Top Things to do in Manali
Having thought for a Hill station with Nature at its best then Trip to Manali can take place in your memories forever. Manali is a popular Hill station located at 293 Km from Chandigarh, 535 Km from Delhi and situated in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. It is just 40 Km from District Headquarter at Kullu and very well connected to the nearby cities which make travelers commute easier.
Why Manali is famous–
It is a very famous Hill station to visit and, it has something to do and enjoy whether you are going with family or going with friends. The weather that prevails here is pleasant throughout the year. Manali is also famous because it acts as an entry point for travelers going to Leh or Spiti valley via Rohtang Pass. Also, Tirthan and Parvati Valley are known as famous Tourist destinations located at a close distance to Manali. Being an entry point to the beautiful valley of Spiti and Leh, Manali is becoming a hub for visitors which will make your trip to Manali even more pleasant and memorable.
How to Reach Manali :
Manali is a popular destination and very well connected with the major cities of the country with all available transport mediums. You can come to Manali by using any convenient medium out of Road/Train/Flight as Manali can be reached easily by any mode of transport. To make your trip to Manali memorable you must plan a medium that makes you comfortable and should not be exhaustive as well.
By Road/Bus to Manali
It is the most common medium of transport used by the people as It is about 40 km from Kullu District Headquarters and around 535 km from Delhi. It takes about 12-14 hours of journey to reach Manali from Delhi via a bus, there are lots of Bus services of Himachal Roadways Himsuta, Haryana Roadways and Private Volvo Buses are available between Delhi ISBT to Manali. Chandigarh is also 293 Km from here and every Bus coming from Delhi to Manali halts at Chandigarh, so one can easily board buses here as well. Alternatively, private cabs can be hired from both major cities.
By Train to Manali
The nearest railhead (broad gauge) is at Chandigarh which is 293 km from Manali. Narrow Guage nearest railway station is Jogindernagar which is 165 Km from Manali and it is connected to Pathankot from regular train services. From Chandigarh onwards, one has to choose Buses or Cab as per own convenience. There is a train service ( Passenger) from Pathankot to Jogindernagar on a regular interval and from Joginder Nagar onwards one has to take Bu or Cab. Train timing for the reference is attached herewith:
Only Passenger train runs between Pathankot to Joginder Nagar on narrow gauge and originates from Platform no 4 at Pathankot. For more information about train timings, you can contact @ 0186-2230175 to Station Superintendent at Pathankot Railway Station.
By Flight/Air to Manali
Nearest Airport is to plan a trip to Manali is Bhunter Aiport situated at Kullu 40 Km from Manali. Bhunter airport is connected to the major cities of India like Chandigarh and Delhi at regular intervals by flight operations of Air India, Spice Jet, Indigo and others. Flight schedules are subjected to change depending on prevailing weather at Kullu, so it is better to check prior boarding the flight.
Best time to Visit Manali:-
- The best time to plan a trip to Manali to spend your precious time in Manali is March to June which is Summer Season and charm of the station is precious in this season and will get a mesmerizing view of blossoms of flower at full swing. Temperature lies between 10 to 25 Degree during this time. All activities like Rafting, Paragliding, Trekking, Camping is best enjoyed in this season.
- October to February which is Winter Season and one can easily find Snow everywhere in Manali and as maximum spots are Snow laden. Visitors who dislike cold weather and the travelers who like adventurous sports can avoid this season as maximum activities are stopped view heavy snowing.
- June to Mid September is the ‘Monsoon time‘ which I suggest to be avoided as there are a lot of instances of Landslides, Road Blockades en route to Manali. Rivers get flooded which is another danger for spot sightseeing.
Timeline for Trip to Manali:-
The time required for your entire trip to Manali requires 4 days minimum out of which one day must be kept reserved for Rohtang pass and Solang Valley each and rest two days for local Sightseeing in Manali.
