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The Andamans - A wonderland of teal and turquoise. Where the seafood is more flavourful, and the fruits are juicier.
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If you’ve made plans to travel to Manali for your vacation, you don’t need to worry about organising anything. Really. Don’t believe us? Head to the Thomas Cook India website and you’ll be surprised to see the numerous ways in which your Manali Trip can be a resounding success. There are a number of Manali Holiday Packages available on the Thomas Cook India website and there’s something that fits every budget and plan. Your Manali Tour can be as short as 3 nights 4 days or as long as 8 nights 9 days and there’s flexibility in budget as well. You can be rest assured that there’s a Manali Tour Package that you will find perfect for your requirements. Budget-wise too, the packages are very extensive. From as low as INR 13, 499 to INR 29,999, the Thomas Cook India website has a tour for every vacation plan. The Thomas Cook India website is well-organised, and you will see that there are several Manali Tour options for you.
The tours have been curated by travel experts who love travelling too. Your Vacation to Manali is in good hands and you needn’t worry about any aspect, whether it’s the food or the accommodation that you will be getting. With Thomas Cook India, your Manali Holiday will be just perfect.
There are many sections on the Thomas Cook India website which explains Things to Do in Manali, Best Times to Visit Manali, Places to Visit in Manali under Manali tourism and this will make it easier for you to plan your holiday. Also, Manali holiday packages are available from various major Indian cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Delhi and Ahmedabad. Once you’re with Thomas Cook India, you no longer have to worry about your Manali Holiday.
The gorgeous hill station of Manali is in Himachal Pradesh and is located at a height of 8612 feet. Manali is actually a small town in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu valley and it is around 270kms away from Shimla. Despite being a small town, it sees a huge number of visitors every year. Tourists of all types come here, whether they’re on a honeymoon or whether they’re here for the marvellous adventure sports or even if they’re just backpacking across the country.
In the distance, there the snow-capped mountains present a perfect picture and the pine-scented forests with their lush greenery add to the charm of the town. Manali is a popular tourist location because of its natural beauty, the streams, forests, valleys and the awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas in the distance. Since the River Beas passes through Manali, there’s a lot of scope here for adventure enthusiasts. Manali also serves as the base town for those who want to go to Spiti or Lahaul.
The best time to visit Manali is in summer, which begins in March and ends in June. The summer weather is pleasant and there are plenty of adventure activities such as paragliding, mountain sports and river rafting that you can enjoy during this time. Since the temperature is pleasant and not too cold, it’s also quite perfect weather-wise. If you do go on high altitudes, there will be snow and it tends to get cold at night, so pack warm clothes even during summer. However, summer being the peak season tends to get crowded too with numerous people coming here for their holidays.
Another good time to visit Manali is during the winter although it can be quite cold. Temperatures have been known to go below zero degrees so it’s a good idea to come prepared with scarves, mufflers and heavy woollens. If you like winter sports, then coming to Manali during the winter means that skiing and snowboarding are fantastic activities on offer. Nearby Solang Valley is also quite thrilling as one can go paragliding, making memories for a lifetime. Also, if you visit Manali during winter, then the Himachal Winter Carnival is a lot of fun and a couple is adjudged to be Winter Queen and Mr. Manali and are given crowns as part of the event.
How to Reach Manali Manali can be reached by air, although the nearest airport is at Bhuntar, around 50km from Manali. Known as Kullu Manali Airport, it is near the River Beas and it does not have an easy runway, so pilots often find it difficult to land their planes here. There are domestic flights from cities such as Delhi and Chandigarh which come here often and once you reach the airport, you can hire a taxi to take you to Manali.
However, the best way to reach Manali is by road, either by bus or by car. If you’re coming from cities such as Delhi, Ambala, Chandigarh and Shimla, you will find the roads to be quite picturesque, offering stunning scenery. There are Volvo buses which make the journey comfortable and even luxurious. The other alternative is the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) buses which also ply between Delhi and Manali. However, do remember that it takes around 12 hours to travel from Delhi to Manali and it’s a good idea to opt for an overnight bus.
Manali is blessed with good weather and several beautiful places to see. Mist-wrapped mountains, enchanting forests and crisp fresh air complete the picture, making it one of the most visited tourist destinations in the area. Coupled with its adventure activities that are quite exhilarating, people find the town to be quite irresistible. Here are some of the places you should visit when you are in Manali.
The beautiful Hadimba Temple has a unique pagoda shape and has carved wooden doors and a tower that is 79 feet resting above it. The temple is in the midst of pine and cedar trees, making for a magical atmosphere. It is dedicated to Hadimba, Bhima’s wife and her effigy is made with brass. It is certainly one of the topmost places visited by those who come to Manali.
Nehru Kund A natural spring which yields cold water coming from Bhrigu Lake at a height of 4300 metres, Nehru Kund got its name after the prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who made it a point to drink water from here whenever he came to Manali. It’s a quiet and serene spot, surrounded by soaring mountains and verdant trees all around it and there’s a sense of peace here.
