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Manali Tourism And Travel Guide
10.8° C / 51.5° F
March to June
3 to 4 Days
Bhuntar Airport (50 kms)
Joginder Nagar (163 kms)
Located in the Valley of the Gods, the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, Manali has grown over the years to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh. Although it lacks the colonial characteristics of Shimla, it makes up for it with the serenity and an old world charm.
With numerous hotels, lodges and resorts, tourism in Manali offers a wide range of sporting activities for the adventure junkies too. For those seeking the heights of snow-capped mountains, Manali also happens to be the starting point for various treks that go to Rohtang, Lahul-Spiti, Ladakh, etc.
Interestingly, you can choose to travel in two different worlds in Manali. While New Manali offers all the modern comforts and amenities at its large hotels and shopping areas, Old Manali takes you to the laid-back old world vibe of this beautiful hill station. Check out this travel guide to Manali for more details.
How to Reach Manali
Manali is well connected to the rest of India via the extensive Indian Railways and Roadways. It however doesn’t have its own airport.
Although the closest airport to Manali is Bhuntar (Kullu) Airport, the closest major airport is Chandigarh International Airport. It is well connected to major metropolitan cities in India and also to some parts of the Gulf.
Although the closest railhead to Manali is Joginder Nagar (163 km), the closest major railheads to Manali are Chandigarh (350 km) and Ambala (360 km). Onwards journey can be made by cars or buses. Kalka Mail, Sampark Kranti Express, Kalka Express, Janshatabdi and Himalayan Queen Express are daily trains that connect Chandigarh to all parts of the country.
Himachal Tourism Development Corporation and Himachal Road Transport Corporation have daily Volvo AC buses that ply to and from Manali. You can also choose to drive through the scenic roads to Manali via NH21 which passes through the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.
Best time to visit Manali
With pleasantly cool summers and extremely cold winters, most tourists tend to avoid the biting winters here. The rest of the year however is perfect for visiting this beautiful hill station. The Average temperatures during winters can go below -5o Celcius from October to March whereas, during the rest of the year, it ranges between 18-25o Celcius and is perfect for sightseeing.
Things to Do in Manali
One should definitely not miss a visit to Rohtang when in Manali. At 13,000 feet above sea level, Rohtang is cold even on a summer day. It gives you a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains and also offers numerous sporting activities like skiing and sledging. During winters, the road post the snow point (16 km from Rohtang) is closed. However, with a good guide and high fitness levels, you can opt to trek to the top.
High Himalayan Adventure based in Vashisht village is one of the best companies offering adventure sports in the area. Their activities include skiing, trekking, snow scootering, zorbing, river rafting and river crossing among others. River rafting however is closed during monsoons.
The Lazy Dog:
Is on every traveller’s checklist. A multi-cuisine restaurant, the Lazy Dog offers excellent food and great ambiance. The restaurant sits on the edge of a sheer cliff right by the Beas river.
Do not forget to pick up a few locally produced Himcoop jams and fruit crushes on your way back. Travellers are advised to buy saffron, musk and shilajith only from government authorised shops. Street hawkers will trick you into buying fake products.