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Manali

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Himachal Pradesh : Manali
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Manali [1] is a city in the Kullu Valley.

While many Indian friends told us of Manali's beauty, and what a popular honeymoon spot it was, Manali in winter is really a magic..with snow all around its really a paradise for honeymooners.

Get in

Manali is about 550km from Delhi, the capital of India, and there are buses connecting the town with Delhi, Shimla, Dharamsala and Leh.

Nearest Broad Gauge Rail Head is Ambala (200 Kms) or Chandigarh (250 Kms)from Indian Capital New Delhi. All trains heading Towards Amritsar and jammu are having stopage at Ambala Cantt. more information regarding trains with their schedule timings can be seen at http://www.indianrail.gov.in/ (Official web site of Indian Railways). Also the tickets can be booked online at http://www.irctc.co.in

Buses Information can be had from http://himachal.nic.in/hrtc/ (official web site of Himachal Road Corporation). The buses can also be booked from New Delhi to Manali at Inter State Bus Terminus and also at the Himachal Tourism office at Safdar Hashmi Marg near Mandi House in New Delhi.

Get around

  • Volvo Buses are available from Delhi only There are deluxe buses available from Dharamshala, Shimla, Chandigarh and Jammu to Manali Bus Stand. Book the Volvo buses 5 days in advance if you are traveling on a weekend or 2 days in advance if you are traveling on a weekday except April to June as these are the time of peak season in Manali.

One can also drive down with a hired taxi or a private vehicle but drivers with experience are preferable as driving in hilly regions is quite a task. Normal taxi fare for India with commercial vehicles is Rs 5/- per K.M.

  • By air one can land at Palam Domestic airport in Kullu and then drive to Manali by shared taxis or private vehicle.Air Deccan [2] and Jagson Airlines [3] operate the flights from Delhi to Kullu.
  • Nearest railway station is at Jogindernagar but advisable stations for coming to Manali are Delhi/Ambala/Kalka.

See

View from Rohtang Pass toward Manali
  • Rohtang Pass, at an altitude of 13,050 feet above sea level, is another adventure tourist site where it can be cold even on a summer day. It is the highest point on the Manali-Keylong road and provides a wide panoramic view of mountains rising far above clouds, which is truly breath taking. Close by is a small lake called Dassaur Lake. Beas Kund, the source of river Beas, is also nearby. In winter, the road of Rothang Pass is closed.
  • Rahala waterfalls: About 16 km from Manali at the start of the climb to the Rohtang Pass, are the beautiful Rahalla Falls at an altitude of 2,501 m.
  • Monasteries: Manali is known for its shiny gompas or Buddhist monasteries. It is maintained by donations from the local community and by sale of hand-woven carpets in the temple workshop.
  • At a distance of 3 km northwest of Manali is Old Manali, famous for its orchards and old guesthouses. There is ruined fort here by the name of Manaligarh. There is also the Manu Maharishi Temple, dedicated to sage Manu.
  • Vashist Hot Water Springs and Temple: Around 3 km from Manali, across the Beas river is Vashist, a small village with natural sulphur springs. Modern bathhouses, with Turkish-style showers, have the hot water piped into them for the convenience of the visitors who come here to benefit from the medicinal properties. Vaishisht, also boasts a pair of old stone temples, opposite each other above the main square. Dedicated to the local patron saint Vashista, the smaller of the two opens on to a partially covered courtyard, and is adorned with elaborate woodcarvings. Those lining the interior of the shrine, blackened by years of oil-lamp and incense smoke, are particularly fine. The temple tanks are underground hot-water/sulfur springs.
  • Solang Valley, popularly known as Snow Point, is 13 km northwest of Manali and famous for its 300-meter ski lift. It is a picturesque spot and offers splendid views of glaciers and the snow-capped mountains. Jagatsukh, the former capital of Manali, is also an important spot.
  • One can visit famous Hadimba Temple.
  • Fun park near Hadimba Temple
  • Old Manali is an impressive array of wonderful, old wooden houses and happy smiling faces appearing from windows and over garden fences.
  • There are some interesting temples of Tibetan Buddhist lineages located between old and new Manali.

