Offbeat attractions, local restaurants, shopping destinations and nightlife in Manali
Situated on the winding banks of River Beas ,in the cradle of the astounding Kullu Valley, Manali is a top tourist destination. Known for its scenic beauty and awe inspiring views of the Pir Panjal Range, this little town has a lot in store for you.
manali (Source: Vineet Timble)
Manali's climate throughout the year is predominantly cool. In Manali, you can enjoy the vistas and atmosphere of a hill station without the weather getting too uncomfortable, throughout the year.
In summers, temperatures are usually around 25 C during the day; and at night, around 10 C. So this is the perfect weather to enjoy in Manali
The Leh-Manali highway remains open from mid-May to mid-October depending on the weather conditions at the time. When it is open, there are several options to travel by road. Otherwise, your only option is to take a flight from Leh; and this can turn out to be quite expensive.
i) By Bus- The Himachal Tourism & State Transport Corporation along with J&K SRTC and; several other travel companies run regular bus service to Manali. These buses normally take 2 days to reach ,with stopovers for rest and food. This is one of the most economical ways to travel to Manali.
ii) Taxi- You can either hire a shared taxi, or a private taxi for yourself from Leh. You may consider sharing the taxi with another couple, this may help you save travel costs. While hiring a taxi, do remember that quite a few of them indulge in a 'canon ball run' (19-20 hour journey without stops). Not only will this be punishing for your system, especially at this altitude; you'll also miss out on the sights of the Leh-Manali highway. Unless you are really short on time, take a taxi with one or two night stopovers.
Road to Leh (Source: anirbanbiswas_c8)
iii) By Air: Air travel between Leh and Manali looks like a very nonviable option. Not only are the flights very expensive (cheapest fare is Rs. 24,243 per person), but will take one whole day, owing to the 20 hours stopover in Delhi. Here are the flight details.
The nearest airport to Manali is in Kullu, which is 50 kms away by road.
Manali is a wonderful place to visit especially during summer, when most of the other parts of the country is baking in the hot sun. Here I’ve listed few places in Manali which you would surely like.
Rohtang Pass is one among the most popular attractions in Manali, situated on the highest point on Manali-Ketlong road , which offers most panoramic vies of the valley and its surrounding area. You can witness the beautiful sight of glaciers, peaks and Chandra river flowing down in the Lahaul valley. Many attraction including Dassaur lake, a small and beautiful lake and the origin of Beas River, Beas Kund.
51 KM from Manali, is a high mountain pass that connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahul and Spiti valleys of Himachal Pradesh , It has become a summer tourist spot, all thanks to the rising popularity of Manali, and excellent roads maintained by Border Road Organization . Almost every visitor to Manali yearns to visit Rohtang Pass as one can feel and touch snow even in the peak of summer on this pass.
(Source: Rohtang Pass )
(Source: Rohtang Pass)
Hidimbadevi Temple is a Dhoongri temple , which is a center of interest historically and archeplogically among the many attractions in Manali. This temple is dedicated to goddess Hidimba and Bhim of Mahabharta. The temple has a four tiered Pagoda like roof and a doorway carved with legendary symbols and figures. The temple is located amidst the Deodar wooden forest and is a place where one can find sanctity and peace.
The Hidimbi Devi Temple has intricately carved wooden doors and a 24 meters tall wooden "shikhar" or tower above the sanctuary. The tower consists of three square roofs covered with timber tiles and a fourth brass cone-shaped roof at the top. The earth goddess Durga forms the theme of the main door carvings. The temple base is made out of whitewashed, mud-covered stonework. An enormous rock occupies the inside of the temple, only a 7.5 cm (3 inch) tall brass image representing goddess Hidimbi Devi. A rope hangs down in front of the rock, and according to a legend, in bygone days religious zealots would tie the hands of "sinners" by the rope and then swing them against the rock
(Source: Hidimba Temple)
Address: Hidimbi Devi Temple, Dhungri Village, Manali
Rahala waterfalls, located at the start of climb to Rohtang Pass is another superb place to visit while going to Rohtang Pass. The falls is formed as a result of melting up of glaciers. The waterfalls is surrounded by silver beautiful silver birch trees and deodar forest. The fresh air here provides complete relaxation and peace of mind to the visitors.
The mesmerizing Rahala waterfalls denote the consequence of the melting glaciers that hit the rocks and then pour down with extreme force thus creating an attractive view in the midst of awesome atmosphere and fascinating surrounding. Those who are about to visit the Rotang Pass can easily halt for some moment and take the pleasure of the waterfalls on their way. In other cases, some tourists prefer to spend maximum time near the falls. The dense deodar forest which is surrounding the whole place is indeed creating a mystical atmosphere altogether. The splendor of the place is the primary reason for driving the tourists of Manali towards it. The Himalayan high peaks absolutely covered with snow is the most imperative view that the place provides to the tourists.
(Source: Rahala Waterfalls-)
(Source: Ice and Water)
Solang Valley, the Snow point is one of the most popular attractions in Manali for experiencing paragliding. Solang valley is known for its beautiful surroundings, snowy mountains, lush green forests and glaciers. The Mountaineering institute in Solang Valley trains people beginners in the field of mountaineering and allied sports.
(Source: Gopal Venkatesan)
The paragliding activity in Solang Valley is filled with fun and adventure and it costs around $28 per ride. While paragliding you can feel like a bird flying in the air. You can also see the bird’s eye view of Solang valley and Rohtang Pass.
