Situated at the northern end of the kullu valley, Manali has spectacular
views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. 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.
Surrounded by towering peaks at an arm length, Manali's major asset is its
proximity to the snowline. 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, with its mountaineering institute, is a popular base for trekking
and mountaineering in summer and skiing in winter. Interesting routes into
the surrounding valleys, over the high passes, are provided with tourist
huts and rest houses for trekkign enthusiasts.
Hadimba or Dhungiri temple in Manali is one of the most important temples in
the region. This four-story wooden temple is located in the middle of a
forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. Winding paths through forests and
glades of whispering Deodars form the setting for the majestic wooden temple
of Hidimba Devi in Manali. The motorable road is shaded by Chestnuts,
Chinars and tall deciduous Deodars. This forested backdrop enthral one's
spirit and refresh one's mind all along the uphill path.
Vashist Springs (1,982m):
At about half an hour's brisk walking distance from town, there are
sulphur springs-gush, hot and medicinal - emerging out of the mountains at
Vashisht. Here, in a bath complex with a restaurant and a beautiful view,
couples can soak in the privacy of their own sunken bath, warming all kinds
of ailments out of their systems.
It is one of the biggest villages in Kullu district. About 6-km from
Manali, Jagatsukh is famous for its Shiva temple that is built in "shikhara"
style and nearby is the old and interesting Devi Sharvati temple.
Arjun Gufa (5-kms):
On the left bank of the Beas, 5-km from Manali near the village of Prini,
is the 'Arjun Gufa' or the cave of Arjuna. In here Arjuna practised
austerities to get Pashupata Ashtra or weapon from Lord Indra.
Further ahead is the Beas Kund. The tiny roundish igloo like stone hut
shelters the Beas Kund, the very source of the holy river Beas. Water flows
at the source of the river likfe a spring, so clear and icy cold that it
almost numbs the fingers. All around is the rocky terrain with very little
vegetation. A few mules graze around while all and sundry try to brave the
wind on a clear sunny day.
Rohtang Pass (13-kms):
Situated about 50-km from Manali town, at an altitude of 4,111m on the
highway to Keylong, is the Rohtang Pass. There is a beautiful Dasohar Lake
left of the Pass. The Pass, which provides the only access to the Lahaul
Valley, is open from June to November each year. Snowfall is, however,
unpredictable and blizzards can close the Pass even during this period. Here
one sees the majesty of the mountains at its height and splendour. A few km
away from the pass is the Sonapani glacier and, slightly to the left are the
twin peaks of Gaypan-jagged pyramid of rock, snow streaked and snow crowned.
The Mountaineering Institute located at Manali provides training facilities
for basic and advance climbing both for Indian nationals and foreigners.
This institute also conducts other adventurous sports activities like high
altitude trekking, minor mountaineering, rock-climbing, skiing, and high
altitude rescue and relief courses. The institute has sufficient lodging and
boarding arrangements and equipment can be hired for trekking purposes.
Rafting in Manali:
The Beas river flowing through Kullu valley is suitable for not only white
water rafting but is ideal for canoeing and kayaking too. The Beas River
from the Manaki to Jhiri near Bajaura in Kullu district has become very
popular among the lovers of river rafting and many competitions have been
organised in the same. The trip starts from Mohal and covers a total
distance 10-kms. The season normally starts from May to mid-June and rest
depends on the arrival of monsoon. The various clubs provide the basic
equipment required for the water sports.
Skiing in Manali:
Near Manali there are some slopes, which have been rated the best for
skiing in the world. The Solang Nullah, Patalsu, Kothi, Marhi and Rohtang
slopes are very good for skiing in the winters as well as in summers. In
fact Patalsu and Rohtang slopes are the only places where one can do summer
skiing. The slopes are being further developed to accommodate more trainees
The national level skiing competition is held on the slopes of Solang
Nullah and the winter carnival is organised at Manali. The place has immense
potential to offer some world-class ski slopes and they are being developed
on the same lines. There are private organisations that provide training as
well as equipment for skiing. The Mountaineering Institute has put up a
small ski lift at Solang Nullah.
Paragliding in Manali:
Paragliding is a combination of hang gliding and parachuting. In
parachuting one has to jump from an aircraft whereas in paragliding one has
to run down hill. The slopes of Solang Nullah provide just the right kind of
slopes for paragliding during summers. There are organisations, which offer
packages for paragliding. One can hire equipment from the private
organisations in Manali and around.
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The nearest airport to Manali is that of Bhuntar, which is 52-km from
Manali. From Bhuntar one can take a taxi or a bus to Manali.
The nearest railhead is that of and this narrow gauze railway station is
95-km from Kullu. The scenic beauty of Kullu while going to Manali can best
be enjoyed on a bus or a taxi. It is better to take a taxi, which one can
stop and enjoy the nature at will.
The road to Manali passes through the picturesque valley of Kullu. The
motorable roads to Manali connect the town with other major tourist places
in Himachal as well as in the nearby states. At the Manali bus stand there
are two booths, which do computerised reservation for buses. The
reservations can be made one month in advance. Both private and state
government buses are in service over here.
DISTANCE FROM MAJOR CITIES
KasoRohtang Pass: 50-km
Solang Nullah: 14-km