Places to visit in Manali are diverse in nature and vary from high-altitude mountain bypasses and scenic waterfalls to places that are famous for their cultural relevance. Read on to find about the top visited places in Manali and include them in your holiday itinerary. For more details and more holiday ideas, contact our holiday experts.
One of the most visited places to visit in Manali, the Solang Valley is the adventure capital of the region. This valley is so renowned as a adventure tourist destination that each and every holiday tour to Manali dedicates at least one whole day to it.
In Solang Valley, you can enjoy extreme adventure sports such as para-gliding as well as mid-level adventure sports such as Zorbing and quad biking. In winters, one can enjoy skiing and snow-mobiling!
Mild adventure activities such as horse riding and camping are also available.
What makes Solang Valley such a famous place to visit in Manali is that it falls on the route from Manali to Rohtang Pass, so a trip to both can be combined. Furthermore, even if the road to Rohtang Pass is blocked due to inclement weather, you can still enjoy yourself in Solang Valley.
A high-altitude pass accessed with one of the most scenic roadways of the region, Rohtang Pass holds an allure for one and all. It is that one place in the region, where you can encounter snow even in the middle of May – a peak summer month for India.
It is for this reason that Rohtang Pass surpasses Solang Valley in popularity as one of the top places to visit in Manali. At the same time, due to its unpredictable weather conditions, a trip to Rohtang Pass can be cut short any time. The pass is open to tourists and vehicles only when the weather is clear, else it is stopped at Solang Valley or the Snowline.
Trips can be cancelled at any time – hence every itinerary of holiday tours in Manali list Rohtang Pass as a place to visit, but also list a disclaimer stating that the tour can be held only if the weather is clear.
Once at Rohtang Pass, enjoy playing with the snow (if it is there), enjoy the spectacular views of the snow-covered peaks all around, and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
Nestled within a cedar forest, with tall towering trees all around, the Hadimba Temple of Manali, Himachal Pradesh is a 16th Century wooden temple dedicated to the local deity Hadimba. Its location as well as importance to the people of Manali make the Hadimba Temple one of the top places to visit in Manali.
The local folk of Manali worship Hadimba Devi, especially during Navratri. Goddess Durga is not worshipped here.
The temple in itself was built by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in 1553 AD and provided sanctuary to the rock that was worshipped as Hadimba Devi. The rock jutting out of the ground is enormous and atop it is a 3-inch idol of Hadimba Devi. The temple also has a noose in front of the rock, which was used by religious zealots to punish sinners.
The temple is unique in its architecture with tiered wooden roofs, a conical metal roof right at the top, and a heavily-ornamented wooden door frame. A visit to the temple leaves one with a feeing of peace and serenity, both due to the reverence in which its held and for its location in the middle of nature’s best treasures – a wooded forest.
Almost all guided tours of Manali include the Hadimba Temple as one of the places to visit in Manali.
Vashisht Temple & Baths
Named after the sage Vashisht of Ramayana fame, the Vashisht Temple and Baths offers a spiritualistic as well as healing experience for all its believers. Located just 3 km from new Manali, the Vashisht Village is home to both these attractions and many tourists to Manali throng to this place.
The baths offer separate bathing tanks for men and women. The water comes from natural hot springs and its sulphurous properties give it natural healing powers. Many people come here to bathe in these hot water springs and pray at the many old temples of Old Manali.
The bath’s location close to Manali further makes it one of the more popular places to visit in Manali for tourists and locals alike. Only tourists on long holidays visit Manikaran, another hot spring spot further away.
The surrounding market place has also become quite a popular attraction for its unique artefacts and other products. Do remember to haggle and bargain hard – start at half-the price originally quoted by the shopkeeper, else you might end up being fleeced.
One of the famous waterfalls of Manali and a top place to visit, the Jogini Waterfalls offers one of the best experiences of nature. Rushing from high above and cascading down the mountain, the water fall forms a small pool before continuing on its path down.
Most of the tourists holidaying in Manali for more than a weekend, do spend a day exploring this region. A visit to the Jogini Waterfalls can be clubbed with a visit to the Vashisht Temple, as the Vashisht temple and bath fall en-route to the Jogini Waterfalls.
Trek through apple orchards and pine forests to the Jogini Waterfall – for a true in-nature’s-lap experience. Enjoy splashing around in the natural pool formed by the waterfall and enjoy the mist spraying your face.
Multiple restaurants en-route and near the waterfall serve the famed hot maggi and tea for the hunger pangs that immediately strike you following the trek and water fall fun.
Both the Jogini Waterfalls and the Vashisht Temple and Bath are top places to visit in Manali. The Jogini Mata Temple at the base of the waterfall can also be visited.
Did you know that Indian legends have their own Noah of Ark? According to Indian legends, our own Noah of Ark was a King – King Manu who was directed by Lord Vishnu to build a boat big enough to save nine seeds, animals, birds and humans to repopulate the earth following an all-destructive deluge. The deluge was predicted by Lord Vishnu.
Following the deluge, the King Manu worshipped and meditated in the very hills, where Manali is located. The Manu Temple is built on the very spot where the king meditated – the region surrounding it came to be known as Manali – the abode of Manu.
The Manu temple is the only temple dedicated to the saviour of mankind and for this very reason, this temple has become one of the most important places to visit in Manali. Almost all tourists visiting Manali do visit the Manu temple during their holidays.
Like all the temples in the region, the Manu Temple is wooden with intricate carvings, multiple-tiered roofs and a view that will enchant your very soul.
Himalayan Nyinmapa Tibetan Buddhist Monastery
An abode of peace and serenity, the Himalayan Nyinmapa Tibetan Buddhist Monastery offers a welcome break from the crowds of Manali. Located minutes away from the Hadimba Devi Temple and the crazy crowds of the Manali Mall Road, the monastery is where you can take a breather, while enjoying the quite and solitude.
Enjoy the artwork covering the walls and marvel at the unique thankas, pray with the prayer wheels, and contemplate on the statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. You can even shop for thankas, prayer flags and more at the shops outside the monastery.
A visit to the Hadimba Devi Temple, Himalayan Nyinmapa Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, and the Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art – three of the most unique places to visit in Manali can be combined.
Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art
Children and anyone interested in the ancient culture and customs of Himachali folk will find the Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art to be a Godsend and a place that must be added to their list of places to visit in Manali. The museum has kept alive ancient customs and way of life of Himachali folk with its extensive collection of artefacts curated from across the ages.
Here, you can find ancient musical instruments, traditional dresses, utensils and other artefacts that are barely seen or used in the contemporary age. Manali like most of the hill stations across North India has become commercialized, its way of life has changed and contemporary luxuries adopted. Ancient traditions have been forgotten – the museum is keeping it alive for the generations to come.
Models of temples, old houses and forts can also be seen here.
The Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art can be visited along with the Hadimba Temple, another great place to visit in Manali.
In addition to these places to visit in Manali, there are many more secluded places, water falls, picnic spots and viewing points. All you need to do is plan a holiday tour in Manali and get exploring.
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