Manali (Himachal Pradesh)
Situated at the northern end of the kullu valley, Manali has spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes
. History: Manali literally means the 'Home of Manu'. Manu is the mythological character who is supposed to have survived when the world was drowned in Flood. He then came to Manali and recreated human life. Thus, the area of Manali is sacred and Hindus treat the Temples over here as pilgrimage centres. It is a flourishing orchard industry, a popular honeymoon destination and trailhead for numerous treks as well as a great countryside ideal for adventure sport lovers.
Manali Quick facts
Manali Geography and Climate
Geography: Manali is located at 32.16° N 77.10° E. It has an average elevation of 2625 metres (8612 feet). Manali, in the Beas River valley, is an important hill station in the Himalayan mountains of Himachal Pradesh, India, near the northern end of the Kullu Valley. It is administratively a part of the Kullu District.
Best time to visit Manali
The period between April and October is the best time to visit the hill station.
Manali is a widely visited hill station in Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is a popular honeymoon destination, abundance of apple orchards and a heaven for adventure sport lovers.
Manali Near Getaways
Manali, in the Beas River valley, is an important hill station in the Himalayan mountains of Himachal Pradesh, India, near the northern end of the Kullu Valley.
How to reach Manali by Road
A good road network connects Manali with national capital Delhi which passes through a few destinations of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal before reaching the hill station.
How to reach Manali by Rail
The nearest railhead is Joginder Nagar that has a narrow gauge route. The distance from Manali is approximately 95 kms. The nearest broad gauge railheads are at Chandigarh (315 km.), Pathankot (325 km.) and Kalka (310 km.).
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How to reach Manali by Air
The nearest airport to Manali is Bhuntar at a distance of 50 kms. The traveller is recommended not to take the arial route as the service provided by the only private airline in that region is of poor quality. Commercial flights are available from Delhi and other destinations of the country.
Manali Festivals and culture
The people of Manali celebrate all the festivals of all religions. Every festival is celebrated with great fun & fair. At the time of Kullu Dussehera an infectious gaiety holds sway over the little town of Kullu for 10 days. The Gaddi shepherds come down from the hills with their music. There is dancing, singing and performances which extend well into the nights. A major festival is held in the often visited site in Manali, 'the Dhungri or Hadimba Temple' in the month of May.
The cultural traits of the hilly region are unaltered and unaffected by the rapid industrialization of the modern times and brings out the traditional cultural values of the society. Manali and its surrounding areas are of great significance to the Indian culture and heritage as it was the home and abode of the Saptarshi or seven sages. There is a rich tradition of folk arts in Kullu. The excellent temple carvings, vibrant handicrafts , spectacular folk dances and melodious songs show the sensitivity of the people.
Manali Religious Places
Temple of Hadimba Devi : Located 1.5 km (1 mile) north of the main bazaar. This temple was built in 1553 around a small natural cave enshrining the footprints of the demoness Hadimba, wife of Bhima, the mighty Pandava brother. This is a famous temple in Manali. Many people go to this temple day in and day out. Every year in the month of May there is a major festival. The temple is four-tiered and it has a pagoda shaped roof. The front doorway is engraved with figures and symbols.
Naggar Fort: Naggar Fort ,south of Manali is a reminder of the 1500 year old Pal Dynasty. Made from rocks, stones, and elaborate wood carvings, it is an ensemble of the rich and elegant artworks of Himachal. The castle was later converted to a rest house and luxury hotel.
Manali Entertainment and Night Life
Manali's now turning into a base camp for trekkers and intrepid mountaineers. Mountaineering Institute: Located 3 kms. on the left bank of river Beas towards Kulu. This Institute organises basic & advance training courses, in trekking, mountaineering, skiing and water sports. Skiing and trekking equipments can be hired from here by booking in advance.
There is not much of nightlife in Manali. As a matter of fact you may consider it to be non-existent. However, there are a couple of places you can go to grab a glass of drink. Two places to grab a drink are Khyber (on the Mall) and Johnson's cafe (old Manali Rd). Johnson's Cafe plays music and also serves alcohol and dinner.
Kidding around Manali
ARJUN GUFA(CAVE): 4kms. from Manali towards Naggar, the cave is situated near Prini village 1km. above the road where Arjun had meditated. This is good 1/2 a day excursion with charming view of the brilliant mountains.
One can visit Akhara Bazaar area that offers a lot of variety and has the Government Handicrafts Emporium, Himachal Khadi Emporium and Gramodyog Bhawan. These places are a shopper's delight and are perfect places to buy gifts and souvenirs for family and friends.
Famous To Eat at Manali
Manali market is key place for eatables. Right from chat to Indian (veg/nonveg) to international cuisine like Italian/Chinese are available in the main market which is just opposite the Manali Bus stand.
Manali Museum and Hill Stations
Kullu - Hill Staion: In the lower reaches of the Himalayas is the beautiful hill station of Kullu which is at a distance of some 40 kms from Manali. Apart from its scenic beauty and abundance of apple orchards, Kullu is also famous for its ancient temples. The Jagannathi Devi temple and Bijli Mahadev temple of the place are the most sacred places of worship here.
Gardens and Parks at Manali
Manali Sanctuary : The sanctuary was notified in February, 1954 and covers a total area of 3,180 hectares. There are many animal and bird species here that could be seen only in higher altitudes.
Lake at Manali
Manikaran: 85 km from Manali and 45 km from Kullu, lies in the Parvati Valley. Here icy cold waters of the Parvati river co-exists with hot-water springs side-by-side. The springs are known for their healing properties.
Manali Travel Tips
It is always helpful to have maps, details and necessary information before leaving for trekking. Travel light & remember to carry few wollens with you. Be sure to carry valid legal documents like driving license, registration certificate, pollution certificate of your vehicle with you. Attested photocopies of essential documents like I Card, employment cards are helpful in difficult situations like theft or misconduct.
Manali Tourist Offices
HPTDC Tourist Information office, The Mall, Manali -175131 Tel: (01902) 253531, Fax: (01902) 252325 HPTDC Tourist Information office Dhalpur, Kullu - 175101 Tel: (01902) 222349
Must do at Manali
A visit to Vashist Hot Water Springs : (Medicinal properties) Around 3 km from Manali, across the Beas river is Vashist, a small village with natural sulphur springs. Modern bathhouses, with Turkish-style showers, have the hot water piped into them for the convenience of the visitors who come here to benefit from the medicinal properties.