Paragliding in Solang Valley, Manali (Source: Raman Virdi)
Solang Valley Resort has some really interesting packages, that offer paragliding, so maybe you can check them out. They also offer paragliding training before you indulge in the activity.
Yesterday we couldn't do Paragliding due to rain so we decided to alter our program and go to Solang Valley again. We started bit early today from Manali and reached Solang Valley at around 10 am. It was a beautiful sunny morning and there were lots of people at Solang Valley today. It looked completely different with so many Paragliders flying in the air. We did Paragliding from the topmost point which was Rs.800 per head. The walk to the top was really tiring but once we took off it was awesome. The view of snow clad mountains and the valley below with lots of people looking up was really mind blowing.
(Source: Manali Paragliding and Rafting)
Address: Solang Valley, VPO Palchan, Manali
Tele: +91 (01902) 256132 / +91 (01902) 256134
Timings: 07:00 - 17:00
The old stone buildings in Old Manali are worth a visit. Its a short drive from the Manali Bus Station. The area around Old Manali is famous for trekking and scenery. There are many places from where you can do day walks - the ski resort of Solang Valley, the high waterfall on the cliffs above Vashisht or even up to the hills above old Manali. You could take a cab to Old Manali and take a trek to one of these places. Vashisht has the most amazing hot water springs. Do check them out.
(Source: Koshy Koshy)
Catering to demands of the large number of tourists visiting, there are a variety of restaurants in this city. I have picked a few of the best ones for you.
Casa Bella Vista s one among the finest restaurants in Manali, located on the road leading to Hadimbadevi Temple. The restaurant serves best Italian food in the city. You have an option to dine either indoors or outdoors. In the outdoors you can find beautiful yellow lamps lynching from the green fir trees, which makes the ambience of the hotel ethereal. Marherita pizza is a must try in Casa Bella.
gorgeous pizza (Source: Liz)
One of the best places to serve Italian in Manali. Its got a spectacular ambience with low sitting, perfect place to be after a long walk and re-kindle your energies. There is a boutique area within the restaurant where the ladies can help themselves with some goodies or maybe just get inspired.
Address-Log Huts Road, (Off Old Manali Road)
Tel- 098 16 699663
Prices- INR 300-600 ($6-$12)
If you want a classic Texas kind of ambiance, the dining at Khyber would be the right choice. The restaurant is known for lip smacking Punjabi delicacies. The best Tandooris, kababs and tikkas can be tasted here. This restaurant is located in the center of the city and offers flawless service.
(Source: Jason Lam)
Visited there with family as the manager Mr Chaman was known to my friend from jammu. Food was amazingly delicious as well the personal touch in the service. All in all an excellent place to have a view of Manali and enjoy food.
Address- The Mall
Tel- +91 9816049572
Prices- INR 80-300 ($1.80-$6)
Hours- 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Cuisine- Indian, Punjabi
There is a variety of options for nightlife activities in Manali. I have listed below some of the best nightclubs/pubs in the city which you may like.
John’s Bar & Restaurant is one of the most popular nightspots in Manali. It is a great place for a group of friends and couples to have a great time. The bar has an interesting menu with a wide collection of alcohols, European, Indian and continental food, including pizzas, pastas, fish and chicken dishes.
Beer (Source: Tim Dobson)
The bar is known for cozy atmosphere due to its fire place. You can sprawl around on the comfortable sofas and enjoy the trendy music.
I had been there primarily to enjoy local trout fish. But the atmosphere there is perfect for couples looking for a nightlife. The food (I had continental) is good and staff were eager to serve. The atmosphere was warm and enjoyable. Perfect for couples and group of friends.
(Source: - TripAdvisor)
Address: :Circuit House Road Manali
Chopsticks is a fine restaurant and bar in Manali. It serves a variety of dishes ranging from Chinese to Continental. It is also famous with the natives as well as the tourists for its drinks. Do try their apple wine. Altogether it's a great spot to hangout and is surely worth a visit.
chopsticks (Source: Dan4th)
Chopsticks had a wide choice of food and we especially liked the momos. Service was friendly and efficient. Ambience so so. The restaurant is centrally located in the mall and also seemed very clean.
Address- The Mall, Manali,
Tel- +91 1902 52639
Opening Hours- 9:00am- 11:00pm
Manali is a heaven for crazy shoppers. Here I've listed two best shopping areas in Manali which will surely win your heart.
If you are looking for inexpensive and good quality woolen shawls, woolen fabrics, beautiful handicrafts items, branded goods, local handicrafts and souvenirs,Tibetan Market would be an ideal place. This market is a cluster of stalls both local and company based. You can also buy Tibetan goods here.
(Source: ONLINE SHOPPING dollsofindia.com)
Address: opp to Hotel Ibex, The Mall, Manali
The main market in Manali can be found along The Mall Road. The market is always crowded in the evenings especially in summer. You can buy woollen clothes, Kullu caps, local handicrafts and other things in the area. There are many restaurants and local eating joints in the market where you can try the local cuisine.
(Source: Kiran Jonnalagadda)
Timings: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Local at Manali (Source: Pavan Kunder)
Hope you like these suggestions. If you'd like any other help with your trip, do let us know! How about some budget accommodation? Just write back to us and we'll be glad to help you.
Have an awesome trip!
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