Explore Manali – Valley of the God
Manali, a charming and idyllic hill station with fantastic views of the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar Ranges is situated on the banks of the Beas River. Manali is an ever-popular destination for large numbers of tourists, particularly newly wedded couples. Perched at an altitude of about 6700 feet above sea level, Manali is a hill station that never goes out of fashion.
The name – Manali comes from the Sanskrit words ‘Manu-Alaya’, which mean ‘Abode of Manu’. Manali was the starting point of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and from there to Tibet, via the Karakoram Pass. Manali is also the gateway to Lahaul. Spiti and Leh.
Among Manali’s agricultural products are apples, pears and plums. These were introduced to the area by the British, who also populated the Beas River with Trout fish. Manali was once a quiet unnoticed village, but in recent decades it has become a major tourist destination.
In and around Manali are a number of places for tourists to visit. Temples, heritage structures and adventurous outings are all a part of what Manali has to offer.
(Distances are from Manali City Center)
Top Places to visit & Things to do in Manali
Hidimba Temple (0.4 km)
This unique temple with its distinctive architecture is made of wood and dedicated to Hidimba Devi – the wife of Pandava Bheem. Surrounded by lush green Cedar trees, this beautiful temple is built on a rock. Nearby is a smaller shrine dedicated to Ghatotkach.
Solang Valley (11 km)
A very popular tourist spot, Solang Valley is well known for its adventure sports activities like paragliding, parachuting, horse riding, and more. In winter, Solang Valley is a skiing hotspot with training institutes for beginners.
Rohtang Pass (51 km)
Rohtang Pass is situated at an altitude of about 13,000 feet above sea level and is an extremely popular destination. It is the highest point on the Manali-Keylong road. Sporting activities like sledding and mountain biking are available here.
Atal Tunnel (28 km)
Atal tunnel on the Leh-Manali highway has been recently completed and inaugurated. It has been built below Rohtang Pass. At an elevation of 10,100 feet, this tunnel with a length of 9.02 km is an engineering feat and will considerably reduce traveling time between Manali and Keylong.
Old Manali (2 km)
Old Manali across the Manalsu River is a place where time has stopped. With its old-world charm, it is a place that delights visitors. With quaint markets, cafes, winding roads, eucalyptus trees and beautiful views, Old Manali is sure to sway you off your feet.
Jogini Waterfalls (4 km)
A popular spot for picnics and recreation, Jogini Waterfalls has a height of about 160 feet. Part of the way has to be covered by walking through Pine trees and apple orchards, crossing several small streams. One can also walk up to the top of the falls.
Vashisht Temple and Baths (3.5 km)
This temple is dedicated to Rishi Vashisht – one of the Saptarishis and family Guru and Teacher of Lord Rama. Also within the temple compound are the Vashisht Baths – a hot water spring with curative properties.
Manu Temple (2.8 km)
Manu temple is a short distance from Old Manali. This temple with its unique Pagoda style architecture is the only temple dedicated to Manu – the ancestor of all mankind. Located amidst peaceful and verdant surroundings, Manu temple is a haven of spirituality.
Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art (1.8 km)
This museum has a fascinating collection of artifacts and a display of traditional heritage of the region. The collection includes paintings, handicrafts, wooden masks and more. This museum was established in 1998 with the aim of preserving the Himachali culture.
Arjun Gufa (7 km)
Arjun Gufa is a natural rock formation with a deep cave at the top of it. It is a picnic spot near the beautiful Prini Village. This area and climb up to the cave is amidst the most beautiful surroundings which have to be seen to be believed. It is said that Pandava Arjun meditated here and received the Pashupata Astra from Lord Shiva as a blessing. The cave itself is quite deep and dark, but an exciting adventure.
Besides these places, there are still countless more. Several temples, monasteries, waterfalls, sanctuaries, parks, and lots more are certainly worth visiting. Manali is a destination not to be missed. A few days here will leave you with a lifetime of memories.
Joginder Nagar is the nearest railway station, about 144 km from Manali.
The nearest airport – Bhuntar is about 50 km from Manali.