Manali – The mountains are calling

Where snow meets spirituality and sport. Where mountains meet museums and monuments. Where valleys meet vibrant artefacts. Where flora meets food and festivities. Manali is a hot pot of steaming ingredients. A symphony of glorious notes. A travel destination that will entice, thrill and woo you. So, buckle up. The frills of the hills await you.

Manali Tourism: A Quick View of the City
State Himachal Pradesh
Official Language Hindi
Dial Code 1901
Population 8,096 (as of 2011)
Currency Indian Rupee (INR)
Time Zone UTC+05:30 (IST)
Area 2,050 metres 

Highlights of Manali: Exploration of the hills

Places of Worship

Hadimba Devi Temple is obscured by gorgeous cedar forests and the snow studded hills that watch over ominously. An aura of mysticism envelopes this sacred shrine, built entirely from rock and stone. Dedicated to the demon Goddess Hadimba, who was the wife of Mahabharata’s Bhima, the revered temple attracts pilgrims from all over. It’s 3-tiered pagoda, conical roof and wooden doorway will remind you of Japanese architecture. A sacred tree lies 200 metres south of the temple, which is a manifestation of their son Gatothkach.

Located in Old Manali is the quaint and delightful Manu Temple, dedicated to Saint Manu. With the gentle ripples of River Beas and the magnificent mountains and valleys surrounding it, the temple commands a serene atmosphere.

Himalayan Nyingmapa Tibetan is one of the most renowned Buddhist monasteries in North India. And for good reason too! Everything, from its façade to its neighbouring scenery, exudes tranquillity. You will find the idol of Sakyamuni sitting in a meditative posture, one of the most special features. Colourful artwork adorns the walls, an exquisite contrast against nature’s hues.

Nature and Recreation

A mere 14 km away from Manali, at the top of Kullu Valley, is the thrilling and breath-taking Solang Valley. Conducive for summer and winter sports, you will be spoilt for choice. Giant slopes of lawn encompass this region. The 360-degree panorama of the majestic mountains creates the perfect setting for adventure. Depending on the season, you can go skiing, parachuting, paragliding, skating and zorbing.

Parvati Valley lies within the confluence of Parvati River and River Beas. Deemed as the Amsterdam of India, you will be acquainted with postcard landscapes, chilly mountain air and delectable Israeli food. This region is famous for its wonderful treks where you can explore Kasol and Manikaran.

Rohtang Pass lies 51 km from Manali, connecting Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys. There is so much beauty over here, for you to explore! visit Nehru Kund, Vashisht Hot Springs, Marhi and Gulaba.


Manali Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of exotic reptiles, birds and mammals. There is also an abundance of rich vegetation and flora for you to marvel at and learn about. With meandering trekking routes and camping facilities, the park is a travel oasis.

If you're traveling with children, HPTDC Club House is the place to be. Equipped with a roller-skating rink, library, billiards room, bar and restaurant, there are ample of opportunities to have fun. You can even ride on swan shaped paddle boats!

Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art might seem a little dusty and forgotten, but its collection of traditional textiles, musical instruments, utensils and wood carvings are fascinating to glimpse. The highlight of this place is undoubtedly its expressive masks and the process of mask preservation.


For authentic Himachali food, that is plated with care, head on over to Vibes. From the ambience, to the seating, everything reflects traditional and quintessential Himachal culture. With live music, and a delicious menu, this eatery should be placed very high on your food list! We recommend that you pre order the Lingdi and Patrodu, both are scrumptious vegetarian delicacies. You can choose from a range of succulent meats too. Don’t forget to top it off with some Tibetan Butter Tea!

If you’re craving something global, try Casa Bella Vista. It offers Spanish and Italian cuisine that is pretty darn tasty! Enjoy the gorgeous oven pizzas with the thin crust. Try and get seated in the enchanting little pine garden.


Interesting facts about Manali: Secrets rarely spoken

  • The iconic destination of Rohtang roughly translates to heap of dead bodies.
  • Most of the locals in this region own an apple orchard or at least an apple tree in their backyard.
  • The sacred Vashisht Temple is more than 4,000 years old.
  • The hot water springs in Manikaran are sometimes used to boil pulses and rice. 


Location: Caressed by nature

An idyllic resort town cradled in the vast mountains of Himachal Pradesh, Manali is situated near the northern end of the Kullu Valley, within the Beas River Valley. More accurately, it lies within the Kullu district. Approximately 270 km north of Shimla, 309 km northeast of Chandigarh and 544 km northeast of Delhi. The town serves as a gateway to Lahaul, Spiti district as well as Leh.

