Manali – Manu’s Adobe
Manali is a hill station or town situated in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, a state situated in the north of India. Manali is present on the northern side of the Kullu Valley in the Beas River Valley. The distance between Manali and Shimla is 270 km, Shimla being the capital of Himachal Pradesh. This small but very beautiful city is the ancient trade route to Ladakh and Karakoram Pass. A very popular and famous tourist destination, it also serves as the passage to Leh.
The name Manali has come from Manu. Manu, as per Hindu Mythology, is the first man and author of important Sanskrit law code ‘Manu-Smriti’ or Laws of Manu. He was the only survivor of a great flood which swept the entire earth and made this place his home. Manali is in the north of Kullu Valley which is often called the valley of Gods. An ancient temple here is dedicated to sage Manu.
Apple, Plum and Pear are the main sources of income in this town. It is the British who planted the Apple trees here. Manali was India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s favorite holiday destination. Later on, other dignitaries and celebrities started visiting this place.
A certain place has to have something special to become a famous tourist spot. Manali has special weather. Weather is one of the major reasons why tourists frequent this place around the year. You can enjoy cold in the winter and reasonably cool in summer. To escape the summer heat one can definitely come to Manali.
If you are an adventure traveler then this is one of the best places to be. In Manali, you can do hiking, skiing, mountaineering and river rafting. If you are a spiritual person then this place is best for practicing meditation because of the clear air and calmness the place offers.
Places to Visit
Hot Water Springs: Located in Kullu district is a small village named Vashisht, which is 6 km away from Manali. This village is very famous for hot water springs.
Hidimba Devi Temple: This temple is one of the most famous and religious places in Manali. Also known as Dhungiri Temple, this four-story wooden structure is present in the middle of Dhungiri Van Vihar forest. This wooden marvel is dedicated to Devi Hidimba of Mahabharata. She was the wife of Bhim. People in large number visit this temple to pray but also get surprised when they come to know that the structure was built in approx. 1553.
Solang Valley: Best place for adventure sports like parachuting, skating, paragliding, zorbing, etc. During summer when the snow melts away zorbing can be done. In zorbing, a person is placed inside an unbreakable bouncy ball and tossed down the hill. Zorbing is not for a faint-hearted person though. In winter, snow forms in the valley on which skiing can be done. This is a place where various exciting activities can be done.
Rohtang Pass: Snow point of Manali, it is a sort of pass/road in the valley which is covered by snow during winter. Considerable numbers of visitors visit this place because it provides a great sight-seeing.
Rafting: One of the adventure sports rafting can be done on River Beas, which flows between Manali and Large. Not easy though since the water remains very cold and the strong current makes rafting a tough job. Rafting is done under the supervision of a trained guide to avoid untoward incidences. They also make sure you get a maximum thrill from rafting.
How to Reach
Air: The Nearest airport is in Bhuntar, 50 kilometers from Manali. You can take flights from Delhi and Chandigarh to reach Bhuntar. From Bhuntar taxi can be taken to Manali. However one should keep an eye on weather conditions before traveling.
Road: State and private run buses make Manali a well-connected place to other important destinations like Dharamshala, New Delhi, Leh, Shimla, etc. If traveling long distance by bus it is always advisable to book in a/c Volvo bus because of comfort they provide.
Rail: Joginder Nagar railway station is the nearest to Manali connecting the hill station with several other important cities. Chandigarh and Ambala are some more options to reach Manali by train. From the station, you can get several modes of transportation to reach Manali.