One of the most popular hill stations in India, Manali is a amidst the mountain slopes, with spell-binding views, charming streams, fairy-tale-like fog surrounding little hidden cottages and a lingering scent of pines and freshness. The heavy influx of tourists has led to the exploitation of Manali as a tourist destination, though the surrounding areas are still relatively untouched. Nevertheless, this is one place that should definitely be on your bucket list.
Where to stay?
Hotel Vikrant Inn – Hotel Vikrant inn,located near manali mall road surrounded by snow-capped mountains, where you can enjoy the blissful and tranquil atmosphere of Manali. Hotel Vikrant inn features 21 beautifully appointed guest rooms Including Deluxe/Suite/ Interconnected Triple bed/Interconnected family which are designed by finest modern architecture according today needs.
Rooms at Hotel Vikrant Inn, Manali, come with all modern amenities and are fully facilitated, guaranteeing all our guests an exemplary stay. With 24-hour room service, our guests can feel free to stay in and enjoy the comforts of their room for as long as they would like!
Solang Valley – Solang Valley is quiet and is best approached by road. The drive up to Solang is extremely picturesque. Once you are there, try out some Chinese food from the local roadside shacks, and enjoy the views.
Old Manali – Swaying eucalyptus, lovely roads, sweet little eateries, small kitschy market places, and cafes that serve your favourite continental food at unbelievably low prices, the serenity of Old Manali is only disturbed by twittering birds and the sound of the gushing waters of the Kullu River.
Rohtang Pass – a beautiful and popular spot in Manali with more than 25 lakh visitors every year. In winter, the mountains at the Rohtang Pass are completely covered in snow and it is impossible to get there. Hence, the pass remains closed during winters (from October) and generally opens again in May.
Naggar Castle – Located in Naggar Town, amidst breathtaking forested hills, the Naggar Castle is a magnificent historical edifice. Once the residence of Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu, this castle is an amalgamation of European and Himalayan architecture. Fireplaces, fitting staircases, and magnificent stone and wood works grace the castle’s interiors.
Manu Temple – this religious edifice is visited by countless devotees every year. Legends have it that Manu saved the holy Vedas and the seven sages from the great flood and subsequently made Manali his home. A visit to this revered temple will definitely leave you mentally and spiritually rejuvenated.
Things to Do
Trekking – Manali is an absolute delight for adventurers looking to take on the jagged hills. A great base camp for treks, Manali’s Mountaineering Institute offers several types of high altitude hiking and rock climbing opportunities. Yoga-Trekking is another unique concept which combines spiritual wellness with physical well-being and has become a rage among both adventure and spirituality seekers.
Skiing – A thrill for adventure lovers while touring Manali, as they can indulge in some high adrenaline skiing sessions in the snow-clad mountains that surround the hill station. Want something even more thrilling? Go for heli-skiing or yak-skiing to make your experience unforgettable.
River-Rafting – The River Beas comes across as a perfect avenue for adventurers to indulge in some exhilarating rafting action amidst grade II and III rapids. Get your adrenaline pumping with water adventure activities such as canoeing, kayaking and of course, white water rafting.
Zorbing – Zorbing, a one-of-its-kind adventure sport wherein a person is slid into a huge transparent plastic zorb ball which is then rolled down a mountain slope. It is surely not to be missed while in Manali.
Himalayan Caravan Adventure – From trekking to paragliding, mountain biking, jeep safaris and rafting, Himalayan Caravan Adventure offers you many adventure activities. With customised tours and tailor-made holiday packages, this company attracts countless adventure-seekers every year.
Places to Eat
Casa Bella Vista – Amidst the lush panoramas of Manali is a cosy café named Casa Bella Vista that serves lip-smacking Spanish and Italian dishes. Gorge on their freshly baked, hand tossed thin-crust wood oven pizza with a pint of chilled beer or your favourite mocktail.
Café 1947 – This vintage and traditional Italian café hails to be the first music café in Manali and is located on the banks of the River Manalsu. Relish your meal, read a book, play your favourite tunes or even start up an impromptu gig, Café 1947 will surely be a part of some of your best moments in Manali.
Dylan’s Toasted Roaster – Originally known as Double Vision, the café had a wall dedicated to Bob Dylan’s portrait. Bob Dylan’s fans and music lovers loved it so much that they coined a new name for the café and hence it was called the Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted.
Khyber – A multi-cuisine restaurant, Khyber serves delectable Chinese, Continental, Indian and Mughlai cuisines. Drinks are reasonably priced, and the booths are a good place to huddle.
Johnson’s Bar and Restaurant – Johnson’s Bar & Restaurant is a charming Italian joint in Manali. The restaurant boasts of a talented Italian chef, good food and a well-stocked bar that serves a good selection of wines, liquors, exotic cocktails and shooters.
When to Go
Whether to escape from blistering heat or enjoy the white winters, here’s a monthly breakup of Manali’s climatic conditions so that you can plan accordingly:
September to February – The monsoons draw to an end in September and winter starts setting in from October. The temperature in winter months can go down to -1 °C, so make sure you carry enough woollens to keep yourself warm.
December end to January – a time to enjoy snowfall and the spectacular scenic white views of the surrounding mountains, making it a favourite with the honeymooners. This is the ideal time for adventure enthusiasts who want to go skiing.
March to June – Summer steps in from March but the weather is still pleasant. The temperatures during these summer months usually vary between 10°C to 25°C, so you might still need light woollens during the night. This is the perfect time to indulge in outdoor activities such as paragliding, rafting, trekking and mountain adventures in the Solang Valley. This is also the time when the region’s flora is in full bloom lending it the most pristine natural beauty.
July to August – Monsoons in Manali can be tricky as the region experiences heavy rainfall, which can also sometimes lead to landslides. But considering a lot of tourists don’t prefer to travel during this time, the prices of hotels tend to drop.
How to Reach
By Air – The nearest airport is at Bhuntar, located approximately 50 kilometres away from Manali. Domestic flights connect Bhuntar with Delhi and Chandigarh. Once at the airport, you can take a pre-paid taxi to Manali. However, owing to weather conditions, flights are not the most reliable option for getting to or out of Manali.
By Bus – Manali is very well-connected to important tourist destinations like Leh, Shimla, Kullu, Dharamshala and New Delhi by means of a network of state-run as well as private buses. The bus journey from Delhi to Manali is 550 kilometres, and it is advisable to book your tickets in the air-conditioned Volvo coaches, as the buses are more comfortable than ordinary ones, keeping in mind the long distance of the journey.
By Road/ Self Drive – The drive up to Manali is simply breath-taking! You can catch scenic glimpses of the adjoining mountains and valleys from almost every turn that the twisty uphill road throws you. Though a lot of tourists prefer a self-drive up to Manali, it is advisable to hire a taxi in case you are not comfortable with driving in mountainous regions.
Drawing swarms of wandering wayfarers from all around the country (and the world), Manali, which is now a prominent tourist town came up as a business route to Ladakh and further beyond. So be it family, friends, that special someone, or all alone, Manali has something for everyone.
Book your holiday to Manali now!