Click here to view Manali on Google Map


Timings: Best time to visit

Manali is beautiful throughout the year, however certain seasons can prove to be extremely harsh in its weather. For instance, the winters. From December to March, Manali is blanketed in quilts of snow. Although this is a wonderful time for adventure seekers and photographers, for some people it may prove to be unconducive. The gorgeous landscapes can be difficult to traverse, and temperatures drop to minus degrees. The monsoon season paints Manali with lovely showers, making everything lusher. However, there is a risk of landslides. As such, the best time to visit would be in the summer. Temperatures range from 10 to 25 degrees; flowers are in full bloom and the sky is clear.


How to get to Manali: Journey of a lifetime

By Road - If you choose to go by road, know that the drive to Manali is splendid. It is advisable to opt for a taxi instead of self-driving as the mountainous region can be treacherous. You can also avail of the bus service. The town is well connected to Leh, Shimla, Kullu, Dharamshala and Delhi via state and private buses. Note - book the air-conditioned Volvo coaches.

By Air - Kullu Manali Airport is located in Bhuntar, 50km away from Manali. It offers flights to and from Chandigarh and Delhi. So, if you’re looking to take a flight, hop onto one from these two well connected cities. Once at the airport, you can book a prepaid taxi to Manali. However, due to the unpredictable weather, air travel is not the most reliable option.


History: Timeless tales

Manali’s history is entwined in mythical fables and legends. It is believed that the saint/sage/Sanatan Hindu law maker Manu stepped of his arc and landed in Manali, after the world had been destroyed in a massive flood. He recreated life and then proceeded to call this region his home. Manu-alaya means the home of Manu and Kullu Valley is referred to as the valley of Gods. A more factual version of history dates back to the British colonisation of India. Manali was deemed as a stunning summer resort and an escape from the blistering heat of the northern plains.

Language Spoken


Currency used:

Indian Rupee (INR)

MAR-JUN 10-35oC
JUL-SEP 10-17oC

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Manali Tourism Guide

Manali in Himachal Pradesh is a quaint resort town sitting snug in the mountains near the Beas River. Known as a backpacking destination, Manali attracts visitors looking for an adrenaline rush. And with its varied adventure options, Manali never fails to deliver. Its natural beauty and the many religious spots add to the charm and allure of this hill station.


Location of Manali 

The town of Manali is at the Northern end of the Kulu valley, at an elevation of 2,050 metres, making it the perfect destination in summer as well as in winter.

Best Time to Visit Manali 

October to February is winter in Manali and the best time to visit if you wish to enjoy the snow and other snow activities. Summer starts from March and lasts well until June. April to June is warmer and the best time to plan your trip to Manali. 3-4 days are more than enough, but we are sure the beauty and charm of the place will make you want to stay back a little longer.


History of Manali: Tracing its origins 

Manali has quite the fabled past. The name translates to ‘Valley of Gods’ and stories abound that the great sage Manu stepped off his ark after the great world flooding and recreated mankind. Manali is said to be the modified name ‘Manu Alaya’ which means home of Manu. Real world history traces Manali’s rise to fame to the British who recognized the hill station as the perfect summer resort to escape the scorching heat of the northern plains.


Things to See and Do in Manali 

Manali has something for everyone – stunning natural vistas, beautiful religious sites and a buzzing adventure scene. This rugged hill station appeals to all travelers, and with so much to do and see, it is a travel-extensive destination. Are you ready to begin your journey?


History and heritage: 

Manali will awaken the peace seeker within you. Head over to the many ancient temples and sacred monasteries that dot the town. These places of religious significance will not only offer you spiritual guidance, but the majestic structures will leave you spellbound. When in Manali, do visit the Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Manikaran Gurudwara and the many mystic monasteries. Many of these monuments date back 100s of years and have been left untouched in all their ancient wooden glory. The museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art will showcase the rich Himachal traditions and arts from centuries ago. Clothing, jewellery, utensils and even weapons from centuries ago are on display here. You can also take a walk into the Himachal countryside for an idea of how the locals live. A stroll in nearby villages, like Vashisht, Malana and Kothi, will show you rural India like never before. Understand first-hand how the people from the mountains get by in their day to day lives with ease, having learned to co-exist with the slopes for generations.


