Contributed by DD.
If you have not visited Manali, visit it; if you have gone in the past, go again and, if you have gone a few times in the past, visit again and again. This is my feeling culled out of my intensive experience at Manali. The place is a visitor’s paradise: a place where nature has descended to spread its fragrance and to give its feel to each and every man everywhere.
From the tourism point of view, Manali may not be the substitute of Srinagar, but, certainly, an alternative. It has to offer so many breath-taking places to the tourists and
visitors that you have to stay a minimum of fifteen to twenty days, if not more, to enjoy your outing to the brim.
I, with my family, left for New Delhi Airport from Bhubaneswar Airport by Indian for a two-hour journey during Mid-August, generally considered as an off-season chosen by me as ideal because I got all my reservations for journey and lodging at a big discount. The next morning, an eighteen-seator single-engined aircraft was ready to start at 06.30AM, but took off at 09.30AM as the climate in the Himalayan ranges was cloudy. Ultimately at about 10.30AM, we reached Kullu Airport.
The experience inside the aircraft was very exciting because co-passengers were only four, not to speak of the pilot who could be considered as a co-passenger in the sense that his driving seat was at our front like the seat in a luxury bus and he was a nice fellow who talked to us all through our journey. He, also, had tea, coffee and snacks for us and a packet full of chocolates besides fruit juice. There was no air-hostess or attendant and self-service was the provision. But what was irritating was the sound of the aircraft; but to get something you have to give up something and at the end of the journey, we were disappointed that such an exhilarating experience had come to an end.
Kullu area is a valley and very nice in every way. The Dussera Festival here is observed with much pomp and ceremony and the Kullu King leads a huge procession which is almost the best in the country and must be seen to be believed.
We hired a pre-paid taxi to Manali from the Kullu Airport and reached Manali at about 02.00PM and went straight to our officers` association guest house arranged in a star hotel at a nominal cost of Rs100/- per day, though the actual cost would have been Rs3000/- per day during off-season. So, comfort at less cost guaranteed us a longer stay at negligible cost. Also, that being an off-season, we could extend our stay for fourteen days at a stretch, though we had to change to three rooms in the process. Off-season, also, gave us discount of 25% in our boarding bill.
Know about Manali
Area 7.12 Sq. Kms.
Altitude 2,050 Mtrs approx..
Temperature Max. / Min.
Summer 28 °C / 20 °C
Winter 18 °C / 2 °C
Languages Himachali, Hindi, English
Religion Hinduism, Buddhism
Best Time to visit Kullu Manali April – June / September – December
Manali is located at an altitude of 2050 m along the banks of the Beas.
STD Code 01902
- Civil Hospital, The Mall, Manali, Tel: 253385
- Lady Willington’s Mission Hospital Manali Tel: 253714
Population 6,265 (2001 census)
What to See
Hadimba Temple: This pagoda temple dates back to 1553, enshrines the footprints of the goddess Hadimba, the wife of Bhima, one of the five great Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata. The Museum of Traditional Himachal Culture, near the Hadimba temple houses artifacts of folk art of the entire Kullu valley.
Manu Temple: It is the ancient temple of the sage Manu and Manali is named after him. It is at a distance of 3 km northwest of Manali, ie.Old Manali, famous for its orchards and old guesthouses.
Monasteries: Manali also has three Tibetan monasteries built recently.
Arjun Gufa: Arjuna, one of the five Pandava brothers, is believed to have performed his penance here.
Vashisht Temple: Situated at a distance of three kms From Manali, It is believed to be the abode of Vashisht, the famous sage, which is renowned for its hot sulpher springs. Some old temples are also close to it.
Jagatsukh: Jagatsukh has the Gayatri Temple built by Pandva’s.
Solang Valley: The Solang valley is around 18 kilo meters from Manali has the glacier nearest to the resort. Adventurous ski sports are played here during January – February.
Rohtang Pass: Located at a height of 3980 m, the Rohtang Pass is snow-clad and famous for skiing and tourist enjoyment.
Rahalla Falls- Sixteen kms from Manali and before the Rohtang Pass at an altitude of 2500m, this wonderful fall is situated.
Nehru Kund: It is a beautiful spring situated six kms from Manali, on the way to Keylong
The Manali market is crowded Tibetans selling carpets and crafts. Manali has Mountaineering Institute, a popular base for trekking and mountaineering in summer and skiing in winter. Over the high passes are available tourist huts and rest houses for trekking enthusiasts.
Naggar Fort: is a castle converted into a rest house and luxury hotel. It has architecture and design from the Pal Dynasty.
Manali is known for its shiny gompas or Buddhist monasteries. The smaller and more modern Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa stands nearer the bazaar. It has a colossal gold-faced Buddha.
Naggar , Naggar was the old capital of Kullu District. This castle is now converted into Heritage Hotel by Himachal Tourism. Roerich Art Gallery made by the famous Russian painter to be seen, also.
How to Get There
By air: The nearest airport is at Bhuntar (Kullu), 50kms from Manali.
By rail: The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Jogindernagar (135 km). The nearest broad gauge railway station is Chandigarh (310 km).