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Himachal, the Indian state that has been blessed by nature. Whether it’s adventure sports or just admiring nature’s elegance like lakes, rivers, valleys or snow-clad mountains, it is all here in Himachal Pradesh. This majestic Himalayan state can satisfy a traveller’s wandering soul with its various famous and untouched places.
Up above in the lofty hills of Himachal, lies a hilltop hamlet showered with scenic surroundings, adventure avenues and a hint of hippie culture.
Surrounded by Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges of the mighty Himalayas, Manali is a stunning hill station on the banks of pristine River Beas, decorated with thick pinewood and deodar forest. Situated in the northern end of Kullu valley, this popular holiday destination is the abode of various Gods & Goddesses thus known as ‘Valley of Gods’. Nestled at an elevation of 6726 ft, Manali also offers adventurous activities like hiking, skiing, rock climbing, paragliding, river rafting and much more. It also acts as a starting point for high altitude treks to Bhrigu Lake, Beas Kund, Friendship Peak, Hamta Pass, etc.
This trendy holiday destination of Himachal Pradesh is also the base town for Leh-Ladakh (Ladakh Tour Packages), Lahaul and Spiti districts. So be it family, friends, that special someone, or all alone, this North Indian hill retreat has something for everyone.
For a leisure trip to Manali, you can checkout the best customized tour packages provided by Travel Triangle with the help of multiple local & specialised travel experts, as per your choice and affordability.
We boarded an AC Volvo bus from GT bypass in Delhi. After an overnight journey, we reached the beautiful town of Mandi. Take a break at Beas View Restaurant before heading towards Bhuntar. The serpentine roads, scenic views of Himalayas and River Beas makes the stretch between Bhuntar to Manali an amazing experience in itself. You will also see few traditional Himalayan homes and sprawling orchard trees along the road.
Manali welcomes you with all time pleasant weather. You can choose to stay in a hotel or beautiful holiday homes available in areas like Simsa, Mall Road, Old Manali and Prini village. We stayed at Hotel Snow Country (Naggar Road, Aleo) located in the serene surroundings away from the bustling Manali Mall Road. Naggar is an explored part of Manali and a perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate in the lap of nature.
Lies at 40 kms from Manali, Kullu is a popular town of Himachal Pradesh known for its annual event ‘Kullu Ka Dussehra’. There is a large ground where this annual festival is celebrated with much fanfare. Nestled in the scenic Himalayan valley alongside Beas River, Kullu is one of the major attraction to witness the rich Himachali culture and tradition. You can purchase good quality Pashmina shawls at various handloom stores situated here. If you are an adventure enthusiast, then you can go for river rafting in Beas River, paragliding and trekking in Parvati Valley.
Kullu is also famous for its temples & monasteries dedicated to various deities. There are various local devtas who are revered by the natives with full faith. Visit Vaishno Devi temple, constructed from wood and timber tiles, with each floor dedicated to 3 manifestations of Shakti namely Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali. Next you can visit Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara, a holy shrine dedicated to Guru Nanak Dev Ji situated on River Beas. This sacred Sikh pilgrimage is famous for the auspicious hot water springs (also called as Gandhak Ka Pani) and langar served here everyday. It’s quite magical to see the hot springs at one end and chilled water of River Beas on another end!
After paying homage at these holy shrines, we came back to the Mall Road at Manali. Located near to Mall Road, Van Vihar is a beautiful park covered with towering green deodar trees and Beas River flowing alongside. Few scenes from the movie ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ were shot here at Van Vihar. Click some candid pictures and enjoy a leisure time amidst woods.
In the evening, explore the local shops at Mall Road. There are various authentic Tibetan food corners where you can relish on hot mutton and veg momos, chilli garlic noodles and tasty chicken soup to complement the lovely weather. The Mall Road is flooded with best options to eat and purchase cool items. There are numerous bakery shops where we tried out chocolate pastries. You will be fascinated by the amazing artwork on keychains, artificial jewelry and Tibetan handicrafts. I bought a nice wall hanging face of Lord Buddha for my home, signifying peace and spirituality. Later on we went back to our hotel for dinner and overnight rest.
