Places to visit in Manali – Tourist attractions
Manali is one of the primary places to visit in the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh and is situated at an attitude of 1926 meters. The place spreads across a distance of 12.5 square meters and has a picturesque landscape. The cascading fountains descending down all the way from the undulating lofty Himalayan ranges are too beautiful to describe in words. The pure pictorial grandeur prevailing in the pleasant climate is a haven for tourists. With the lush green grasslands contrasting with the velvety mountains, Manali is essentially known as the Queen of the Western Himalayas. Amongst the many exotic locations, a few has been mentioned below:
Rohtang Pass – Rohtang pass is situated on the top most part of the Manali Keylong road. To reach the place one needs to travel a distance of 51 km from the original Manali town and has an altitude of 3978 meters. The Pass is not accessible all year long but opens from June to September exclusively for the tourists. It offers certain spectacular views to its left lies the Sarkund Lake and the Rohtang Pass is the gateway to Leh valley, Lahul Spiti and Pangi. The operators arrange for sports activities like skiing for the tourists here at this place.
Solang Valley – this place is situated 13 kms away from the Manali town. As the name suggests, it is the valley which connects Manali and Kothi. This place offers a breathtaking view of the snow capped mountain peaks and the Himalayan Glaciers. It is considered to be a heaven for skiers as it is used for camping and trekking quite often. The areas surrounding Manali extending from 3 km to 20 km is also suitable for rock climbing purpose. Training sessions on rock climbing is imparted here and the winter festival of skiing is also organized at the Solang Valley.
Rohla Falls – the wonderful picnic spot lies 16 km away from the Rohtang Pass. While travelling from Marhi to Kothi on the old road, the view of the Rohla Falls is breathtaking.
Marhi – this is the mountain plateau lying en route to Manali Leh road. Myriad colorful wild flowers and lush green meadows surround the area which rises up as high as the Rohtang Pass. This is one of the pictorial places and stopovers for tourists in Manali which offers a wonderful view of the extensive valleys and mountains. When the weather deteriorates at the Rohtang Pass, the Marhi region also offers a refuge to tourists.
Kothi – this place is situated about 12 km from Manali. A very isolated, quiet and beautiful place of the region, Kothi has a rest house which overlooks the slender valleys and offers a magnificent view of the lofty mountains. The profound wild river Beas flows below Kothi forming a deep gorge which is 30 meters or more in depth. This place is an ideal place for lovers of calm environments, poets and writers seeking peace within the nature.
Vaishist – this is one of the primal spiritual places of Manali. The place consists of numerous hot water springs and temples of Hindu Lord Rama and Vaishist Rishi. Two tanks have been constructed which remin filled with natural sulphur hot water for gents and ladies respectively. The tanks always remain overcrowded by pilgrims and tourists taking baths.
Naggar – this is a cozy little village with glorious past which remain surrounded by lush green forests. There is the Naggar Castle and several spiritual temples including Gauri Shankar Temple of Shiva which is considered to be very auspicious amongst Hindu worshippers.
Urusvati Himalayan Folk Art Museum, Naggar. Urusvati, meaning light of the morning star. This folk art museum was founded by Professor and Madame Nicholas Roerich in 1928, then known as Research Institute, Naggar where history, ethos, the spirit of the Himalayan region and the traditional Indian and Tibetan medicines were studied. It was renamed as Urusvati Himalayan Folk Art Museum in 1993. The museum preserves paintings made by Roerich and also those made by Indian and Russian artists.
Manali Mountaineering Institute : Manali Mountaineering Institute is located close to the Tibetan Monastery on the left bank of river Beas towards Kullu. The institute offers basic and advance training courses for adventure sports like mountaineering, trekking, skiing and plenty of water sports. You can hire skiing and trekking equipments from here by advance booking. You can also visit a fantastic showroom here.
Hidamba or Hadimba Devi Temple: In The Mahabharata it is mentioned that Hidamba is the wife of Bhim, the strongest of five Pandava brothers. Bhima fell in love with Hidamba, a sister of demon Tandi. Bhima Killed Tandi in combat and married Hidamba, who today worshiped as the incarnation of Kali. This temple was built by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in the year 1553 in the worship of Hidamba Devi. The area surrounding the temple gives a festive look always as tourist dressed up in traditional colorful dress available at price for photography. This wooden temple is beautifully designed in a Pagoda style. There are many wooden carving works in the walls and main entrance door of the temple. There will be long Que for the darshan in peak tourist seasons like summer.
Arjuna Cave (4kms) : If you are looking for a half day excursion with splendid view of the majestic mountains, then Arjuna Cave is a good place. Arjuna Cave lies at a distance of 4 kms from Manali towards Naggar. It is believed that Mahabharat fame Arjuna had meditated here.
Old Manali : is a serene enjoyable town, situated 3km northwest of Manali and is popular for its orchards and old guest houses. attractive houses with wooden balconies and sandstone roofs are the main characteristic features of this locale. Old Manali offers a tranquil atmosphere conducive for a perfect promenade. This place also holds some of the fabulous Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries. With its moderate accommodation facilities and cheap foods, it is a recommended place for those who have a stringent budget. Tourists can easily reach the place by bus or taxi, and it is best to visit during the months of May to October. Some of the adjoining attractions to this place include Hidimba Temple and Solang Valley.
Manu Maharishi Temple : This temple is dedicated to Manu rishi who is considered as the law provider. This temple is 2Kms from Manali. The temple is now renovated with wooden carvings.
Tibetan Monastery : At Model Town, the Tibetan Monastery is another major attraction hoisting the prayer flag. The Tibetan Monastery has a good collection of Tibetan paintings as well as Tibetian handicrafts ready for sale. In addition to this, there are two more monasteries in Manali one in the town and one at Aleo on the left bank of river Beas.
Club House: The river side club has some unique attraction. You can do river rafting and spend some time by the side of the river enjoying different sports and games. This is managed by Himachal Tourism. This place is nearly 1.5Kms from Manali. A branch of Beas river called manalsu flows nearer to the complex. There is a shopping complex (for woolen and other clothing material) just beside the club house and also managed by Himachal Tourism. We found the quality of the items excellent and at times discount prices are available for many items which are genuine.