Manali with its unspoilt scenic grandeur is extremely popular with the tourists, for a lavish display of natural scenery. It is one of the principal show places of the Kullu region. To its North, South and West are ostentation of pinnacles and ridges, which, in fine weather, stand out in bold relief against skyline. At the lower elevation and in every direction there are vivid green patches of grassland and evergreen valleys ascending in irregular formation present probably the best view in the country. Manali is situated at an altitude of 1,926 metres and spreads in 12.5 square km. It is the real starting point of an ancient trade rout.
Manali : General Information
- Altitude : 1,950 meters.
- Headquarter : Kullu ( altitude 1,220 meters )
- Location : In district Kullu. ( 40 km. approx.)
- Access by Air : The nearest airport to Manali is Bhunter at 50 km. distance.
- Access by Rail : The convenient railheads are Chandigarh 320 km., Jogindernagar and Shimla 260 km. approx.
- Access by Road :Almost each and every part of the state is linked by roads. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation is running its buses covering the whole state. There is huge network of HRTC to cater the needs of the people.
- Distance :Manali is connected with direct bus services from all cities of Himachal, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The distance from Manali to Shimla is 260 km., Chandigarh 320 km., Delhi 583 km., Pathankot 326 km., Dharamshala 253 km., Udaipur ( in Lahaul-Spiti ) 166 km., Keylong 104 km. and Kaza 244 km.
Places to visit in Manali –
- Rohtang Pass :- ( 51 km. ) At an altitude of 3,978 metres on the highway to Keylong, the mass affords a wide-spread panorama of mountain scenery. Here eye meets a range of precipitous cliffs, huge glaciers and piled moraine and deep ravines. To the opposite is the well defined ‘Sonepani Glacier’ slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geyphang snow crowned. The Beas river rises near the crest of Rohtang from a block of Mica-Schist. To its left, 200 metres higher, is the little lake of ‘Sarkund’ ( Dashahr ) visited by a large number of people every year. The bath in the water of Sarkund lake effects cure of all bodily ailments or imaginary. The pass is open from June to October each year although trekkers can cross it earlier. It is the gateway to Lahaul-Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley.
- Mountaineering Institute :- This institute imparts training in basic and advanced courses of mountaineering. Institute speedily gaining prominence for conducting adventurous sports – rock climbing, high altitude trekking and skiing. It was set up in 1961 A.D.
- Solang Valley :- ( 13 km. ) A beautiful valley between Manali and Kothi which offers views of the glaciers and snow covered mountain peaks. The plateau is frequently used for holding camps by the trekking parties. The surrounding areas of Manali from 3 to 20 km. are suitable for rock climbing. The winter skiing festival is organised here as well as training in skiing is imparted at this place.
- Rohla Falls :- 16 kms. on way to Rohtang pass. If one goes to Marhi on foot from Kothi from the old road, the sight of the falls is fascinating. It is a good picnic spot as well.
- Marhi :- ( 39 km. ) A barren landscape offering extensive views of the valley and the mountains. 15 km. short of the 13,050 feet high Rohatang Pass on the Manali-Leh road lies one of the most picturesque places in Manali region. Marhi – a mountain plateau surrounded by lush green meadows strewn with myriad wild flowers. The place remains a stopover for transit visitors and tourists during summer and autumn seasons and a transit place for the people to wait for the ferocious weather to improve at Rohtang Pass to cross over to Lahaul and Spiti valley, during the winter months.
- Club House :- 2 kms. from the town, club house has indoor games facilities which has been located on the left bank of Manalsu Nallah. There are some picnic spots near it.
- Nehru Kund :- ( 6 km. ) A natural spring of clean cold water named after the late Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, who used to drink water from this spring during his stay in Manali. It is located on the Manali-Keylong road. This spring is believed to be coming from ‘Bhrigu Lake’.
- Tibetan Monastery :- A new but colorful Buddhist temple. It contains many idols of Buddha. This monastey is famous for its carpet weaving and Tibetan handicraft.
- Kothi :- ( 12 km. ) A beautiful and quiet spot. The rest house here overlooks the narrow valley and commands views at the mountains. Below Kothi, for more than a km. the river Beas flows through a deep gorge, 30 metres or more in depth. The site of the bridge provides an interesting historical episode in early annals of Kullu. This place is famous for movie picturisation and resting resort for poets, writers and lovers of peaceful environments.
- Vashisht :- ( 3 km. ) This place is famous for its hot water springs and temples of Vashisht Rishi and Lord Rama. It is located on the bank of Beas, but well above the river. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are always full of tourists. Turkish style showers fitted baths have also been built nearby. Hot water from the nearby spring is provided for bathing.
- Jagatsukh :- ( 6 km. ) The original name of this was ‘Nast’, it remained the ancient capital of Kullu for about 10 generations. Jagatsukh is famous for its Shiva temple in Shikhara Style and interesting old temple of ‘Gayatri Devi’ and Devi Sharvali.
- Hidimba Devi Temple :- ( 1.5 km. ) Built in 1553 A.D. also known as ‘Doongri Temple’ dedicated to the Goddess Hidimba ( Hirma Devi ), the wife of Bhima, has a four tiered pagoda shaped roof with a doorway carved with figures and symbols. Although carving is simple yet beautiful. This temple was built by Raja Bahadur Singh of Kullu.
- Arjun Gufa :- ( 15 km. ) A legendary cave near the village of ‘Prini’ on the left bank where Arjuna practised austerities to get the powerful ‘Pashupati astra’ ( weapon ).