Decades have gone by, but Manali’s popularity as the perfect hill resort has only increased. It is such a refreshing change from the dust of the cities! It is probably the best place for people to have their first encounter with snow. It might be forever crowded with tourists, but the Kullu-Manali Valley remain one of the best places in the Himalayan region. Just 40 kms away from Kullu to the north, Manali is situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. With snow clad peaks, the Beas river rushing past the deodar and pine trees, tiny fields and fruit orchards, it is an excellent place for a holiday, a favorite resort for trekking, paragliding, rafting, skiing and what not.
Places to Visit in Manali:
Also known as the Dhungri Temple,it is one of the most important temples in the region. Built in 1553 in honour of Hadimba, the wife of Bhima from the Mahabharata this four story wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. The walls of the temple are covered in woodcarvings of dancers, and horns of bulls and ibex adorn the walls. Every year in May, animal sacrifices are carried out here for the three day Dhungri Mela. Ghatotkach, the son of Hadimba and Bhima, is worshipped in the form of a sacred tree near the temple. Hadimba is a 20-minute walk northwest of Manali, or you can take an autorickshaw (₹50).
Because of the presence of the Budhhist community, there are many beautiful Buddhist monasteries in Manali. A few of the popular ones are the Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa Monastery, which is famous for medium size statue of Lord Buddha and wall paintings. Another one is the Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa, which is popular for a large statue of Buddha with a golden face. Then there is the more traditional Panden Ngari Gompa , with prayer room crammed with statues Buddhist deities.
Rohtang Pass is 51 situated kms from Manali. It is the highest point on the Manali-Keylong Road. Located at an altitude of 4112 meters above sea level the Pass offers a spectacular spectacular view of the surroundings. The pass used to serve as a crucial trade route, and still remains the gateway to the districts of Lahaul and Spiti. It is open from mid April to November each year, and provides exquisite views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Just beyond the Pass is the Sonapani Glacier and the twin peak of Gaypan. Being a bit inaccessible to the modern civilization has helped the place to retain its pure and untouched beauty.
About 2.5km north of the Mall on the far side of the Manalsu Nala stream, Old Manali still retains the feel of an Indian mountain village with some remarkable old houses made of wood and stone. Apart from that, there is also the Manu Maharishi Temple which is dedicated to Manu, the founder of Manali.
One needs to travel about 10 kilometers from Manali to reach the fascinating Solang Valley. The drive up to Solang is extremely picturesque. At an altitude of about 8500 feet above the sea level one can enjoy the bliss of nature on the banks of the river Beas. Sking and Paragliding are the two main activities are organised here (the valley has fine ski slopes). The winter skiing festival is organised in Solang Valley. . Apart from this many other adventure sports are available like Zorbing, Horse riding & Snow Motor Bikes riding etc.
One of the many exciting Manali Tourist Attractions, the Nehru Kund is only a 6 km journey from the heart of the town of Manali towards Keylong. The place is a hot spring and borrows it’s name from the name of the 1st Prime Minister of India, Late Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru. The Nehru Kund is conveniently located on the National Highway on the way to Leh and has emerged as a must visit for the tourists.
Tourists Destinations Near Kullu-Manali:
situated 45 km away from Kullu, Manikaran is famous for its hot springs and is an important religious destination for Hindus and Sikhs. The water of the springs here is so hot that the heat is used to cook food also.
Located on the banks of the River Beas, this former capital of Kullu is famous for a large number of temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Tripura Sundari and Lord Krishna. Famous Roerich Art Gallery which houses the paintings of Nicholas Roerich as well as his sculptures, is also situated here.
Katrain: Located at a distance of 20 km from the city of Kullu, Katrain is the centre of the Kullu valley and is famous for its apple orchards and trout hatcheries.