Kullu Manali, one of the major tourist spot in India, is renowned for its snowcapped peaks, serenity of nature, beautiful valley with rich greenery and gushing streams. Known as ‘Land of Gods’ due to the rich history and cultural tradition, Kullu Manali, wins anyone’s heart at very first glance itself. It is considered as a sacred pilgrimage spot as it’s a home for numerous temples.
Endowed with fabulous climate and scenic beauty, Kullu Manali is one of the top honeymoon destinations of India. Kullu Manali is a land of romance, adventure, heritage and fun.
Just 40 kms away from Kullu to the north, Manali is situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. The landscape here is breath taking. One sees well-defined snow capped peaks, the Beas river with its clear water meanders through the town. On the other side are deodar and pine trees, tiny fields and fruit orchards. It is an excellent place for a holiday, a favorite resort for trekkers to Lahaul, Spiti, Bara Bhangal (Kangra), and Zanskar ranges. From temples to antiquity, to picturesque sight-seeing spots and adventure activities, Manali is a popular resort for all seasons and for all travelers.
How to Reach
- Nearest Airport -Kullu (42kms), Dharamsala (240kms), and Shimla (260kms)
- Nearest Railway Station – Ropar (255kms), Kalka (280kms), and Chandigarh (292kms)
- Manali is well connected by road with Delhi, Ambala, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Haridwar, Shimla, Dharamsala and Chamba/Dalhousie. Regular buses ply between these stations. It is connected with Leh during July to October.
Snow timeIt snows in Manali in Winter (Jan – March)
Main attractions of Manali
A place of historical significance, Beas Kund is one of the most beautiful places in the Dhauladhar range (literally ‘the white range’) of the mighty Himalayas. Besides being regarded as sacred, Beas Kund is where the river Beas originates from and offer spectacular views of the nearby located Shitidhar, Ladakhi, Friendship and Hanuman Tibba peaks.
One of the most alluring treks in the Kullu region, the trail offers panoramic views of the Pir Pangal range as well, and follows the banks of the river Beas. This is one of the most popular short treks through the Solang valley and takes you through an expanse of picturesque mountain landscapes. This trek is suitable for people for all age groups, and no prior trekking experience is required to join in.
13 kms from Manali is a splendid valley between Solang village and Beas Kund. Solang valley offers the view of glaciers and snow capped mountains and peaks. This is a picturesque valley offering views of the glaciers and snow-capped hills. A very popular camping site, it attracts many trekkers from near and far.
Skiing is a very popular recreation in Solang Valley. There are many skiing clubs where you can get instructors and equipment. So adventure lovers and enthusiasts can venture and try their hand at this sport. The Mountaineering Institute has installed a ski lift for training purpose. The winter skiing festival is organized here. Training in skiing is imparted at this place.
Hot springs amidst cold valleys. Sounds surprising but it’s true. Manikaran is famous for its hot water springs. Every year, many people take a dip in these. The water is so hot that one can even cook rice and vegetables in it. Legend has it that in this place Goddess Parvati had lost and recovered her earrings from a boiling fountain of water.
By road the Manikaran is 45 km from Kullu via Bhunter and 85 km from Manali. The road bifurcates at Bhunter 10 km short from Kullu via Jari and Kasol.
Rohtang Pass (3979 m) is 51kms from Manali on highway to Leh. Situated at an altitude of around 4100 meters, this pass showcases magnificent panorama of the mountain scenery. The famous Sonepani glacier and the twin peaks of the Geypang are near to this pass. To its left, the little Lake of Sarkund (Dashair) is present where many people take bath believing in its curative powers.
The pass is open from June to October each year although trekkers can cross it earlier. It is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley just as Zojila pass is a gateway to Ladakh. There is a beautiful sight of glaciers, peaks and Chandra river flows down in the Lahaul valley.