Situated on Manali-Leh highway, an adventurous ride towards Rohtang Pass is a major attraction near Manali, lies at 52 kms. Due to heavy snowfall the road gets blocked during winters. Thus, the pass is usually closed in the month of November and reopened in April or May.
I yearn for mountains that I have never ever seen. Heaven is myth, Himalayas are real!
The journey to Rohtang La is packed with scenic landscapes, spellbinding valleys, waterfalls and towering pine trees. In between you will pass through villages namely Kothi, Palchan and Marhi. The charm of magnificent mountains, zig-zag roads and sheer blind turns at some places will make you skip a heartbeat. At Gulaba village, the vehicles are given permit to travel to Rohtang La and other higher ends of Himachal Pradesh like Spiti, Keylong and Lahaul.
The breathtaking views of Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges are treat to the eyes. Situated at an altitude of 3979 meter (13,050 ft) above sea level, Rohtang La is amongst the highest motorable roads in India where the weather is cold even during summers. Due to high altitude, only alpine meadows can be seen all around. At Rohtang Pass, you will see nature in its rawest form. Get mesmerized by the panoramic beauty of impressive Himalayan peaks.
Salute to those hard working ladies and men, who were giving hot coffee or tea, warm jackets, woolen caps and gloves to travellers despite of such harsh conditions. A small glacial lake can also be seen at Rohtang Pass.
Near to Rohtang Pass lies Vyas Kund Temple, an igloo-shaped temple where Maharishi Vyas meditated for 12 years and wrote the sacred Hindu texts like vedas and Mahabharata. As a result of this, a sacred stream originated at this place known as Vyas or Beas Nallah. Rohtang is a perfect place for everyone be it a photographer, a nature lover or an adventure enthusiast.
Vashisht or locally known as Bashisht is a less explored place situated 6 kms away from Manali, on the left bank of River Beas while going towards Rohtang Pass. There is a holy shrine dedicated to Sage Vashishtha, mentor of Lord Ram in the epic Ramayana. Vashisht Temple is beautifully carved from wood and stone and revered by the locals with full faith.
Just next to Vashisht Temple lies two pools of natural hot springs. This auspicious water is rich in medicinal properties and is believed to cure skin diseases. One can take a small trek to the source of this holy hot springs.
Missing your favourite food menu comprising pizzas, pasta & shakes? Then Vashisht is just perfect place for your all time food carvings. This small village is loaded with an array of cafes, restaurants and bars which serves Indian, Italian & Chinese cuisines. Enjoy your desired food delicacy along with melodious acoustic music at these cafes. You will find beautiful holiday homes, colorful handicrafts for shopping and a lot of Israelis or foreigners in this part of Manali.
Manali offers numerous options for sightseeing. Enjoy the surreal beauty of nature by sitting along the pristine Beas River. Away from the urban madness, it is a good option to relax and spend some quality time amidst tranquility.
A trip to this North Indian hill station will always remain incomplete without visiting the Hadimba Devi temple. Situated in the Dhungri village, this popular and very old shrine is dedicated to Hadimba – the wife of Bhima, one of the five Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata. This Goddess is the main deity of Dhungri region. You will be enthralled by the lush green cedar forest surrounding the Hadimba Temple. The temple has a Pagoda shaped roof and walls engraved with various figures. It is blissful to see the holy ceremony in which the idol of Hadimba Devi is carried in a palaki with much fanfare.
Remember this popular dialogue “shaadi is dal-chawal for 50 saal till you die…”? This famous scene from the movie ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ was shot here at Hadimba Devi temple. Dhungri village is still untouched from the developing town of Manali. You can chill at nearby eateries & cafes with your close ones. The places like Dhungri, Vashisht and Old Manali still maintains that old world charm; away from the hustle and bustle of main town.
Manali is truly nature’s paradise! It is the most charming place in the lap of majestic Himalayas and highly influenced by both Himachali and hippie culture. Don’t wait, just plan your trip to this perfect Himalayan escapade now!