here. Explore the true spirit of Himachal at Old Manali, and you will surely not be disappointed!

Shopping in Old Manali Market is a very different experience than shopping in other parts of Manali. Away from the busy lanes of the Mall Road, the market is full of little outlets that are crowded with people. With a variety of shops selling Music CDs, funky T-Shirts, beads and jewellery, this market also comes across hidden lanes of the shops that sell fruit jams, jellies and pickles.

Old Manali is approachable by foot which takes 15-20 minutes to reach by trekking uphill from New Manali as the distance between them is 3 km. One can also take an auto rickshaw or taxi from New Manali which are available in plenty.

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