Surrounded by high peaks in the beautiful green valley of the Beas River, with mountain adventures beckoning from all directions, Manali is a year-round magnet. Backpackers come to hang out in the hippie villages around the main town; adventurers come for trekking, climbing, mountain biking, canyoning, paragliding, rafting and skiing; and Indian families and honeymooners come for the cool mountain air and a taste of snow on a day trip to the Rohtang La .Manali, at the northern end of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, is a hill station situated on the Beas river and near its source, it is a popular tourist spot for Indians in summer and a magical, snow-covered place in winter.
Manali will always be close to my heart as it was our (me and my hubby’s) first trip after marriage, mother nature has bestowed such a blessing that once you are there you will only feel the presence of the beautiful scenic around you. We drove from Delhi to Manali which is approx 8 to 9 hours, and be prepare to get 6 hours of straight hill driving, so thrilling and so very beautiful. I manage to get a lots of lovely pics out there.
We booked Kunzam Hotel located next to the Mall Road.The hotel is Manali’s most centrally located deluxe hotel.
- Rooms are modern with attached baths and running hot & cold water
- Satellite Television
- Room service, Laundry and Dry-cleaning arranged. Parking within premises
- Restaurants, Bar, Tea Lounge, Conference Hall
- MasterCard / Visa Credit Cards accepted
- Breakfast Included
Our first day trip was to Solang Valley and Rohtang Pass. We booked a local taxi from the hotel its always good to go around with a local guide for better viewing with intricate details. On your way you have to rent the snow dress and if you wish to Ski then all these equipment, lot of bargain skill is required over here.
Located at a distance of 13 kms from Manali, Solang Valley lies between Solang village and Beas Kund. It offers a beautiful view of glaciers and snow capped mountains. Since the valley has fine ski slopes, it is a perfect place for skiing. In winter, the valley becomes a skiing paradise with children of all ages slipping and sliding over the fresh white snow. When snow melts in the summer, skiing is replaced by parachuting, zorbing, paragliding and horse riding. For snow lovers, the best time to visit Solang Valley is between the months of December to February.
We got to click with the locals wearing the ”Himachali Dress”, i am a mountain queen, GOSH!GOSH!. They charge you and you have to be very good in bargaining so try to start from a very low rate.
The Valley was surrounded with green lush and due to December month the chill weather added snow at the peak. We were able to do horse riding to the top and then the paragliding.If you visit Solang Valley then paragliding is a must, the most amazing experience i had. The trainer was a specialist and during the gliding he was with me and as i again say bargaining is a must so do a lot of bargains for a better offer.
Then we headed towards Rohtang Pass, what a drive it was amidst the snow covered mountains and the breathtaking scenic beauty. In love with this place, what a blessing mother nature has bestowed upon.I got some really amazing pics and this ill always be cherished forever.
Rohtang Pass, the ‘Highest Jeepable Road in the World’, is a lofty mountain pathway. If you want to experience snow in summer, Rohtang Pass is the destination for you.
The view of the range mountains is stunning from here. This is one of the highest mountain passes of the world. Rohtang Pass offers great picturesque views as it rises far above clouds. People from around the world are fascinated by its incredible beauty.
Rohtang Pass is often termed as Trekkers Paradise. Here you can experience snow laden peaks, crystal glaciers and rivers, magical mountains of great heights.The pass lies on the watershed between the Chenab and Beas basins. On the southern side of this pass, the Beas River emerges from underground and flows southward and on its northern side, the Chandra River (flows from the eastern Himalayas), a source stream of the river Chenab, flows westward.
At one point the driver left us to hire small Jeep cars as this goes to the up of the pass. We had to hire and bargain a lot for it. Once we were there it was a breathtaking view, so beautiful and so calm. My first ever experience with the snow and i must say a totally worth visit. Snow lovers this is the right place for you, the whole world comes to a halt in the first look of it. We got our Skiing equipment from the near by stall on way to the pass, again a good bargain and experts were there at the pass to train us. Basically you need not be expert at all, just have to enjoy and listen to the basics carefully.
While driving to Rohtang Pass we saw two beautiful waterfall
- Rahala waterfalls: About 16km from Manali at the start of the climb to the Rohtang Pass, are the beautiful Rahalla Falls.
