One day, Vaivasvata, the seventh incarnation of Manu found a tiny fish in his bathing water. The fish told him to look after it with devotion for one day it would do him a great service. Vaivasvatatava took care of the fish till the day it grew so huge that he released it into the sea before departing, the fish warned Manu of an Impending deluge when the entire world would be submerged and bade him to build a sea-worthy ark. When the flood came Vaivasvata and the Seven Sages were towed to safety by Matsya the fish-which is regarded as the first avatara of Lord Vishnu. As the waters subsided the seventh Manu's ark came to rest on a hillside and the place was named Manali (2050 m) after him. As the earth slowly dried, here arose a place of breath taking natural beauty - which was only appropriate, for it was at Manali that life began again. And today this legendary cradle of all human kind is a prime holiday destination. There are high mountains surrounded by silent snows and deep boulder strewn gorges. There are thick forest full of cool breezes and bird song. There are fields of wild flowers, smell picturesque hamlets and fruit laden orchards. All creating enchanting facades of Manali tours.
Climate: Cool & pleasant
Weather: min -10° C & max 15° C
Best Time to Visit: May- October, visit during winters to see snowfall.
Suggested Clothing: Woolen
Places to visit
- Hadimba Devi Temple: Built in 1553 and with a superbly crafted four tiered pagoda roof. It is famous for its exquisitely carved doorway.
- Manu Temple: This is dedicated to the sage Manu.
- Vashishth: Well known for its hot springs. There are old temples dedicated to the sage Vashishth and to Lord Rama. These are just beyond the Himachal tourism baths.
- Monasteries: There are three recently built Tibetan monasteries at Manali.
- Jagatsukh: The one time capital of Kullu. Here are old temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and to Sandhya Gayatri. The Arjun caves are just ahead.
- Solang Valley: In a picturesque setting, this has good ski slopes and picnic spots. It has the glacier closest to Manali.
- Towards the Rohtang Paas: On the road to Keylong is the Nehru kund (6 km) which is a clear water spring and a scenic spot named after late Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. Kothi (12 km) is a picturesque village and has a thrilling view of the deep gorge through which the Beas swiftly races. The beautiful Rahalla falls (16 km) are at an altitude of 2500 m. A crucial link on the old trade route and still the gateway to trans Himalayan Lahaul, the Rohtang Pass is at the height of 3980m.
- Keylong: Lying about 120 km from Manali, Keylong is the headquarters of Lahaul and spiti district Monasteries of Kardung and Shashus are important attractions.
- Kothi: A place with charming natural beauty, just 10-12 km from Manali.
- Triloknath: Located in the Pattan Valley, it is an important pilgrimage centre noted for its temple dedicated to six armed statue of Avalokiteshwara Bodhisattva.
- Udaypur: An important pilgrimage place in the Pattan Valley.
- Club House: The club House with its comprehensive facilities that includes roller skating ring, an auditorium, a billiards room, a library, a bar and a restaurants, makes a wonderful outing for the day.
- Vashisth Bath: One of Manali's main attractions is a place to luxuriate in Himachal Tourism's baths where the water of hot sulphur springs renowned for their medicinal qualities has been piped into baths..
Food & Resturants
Ranging from Indian cuisines to international preparations such as Italian or Chinese cuisines all is available in the Manali market. The main market region in the city- Mall Road is flooded by variety of eating options constituting of small settlements such as local dhabas to fancy restaurants. Be it local cuisines or Tibetan food even Vaishnavi Dhabas you are sure to find something interesting in the alleys of Manali. Some of the famous restaurants you can check out while on tours to Manali are:
- Chopsticks: For Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese food.
- Juniper Restaurant: Good Food, for a bit higher prices. Run by HPDC.
- Mahadev Food Corner: For cheap Indian food
- Moc Restaurant: Cheaper Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese food. Located near Sukhiran Guest House.
- Mona Lisa: Indian and western food at reasonable prices. Located near bus stand.
- Mount View Restaurant: A cosy place offering good Chinese, Tibetan & Japanese delicacies.
- Mayur Restaurant: For vegetarian food. Located near the Mall.
- Sher-i-Punjab: Indian food and pizzas. Located on the Mall.
- Swamiji's Madras Cafe: A large thali may cost around Rs 40 - Rs 45
- Dhabas Himalaya: For Indian food
- Kamal: For Indian food
- Jhonson's: For pasta, pizza, deserts and cold beer.
- Phuntsok Coffee House: A range of cakes and pies is served here. It's a Tibetan-run place.
- Ish: A popular place, located in Old Manali area.
- Little Tibet: Cheap Tibetan food is served here.
- Mount View: A good secluded place located in Old Manali area.
- Tibet Kitchen: Popular for its Tibetan noodles and western food. Located in old Manali area.
Charitrust Tibetan Handicrafts Emporium (Mall) and Kullu - Kashmir Handicraft Cooperation (Bus Stand) offer local clothes (viz. Pashmina shawl) and souvenirs. Traditional Afghan, Kullu and Kinnawri hats are quite cheap. Go for bargain!
For thangkas and a variety of silver and jewellery, you can go either to the Tibetan Market or the Tibetan and Nepalese shops near the Post Office. For woollen stuff such as sweaters, shawls etc go to the Manali market. Do buy locally made pickles, jams and juices.
Manali has no airport of its own. The nearest one Bhuntas is about 50 km from Manali. Flights are available to and fro Lucknow, Delhi, Ludhiana and Shimla. Booking could be made through travel agents both at Kullu and Delhi as well as other places.
The entire Kullu Valley is connected with various centres both inside and outside the state. Other than HPTDC, a fleet of buses is run by road transport corporations and private operators.
Shimla to Manali (via Mandi)
One has three options for Shimla-Mandi drive.
One which passes through Jalosi Pass. Total distance is about 270 km.
Through Tattapani. Total distance is about 300 km
Via Ghaggas and Sundernagar to Pandoh.