Manali, in Himachal Pradesh, is one of the most visited adventure travel destinations in India. It’s ideal for spending time in the great outdoors and relaxing at peace. Many of these places in Manali reflect the numerous activities that can be done in the area. Below is our list of Best Places to visit in Manali.
Solang Valley is located about 30 minutes from Manali and attracts travelers both in winter, for its snow, and summer for its adventure sports. From January to March, it’s possible to ski and snowboard there, and a new gondola carries visitors 3,200 meters up to the runs. After the snow clears, paragliding becomes popular. However, do keep in mind that it’s not well regulated and there are safety concerns (people have died in the past). Many people visit the Shiva temple above the village. If you don’t want to walk up, it’s possible to ride a pony.
Rohtang Pass is a popular day trip from Manali, although heavy traffic can be an issue, making it a challenge to reach. Situated 2-3 hours drive from Manali town, it connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti valleys of Himachal Pradesh. Due to its high elevation of around 4,000 meters (13,000 feet), it’s often subject to bad weather. The main attraction at Rohtang Pass is snow, particularly when it has already cleared from other places. Unfortunately, waste management is poor and facilities for visitors are lacking. The number of vehicles is also restricted and it’s necessary to obtain a permit at least a day in advance (you can apply online here). Snow sport activities are offered when there’s snow. Beas Kund, an igloo-shaped temple on top of Rohtang Pass, has a spring which is the origin of Beas River.
The powerful Beas River flows rapidly through Manali. It’s refreshing to simply spend some time sitting or walking near it. However, if you’d prefer to be more active, zip-lining (flying fox) across it and rafting down it are popular options. Numerous companies in the Kullu Valley offer river rafting, commonly along a 15 kilometer stretch of Grade II and III rapids from Pirdi (near Kullu town) to Jhiri. The rafting season is best from mid-April to June, and mid-September to October. Trips can easily be arranged in Manali.
Stop by Dhungri forest on the way to Old Manali to visit the ancient Hadimba temple (also known as Dhungri temple). The temple, a four-tiered pagoda, was built in 1553 and has a facade of wood carvings. It’s dedicated to Goddess Hadimba, the wife of Bhima from the Hindu epic The Mahabharata. Yak rides, and huge fluffy angora rabbits ready to pose for photos, are added attractions there. A fascinating three-day temple festival takes place mid-May every year. People from all over the region come to attend it.
The Van Vihar National Park is a park run and maintained by the municipal corporation of the city. This beautiful garden is a popular and frequently visited destination for children and adults alike. The favourite attraction of this park is a sparkling man-made lake that rests in the middle of the lush green landscape and brings the entire vicinity to life!.. Enjoy the panoramic view of the sunset as it hides behind the lofty Himalayan ranges. Enjoy boating and listen to birds chirping. Be sure to take advantage of the scenic photo op and capture beautiful memories in the backdrop of Van Vihar’s picturesque environs.
The Mall Road is the throbbing nerve street of Manali, and is lined with plenty of hotels, eateries and shopping opportunities. That explains the top three things you can do around here – sleep, eat and shop. Buzzing with activity throughout the day, especially during the peak summer season, this is the perfect place to begin exploring Manali, as your hotel is most likely to be around the corner. Ranging from trinkets like key chains and keepsakes to the extortionately priced pashmina shawls, the Mall Road in Manali is the answer to all your shopping needs.