Manali, at about 2,000 metres above sea level, is one of the most popular mountain resorts in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Though it lacks the colonial characteristics of Shimla, 250 kilometres away, it has grown over the years into a major hill resort with numerous hotels, lodges, resorts and offers a range of adventure sports activities. Situated along the Beas River, it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding snow-capped mountain peaks. Old Manali is more western tourist orientated, located 2 kilometres up a narrow lane from New Manali.
Manali also serves as a base camp for trekking and mountaineering expeditions into the Solang Valley and over the Rohtang Pass into the Lahaul-Spiti region. It is also the starting point of the epic 2-day Trans Himalayan journey to the cold desert region of Ladakh, connected by the Leh-Manali highway.
The Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh in which Manali can be found is also known as the "Valley of the Gods". The Old Manali village has an ancient temple dedicated to ancient plant Manu.It is also believed that the Hidimba Devi lived in the jungles of Manali. Manali is also famous for the Hidimba Temple.
The British introduced apple trees and trout, which were not native to Manali flora and fauna.To this day, apple - along with plum and pear - remains the best source of income for the majority of its inhabitants.
In the last 20 to 30 years Manali became famous and the town began to spread and grow in size. Initially there were only few shops and not a single hotel in Manali. Today, this once quiet village has transformed into a bustling town with many hotels and restaurants.
Places To See In Manali
Hadimba Devi Temple was constructed in the 16th century and is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Hidimba, wife of Pandav prince Bhim.
Godhan The Chokling Gompa built in 1969,the monastery is maintained by donations and the sale of carpets woven by the lamas within the temple workshop.
Manu Temple is dedicated to Manu, the Hindu law-giver who is believed to have lived here in the 2nd century BC.
Government Recreation Centre is situated along the Beas river and offers lots of sports activities, as well as a bar and restaurant.
Near By Treks
Rohtang Pass is one of the most popular day treks available from Manali. It is about 50 kilometres from Manali and due to the altitude of nearly 4,000 metres, it can be cold even on a summer day,and is the gateway to the cold desert region of Lahaul-Spiti and Leh-Ladakh. The source of Beas River which flows through Manali, can also be found close by.
Solang Valley, situated approximately 14 kilometres from Manali, is known for adventure sport activities and also for its enchanting beauty with snow covered peaks and pine forests.
Vashisht, around 3 kilometres from Manali, is famous for its hot springs.Inside the temple are separate baths for men and women.
Rahala Waterfalls, located about 26 kilometres from Manali on the Rohtang Pass road, are beautiful and well worth a stop.
The Naggar Castle and the Nicholas Roerich art gallery are located at approximately 35 kilometres south from Manali, en route to Kullu, in Naggar.
Manali is famous for adventure activities like paragliding, trekking, skiing, river rafting, rock climbing etc.
Famous Festivals in Manali
Winter Carnival of Himachal Pradesh takes place in February, and a long and colorful procession sets out from the temple of Goddess Hidimba at Dhugri to Manu Rangshala on the first day of the carnival.
Pipal Jatra (Spring Festival) starts on the 16th day of Baisakh (28th April) and runs for 3 days. It is hosted at Kullu's Dhalpur, approximately 33 kilometres to the south of Manali.
The Dungri Mela (also known as Dungri Jatra) is held every May at Hidimba Devi Temple, 5 kilometres to the north of Manali. Gods and Goddesses are carried in on palanquins.(consisting of a large box carried on two horizontal poles )
Navratri is a 9-day festival to worship nine forms of Shakti/Devi, (usually in September or October).
Dasara (also known as Dussehra)usually in September or October to mark the victory of good over evil. It also signifies the end of Navratri.
Manali's weather in summers goes up to maximum temperature of 35 degrees.In winter, from December to February, when nights can get chilly and average slightly below zero. The rainy season starts in the month of July and ends in August. During the rainy season, the heavy rainfall damages roads and causes landslides. In the winter, the snow line reaches Manali and the temperatures can be expected to be below freezing point at night. Most snowfall occurs later in winter, from late January to early March.
How To Reach Manali
The nearest airport is at Bhuntar (Airport Code: KUU), 10 kilometres from Kullu and 50 kilometres from Manali. Direct flights are available from Delhi.
The nearest railhead is Jogindernagar, which is around 135 kilometres from Manali.
Manali is well connected by road to most of the North Indian towns. The bus stand is right in the centre of the town and frequent buses are available from Manali to other important towns like Shimla, Kullu, Chandigarh, Delhi.
Manali is one of the most popular destinations in India, Not only with Indians but also with International Crowd.So its not very difficult to find good hotels and guest house within the woods.Manali is touristy through out the year.From Expensive hotels to Budget guesthouse you will find it all.
Mobile And Internet Connectivity
Please check my Blogs on Kullu and Shimal for more Information.
Medical Facilities : Lady Willingdon Hospital is in the heart of Manali.
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