Complete India Travel Guide

"One of the prime hotspots in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Manali exudes a beauty that is heartening. Its charm multiplies the moment you start exploring it."
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Manali Tourism

Hadimba Devi Temple Manali,  Himachal Pradesh
Hadimba Devi Temple Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Manali is perhaps the most important town of the Kullu valley. It is located at the confluence of the river Beas and Manalsu at a distance of around 274 km from Shimla. The name Manali derives from that of Manu, the sage who is believed to have recreated human race on the earth after a massive flood destroyed it.

Manali instantly comes to the mind of all those people who are planning for the very first time, a vacation on the hills. Such is the beauty of Manali. The imposing Pir Panjal and Bara Banghal ranges give the town an awesome look. Adding more charm to it is the Beas river. You can come here and expect to spend some really beautiful moments in the lap of nature.

For those of you who wish to spend a funfilled or rather adventurous vacation, Manali, yet again, is the perfect choice. The Beas river allows you to enjoy rafting, canoeing and kayaking on its water. The ski slopes of Solang Nullah, Patalsu, Kothi, Marhi and the Rohtang Pass are amongst the best ones in the world. Solang Nullah also allows you to enjoy a bit of paragliding while the Rohtang Pass is ideal for trekking.

Manali Attractions

Hadimba Devi Temple

The Hadimba Devi Temple is dedicated to the wife of Bhim, one of the Pandava brothers. It is believed that Bhim had to kill the demon brother of Hadimba in order to marry her. Thereafter the two stayed together for a year before Bhim left her to join his brothers. Hadimba gave birth to his son and took care of him till he was old enough to look after the kingdom. After this, she went into isolation and meditated. The place chosen by Hadimba for her meditation was Dhungri. Later, in 1553, a four storeyed wooden temple was erected in her respect.

The temple is constructed in pagoda style and has no idol within. A footprint on stone is at the centre of worship. A fair remembering Raja Bahadur Singh (who constructed the temple) is also held on the first of Savan every year. This fair is known as the Bahadur Singh Re Jatar.

Manu Temple

Manu Temple is dedicated to Manu Rishi, a sage who not only meditated here but is also believed to be the creator of human race on earth. The temple is situated in the old Manali and is reached by crossing slippery stone paths.

Club House

This is a place to enjoy yourself. At a distance of 2 km from town and on the left bank of Manalsu Nallah, this club has facilities for indoor games. Few picnic spots in close vicinity are an added attractions.

Tibetan Monasteries

Kullu has the highest population of Tibetan refugees in Himachal Pradesh. Quiet obviously, there are Tibetan monasteries in Manali. The Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa, which stands around the bottom of the Mall, was constructed in the year 1969. The highlight of the monastery are colourful frescoes and a mid size Buddhist statute. Another highlight of the monastery is carpet weaving and Tibetan handicraft. The sale of these handicrafts along with the donations from local people keep this monastery going.

Another monastery by the name of Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa is also quiet attractive. Though, slightly smaller than the previous monastery, it is more modern. There is huge statue of gold faced Buddha. The monastery stands pretty close to the bazaar in a beautiful garden of sunflowers. When darkness falls, the entire monastery glitters with electric bulbs. The aroma of Tibetan incense further adds up to the charm of the monastery.

Vashisht Springs & Temples

Around 3 km from Manali the Vashisht Springs & Temples are yet another attractions for tourists. There are two stone temples, dedicated to Vashisht Rishi and Lord Rama, that stand opposite to each other. The smaller temple dedicated to the sage has a partially covered courtyard and is decorated with fine woodcarvings. The hot sulphur spring provides water to the bathing tanks where you can enjoy a dip.

Nehru Kund

This clear cold water spring is said to have its origin from the Bhrigu lake. The spring is around 6 km from the town on the Manali-Keylong road. It became famous because the former Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru always drank water from it during his stay in Manali.

Arjun Gufa

Around 5 km from Manali is Arjun Gufa, standing on the banks of Beas river close to the village Prini. This is supposed to be the same place where Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers, meditated to get the possession of the powerful 'Pashupati Astra' ( weapon ) from Indra.

Solang Valley

13 km northwest of Manali is the Solang valley which is also called the Snow Point. The valley is perfect for enjoying some adventure activities. There are good skiing slopes here. Trainings is given to help new skiiers. The Mountaineering Institute has installed a 300 m ski lift to enhance the ski training activities. This valley also becomes a venue for the annual winter skiing festival.

Rahala Waterfalls

The sight of the waterfall is absolutely fantastic. Lying on the way to the Rohtang Pass, around 16 km from Manali, it also makes up for a good picnic spot.


Kothi is a delight for all those who love to relax amidst natural beauty. The small village has been a shooting ground for a number of movies. A PWD Rest House is a good place to stop and watch the surrounding beauty of the place. Kothi is around 12 km from the town of Manali.

Rohtang Pass

Around 51 km from Manali is the Rohtang Pass, the only entranceway to Lahaul Spiti. The Pass is situated at an altitude of 4111 m on the highway to Keylong and is a must visit for the lovers of trekking. Sudden snowfall in this area can block the Pass even between June to September (which is the time when the Pass is open for tourists). Dasohar Lake and Beas Kund (origin point of the Beas river) are quiet close by.


Shopping can really be a delight in Manali if you love to bargain. Items which you can pick up from the shops here include handicrafts, carpets, Chinese electronic goods, Chinese clothes and shoes, Himachali jewelleries and Kullu shawls. For those looking for something more, there are Tibetan curios such as prayer wheels, amulets, dorjees or thunderbolts, masks, musical instruments, jewellery and thangkas. Fresh jams, pickles, yellow chilli and wild asparagus can also be bought from Manali.

The Mall is the best place in Manali to shop. Apart from this, the NSC or 'New Shopping Centre' Market near the bus stand can also be explored for goods.

Getting There

By Air

The closest airport from Manali is Bhuntar, around 52-km away. Taxis and buses are available from Bhuntar to bring you to Manali.

By Rail

The closest railhead is in Joginder Nagar which is the narrow gauge railhead. The nearest broad gauge railhead is at Chandigarh which is 315 km away.

By Road

Manali is connected by NH-21 to Delhi. Tha highway which reaches Leh is the world's highest motorable road. The bus stand at Manali offers reservation for both private and government run buses from the town.

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