Manali is a favorite among tourists. It’s about 40 km from Kullu valley. The height is 1928 meters. The end of Kullu Valley marks the beginning of Manali. The town is beautiful, surrounded by pine and birch trees and snow capped mountains. Exotic display of hilly greenery can be witnessed here in Manali. River Beas flows underneath. Manalsu River is on the other side. Manali apple is absolutely delicious and is world famous. Peach and cherry are also found in plenty and are delightful. The sight of apple orchards and resorts on roadside is very pleasing. Principal income comes from apple produce in Manali.
Manali is 80km North of Kullu Valley. Peak season of travel is May June, Sept and October. The rate of expenses will however, be low during the rainy season. Beware of brokers and always avoid them. Bus services are available to reach Manali. The Reception Center is on the right side of the Bus Stand. Look out for Govt. approved travel agents only, and ask for the approval certificate issued by the Govt. At a distance, the 14 roomed Tourist Lodge, PWD rest house is also available for stay. Behind the Bus Stand, starts Model Town. It also caters to tourist accommodation. Business Centers and Holiday Homes are also a part of Manali now.
Food is an interesting mix of palette. From Tibetan, Chinese, North Indian, to Gujrati and South Indian. These hotels can be found on Mall Road. Check our hotel booking links below for online booking and options.
Conducted tours of Manali can be arranged by HPTDC for the season tourists. Naggar, Manikaran, Rohtang Pass and Snow Point are quiet popular among visitors. Temperature varies from 12 - 25 degree Celsius in summer. In winters, it’s around 0 degree with frequent snow fall, till March. Light woolen garments are adequate for summer, but winters would require care. Heavy woolens are a must during winters. The disruption in Kashmir too, has led to the number of visitors to multiply in Manali region. Manali route is primarily used to reach Leh.
Things to do in Manali:
Shopping for souvenir is a pleasure in Manali. Huge collection of sweaters, shawls, Pashmina, Kullu topi, mufflers etc are available. We can also browse through Tibetan handicrafts andChinese crockery in the Tibetan market. The market is a treasure trove of priceless and exquisite items. It’s a good idea to hone your bargaining skill before you visit this area.
River rafting, paragliding, and various adventure sports are a part of the attractions of Manali. Thousands of sports enthusiasts also flock in every year to experience the adrenaline rush. Car and bike Rallies are organized by popular brands.
Old Manali is a hub of the European tourists. Mall Road is the centre point or main road of Manali town. Tourist Office locates here. About 1.5 km, North West of Dhungri Hill, resides Dhungiri Temple or Hidimba Devi Temple. Hadimba Devi was the wife of Bhim, one of the Pandava brothers in the Mahabharata. Maharaja Bahadur Singh has built this temple in 1553. The shrine is made of wood and is 27 meters high. Statues of brass are on display of carvings of animal, plants and gods on them. Footprint of lord Vishnu is found in the center. The goddess of this temple is taken to Kullu fest every year with much fanfare. Bulls are sacrificed in the May celebrations as well. Hot and cold water is available from the tap in the temple premises. Earlier the shrine was burnt down but it’s been reconstructed.
Legend has it that the artist, Triloknath, who created this temple, was eventually killed by the rulers of Chamba for fear of replication. Ghatatkach temple is around the same area.
Manali club is another notable location, one can look around. Crossing the river Beas will take you there. The club house is popular for its various activities such as indoor games and cultural fests in the auditorium. Tickets are available for a visit inside and you can also avail the facilities like playing TT or Snooker by payment of a small fee. Discotheques are also organized in the evenings. There is a park nearby, Bipasha (Beas) River. It’s worth a look. A few good hotels are also on the banks of the river, and is one of the best place to stay at Manali, with the gurgling Beas river flowing by.
The Tibetan Monastery has a remarkable collection of Tibetan pictures. Handicrafts items are made and sold here. If there's ample of free time, you can sit and watch them making the things.
Gadan Tekchokling Gompa is a very important center for shopping for items to bring back home. The prayer hall is contributed by the local people. Mountaineering Institute is around. Taxis is available from here for sightseeing.
The road to Rohtang pass is behind the reception center. Rishi Vashist's Ashram and Ghatotkach temple is on the way. Guest houses with food are available.
On a full moon night, a walk by the river bed of Bipasha is breath taking. The beauty of Manali in a word is, incomparable. It’s definitely worth a visit at least once in life time. Also, it is not a touch and go place. Come to Manali only when you have time to spare, to soak in the beauty of arguably the most beautiful hill staton of India.
Katrain is between Manali and Kullu valley on NH21. The height of the town is 1460 meters. The Baragadh peak, located at an elevation of 3325 meters, looks like an absorbing cap of Katrain. The adjoining River Bipasha increases the charm of the breathtaking hills. Apple orchards and trout hatcheries can be seen on this highway. Beekeeping is also researched in the scenic Katrain.
HPTDC package tours include, Katrain, Naggar and Jagatsukh among the others. Katrain can also be accessed by bus from Manali.
Govt Civil Rest House, Hotel Anglers Bungalow, The Apple Bloom, Devi P Guest House, Nand Guest House, Manohar Guest house, Royal Hotel and Hotel River Banks are few noteworthy hotels and guest houses available in Katrain.
5 km north of Katrain, on the west bank of Bipasha and beyond Patlikul, is Naggar. Naggar was Kullu's capital before Sultanpur in the 17th century. The town was built, at an altitude of 1790 meters, by the king Bishudpal.
