Manali is one of the most beautiful and enchanting hill stations in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The town has a rich cultural heritage dating back to the time when traders from Central Asia and Iran used to stop here on their way through India. Fast forward over a thousand years, Manali has evolved into a popular tourist destination for people who enjoy trekking, skiing, and other outdoor sports in an exotic region of India. It’s also one of the best places to eat authentic Indian food. Manali best time to visit is from October to February.
You can explore all this by following our step-by-step guide to getting around Manali’s breathtaking natural beauty. This is the most popular tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh and is situated at a height of 2,050 meters above sea level. It has been ranked among the top 10 most beautiful towns in India by The Times of India and Lonely Planet and voted second by National Geographic Traveler.
The place has a unique charm of its own because of its natural surroundings and rich cultural heritage. Manali is surrounded by snow-clad mountains, which give the place a look that’s very different from any other hill station in India. The town itself is surrounded by pine forests and blooming rhododendrons.
Sights And Activities You Can Do At Manali
The place has a rich cultural heritage dating back to the time when traders from Central Asia and Iran used to stop here on their way through India. The town also has a lot of ancient architectural monuments, old temples, and mosques. You can visit famous hot springs, which are the stunning natural wonders of Manali. The panoramic view at Solang Valley is a breathtaking natural attraction. You can also hike on the beautiful Solang Pass to enjoy the views of the Himalayas from above 3200 meters. Manali best time to visit is between October and February.
The Changthang Valley located in the north of Manali is another popular attraction. It is home to a few Buddhist monasteries, streams, waterfalls, and ancient Tibetan culture. There’s the Tibetan village of Narkanda that has a large Tibetan refugee population. The main town of Lahaul-Spiti is a peaceful village at an altitude of 4200 meters that has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You can also visit the exotic Patar Valley, which has natural beauty and cultural heritage scattered throughout its surroundings, as well as many magnificent high passes.
Things to do in Manali
We provide a detailed description of some of the most popular sightseeing spots and activities here
Manu Temple:– Manu Temple is the most ancient temple in Manali, dating to the time when Buddhism was prevalent in Himachal Pradesh. This magnificent old monastery looks like it has been carved out of a single rock. It is located right next to the Vashisht hot springs, which have medicinal water with high sulfur content.
Vashisht Hot Springs:- The Vashisht hot springs are one of the most famous natural wonders in Manali. The medicinal water at this location has a high sulfur content, which is good for skin and muscle spasms. The hot springs are surrounded by pine forests and the temple of Manu. There’s also a Hanuman temple situated nearby, as well as a Sikh gurudwara.
Manu Chandi Temple:- This is another sacred temple dedicated to the mother goddess Manu Chandi atop the Old Manali hill station. The surrounding area features beautiful views of pine forests, rhododendron meadows, and snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple:- The Neelkanth Mahadev temple is one of the most popular shrines in Manali. This ancient temple has unique images of Lord Neelkanth, his mother goddess Sati, and elephants carved out of stone. It is located right next to the Solang Pass that leads to the Solang Valley, where you can find a few Buddhist monasteries and waterfalls as well. You can also hike on the beautiful Solang Pass to enjoy the views of the Himalayas from above 3200 meters. Manali best time to visit is between October to February.
Treks to do in Manali
We provide a detailed description of the best treks to do in Manali here
There are numerous treks that you can do in Manali. Following is a list of the most popular ones.
- Solang Pass:- Solang Pass is one of the most popular treks for people looking for adventure. The trail starts at Solang village and leads through the Solang valley with its beautiful scenery and natural attractions before reaching the pass itself at 3,200 meters above sea level. After that, the trail continues till Nimmadhot (the second-highest point in Himachal Pradesh) with breathtaking views of the Himalayas. You can also trek to Mukut and Charkula Passes located around Solang village.
- Solang Valley:– The Solang valley is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Manali. The trail starts near Vashisht hot springs and leads through pine forests, rhododendron meadows, and majestic snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas before reaching a few Buddhist monasteries and waterfalls situated close to the village of Solang.
- Nimmadhot:- Nimmadhot is one of the most beautiful high passes in Manali. The trail starts at Solang and leads through Solang Valley with its beautiful scenery and natural attractions before reaching the pass itself at 3200 meters above sea level. After that, it continues till Tamrindrap Pass (the third highest point in Himachal Pradesh) with breathtaking views of the Himalayas. Manali best time to visit is between October and February!
Other popular treks:-
There are more treks that you can do in Manali. Following are some popular ones. You can explore them by following our step-by-step guide to getting around Manali here.
- Solang to Kothi:- The trail starts at Solang and leads through the Solang valley with its beautiful scenery and natural attractions before crossing the beautiful Tamrindrap Pass (3100 meters) to reach Kothi, located on the bank of the Beas river.
- Sonapani to Kaghan:- The trail starts at Sonapani, which is located 25 kilometers away from Manali. After that, it leads up to Jhiri, which is located on a high mountain pass at 4100 meters above sea level. Then it goes down towards Kutla Khuh and Nundkol where you can take a bus or taxi for onward travel towards Kaghan Valley in Pakistan.
To wrap up, Manali is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. It has everything a traveler could look for, including adventure activities and cultural destinations, as well as peaceful resorts. This explains why it is so popular among Indians and foreigners alike. Best time to visit Manali is between October to February.