Located on the banks of the River Beas, Manali is a gorgeous hill station offering sweeping views of snow-covered mountains, the numerous pine forests and an overall sense of quiet beauty. Manali is quite like a tourist magnet, attracting people throughout the year. People come here to relax and have fun and during winter, they can enjoy the various snow activities and enjoy the cold nip in the air. People who come here during summer can enjoy Manali sightseeing as well, as there are several waterfalls to see and Gompas to visit.
Kullu Manali sightseeing is not restricted to couples who are on the lookout for a romantic vacation. While such tourists are always in high numbers, it’s not uncommon to see groups of youngsters who have landed in Manali to have some adventure and thrill related fun. Outdoor sports such as river rafting, trekking, mountain biking and a host of other activities are some of the best things to do in Manali. Here’s a little more information about the top things to do in Manali.
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Thanks to the significant Tibetan population here, there are a few standout Tibetan monasteries, or Gompas. The most famous are the Himalayan Nyingmapa Gompa and Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa where a large number of tourists converge. The bright colours, the murals on the walls are enchanting. The distinct yellow coloured pagoda roof of the Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa adds to the charm of the monastery and makes it all the more attractive. Visiting these Gompas is certainly one of the top things to do in Kullu Manali as the sense of peace here is all encompassing and comforting.
Manali sightseeing is incomplete without a visit to the Manali Wildlife Sanctuary. Enjoy the sight of the undulating hills around you, while the forests are lush with deodar, walnut, horse chestnut and maple trees. But the best part of this visit are the animals you can see such as Monal or musk deer or brown bears. If you can trek up to the snowy areas, you can even see Ibex herds. Camping in the sanctuary adds to the thrill and sense of adventure here, making it one of the best things to do in Manali.
Of the many things to do in Manali, visiting the waterfalls should be at the very top of your list. Near Vashisht temple is the Jogini Falls which is quite spectacular. The shrine below it makes this a sacred site as well and many people can be seen here, paying their respects. Rahala Waterfalls is another beautiful spot which is enchanting and mesmerising, as it is surrounded by snow-covered mountains. The icy water here is said to come from melting glaciers. This is a fantastic picnic spot where you can relax in the midst of nature.
Not too far from Manali is Arjuna Gufa or cave, which is often a place that people come to meditate. According to mythology, Arjuna from the Mahabharata is said to have come here to meditate when he was granted the powers of Pashupati Astra from Lord Shiva. While people come here to gaze in awe at this cave, it’s also a beautiful spot with the snow-covered mountains in the distance and lush forests surrounding you. Pause a while to reflect and enjoy the simple beauty of the moment here.
The Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art offers a glimpse into the traditional heritage of different parts of Manali. There’s a good collection of antiques here along with wood carvings, weapons, scale models of temples and forts and traditional dresses. Even if you’re not too much of a history buff, you will enjoy looking at the museum building itself which is quite beautiful as are its surroundings.
Manali is heaven for adventure lovers. One of the things to do in Manali is paragliding and this is one of the adventure activities that can be done throughout the year. Swoop down over Solang Valley as you push away your ambitions and feel the weight of the world fall away. If you happen to visit Manali during winter, then you can enjoy skiing in Rohtang Pass and Solang Valley and the slopes here are perfect for this sport. River rafting on the Beas is also an excellent adventure activity for those who are fearless and want to experience an adrenaline rush.
With so many temples around, obviously this is one of the best things to do in Kullu Manali. Firstly, there’s the Hadimba Devi temple located in the Doongri Forest, surrounded by lush pine trees. This temple, dedicated to Hadimba Devi who is Bhima’s wife, is a beautifully constructed temple, famed for its pagoda shaped architecture as well as the brass effigy of Hadimba too. Another famed temple here is the Manu temple, dedicated to Lord Manu. This temple is also surrounded by greenery and there’s a sense of peace and calm here. On the outskirts of Manali, there’s a Maa Sharvari Temple where the idol of Kuldevi is housed. The best time to visit this temple is during Dusshera when the idol is decorated and taken to the temple of Lord Raghunath.