8 July, 2021 | Reccy Guide
Manali has built its name as a popular destination in India and seeped into the whirlpool of pop culture. Cradled by the vibrant Beas River banks, this stunning town is one of the crown jewels of the mesmerizing Kullu Valley. The name of this place is derived from the mythological tale of Manu, where human life was reborn according to the tale. In hindsight, the term is aptly given as the beauty of Manali can make someone feel truly 'reborn.'
Manali stands with its head held up high at 2050 meters above sea level. The summer temperature here is quite pleasant, at 25 degrees Celsius. In winter, the temperature can fall below 0 degrees, and snowfall is prevalent here. Manali is the perfect place to draw out your adventurous spirit with several plains and elevated landscapes and opt for exciting activities like trekking and rafting. The Bhrigu Lake Trek and the Hampta Pass Trek are two of the most popular adventure activities for which people visit this region. Manali is also the main hub for certain other popular adventures, including Pin Parvati Pass Trek, Deo Tibba Expedition and Kanamo Peak Trek.
How to reach?
The flourishing tourism of Himachal has witnessed Manali being one of the most important hubs for several adventures. It is very well-connected via roadways, railways, and airways to several Indian cities, including metros. If you travel by air, the closest domestic airport is the Chandigarh airport that encounters flights from all major Indian cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, etc. The closest international airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Though these are the major options for air travel, the Kullu airport and the Bhuntar airport, located within Himachal Pradesh and only encountering domestic flights serve as a really robust traveling option for interstate travelers.
If you are planning to reach Manali via train, then the narrow-gauge track of the Jogindernagar railway station is the one that lies closest to Manali. You can reach Manali from Jogindernagar in only 3 to 4 hours. But since it is a narrow-gauge railway track, it does not encounter all the traffic from different parts of India. Alternatively, getting down at the Kalka railway station at the foot of Himachal Pradesh could be a great option. The Kalka railway station is well-connected to various Indian cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Indore, Patna, Bhopal, Guwahati, Lucknow, and many others. Other rail routes include the Chandigarh and the Ambala railway station. From both these railheads, you get a host of transport options to reach Manali.
Along with the seamless Himachal Pradesh bus service, several other private bus companies connect Manali to important North-Indian cities like New Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Ambala, etc., via roadways.
Where to stay?
Since Manali witnessed a massive influx of tourists throughout the year, there are several accommodation options at this place. The list is never-ending, from budget hotels to five-star rated ones, luxury hotels, boutique hotels, villas, hostels, homestays, guesthouses, etc. Some of these accommodations come with superb amenities, and hence the price of stay per night is relatively high. Others might offer you fundamental amenities but provide breathtaking views of the Himalayan scenery all around. Starting from USD 10 (INR 750) per night, the price goes up to USD 100 (INR 7500) and more according to your choice of accommodation.
There are numerous shopping spots at Manali where travelers can get all that their heart desires. The Old Manali Market is one of the most picturesque shopping places, with rustic vibes and vibrant culture. You can get clothes, accessories, woolen garments, and jewelry here. The Himachal Emporium is known for its fine-quality handicrafts and woolen items. The Pashminas and Shawls are the signature items of this place and are also quite famous.
The Tibetan market is known for its unique items, which represent the Tibetan influence and culture here. You can find stunning antiques, woolens, and traditional Tibetan jewelry at this diverse marketplace. But the cherry on the cake goes to Mall Road, known for its plethora of shops offering all kinds of products, including clothing, toys, handicrafts, jewelry, and others to travelers here.
Manali houses staggering views of the Himalayas and is known for its solemn, serene, and stunning ambiance. The Rohtang Pass is one of the most well-known tourist attraction spots here. Nestled within the Himalayan ranges, this beautiful place lies beside the Beas and the Chenab Rivers.
The Solang Valley comes a close second on the list, known for its picturesque location and scenic beauty. It also offers an array of adventure sports to participate in during the winter. The Hidimba Temple, another popular attraction here, has a stark significance in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, as it is devoted to the Rakshasa Hidimba- the wife of the strongest of the Pandavas- Bhima. If you are in the mood for something natural and relaxing, you can enjoy the Turkish Baths and the beautiful Vashist hot water springs that are immensely rejuvenating.
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