The beguiling fort of the king of Kulu, on the Chandrakhani Hill, hidden in the dark shades of pine, deodar, and chirr trees, looks amazing. A stunning trek way will take you to the fort in 1 hour from Naggar.
Summer resort or the castle, built in 16th century, is the prime enticement of the compelling Naggar. Take a walk higher up, crossing the concrete stair steps, to the fine looking ancient fort, built by Sidh Singh. The architectural splendor of the fort is praiseworthy and commendable. The destructive earth quake of 1905 could not destroy the fort due to its brilliant planning and architectural excellences. A lingering ground in front of the fort and the historic castle of stones at one side of the ground look splendid along with the astonishing fort. The museum, built inside the castle, still recollects the historical glory of the vicinity. The panoramic view of the neighboring places from the castle top is majestic.
Pattu, thippu and chola were the special costumes of the local people.
Interested tourists can stay at the castle hotel.
Satipith, at the main entrance of the palace, built by the black stones, is charming. Cross the Satipith and you will hit the small temple (2.5*1.5*2 meters) which is a divine place for the deities. The holy temple was reconstructed and revamped in 1999.
Gouri Shankar Shiva temple is a classic example which depicts the splendid contemporary carvings. The pagoda type temple in which the deity, Tripureshwari, resides is rich for its Daru architectures. Vishnu and other deities are also residing on the palace premise.
The festival during the month of May attracts large number of devotees. Trek higher up for 10 minutes to reach the Thaba temple where the deities Radha and Krishna reside together in divine forms. The whole valley looks compelling from the Thaba temple. The town of Naggar was well connected to the Jari temple through a long and dark tunnel way. However, the tunnel is destructed in the earthquake of 1905. Enjoy the picture perfect vistas of the ice clad mountains, Rotang pass and Jiffong peak from Naggar. The well extended fruit grooves of Naggar will definitely engross your mind and soul.
Nicholas Roirick, the nature lover, had built his dream house, at a distance of 1 km from the castle to enjoy the beauty of the nature. The art museum in the house of Nicholas Roirick is dedicated to Nicholas Roirick. Pictures, drawn by Nicholas Roirick and his son, recall the memories of the primeval edge. The collections of artistic pictures at the ground floor of the museum also deserve a visit. The wonderful Riyas valley is another impressive attraction of Naggar. Urasbati Art Centre houses various items built by the tribes.
Castle Hotel, PWD Rest House, Forest Rest House, Poonam Mountain lodge, Alliance Hotel, Snow View Guest House, Sheetal Guest House, Siamond Field Guest House, Hotel ragini and Preet Guess House are the places where tourists can stay at.
Located at the southern side of Manali, on the eastern banks of the river Bipasha, is Jagatsukh. Jagatsukh was the capital of Kulu valley previously. Gourishankar Shiva temple depicting Sikhara architectural elegance and Sandhya Gayetri temple are the sanctified temples in the proximity. The Arjun, the adjoining cave, houses the idol of the deity, Krishna. Devi Sharbali is residing in the contiguous Suru village. The Gourishankar temple, between Jagatsukh and Naggar, was another pious temple which was built in 14th century.
Deottibba, the paradise for the trekking lovers, located at an elevation of 6001 meters, is a heavenly land which is covered with white ice most of the times of the year. Interested tourists can trek to Chandratal or the Lake of Chand (moon).
Malana village is beyond Chandrakhani pass. It’s at 3600 meter. Distance from Naggar is 29km. surrounded by dense forests, deep trenches and high peaks; it is one of the ancient towns in the region. Alexander’s troops are said to have settled here post the disassembly of their army in 325 BC. A mix of Tibetan, Sanskrit and Kinnauri called kanasa language is spoken in this part of the world. The people are extremely religious and do not appreciate touching. Honey, herbs, barley and hash provides a source of income.
Chandrakhani offers a pleasing vista of the snow covered mountains around. The journey to the scenic Malana is enjoyable but tough. The place can be accessed during March- December. Soaring hills and dense forests are the fortes of the mysterious town, Malana. The social lifestyles of the town are different and amazing.
Sanskrit is the main language. Walking through the concrete roads is only allowed. You cannot touch the people of Malana and it is observed strictly. You have to give 1000 rupees if you touch the divine monuments or temples.
The deity, Jamlu Maharaj, is residing in the small temple which is carved out of a single stone and the temple is built with the horns of deer. However, the prime deity of Malana is residing at the hilltop. The society of Malana is free from unsocial activities. The people of Malana still believe in ancient cultures and traditions. They still have managed to keep themselves away from the modern amenities. Outsiders are not accepted gleefully in Malana. They make their own rules and follow them sincerely as well.
The striking idol, made up of gold, placed on the silver elephant was a gift of the king Akbar to Malana.
Avail a jeep from Kullu to reach Jari and then trek to the mesmerizing Malana which is located at a distance of 12 km from Jari.
How to reach:
Simla, located at a distance of 260 km from Manali, is the nearest railway station of Manali. Manali can be accessed from Simla by road. Avail a bus from Manali or you can also hire a car to Manali.
Where to stay:
Tourist Lodge, Hotel Beas, Hotel Rohtang Manalsu, Log Hut, Hotel Kunzum, Hotel Sun Park, Hotel Snow Peak, Hotel Shiwalik, Hotel Aroma, Hotel Premier and Hotel Paramount.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.