I have visited Manali 3 times in my life and can go many more times. Such is the beauty of Manali. Its a beautiful hill station with greenery all around, Beas river flowing along, abundant snow at Rohtang, adventure activities at Beas and Solang valley..what else one needs!
Best Time to visit: April to October for visiting Rohtang pass as well, else anytime of the year is fine.
Ways to reach Manali: There are no trains for Manali. So best way to reach there is by bus/car. Many HPTDC buses(AC and Non AC), Private Volvo buses are there from Delhi, Chandigarh etc. Shared and private taxis also run for Manali. You can off-course drive your own car up there!!
Places to Stay in Manali : Manali has too many hotels and homestays that fit for every budget. The sides of Mall road are lined with hotels. Many resorts and homestays are located at a short distance from market/Manali. You can choose from luxury resorts, budget hotels, 3 stars, 4 stars, guesthouses and homestays. In peak season, make sure that bookings are made in advance for homestays atleast.
Manali market and Eateries : The Manali market is a nice place for shopping. Great shoes, sweaters, shawls, stoles, silk and so many things. It is a good place for eating out too! Good restaurants are all around on Mall road. DO try the yummy tri-colored ice-cream over.
Attractions and Activities:
We started our journey from Rajasthan to Manali in Tempo traveller. Though a bit tiring, but full of fun.
On the way to Manali, along river Beas, river rafting activity is conducted. So why to leave the fun! We stopped at the first rafting point we came across, bargained hard with the vendor and off we went rafting 🙂
After rafting, playing in water, we changed and headed for Manali and rested for the day after checking-in in hotel!
1. Rohtang Pass: The bestest part of Manali is Rohtang! Love the route to Rohtang and Rohtang Pass. The pass has abundance of snow all round the year. The route to Rohtang usually opens up in May and stays open till September (again depending on rains and snowfall). The route to Rohtang is so green. Clouds often come down in the valley makes majestic views. Try to leave as early as 3 am in the morning for Rohtang else you will be stuck in traffic. You may take snow protecting clothes on rent form shops on way to rohtang but make sure that boots do not have a hole in sole!
Rothang Pass is a natural divide between the Kullu Valley in the south and the Spiti Valley in the north. It is at 13,051ft from sea level and the view of the surrounding Himalayan mountains from top is wonderful.
There are various activities that can be done in snow such as Skiing, snow scootering, trekking, tube sliding. O wat fun!
One good thing after having fun is snow is hot maggie noodles and coffee enjoying the freezing cold 🙂 God bless the snacks vendors 😉
After having loads of fun at Rohtang, its time for some more fun. There is a paragliding point on way back to Manali near Rohtang but unfortunately it was closed that day, so we headed to Solang Valley for the same.
2. Solang Valley: Time for some adventure, some adrenaline rush! Paragliding 🙂 🙂 Solang valley offers various adventure activities such as Zorbing, Paragliding, etc. For paragliding, they took us via cable car to higher point.
There we wore gliding equipments and off we go! It felt so light flying. The valley looks beautiful from top
Finally after the fun filled day, we headed back to Manali, had dinner at mall road and back to hotel.
3. Manali Local: Next day it was time for some local sightseeing, mostly temples, major being Hidimba Devi temple, Shiva temple in Manali and Vasishta Temple in Vasisht. Near Vasistha temple, there is Vashisht bath with a hot water sulphur spring. There are separate bathrooms for men and women. There is a Lord Rama temple nearby. The temples are built with carved stones and wood. Next we visited Manikaran, a holy hot spring. The water is boiling hot.
Our hotel was right opposite Van Vihar-Manali National Park. So we thought why not have a visit since the rest of the day was free. We did not expect much from outside, but once inside it was beautiful. What attracted us was the their forest covered with palm trees, magnificent view of Beas river. Must visit if you are nature lover and have at least an hour or two to spare. Enjoy the cool winds sitting alongside Beas river amd relax 🙂
4. Naggar Castle: We had breakfast and departed from Manali towards Kullu to visit the famous Naggar Castle. Many movies have been shot in this beautiful castle.
This was our last visiting point on this trip. After this we headed back towards Rajasthan. And do not forget to grab a bite of famous Paranthas at Sonipat!
Happy Travel 🙂
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