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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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.