March 12, 2020
Manali is the land of all that is precious and beautiful in India. This quaint hill station was one of the favourites of the erstwhile British rulers in India, who used it and Shimla to retire to in the hot summer months. Today, it is a tourist magnet for people from all over the world, young and old alike.
Are you planning a holiday to Manali? Here are our top 10 recommendations for places to visit in Manali with your loved ones:
For most people, Rohtang Pass is synonymous with Manali. Most visitors rank it as one of the most excellent places to visit in Manali. It is one of the few places in India to get dense snowfall, sufficient for a range of snow activities like skiing and sledding. Obviously, you have to visit Manali in winter to experience the snowfall, but the great news is that the snow lasts right up to summer. The winter is quite severe here, so bundle up in warm clothing and hire skiing and sledding equipment from reputed tour operators only. Once you are done frolicking in the snow, you can go to the top of the Pass to visit the Beas Kund, considered a holy site for Hindus.
One can hardly visit Manali and not take a detour to Kullu, just outside the former. In fact, many tour operators offer Kullu-Manali packages, so you can opt for these if you are interested. Kullu is a smaller hill station than Manali, but just as pretty and quite charming as well. Check out updated Manali travel guides to know what to see there. You can expect some great shopping bazaars, street stall eateries, town squares, old temples and shrines, and some adventure activities, too.
Those who are spiritually inclined must certainly include the famous Vashisht Temple as one of the places to visit in Manali. The temple houses the famous Vashist Baths – these are said to cleanse you of all sin, just like the famous Lourdes Springs in France. However, there is merit to this theory, because the baths contain hot sulphur springs which have exceptional medicinal properties. If you or a family member suffers from skin or hair ailments, you must certainly take a dip in the springs to see if you can get a cure. The Manali Tourism Board has made separate bathing and changing areas for men and women. If nothing else, you will love exploring the temple precinct, which is entirely made of sandstone
Another great inclusion in your list of places to visit in Manali is the small and picturesque town of Manikaran. There’s not much to do here, but the photo opportunities to update your social media feeds are tremendous. Every turn here looks like a painting, every frame a postcard. Located between the famous Beas and Parvati rivers, it is green all year round and does not experience much snowfall even in the height of winter. Do visit the famous Manikaran Sahib gurudwara here, and partake of some delicious langar as well.
There are many places of interest outside Manali as well, and Solang Valley is one of them. It is the best place to visit in the summer season, when the entire valley is in full bloom and packed with different colours of flowers and leaves. The Valley is often naturally scented owing to the many varieties of flowering trees and plants here, and you can take a ropeway ride over it to see its spectacular beauty from a vantage point. Another advantage of visiting the valley is that you can enjoy snowboarding in the winter and early summer months, and also go paragliding (but be sure to hire a reputed operator only). In the summer, the valley hosts many zorbing, cable car rides and even ATV rides for tourists.
The natural beauty of Manali will prod you to explore it further, but if you want a chance to mingle with other tourists and residents, then you must head to Van Vihar, a locally managed park located in the heart of Mall Road. The park has a jogging and walking track, landscaped green areas for walking barefoot or sitting on, and a small artificial pond with boating opportunities. This is one of the best places to visit in Manali if there are young children in the group and they want to play off their nervous energy instead of just sightseeing.
While in Manali, don’t forget to admire the animal kingdom. One of the best places to visit in Manali for fauna lovers is Manali Sanctuary, which houses some rare birds and animals. In fact, it is the only place in all of Himachal Pradesh where you can see the Mona, the State bird, in all its glory. Apart from several migratory and domestic bird species, there are many other animals like the snow leopard, musk deer, and Indian bears. Keep your camera at the ready, but maintain total silence so that you don’t startle the animals and birds.
Let’s get you back to the sightseeing track – after all, that’s what you are in Manali for! One of the most astounding places to visit in Manali is the Chandrakhani Pass, located between the fiery Parvati River and valley. This is an ancient trekking trail that is not for the faint-hearted: even seasoned trekkers have been known to be a little nervous about it. We would suggest taking this trail with an experienced guide and while wearing sturdy boots with a rubber sole grip. If you would rather not trek, especially if there are young children and/or senior citizens with you, then you can just have your resorts in Manali. pack a picnic lunch and pick a good spot to feast your eyes and explore the area. The Pass is capped by snow for at least 8 months in the year.
Another excellent place to visit in Manali, and one of its most famous attractions, is the Jogini Waterfall. It is located about two kilometres outside Manali town, and you can even reach it on foot from the Vashist Temple. Trust us when we say that it is one of the most splendid waterfalls you may have seen anywhere in the world – the waters are snow white and gush down in a noisy froth about 160 feet above you. You can take an easy trail to the top of the Jogini Falls, looking at small streams and narrow alleys on your way. You can even see a part of the Rohtang string of hills from here.
Now that you are holidaying in Manali and have an idea of which spots to see, we would be remiss if we didn’t recommend its most wonderful quarter. Old Manali is one of the most important places to visit in Manali, because it is a portion of the region that is among its earliest settlements. Even today, it has houses built in traditional style, with a few hundred residents living there. The area has a tranquillity that must be experienced in person to be believed. However, the passage of time and the constant stream of tourists has modernised the place somewhat – you can see some new cafes here, as well as informal shopping stores selling local trinkets. Some of the restaurants in Manali and also the ones located here serve the most sumptuous Tibetan, Chinese and North Indian preparations, so don’t forget to dig in.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.