- Rozy Falls: On the way to Rohtang amazing water fall worth seeing. this water fall looks amazing between the high hills.
But due to the driver’s time shortage we got a chance to have a picture with it after coming from the pass, you wont believe the waterfalls turned into snow during evening hours, but it was an amazing view and i manage to get some beautiful shots before sun set.
The next day was packed for White Water Rafting and Manikarna visit.
River rafting in Manali is offered by private operators at Pirdi near Kullu where a water sports center has been set up to provide the rafting services for the tourists. Rafting is available on stretches of the River Beas, where rapids of high grades can be negotiated. Rafting provides an exhilarating interlude fro enthusiasts and is enjoyable in Manali if you are adventure lover. An hour-long session of river rafting is sure to satiate your adventure craving. The Beas River is perfect for water adventure activities such as canoeing, kayaking and of course, white water rafting. So take your gear along or rent it there, hop in and get ready to flex your muscles in the tumultuous waters of Beas.
We headed towards Manikaran which is located in the Parvati Valley along the banks of river Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh.This small town attracts tourists visiting Manali and Kullu to its hot springs and piligrim centres. An experimental Geothermal Energy plant has also been set up here. The area is well-known for its natural hot-water springs and its beautiful landscape.The name Manikaran is derived from this legend. The water is still hot and is considered extremely auspicious.
The other places to see in Manali :
- Beas Kund, an igloo shaped temple, on top has a spring which is the origin of River Beas
- Hadimba Temple
- Maa Sharvari Temple
- Kalath Hot Water Springs
- Vashist Hot Water Springs and Temple
- Jogini Falls
- Jagatsukh: Jagatsukh, the former capital of Manali, has a few nice temples done in Shikhara style. You can visit them while travelling to Naggar.
- Monasteries: Manali is known for its shiny gompas or Buddhist monasteries.
- Old Manali: At a distance of 3km northwest of Manali is Old Manali, famous for its orchards and old guesthouses. Calm and serene surroundings coupled with the sound of Beas river is a very peaceful experience.
- Gauri Shankar Temple at DASHAL village(700m from Sarsai ) on the main left bank Kullu Manali Highway. It is a 12th century protected monument and enjoy the lush green apple orchards and play with water stream.
- Krishna Temple at Thava
- Zana Falls
- Beautiful Log Hut Area and Club house
- The Manali Gompa : Manali Gompa was built in 1960. It is one of the most important places for Buddhists. Buddhists come to this place from Ladakh, Tibet, Spiti, Lahul and Kinnaur. Manali Gompa is world famous for a large statue of Buddha and for its wall paintings.
- Kothi : Kothi is located at the bottom of Rohatang Pass. It is a beautiful and photographic village where tourists can capture different thrilling views of the deep gorge through which the Beas swiftly runs. This is an amazing place to experience the natural beauty of high altitude mountain.
- Nehru Kund: . It is one of the natural springs of natural water in India.
The Things to do in Manali are :
- Get your photos clicked with either rabbits or yaks (near the Hidimba Temple)
- One can also enjoy paddle boating in a fun park near Hidimba temple.
- River rafting, skiing, zorbing, trekking, snow scootering, and river crossing. One of the best adventure companies is the High Himalayan Adventure, based in Vashisht village.
- Rock climbing
- If interested in books, there is a bookshop in the main town near the Post Office called Bookworm.
- Early morning walks as Manali is best enjoyed before the town wakes up.
- Himalayan Caravan Adventure
- Deo Tibba Base Camp Trek
- Friendship peak Trekking
- Hampta Pass Trek
The Best Buys in Manali :
Key chains, name plates, etc which are customized to ones own message are worth buying as mementos. Also one can get his name carved/written on a single grain of rice. One can also visit Manali Market to buy woolen stuff like sweaters, pull overs, shawls, blankets, etc. Hippie clothes/ jewelry can be found in Old Manali. Also one can buy personalized key chains made of woolen threads.
Fruit products, honey and apricot oil at Himcoop Juice Bar Manali are also something local produced in the valley. Jam from Himcoop taste like real fruit due to high contents of fruit pulp and apricot oil is good for joint pains and also general massage.
For more details refer to Himalayan Tourism Website :