An incredibly stunning hill station nestled in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh neighbouring Kullu Valley’s northern end is called Manali. And in its 600 km radius lie Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla. The 2050 meters high Manali spreads along the banks of the river Beas.
Manali is famous as a Honeymoon destination among Indian tourists. Manali is also famous for adventure sports like skiing, hiking, mountaineering, Paragliding, rafting, kayaking, and mountain biking. Paragliding in Manali is an unforgettable experience. Most of the adventure sports are conducted during June to September period. September to March is the best time to visit Manali.
There are two festivals which are celebrated passionately and exquisitely in Manali, they are Dessehra and Hidimba Devi Festival (in May). Spring festival (28-30th Apr), also known as Basantotsava or Pipal Jatra is also a colourful event celebrated here. Baisakhi is Himachal’s most important harvest festival celebrated with fun and devotion. Doongri Forest festival (May/June) is the basis festival of Manali organized by the women folks.
With the peak season being April to May, the weather in Manali is more than pleasant, 12 degrees to 25 degree Celsius in summers and negative 5 degrees to 10 degrees in the winters.
Here are a few places that should be visited in and around Manali,
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If you walk 2 km from the Manali Bus Stand, there lies the Hidimba Devi Temple which is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimba Devi. Located in the middle of dense forest Called Dhungri Van Vihar and from the name of the forest only the temple drives its name. Hidimba Devi Temple was built in 1553 by Raja Bahadur Singh.
The temple is dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, sister of Hidimba and wife of Bhima, one of the Pandavas from Mahabharata epic. According to the legend, the Pandavas stayed in Himachal during their exile. One of the brothers Bhima fell in love with Hidimbi, the sister of the ruler Hidimba. Bhima and Hidimbi had a son but when Bhima and the Pandavas returned from exile she stayed back and performance penance and attained the status of goddess.
Jogini Falls is a beautiful waterfall situated near Vashisht Village in Himachal Pradesh. The fall is formed by a stream which is merged in to Beas River in the downstream. The waterfall can be reached by trekking from Vashisht Temple. It is among popular places to visit in Manali and also one of the famous Places to visit in Himachal.
Jogini Falls is situated on the Northern edge of Vashisht Village & mark the village boundary. The waterfall cascades down from a height of around 150 feet through multiple levels. There is a small pool at the base formed by the fall and visitors can take a plunge in the water and spend some time. The flow of the water is heaving in monsoons and suggested not to adventure into the water during this time. Jogini mata temple is at the base of the waterfall. It is a sacred site to the surrounding villages.
Solang Valley is situated between Solang village and Beas Kund. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains and glaciers. It lies at a height of 8500 ft. above the sea level and covered with green dense forests.
Solang Valley has fine ski slopes. The Mountaineering Institute of Manali has installed a ski lift for training purpose. The Directorate of Mountaineering & Allied Sports in Manali also organizes basic, advance and intermediate level courses in skiing.
Raison: River Rafting near Kullu
At a distance of 13.5 km from Kullu, 14 km from Naggar and 27 km from Manali, Raison is a small cluster of villages on the banks of Beas River which has vast camping grounds maintained by Himachal Pradesh Tourism. It is one of the top adventure destination in Himachal and also a top rafting destination in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Rafting in Raison is one of the top things to do in Kullu & Manali.
Situated at an altitude of 1433 m, Raison is well known for its camping sites and white-water river rafting. Numerous apple orchards and fruit gardens of plums and apricots add to the natural beauty of the place. Apart from the nature, Raison is famous for adventure activities like rafting, trekking, mountain climbing and river crossing etc.
At a distance of 52 km from Manali Bus Stand, 43 km from Solang Valley and 16.5 km from Marhi, The Rohtang Pass is located on Manali – Leh Highway (NH-21) at an altitude of 4111 m (13,400 ft.). It is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Manali and also one of the top Himachal tourist places. It is the best place to experience snow in summer season and famous place for adventure sports in Himachal state.
Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Pangal Range of the Himalayas. It is a gateway to Lahaul, Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley just as Zojila pass is a gateway to Ladakh. There is a beautiful sight of glaciers, peaks and Chandra River flows down in the Lahaul valley. The pass is on the watershed between the water basins of the Chenab River and the Beas River. The word ‘Rohtang’ is literary means ‘pile of corpses’.