Nature beckons of Manali: 

From gushing waterfalls and lush wildlife sanctuaries, to medicinal hot springs and sulfur baths, Manali gives you nature on a platter. Soak in the soothing sounds of the cascading waters of the Jogini Falls, Zana Falls and Rahal Falls while you picnic alongside. The relaxing sounds of the water will wash away all fatigue and the accumulated stress of daily life.

The Manali Wildlife Sanctuary takes you through lush green forests and offers vistas of snow-capped mountains. You will be mesmerized by the exotic birds, beautiful flora, and majestic animals that the sanctuary contains. Keep your camera ready, for you never know when one of these magnificent creatures will reveal themselves to you.

The hot water springs near Vashisht village and the sulfur water baths at Manikaran Gurudwara are believed to have healing properties. Dip in and enjoy an experience of a lifetime in these soothing waters.

You can also meditate and relax at the Arjun Gufa, a relatively unknown part of Manali. Allow the silence to envelop you and unwind from the hustle of daily city life while you explore this beautiful place. Since it is unknown, not many tourists throng the place letting you enjoy the stillness all by yourself.


Adventure sports in Manali:

Manali is an adrenalin junkie’s dream destination, offering a wide range of heart-racing activities at Solang Valley, Beas River and Rohtang Pass. From trekking and camping, skiing and cycling, to bike riding, white water rafting, paragliding and zorbing too, there are numerous adventures that you can indulge in. The activities are at various experience levels, making sure there is something for everyone in the group. Make a trip to the adventure sports centre’s headquarters at Aleo, barely 3kms from Manali to figure out what all you want to experience while at Manali.


How to Reach Manali 


By Air:

The closest airport to Manali is at Bhuntar, about 50 kilometres away.


By Road:

Manali is a very well-connected hill station. Travelers can hop into state-run buses from New Delhi, Shimla, Kullu, Leh, and Dharamshala. If you wish, you can also hire a taxi at a reasonable fare.

By train:

The closest broad-gauge railway station is Ambala Cantt or Chandigarh from New Delhi. You will need to take a bus or cab from either of these two destinations.

Getting around Manali 


By car:

The best way to see Manali is with a private vehicle. If you’ve driven down, then you have your own car at your disposal to go as you please. Many tourists hire taxis for their travel needs. You can book them per day (at approx. Rs 1800) or for 3 days in a row (about Rs 3000 during the peak season). Off season charges are lower and you can also bargain.


By bike:

The next best way to move about is on a motorbike. There are several places that rent out bikes by the day. Rates are a bit steep at Rs 1000-1500, but these are much lower in the off-peak season and you can always bargain.


Local buses: 

There are quite a few local buses. Services come cheap but the frequency and overall experience is not always that good. If you plan to stay for a long time, you can find out the timings and use this transport to plan your day.



You could consider taking an autorickshaw for shorter distances. The rates are much higher than local transport and the driver could charge you extra if you show that you do not know your way around.


About Manali

Manali has been a favourite tourist destination for a long time now. Families, youngsters, honeymooners as well as retired groups are drawn to the charm and beauty of this hill station.

Whether you are interested in its natural beauty or have a religious bent of mind, Manali will not disappoint. The best way to see all that the place has to offer is to opt for a Manali tourism package that will showcase the best there is to see and experience 

Pick the season that you love best and allow Manali to reveal its beauty to you.


Interesting facts about Manali

You can do a short 2-minute paragliding ride, and if that whets your appetite for more, you can go for the longer 10-minute one.

Manali’s favorite and most famous restaurant, Kwality Sher-e-Punjab, will make the foodie in you very happy indeed. Delicious food, unbeatable hospitality, and quick service are the hallmarks of this loved destination.

Manali offers you the global village experience – riverside cafes and hotels offer you foods from all over the world, at reasonable prices.

Best time to visit Manali

Although Manali has a pleasant temperature throughout the year, for the ones who want to experience the snowy landscape of Manali, the best time to visit Manali is said to be around mid-December to January. During this time, the mountains and landscape of Manali get covered in a thick sheet of snow. A number of recreational activities also take place during these months like skiing, snowboarding and even mountaineering expeditions. Our Manali tour package offers a number of activities. You can also opt for a regular Manali tour, as per your convenience.

We here at Thomas Cook offer a number of additional services, including flight booking aid. One can easily customize their Manali tour package, making it convenient for the tourist. There are several Manali tours available for the tourist to choose from, making them customizable as well.

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