During summer (mid June to October) regular buses ply between Manali-Keylong/Darcha, Udaipur, Spiti and Leh. Rohtang Pass is best visited between May/June to October/November
Manali has many attractions but the chief centre of interest, historically and archeologically, is undoubtedly the Dhoongri temple dedicated to goddess Hidimba, the Bhim of Mahabharat fame. It has four-tiered Pagoda shaped roof and the doorway is carved with legendary figures and symbols. This temple located amidst wooden forest of deodar is about 2.5 km. from the tourist office. It is a pleasant experience to stroll in the temple complex which was built in 1533 A.D. A large festival is held here in May.
Bijli Mahadev Temple
Bijli Mahadev Temple is a challenge and an attraction to tourists as it is tough to reach. It is located at an altitude of about 2,438 m in the Kullu Valley. Bijli Mahadev is one of the excellent temples in India. Located 14 km from Kullu, it can be approached by a difficult but rewarding trek of 3 km This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the name ‘Bijli’ (lightning) is because the main ‘Lingam’ (deity) has been hit by lightning.
A panoramic view of Kullu and Parvati valleys can be seen from the temple. The 60 feet high staff of Bijli Mahadev temple glistens like a silver needle in the sun. In this temple of lightning it is said that the tall staff attracts the divine blessings in the form of lightning. It is believed that the priest of the temple has to restore the Shiva-lingam placed inside the temple using butter and sattoo after every lightning as it shatters to pieces with flash of lightning.
KothiThis is a quiet and scenic place with a nice rest house overlooking the valley and the majestic mountains. The river Beas flows near Kothi and adds more attraction to this tourist spot. This an idyllic place where you can spend time peacefully.
At a distance of around 25 km from Manali this spectacular falls is located. Formed by the Beas River gushing down from a height of 50 mts, this waterfall is an awesome spot for visitors. Also there is another falls called, Palani Falls, located near the Bijli Mahadev Temple which plummets down from a height of 150 mts. Both of them are highly popular among tourists.
The beautiful water fall at height of 8,500 ft. is about 16 km from Manali at the start of the climb to the Rohtang Pass. Rahalla falls are the result of melting glaciers. If one goes to Marhi on foot from Kothi from the old road, the sight of the falls is fascinating. It is a good picnic spot as well. Fresh and aromatic air provides relaxation, piece of mind to the visitors. Cascading waters add to the magnificent sight.
It is approachable by bus, jeep or pony.
Great Himalayan National Park
The National Park with an area of 754 sq. km. is located in Kullu District and has the representative area of temperate and alpine forests of Himachal. It has some the virgin coniferous forests of the State. Vast areas of alpine pastures and glaciers cap this park. This area has many important wildlife species of Western Himalayas, like Musk deer, Brown bear, Goral, Thar, Leopard, Snow leopard, Bharal, Serow, Monal, Kalij, Koklas, Cheer, Tragopan, Snow cock etc. Trekking of Rakti-Sar, origin of Sainj river and camping in alpine pastures is unforgettable. Similar is the trekking route to Tirath the origin of Tirthan river. Camping equipment and guides are provided by the Forests Department.
Things to do
- Rafting : White water rafting through rapids on the Beas is an exhilarating experience.
- Zorbing – Rolling down the valley’s slopes inside a huge inflatable ball called a ‘zorb’, a relatively new and hugely enjoyable activity offered in the Solang Valley.
- Paragliding – There’s no better way of getting a blood rush than leaping from a mountain top and gliding in the cool air above the trees.
- Skiing – Manali is one of the best skiing spots in India, with both winter and summer skiing ranges. Solang Nala, Patalsu, Kothi, Marhi and Rohtang are the most popular.
- Horse riding – Riding horseback is yet another way to enjoy the beautiful panorama at Solang Nala.
- Canoeing, kayaking – Available on certain parts of the Beas.
- Trekking – Manali is a walker’s paradise with its thickly forested trails, mountainous backdrop, and energizing atmosphere.
- Mountaineering – Manali is a hub of professional mountain climbing activity, and the Mountaineering Institute provides training facilities for basic and advanced climbing. The institute’s activities include high-altitude trekking, minor mountaineering, rock-climbing, skiing, and high-altitude rescue and relief courses.
- Biking – These are great ways to see the utterly charming mountain town.