For enchanting mountainous scenery and quaint villages oozing storybook charm, it’s hard to beat Manali. The name, Manali, evokes soaring snow-capped peaks of the Alps, sparkling blue lakes, emerald valleys, dreamy glaciers, and picturesque lakeside hamlets, as well as vibrant city life. There is an endless list of gorgeous places to visit in Manali, which is why many would consider Manali as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
So if you are heading to Manali on your next trip, here are the 11 best places that you should visit in this beautiful Himachal city.
1. Rohtang Pass
Perhaps the most famous of the mountain passes in the Rohtang Pass that lives up to its reputation with its majestic scenery and diverting views from an elevation of nearly 13,054 ft above sea level. Rohtang Pass (also known as as Rohtang La), is one of the most spectacular destinations in the entire Kullu region. During your drive along this high mountain pass, beautiful sights of glaciers, peaks and streams are common sights. Sonepani glacier, Dashahr Lake and Chandra River are some of the major attractions that one can adore from the peak of Rohtang. During winters, the place becomes as silent as a graveyard. A thick sheet of snow engulfs the area within 10km radius and life comes to a standstill. That is when you need to visit the Rohtang to feel the glory of the mountains. Rohtang pass also connects the Kullu valley with Lahaul and Spiti. Moreover, it is also used to by the tourist of Leh who travel by bike and cars. During the summer months, the traffic in the area slows due to an influx of vacationers and sight-seers, but for most people, the leisurely pace allows for a better appreciation of the stunningly beautiful landscape.
2. Solang Valley
The Solang Valley in Manali region is an area of astounding scenic beauty, and one of Himachal’s top tourist destination. Also known as Solang Nala, the Solang Valley is a high altitude valley that lies at the top of Kullu in the Himachal Pradesh state of India. The stunning landscape of the Solang Valley will give you the feeling of being in another world. Located about 16 km from Manali, the valley is nearly 8500 feet above sea level. Solang is the name of a village and Nullah means the water streams coming from the mountains. Here the mountains, dense forests and snowcapped peaks are all your next door neighbors. The green of the trees, the red of the apples and the blue sky, make for a perfectly quiet and serene experience.
Besides its natural beauty, Solang Valley is famous for hosting many adventure winter sports. You could indulge in skiing, parachuting, paragliding, skating, horse riding and zorbing. For those who love the rush of adrenaline; there is no place better than Solang Valley.
You’ll be intoxicated by the sheer beauty that surrounds you.
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3. Hadimba Temple
The most famous temple in Himachal Pradesh and on the itinerary of escorted Manali holidays, the Hadimba Temple is a sight to behold. Built in the 16th century, the Temple is one of the most serene places to visit in Manali. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hadimba Devi, wife of Bhima, who was a character in the Indian epic, Mahābhārata. Due to its association with Indian Epic Mahabharata, the Hidimba Devi Temple is a charm of your Manali holiday. Located in the foot of the Himalayas, the temple is surrounded by pristine cedar forests ((Dhungri Van Vihar). The sanctuary was built in 1552 over a huge rock jutting out of the forest floor and is a popular stop on every manali tour package and Manali honeymoon package. The wooden doors of this old-world shrine display images of Goddess Durga, while the temple base is made out of whitewashed stonework. The construction style of the Hadimba-temple is entirely different from all the other temples, with its wooden doorways, walls, and cone-shaped roof.
Pay homage on while travelling on holiday to Himachal’s most magnificent places of worship.
Being a primary tourist attraction in Manali, the Hadimba Temple is included in all Kullu Manali tour packages as a must-do activity.
4. Old Manali
A place where two worlds meet, Old Manali is a place that has an exotic charm in itself.
Old Manali is where you can experience the hippie culture in its full glory. The old town is located around 3 km away from Manali town across Manalsu Nala, from where you can get to see the entire view of the town. While latter is one of the busiest summer destinations in India, the former is a breath of fresh air. It builds a special presence in the heart of all visitors. Geographically, the only thing that separates Old Manali and Manali is the Beas River but there is a complete change of scene after you cross the river. The neighbourhood brims with quaint cafes, bakeries and shops selling traditional handicrafts, jewellery and dream catchers. Its charming lanes and warm people offer a sharp contrast to the more modern New Manali. Old Manali is the perfect place to shop for souvenirs. You can buy unique handmade things such as woollen clothes, jewellery, bags, poi pairs, hula-hoops and even flag patches for backpacks. Among other attraction in the old part of town, we suggest you visit the Manu temple, built in honour of the sage Manu, Manali Club House and the riverfront for its al fresco restaurants for an authentic experience.
5. Jogini Falls
Cascading from a height of around 150 ft through multiple levels, Jogini or Jogni Falls is a beautiful waterfall situated near Vashisht Village in Himachal Pradesh. There are tons of waterfalls scattered around India and around the world, and all have their merit, but none match the glory of the Jogini falls. It’s the history behind this waterfall that really makes Jogini falls so intriguing. The waterfall is thought to be the sacred bathing place for the “Joginis”, daughters of Lord Indra. Furthermore, Jogini is considered the protective goddess of the village, so the place is a symbol of female power. The waterfall can be reached by trekking from Vashisht Temple. In fact, the Jogini Waterfalls trek is a very famous trek in Manali and thousands of tourists take up this trek trail every year.
There is something truly spectacular about Jogini Falls that captures the heart and spirit of those who visit it.
