Manali Fast Facts
|Population||17,786 (2005 census)|
|Languages Spoken||Pahari, Himachali, Hindi and English|
Manali remains one of India's most popular tourist destinations. In the summers, tourists head to Manali to escape the unrelenting heat of the plains and in the winter, Manali is a great place to witness beautiful snow fall and enjoy adventure activities suck as skiing. Tucked away into the mighty Himalayas and flanked by the Beas River, Manali is blessed with scenic beauty and a rich culture alike.
Apart from the majestic, snowy mountains, Manali is home to beautiful deodar forests, wide meadows and tucked away fruit orchards. Besides the scenic beauty, Manali has a lot of exciting options for adventure lovers in the form of activities like mountaineering, trekking, hiking and skiing.
For those who want to do nothing more then just relax, a peaceful stroll down Manali's Mall Road is a perfect way to immerse themselves in the culture of the place and get acquainted with the locals. The Mall is also a great place to buy some interesting local hand made items and also sample some delicious local cuisine.
|Beas River Passing Through Manali||Hidimba Devi Temple||Mall Road Manali|
|Nature Park Manali||Para Gliders at Solang Nala||Vashisht Temple Entrance|
Climate of Manali
Manali is pleasantly cool during the summer and cold during the winter. Winters in Manali are from October to February, during which the temperature can drop down to as low as -1 degree Celsius. Snowfall is common during winters in Manali. Summers in Manali are from March to June and is the best time to enjoy site seeing and adventure activities. Monsoons in Manali are from July to mid September. It is not recommended to visit Manali during the monsoon as the chances of land slides are high during this time.
Best Time to Visit Manali
The best time to visit Manali is from September to June:
Tourist Places in Manali
A popular tourist destination, beautiful Manali has a lot to offer tourists. Here are a few places of interest in Manali:
Hadimba Temple: Also known as the Dhundri temple is a temple made out of wood and stone. Constructed in 1553, the Hadimba Temple was built in honour of Goddess Hadimba, the wife of Bhim from the Mahabharata. The walls of the temple are covered with woodcarvings and on the month of May each year, animal sacrifices are carried out here for the three day Dhungri Mela.
Buddhist Monasteries: Since a lot of Tibetans live in Manali there are many beautiful Buddhist monasteries here. A few of the popular ones are the Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa Monastery, which is famous for medium size statue of Lord Buddha and multi coloured wall paintings. The other popular monastery is the Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa, which is popular for a large statue of Buddha with a golden face.
Rohtang Pass: Situated at an altitude of 13,050 feet above sea level, Rohtang Pass is the highest point on the Manali-Keylong road. The pass is only open from May to November, since snowfall during the winters blocks this pass.
Solang Valley: Famous is a famous skiing destination and the 300 meter ski lift is the most popular attraction here.
Old Manali: Located 2.5 km above the Mall, Old Manali still maintains that feel of a mountain village and has many old wood and stone homes. Apart from that, there is also the Manu Maharishi Temple which is dedicated to Manu, the founder of Manali.
Nehru Kund: Located on the Manali-Keylong road, the Nehru Kund is a fresh water spring. Named after India's first Prime Minister, Jawahalal Nehru, it is believed that he used to drink from this stream whenever he visited Manali.
Tourist Places Near Manali
Kullu: Located 40 km from Manali is another beautiful hill station, Kullu. Clad in pine and deodar trees, Kullu is situated in between the lower and Greater Himalaya Range and is famous for its apple orchards.
Shimla: One of the most popular tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh and also known as the "Queen of Hills", Shimla is a popular holiday destination and has pleasant summers and snowy winters.
Vashisht: Located 3km north of Manali, Vashisht is a satellite town of Manali and is very popular among tourists, local and foreign alike, While Indian tourists usually come here to bathe in the hot springs and visit the temples, foreign tourists come here for the relaxed atmosphere and cheaper accommodation. Over here you will find many stone and wooden houses with beautiful carvings.
Mandi: Located 102 km away from Manali, Mandi is famous for its scenic beauty and great options for buying local hand made items.
How to Reach Manali
Being a popular tourist destination, Manali is very well connected to the rest of the country. Here is how you can get here:
How to Reach Manali by Rail
The nearest railway station to Manali is at Joginder Nagar which is located at a distance of 50 km from Manali. One can hire a taxi from here to reach Manali. Other railheads close to Manali are at Chandigarh and Ambala. Here are a few trains to Manali:
- Paschim Express: From Mumbai
- Barmer Klk Express: From Barmer
- Sarai Rohilla Express: From Delhi
- Hwh Dli Klk Mail: From Howrah
- Himalayan Queen: From Shimla
Manali is very well connected by road and there are regular bus services operated by private as well as government operators.
How to Reach Manali by Air
Bhuntar, which is located 50 km from Manali is the closest airport to Manali. The Bhuntar airport is well connected by flights to Delhi. There are tasi services available between Bhuntar and Manali.
Getting around Manali
One of the best ways to get around Manali is by auto. If you are a biking enthusiast, then you can hire bikes to explore the town as well. Since Manali is a small place, walking is another good way to get around the town, but if you're planning to go to Old Manali, the best option would be to hire an auto.
Hotels in Manali
Being a popular tourist and honeymoon destination, there are many hotels and guest houses in Manali.
Budget Hotels in Manali
Shopping in Manali
The best place to go shopping in Manali is The Mall, where you will find traditional shawls, rugs, caps and footwear. Other places around The Mall where you will find interesting items to shop are Thai Market, Hong Kong market, Tibetan Market, Dragon shopping complex etc. The Old Manali market is also a good place to buy fresh fruit jams, juices and pickles. Don't forget to bargain as shopkeepers here quote an extremely high price.
A typical thali of Himachali food would comprise of rice, rotis, curried vegetables, madra (a curd based dish), lentils and sweet rice.
Manali offers visitors some excellent restaurants which serve delicious international cuisine. Here are a few popular Manali restaurants:
Lazy Dog Lounge: One of the coolest places to hang out in Old Manali, the Lazy Dog Lounge is usually packed with backpackers. This is the place to go to indulge your sweet tooth.
Dylan's Toasted and Roasted: This tiny coffee shop in Old Manali serves some excellent coffee, along with a hearty breakfast and some delicious choco chip cookies.
Pizza Olive: The place to go in Old Manali for some great Italian food.
Mayur: This multi cuisine restaurant on Mission Road serves some great South Indian food, along with continental food as well.
Chopsticks: Located on the Mall, this is the place to go if you're craving Chinese food. The restaurant also serves Japanese and Tibetan food, along with some Indian dishes as well.
Johnson's Cafe: Longing for some Raj era food? Go here and sample their lamb and mint gravy, smoked chicken and apple crumble and you won't leave disappointed.
Travel Tips for Manali
If you are an adventure enthusiast, the best time to visit Manali will be during May to October, when the snow has melted. On the other hand if skiing is what you are looking for then the best time to Visit Manali will be from October to February when there is ample snow fall in Manali.
The best way to explore Manali is on motor bike, which can be hired on a reasonable rate. But try this option only if you know your way around. There are always buses and autos for those not comfortable getting around on motor bikes.
If you are visiting Manali during the winter, carry light cotton clothes. If you are going to Manali in the winter then make sure you carry thick woolen sweaters, scarves, gloves and socks as it can get very cold.
Avoid visiting Manali during the monsoon as the chances of landslides are high.
For any further travel assistance you can always contact the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation on the Mall Road. Their phone number is 01902-252175
Last Updated on: 18th April 2013
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