Situated in the Beas River Valley at an altitude of 2,050 meters, Manali is the most popular tourist place in Himachal Pradesh. Manali is also referred to as Valley of the Gods and is named after Sage Manu. This lover’s paradise offers breathtaking views of snow-covered mountains. Manali is located in Kullu district and is about 248 km from the state capital, Shimla and 307 km from Chandigarh. Manali is the starting point of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and serves as the gateway to Lahaul & Spiti and Leh.
Places of Attraction
Rohtang Pass: Rohtang is about 51 km from Manali and is one of the major attractions for people traveling to the hill station. Situated at an elevation 3,978 m, this high mountain pass lies on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. Rohtang pass is also significant because it connects Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys. In the last 5-10 years, Rohtang has been terribly exploited by tourists who have disturbed the fragile ecology of this beautiful place. In 2016, the Himachal Pradesh state government started issuing permits online to limit the vehicles to prevent pollution in this area.
Hadimba Devi Temple: Hadimba temple is a four-tiered pagoda styled temple surrounded by a cedar forest. The temple is also known as Dhungari Temple is dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, wife of Bhima. The Hidimba Devi temple was built in 1553 AD by Maharaja Bahadur Singh.
Vashisht: Vashisht is a small village situated about 3 km from Manali. Vashisht village was founded by Guru Vashisht who was sole guru and teacher of Lord Ram. This place is famous for its natural sulphur hot water springs which are believed to possess medicinal properties.
Solang Valley: About 14 km from Manali, Solang Nalla is a side valley which is popular for adventure sports. The massive slopes make it a perfect place for adventure activities such as paragliding, parachuting, horse riding, skiing and extreme Zorbing.
Few other well-known places one can explore in Manali are Manu temple, Jagat Sukh, Arjun caves, Tibetan Monastery, Kothi, Van Vihar and Nehru Kund.
Kasol: A small hamlet in Parvati valley of Kullu district, Kasol has gained lots of popularity in the last decade. Kasol is about 75 km from Manali is a paradise for backpackers and trekkers. Also referred to as ‘Mini Israel of India’, due to high percentage of Israeli tourists here, Kasol is a serene village on the banks of Parvati River. Lots of campsites, homestays and hotels have come up in a very quick time at Kasol. There are the number of treks one can do from Kasol such as the famous Kheer Ganga trek and Malana trek.
Manikaran, a pilgrimage center for Hindus and Sikhs is just 3 km from Kasol.