Manali is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh which receives a huge number of visitors every year. It is located right at the top of the Kullu valley and is 270kms away from Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Manali is a small town but sees a constant influx of tourists – honeymooners, backpackers and adventure seekers. Manali tourism has boosted the economy here significantly as people come here throughout the year.
With the views of the snow-capped mountains in the distance and surrounded by the refreshing and lush deodar and pine forests, Manali seems to have been lifted straight from a page out of a picture book. Sometimes people who have opted for a Kullu Manali tour also head to Spiti or Lahaul from here, as Manali serves as a gateway to these Himachali districts.
Located at a height of 8612 feet, Manali is a small town in the Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh. The topography of the town with its lush valleys, tinkling streams, forests and of course, views of the Himalayas has made Manali tourism popular, drawing lots of visitors irrespective of the season. The river Beas passes through Manali and is famed for adventure sports such as white-water rafting.
Manali has pleasant climate throughout the year. During summer, people come here to escape the heat and dust of the cities and enjoy the refreshing breezes and views of the mountains. Summers here last from May until June and the maximum temperature is around 26 degrees centigrade. Monsoons turn the valley green and it is a time for trekkers but during winter, Manali is even more beautiful as it is covered with a blanket of white snow. However, winters can also get quite cold as temperatures range from -15 degrees to 12 degrees.
For the most part, Manali seems to have been untouched by modernisation, especially the indigenous tribes and the local people who continue to follow their traditions and beliefs. This shapes their culture and the output of this is in the form of art and craft, folk songs and dancing etc. The tribal communities of Kinnaur and Gujjar play a huge role in forming Manali’s culture. Even so, the people here are open to Manali tourism as it is a good source of income for them. Although people do come here most often for adventure activities or for a relaxing holiday, they can’t help but be charmed by the friendly locals here as well.
Manali has much to offer in terms of sights and activities. Tourists who are here to enjoy the quiet beauty of this hill station will not be disappointed because looking out over the stunning Himalayas is a treat for the eyes. Nevertheless, it’s not too unlikely to see couples and honeymooners come on a Kullu Manali tour for a romantic vacation. Misty forests, snow-capped mountains and other such delights make it all the more perfect.
The presence of several temples here also makes it a religious tourism spot, with many people coming here to visit the temple of Hidimba Devi or the Manu temple. These temples have been designed rather uniquely and it’s not just belief that draws people here, but many come here to admire the aesthetics as well.
Since Manali is home to a large Tibetan population, it is not surprising to see colourful Tibetan monasteries here as well. These are in fact rather crucial to Manali tourism as many tourists come here. There’s also a good opportunity to pick up Tibetan art and crafts here, which adds to its popularity.
The Arjuna gufa in Manali is also a huge draw. People come in droves to see the cave where the Pandava Arjuna is said to have meditated to receive powers from Lord Shiva. The mythological connection makes this cave irresistible to visitors who also come here to meditate although the views here are exemplary.
There are also two waterfalls here which people love to visit – Jogini Falls and Rahala Waterfalls. Both these are magnificent and offer some splendid sights of the roaring waters crashing into the pools below.
However, what people really come here, and what forms a huge chunk of Manali tourism are the adventure activities. For the thrill seekers who are constantly on the lookout for the next adrenaline rush, there are several hair-raising activities that they can do. There’s parasailing over the Solang Valley and the views from above are breath taking and magnificent. Come winter, there’s the chance of skiing and watching the powdery snow fly past you as you soar down a slope. People also love river rafting here on the river Beas and it is an exhilarating experience that you must try at least once in your life.
The Manali Wildlife Sanctuary is great for those who love nature and wildlife and want to try their hand at camping and trekking. Those who venture into the snowy areas might be lucky enough to spot Ibex herds while there are also sights of musk deer and brown bears. The Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art is another popular tourist spot where people can learn about the traditional heritage of Manali and its people through the various exhibits here.
For a wonderful Kullu Manali tour, do remember to check the SOTC website for offers and deals as booking the Manali tour packages and Himachal tour packages here will make your vacation hassle-free and more enjoyable.
Hindi and Pahari
The following are some travel tips, do's and don'ts to keep in mind during your Manali trip.