There’s something quite mesmerising about a waterfall and this is even more so at Manali’s Jogini Falls. Surrounded by nature, and the loud roar of water as it falls from a height, you will feel like you have been transported into a magical world of sorts. The waterfall with its cool spray and the wonderful views here make it a perfect spot to enjoy a quiet afternoon. If you plan to come here, do make sure you stick to the regular trek path.
There are quite a few Tibetans living in Manali and the Tibetan monasteries or Gompas are splendid. Do try to visit the Himalayan Nyingmapa Gompa and Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa as they are serene and beautiful. Another positive aspect of visiting these gompas is that you can see plenty of Tibetan art and craft. It’s also possible to buy some of this art and craft here.
Manali Wildlife Sanctuary
If you love nature and especially wildlife, you will simply fall in love with the Manali Wildlife Sanctuary which is blessed with numerous wild animals and even rare birds. If you’re lucky, you can see animals such as snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear and ibex herds. You can try your hand at camping or even trekking in the sanctuary.
A popular spot among visitors in Manali is the Arjuna Gufa which is 12 kms away from the town. Many tourists come here to meditate and since it has a connection to Lord Shiva, it holds a lot of religious value as well. Arjuna, the Pandava prince had come to this cave to meditate and he received powers from Lord Shiva which made him Pashupatiastra. Due to this mythological connection, many people come here as there’s a temple also nearby.
Food in Manali As befits a popular hill station, the food trail in Manali ensures that there’s something for everyone’s tastes here. Whether you’re craving spicy momos or north Indian dishes like shahi paneer, you can be sure to get it here. But of course, the best is reserved for street food like chaats that you will definitely relish here. Even so, there are some local Himachali dishes that you must try when you visit Manali.
Khatta Don’t miss out on this tasty, tangy treat where pumpkin is prepared with dried mango powder and served with boondi. It’s lip smacking and it’s delicious and most likely to be available in any local restaurant that serves Himachali food.
Sidu Sidu is a form of bread or roti that is used to eat with mutton and other non-veg curries. The dough has yeast in it which causes it to rise and this is then partially cooked and steamed. This gives it an added texture which makes it perfect to soak up all the curry.
If you love desserts, you will love patande which are like crepes. They are prepared with wheat flour, milk and sugar and often eaten in the morning for breakfast.
Things to Do in Manali
People come to Manali throughout the year for various reasons. Whether it’s for the summer adventure activities or the various sightseeing attractions and the many gompas to visit, there are plenty of things to do in Manali. Don’t be surprised to see all kinds of people here, from honeymooners to youngsters who want to try their hand at the various adventure activities. Here are some of the amazing things to do in Manali.
Indulge in your love for adventure sports
If you love adventure sports, you will love Manali. Paragliding is exciting and gives an adrenaline rush like no other and you can enjoy this in Solang Valley where you can see the world glide past you. In winter, there’s skiing to be done here and the slopes are just right. Other activities that are famous here are river rafting on the Beas which can be quite thrilling.
Marvel at the wild animals in the Manali Wildlife Sanctuary
A forest replete with lush and fragrant deodar, horse chestnut and maple trees, surrounded by beautiful hills are some of the sights that you can see in the Manali Wildlife Sanctuary. The animals here will also steal your heart, especially rarities such as Ibex herds which usually prefer to stay secluded in the snow laden areas. Other animals you can see here are musk deer and Monal. You can also camp here in the sanctuary and experience the joy of the outdoors like never before.
Enjoy the thrilling waterfalls
Manali is known for some beautiful waterfalls which add to the charm and lure of the town. Jogini Falls can be found near Vashisht temple, so if you’re visiting the temple, do check out the glorious waterfall too. There’s a shrine below it and thus, it’s a sacred site. Another such place not to be missed is the Rahala Waterfalls which is quite spectacular as it is surrounded by snow laden mountains. The waters here are naturally very cold and icy as they have been fed by the melting glaciers.
Stroll through the Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art
If you are into all things cultural, you will enjoy strolling through the Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art. Here, you can get an idea about the traditions that make Manali what it is. You can come across antiques, weapons and even interesting scale models of temples and forts here. The museum itself is quite beautiful and will entrance you even if you’re not much into history. Nevertheless, you’ll be surprised at how much you can learn about traditional Himachali culture with a single visit to this museum.
Pay your respects at the temples
Manali has quite a few temples and it’s a huge draw for those who like to combine a bit of spiritual learning along with their tourism. In Doongri Forest, you can visit the Hadimba Devi temple which is dedicated to Bhim’s wife. The Manu temple dedicated to Lord Manu is also quite excellent and is very peaceful and calm. You can also visit the Maa Sharvari Temple which is on the outskirts of Manali. It houses the idol of Kuldevi.
Meditate in the Arjuna Gufa
Mythological connections to the Arjuna Gufa make it quite fascinating. It is said that this is the cave where Arjuna of the Pandavas came to meditate and Lord Shiva granted him the powers of Pashupati. This is a quiet and serene spot, perfect for some meditation and getting joy from nature’s beauty. When you look out, you can see the gorgeous mountains around you and it does feel quite divine.