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6. Vashist Hot Water Springs
The resort town is famed for its natural hot springs, an attraction that makes Manali packages and specifically Manali honeymoon packages a more delightful experience. Dedicated to the Vedic sage Vashishta, the temple is made of stone and adorned with extravagant wood carvings. As per ancient belief, sage Vashishta used to meditate here and therefore the temple is dedicated to him. The temple is famed for its Turkish-like hot water spring which is named after sage Vashistha. Legend goes that, when Laxman came to take the assistance of Vashishta Muni for Ashwa Megha Yaga, Vashishta Muni fired an arrow into the ground and hot water spring came out to warm out the cold place. The pools are said to have medicinal value in them and visitors often take a dip in the pool to get rid of ailments and also it provides much relief to the cold surrounding of the place. The pools are categorized in two parts separately for men and women devotees to avoid the chaos. The temperature of this hot water spring ranges from 45° C to 50° C, so come, take a dip in the healing water and cleanse yourselves for a magical experience!
7. Beas River
One of the important rivers in Manali, Beas River is an enormous expanse of water that dominates the city of Manali itself. From the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, the river flows to the Sutlej River in Punjab, passing through the Kullu-Mandi regions, with plentiful flower-filled meadows, Apple orchards and attached fields of paddy and maize creating the river route impressive with awe-inspiring landscapes. The river is the main source of drinking water for the people in Kullu, Manali and Kangra regions. The picturesque hill station of Manali, also known as the “valley of Gods” is located on the banks of this river. Beas River is made especially picturesque by the magnificent mountains that surround it and the quaint villages along its banks. The River Beas, even today is believed to consist of holy water, attracting tourists and pilgrims from all over India.
One can easily spend many hours basking in the beauty of the river and its environs.
8. Maa Sharvari Temple
If planning a holiday to Himachal, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Maa Sharvari Temple in Manali. The alluring Maa Sharvari temple is another major temple dedicated to goddess and is a must visit in Manali, which offers a peek into the culture and history of Kullu Manali. Worshipped by the kings of the Kullu Valley, the goddess is a manifestation of the Hindu goddess Durga. Maa Sharvari is worship for health, wealth and fortune. The temple is set in a village called Shaminallah, a short drive from Manali, and is a hub of activity during festivals. During Dussehra, the idol is taken to Kullu in a colorful cortege to the Sri Raghunathji Temple for an annual visit. Bursting in ancient history, the temple is known to be a crucial place of worship.
As and when you plan a Manali trip, ensure to add this temple visit as a part of your itinerary.
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9. Naggar Castle
Located among the breathtaking forests in Naggar town, the Naggar Castle is a stunning historical edifice. The 500 year old wooden Naggar Castle is in itself the best place to visit in Manali.
Built in the year 1460 with stone and wood, the Naggar Castle is one of the few places in Manali which reflects the culture of the Himalayan people and shows the actual architecture of the olden days. The Castle houses the Nicholas Roerich Art Museum, which was founded in 1962 by Svyetoslav Roerich, son of the Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. The heritage museum houses paintings of Kullu, Spiti and Lahaul showcasing the beauty of the ice-covered valleys and peaks during the early hours of evening. Few scenes from the award-winning Bollywood movie ‘Jab We Met’ was shot here. The song in the film ‘Ye Ishq Haye’ had the visuals from Naggar Castle and the snow covered Rohtang Pass. The castle was earlier a residence of Kings of Kullu and later on converted to a Himachal government run heritage Hotel in the year 1978. River Beas also runs close to the castle, adding to its beauty.
If you are drawn to the beauty, history and mystery, make sure to add this attraction to your Manali itinerary!
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10. Manali Wildlife Sanctuary
Located at a walking distance from the main town and city centre of Manali, Manali wildlife sanctuary is one of the most beautiful and easily accessible wildlife sanctuaries in the whole state of Himachal. This sanctuary was established in 1954 and is spread over 3,180 hectares of land. It’s a very beautiful park, perfect for the vacationing family. Tourists can do a lot of things here that involve wildlife; nature walks etc. These reptiles, birds, animals and mammals are regular spotting here. That makes it perfect for visiting animal lovers for viewing and photography. Regular wild animals roaming around the sanctuary are Himalayan Black Bear, Flying Fox, Musk Deer, Himalayan Tahr, Barking Deer, Palm Civet, Stripped Hyena, Himalayan Yellow Throated Martens, and Kashmir Flying Squirrels. Endangered animals like leopards, Brown Bears, and Goral can also be seen here. Apart from exploring the rich flora and fauna that the place harbours, there are plentiful trekking routes and camping facilities for the thrill seekers.
Birders, bird lovers, bird watchers, or simply animal and nature lovers, flock to this place and observe these creatures in their protected home.
11. Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art
Established in 1998, the Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art located in Manali has a exquisite collection of ancient and traditional heritage belonging to the Himachal state, offering an insight into its history and culture. Some of the exhibits include models of temples, old houses and forts along with traditional and religious relics, artifacts, household objects such as hookas, weapons, musical and ritual instruments, wood carvings, model of a traditional Kulluvi kitchen, wooden mask worn during festivals and a lot more. The Museum has not only helped in preserving the culture and art but also brings awareness about the almost extinct traditions. Being in proximity to the famous Hadimba Temple in Manali, a visit to this Museum is a must!
Planning a Manali trip?
Manali is full of appealing charm and has a fairy tale landscape which will leave you awestruck once you visit. Get more bang for your buck. Book our all-inclusive Manali tour package and lock in today’s best price and deals.
So which place in Manali are you planning to visit on your next tour? Let us know in the comment sections.