The Top 10 Places to Visit in Manali This Year
Manali is the land of all that is precious and beautiful in India.
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 Vashist 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 must-visit place 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 a great place to visit if there are young children in the group and they want to play away 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.
Manali has scores of accommodation options, since it attracts tourists from all over the world. But if you ask us, we will simply point you in the direction of Club Mahindra White Meadows, one of the best resorts in Manali. It is located just 50 km from the Bhuntar Airport, and can be accessed from both Delhi and Chandigarh. You can expect world class rooms and amenities, superb multi-cuisine meals at the on-site restaurant, and splendid views from every corner of the property.
You might be tempted to stay put at the resort all your holiday – it really is quite beautiful and peaceful there – but do step out to walk in the jungle around it, or take in the Buddhist monasteries close by, or even to go trekking and rafting, among other adventure sports. Ask the resort personnel how to reach Manali’s best sightseeing spots of your choice, as well as the nearest shopping joints, restaurants and adventure sports sites.
The resort can help you with figuring out which places to visit in Manali that are closest to the resort, apart from transport to get there and back. Trust Club Mahindra White Meadows to provide you with the restful holiday you’ve always wanted to take in this neck of the woods!
Q: What should I carry while travelling to Manali?
Though the area has distinct seasons like summer, monsoon, spring and winter, Manali is generally quite cold all year round. Whether you visit Manali in the summer or winter, you must certainly pack some warm clothing in your bag. If you are travelling in winter, we suggest thermal innerwear, a beanie or woollen cap to cover your head and ears, and also mosquito and bug repellent spray, a personal water bottle to keep hydrated, and moisturiser and sunscreen lotion.
Q: What are the things to do in Manali?
There is plenty to do in Manali, and sometimes little time to do it! As far as sightseeing goes, you can visit the area’s famous temples and shrines, or its trekking trails, and its sanctuaries, bazaars and viewing points. For the adventure-inclined, there are activities like rope climbing, zorbing, ziplining, paragliding and also snow sledding to look forward to.
Q: Is Manali Sanctuary open all throughout the year?
Yes, Manali Sanctuary is open all throughout the year, though the best time to visit it is in winter. There are fewer footfalls during the monsoon season, and the maximum during the summer which is the tourist season here. However, the winter brings scores of migratory birds here, so you can see some exotic bird species apart from animals like the Kashmir flying squirrel, flying fox, barking deer and Himalayan black bear, among many others.
Q: What are the best places to visit in Manali?
There are several places of interest to visit in Manali. We recommend these to get you started on your itinerary: Beak Kund, old Manali, Mall Road, Jogini Waterfall, Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Kullu village and shopping bazaar, Chandrakhani Pass, Manali Wildlife Sanctuary and Zoological Park, Vashist Temple and Baths, and Manikaran, among many others.
Q: What is the best time to visit Manali?
It all depends on what kind of weather you like, and what you expect to do on your holiday. If you like a more sedate holiday experience, then the best time to visit Manali is in winter. There are fewer tourists, but there is snowfall to enjoy and the kind of winter chill that you might not experience in many other parts of the country. But if you want to see the sights, mingle with other tourists and sample the local eats and shopping items, then summer is the best time to visit.
About Mahindra Holidays
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Membership Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, the other brands offered by the company are –Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As on Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at www.clubmahindra.com