Things to do in Manali:-
# Rohtang Pass
It is a link or passes between Spiti Valley & Leh to Manali located at 3980 Meter Altitude and 40 Km from the city center. It is a must-visit point while going to Manali. The time required to visit Pass is 4 to 5 hours and the best time to visit is from June to October as from November to May Pass remains closed due to Snow. There are no entry fees to visit Pass. You can Experience the Nature at its Raw form on reaching to Peak as it will give attractive white ranges and nature at its best. 500 Rs is the permit fee for tourism purposes in Rohtang Pass and Pass remains closed Every Tuesday for maintenance purposes.
Rohtang is an ideal for Trekking as its trekking path passes through Glaciers, waterfalls, and mountain peaks. The famous trekking route is 118 Km Manali – Lahaul Pass which includes Sulphur spŕing in Bhrigu lake as the main challenge with it. Another popular Trek is Gulaba to Bhrigu Lake, Batal to Rohtang Pass (63Km) and Batal to Jalori Pass (227 Km). Batal in itself is a good connecting point from where you can go to popular Chandra Taal located 18 Km from Batal.
Sledge ride in Manali
It is another activity one can enjoy at Rohtang. Rohtang Tunnel which is going to be Operational in December 2019 on Manali-Leh highway will reduce the timing to reach Pass from 4 hours to just 40 Minutes if it goes as per plan. Some points to note down before visiting pass is please try to visit pass in the daytime, rent snow clothes after comparison with govt fixed price and altitude sickness is common here so preparedness for it to be there in advance.
# Solang Valley :
Valley is located at roughly 15 Km from Manali on Manali-Rohtang Highway. It is the most visited place in Manali which remains open throughout the year and can be visited from 9AM to 6PM.
From November to March valley remain snow-laden and there are many adventurous activities that can be undertaken here including, Parachuting, Paragliding, Skiing, Zorbing, Horse riding, Driving open jeep. Parachuting is replaced by Zorbing in summer. Paragliding remains closed during Monsoon time because of unfavorable weather conditions. Pricing for the same is 600 to 1800 Rs depending on the length of the ride.
Zorbing is charged 500 Rs and is a must-try for the sport for the lovers.
One overhead cable ride also present which takes visitors to peak giving breathtaking views of the valley. Local peoples will approach you with rabbits, snakes, local attires to try for photography so it is my humble request that does try with them but Bargain before doing and don’t take their offered price simply. There are lots of refreshments option available in the valley.
# Beas Kund Trekking :
- It is popular and must go Trekking destination for each going to Manali. It will give you mesmerizing views of Peer Panjaal ranges over the Beas River. Dhundi is actually starting point for it which can be reached through road from Manali via Solang Valley. From Dhundi it is 6 Km till campsite at Bakarthach which is high altitude meadow with its great beauty. From here one has to go Beas Kund as there is no camping facility available near Kund. The campsite is available only in Dhundi and Bakarthach where night bone fire can be enjoyed with friends and family. (Please avoid carrying plastic and liquor to kund)
- Carry sufficient warm clothing, own trekking gear, raingear, and shoes. Take permission in advance for trekking.
- There is no electric supply available so carry spare batteries for camera and cellphones.
- Visitors get guides, potters, along with them and will be provided with sleeping bags, tents, etc and charge for the same during entire trekking is around 7500 per person.
- Time for this trekking is Mid May to October and the highest peak during Trek is 12100 Feet.
# Vashisth Bath :
It is located 6 km from the city in the compound of Vashisth Temple. Bath is a hot water spring believed to carry medicinal values in it. The government made separate arrangements for the bathing of men and women and fees for the same is 35 Rs per person. Your trip to Manali is not complete if you missed the ancient temples in the close vicinity so you must include the temple visit in your basket.
# Manu Temple :
The temple is dedicated to sage Manu known as the creator of the Human race as per Hindu Mythology. Temple is just 3 Km from the Manali market and can be reached via public transport or by foot as well. It is the only temple dedicated to sage Manu in the world which makes it important for devotees of Hindu religion and the track leading to the temple is a bit narrow so you must be vigilant while planning a visit to the temple. you must visit here to absorb the divine essence and calmness in the atmosphere around the temple.