Naggar Castle and Art gallery is another place to see and so as beautiful Log Hut Area and club house. In fact both this places especially log hut area has some good hotels to stay as well

Do

  • Get your photos clicked with either rabbits or yaks. It will cost about 10-20 rupees (0.5$) for a single photo.
  • One can also enjoy paddle boating in a fun park near Hadimba temple.
  • River rafting , skiing, paragliding, trekking, snow scootering, and river crossing are some of good adventure sports to go for

Please never buy Kesar(saffron) or any other herbal stuff as all those who claim big things are actually thugs waiting to cheat you of your money. Food is usually good, most accommodation is clean, and people are trustworthy, but please do use caution, as in any other place.

Buy

Keychains, Name plates, etc which are customized to ones own message are worth buying as mementos. Also one can get his name carved/written on a single grain of rice. One can also visit manali market to buy woolen stuff like sweaters, pull overs, shawls, blankets etc

Eat

Manali market is key place for eatables. Right from chat to Indian (veg/nonveg) to international cuisine like Italian/Chinese are available in the main market which is just opposite the Manali Bus stand. The mall road has a variety of eating options ranging from stalls and dhabas to fancy restaurants. Deeper into the lanes of the town, one can find more local eating places, catering to special tastes and habits ranging from Tibetan food, to Vaishnavi Dhabhas. You are sure to find something without hunting around too much.

Very recommended places are:

  • Chopsticks (opposite the bus stand).
  • Mayur Restaurant (in a lane opposite the upper end of the bus stand).
  • Vaishnao dhaba (in the market adjacent to the bus stand).
  • Valley View Restaurant at Snow Valley Resorts (known for beautiful view and good homely buffet food).

Drink

There's plenty to drink in Manali. For starters, the abundant supply of spring water every where is delicious in itself and can be drunk all day. One thing that you should search for is fresh squeezed apple juice.

The locals drink two kinds of alcoholic beverages: Lugdi (plains) or Chang (Himalayan), a kind of crude beer made from fermented rice or barley and Sharab (plains) or Arak (Himalayan), an alcoholic drink distilled from Lugdi/chang. Arak can also be made from jaggery or apples or any other fruit.

It might be an interesting experience to visit a local home when the ladies make arak (quite regularly). You can sit in the fields where the ladies make it, have hot water from the distilling to wash with and "test" the product at frequent intervals.

Because there are apple orchards all around Manali, apple cider is available in plenty. Besides this, there is plenty of other alcohol available in bars, larger restaurants and the larger hotels.

Purchased liquor has high taxes levied in this state.

Sleep

They say that the area around Manali has more accommodations available than Delhi itself. You wouldn't believe it if you saw the summer months. Finding a room to stay in in May & June can still be a nightmare. A good option would be to head out of the main town toward Dhungri, Log Hut Area , Old Manali, or any direction that takes your fancy.

Budget

Mostly budget rates starts from Rs 750/- to Rs 1000/- in off season and Season these rooms can be had Rs 1500/- to Rs 2500/-. Season Time is 1st April to 15th July , in Oct During Dushera Festival, in November during diwali and Agian 25th December to 5th Jan. Rest Time is off season. Generally you can bargain 30% discount during the off season on room rent and packages offered are already discounted as per season which could be high season , mid season , low season etc

Mid range

  • Snow Valley Resorts, Log Hut Area. Tel:+91 1902 253-228, 253-027. E-mail: info@snowvalleyresorts.com [4] - 1690-3390rps, including breakfast.
  • Nature Notes Riverside Resort. A river-side resort that organizes activities such as trekking, yoga and rafting. Tel:+91 11 6457-9945. Mobile:+ 91 09899699991 [5]

Splurge

Get out

Travelling northward from Manali is the breathtaking region of Lahaul and Spiti across the Rohtang Pass. The "highway" crosses the pass and forks at Gramphoo (12km) the left one goes to Lahaul and is the Manali Leh highway and the road on the right leads to Spiti via Kunzum La. The Rohtang pass also marks the boundary between the fertile Kullu valley with its lush greenery and the sparse vegetation Lahaul and Spiti. The Ladakh, Zanskar and Changthang areas further on are even more barren.



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