Known to be the abode of the Hindu deity, ‘Manu’, Manali is a popular hill station located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The hill town sits at an average altitude of 2,050 meters above sea level in the Beas River Valley at the northern end of the Kullu District. Manali’s popularity as a hill station rose due to the rise of militant incidences in Kashmir as an alternative hill town retreat. In ancient times, Manali was inhabited by nomadic hunters and shepherds who came here from the Kangra Valley.
After the British occupation of India, Manali was known for its apple, plum and pear orchards. Being located in the picturesque Kullu Valley, Manali today is one of the most visited hill stations in India and also lies at the beginning of an ancient trade route that transverses from Ladakh to Karakoram Pass to the Tarim Basin in China. Today, it is a bustling hill town which derives most of its economy from tourism and provides some of the most spectacular views of the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges of the western Himalayas, Skiing and trekking spots.
Due to the high altitude location in the foothills of the monolithic Himalayas, Manali enjoys a favorable and a moderately cool temperature all year round. That means the town stays bustling with incoming tourists all year round. Even during the summer months between April and June, the temperature never goes beyond 25 degrees. The winter months can often involve snowfall making the town a popular ski resort. Rainfall is common during most times of the year and travelling to the town is usually avoided during monsoons.
Best Time to Visit
Although the town is visited by tourist all year round except the monsoons, the best time to visit Manali is during the months from September till mid-December. As the monsoons retreat in September the following months till December sees lesser precipitation with pleasant and cool climate.
Attractions/Things To Do
Being located in the northernmost reaches of the Kullu valley, Manali is a popular stop for the trekkers and skiers. The surrounding ranges of the Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal and the Beas River make Manali a natural haven with activities like biking, rafting, skiing, hiking, trekking, paragliding with several viewpoints. The high mountain passes like Chandrakhani and Rohtang have attracted adventurers from India and abroad to this picturesque hill town.
Beas Kund, Hidimba Temple, Kalath Hot Water Springs, Jogini Falls, Solang Valley, Old Manali, Manali Gompa, Nehru Kund and Rohtang Pass etc. are few of the several attractions that can be found in Manali. Also checkout our post on popular places to visit in Manali: Top 10 Places To Visit In Kullu Manali
How To Reach
Manali is in close proximity to the national capital Delhi and the other major hill stations and towns like Leh, Dharamshala and Chandigarh etc. and has well maintained railways and roads. Buses and Taxis can be availed from all major towns in Himachal Pradesh and the surrounding states. The nearest international airport is located in Delhi and the nearest domestic airport is at Bhuntar. Trains are also available from most stations via, Ambala, Delhi or Amritsar.
Distance from Major Cities
1. Kullu – 40 kilometers
2. Shimla – 250 kilometers
3. Chandigarh – 291 kilometers
4. Dharamsala – 237 kilometers
5. Chamba – 353 kilometers
6. Dehradun – 430 kilometers
7. Delhi – 540 kilometers
8. Jaipur – 795 kilometers
9. Lucknow – 982 kilometers
10. Ahmedabad – 1,460 kilometers
11. Mumbai – 1,932 kilometers
12. Kolkata – 2000 kilometers
13. Hyderabad – 2,078 kilometers
14. Bangalore – 2,666 kilometers
15. Chennai – 2,705 kilometers
Accessibility and Accommodation
Tourism being the town’s major source of economy, there is no shortage of lodging facilities to star studded luxury hotels. The accommodation facilities are innumerable and fits all sorts of tourist budgets, ranging from INR 900/night to INR 5000/night. One can avail taxis and tourist buses are available, along with several sightseeing trips. Vehicles like cars, motorcycles, scooters and bicycles can be rented to get around the town as well. Bicycles and Royal Enfield motorbikes are usually preferred by the tourists to get around Manali.