The best time to visit Temple is from April to June. Temple is architected in Pagoda style. Road to shrine may be found difficult by some because of the narrow road but will encounter with picturesque views along the road. You can visit Temple anytime between 6AM to 5PM.
Points to note that … no photography allowed inside Temple also has to cover your shoulders and body above knees.
Temple dedicated to Hidimba popularly known as the wife of Bhim, one brother among five Pandav of Mahabharat is located in Dhungiri van vihar of Manali. Temple is just 2 km from Mall road and it is advisable to visit the temple by foot as it will let you feel the nature closely en route. it was constructed in 1553 and has 24 meters of height and the temple has a shrine of Ghatotkacha (Son of Hidimba and Bhim) nearby to it.
# The great Himalayan national park
It is about 65 km from Manali and situated in the Kullu region surrounded by Himalayan mountains. It is home to 375 species of fauna,181 species of birds,31 species of mammals and is the perfect location for photography and Trekking.
Permit in advance is required to visit the National park and the same can be obtained from Shamshi head office, range offices in Ropa in Sainj valley or at Shairopa in Tirthan Valley.
The best time to visit is April to June and December to February.
Rest houses/Transit stay available near the park plus you can opt for homestay in villages. In addition to all 14 guest houses in the park also present and forest guest houses available at Aut, Banjar, Sainj, Shangarh.
# Old Manali
It is differentiated by New Manali by the Manalsu river is a perfect offbeat destination with less crowd. One can enjoy the charm of nature on foot in Old Manali. Hidimba Temple, Vashisth temple is in Old Manali. Jogini falls is also worth to visit.
# Nehru Kund
It is another spring that is a destination for photography and named after First PM Sh Jawahar Lal Nehru as it is said that he used to take freshwater from this spring while his stays in Manali. It is believed that the source of water to it is Bhrigu Lake.
Another destination to reach out in Manali is Gaytri Temple at 7 Km from Manali, Jana waterfall at 11 from Manali, Gadhan Theckchhokling Gompa Monastery at 20 km, Arjun Gufa, etc.
Hotels in Manali:
Finding good accommodation during your trip is the most challenging and costly affair which must be dealt with care and sensibility. In the city, you can find a number of Hotels/Guesthouses and can select based on your comfort level to enjoy a trip to Manali. (Must try to reside in Homestay if possible at some distance from city). Good hotels from 5 star to deluxe are easily available. Alternatively, Kullu is nearby destination having enough options for the stay, I must recommend that its better if you reside in Kullu as you will obviously get hotels at the cheaper price then Manali itself.
Services Available in Manali :
- Mobile network YES
- Bank/ATM YES
- Hospital YES
- Pharmacy/Medicals YES
- Restaurants YES
- Bars YES
- Automobile/Vehicle Repair YES
- Courier facility YES
- Massage & Spa plus Saloons. YES
- Police Station YES
Shopping in Manali:-
The market remains open from 9 AM to 11 PM mostly and mainly Mall Road and its nearby area is the only option for Marketing where you can enjoy shopping and Dining. In Mall Road lots of Restaurants also available. it will take around 3 to 4 hours to explore the market on foot. You can buy Shawls and other Winter clothing, Budhha praying flags, trekking gears, old coins, locally made clothes from the market.
Cuisine in Manali:-
- Never miss having local foods prepared in the house some of them I can name are:-
Aloo Paratha at Sher e Punjab Restaurent
Plan a long trip to Manali like this
Chandigarh- Mandi- Kullu- Manali– Rohtang Pass- Spiti Valley- Rampur- Shimla-Chandigarh
Nearby Destinations to Manali :-
- Kullu 40 Km
- Chandertaal 80 Km
- Mandi 120 Km
- Kasol 75 Km
- Manikaran 80 Km
- Tirthan Valley 100 Km
Worth to mention (please note):-
- Don’t throw Plastic and spoil the beauty of Hill station
- Please left this beauty for our next generation to enjoy as well
- Carry sufficient Cash in hand which will save you from some situations where no card facility exists (although maximum hotels have card facility)
- Try to taste local foods wherever you go