40 kms. away from Kulu to the north, Manali is situated
near the end of the valley on the
Highway leading to Leh. The landscape here is breath taking. One
sees well-defined snow capped peaks, the Beas river with its clear
water meanders through the town. On the other side are deodar and
pine trees, tiny fields and fruit orchards. It is an excellent place
for a holiday, a favorite resort for trekkers to Lahaul, Spiti,
Kinnaur, Leh and Zanskar regions in Kashmir valley. It is known
as the SWITZERLAND OF INDIA.
Manali is Situated at the northen end of the Kullu Valley, Manali
has spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. The
Beas rushes along its rocky course amid grassy meadows carpeted
with wild flowers and wagtails hop along from stone to stone along
the stream's edge. There are marvellous walks too, through dappled
orchards and fairy-tale forests of deodar.
The Manali market is crowded with myriads of interesting shops selling
Tibetan carpets and crafts and the appetizing aroma of steaming
noodles hangs about the little restaurants. Manali, with its Mountaineering
Institute, is a popular base for trekking and mountaineering in
summer and skiing in winter. Interesting routes into the surrounding
valleys, over the high passes, are provided with tourist huts and
rest houses for trekking enthusiasts.
Place to See
This temple, with a finelywrought four - tiered
pagoda roof, dating back to 1553, is built around anatural cave,
which enshrines the footprints of the goddess Hadimba. Hadimbawas
the wife of Bhima, one of the five great Pandava brothers of theMahabharata,
and later became the patron goddess of the Kulu royal family.
Just near the Hadimba temple flows the Manalsu River,
thatculminates in the main Beas river. Across the Manalsu river
is the originalvillage of Manali, that houses the ancient temple
of the sage Manu. Manaliitself is named after Manu, who is said
to have dwelt here.
Rohtang Pass is 51 kms fromManali. Located at a height of 3980 m,
the Pass once served as
crucialtrade route, and still remains the gateway to the districts
of Lahaul andSpiti.The Pass is open from June to November each year,
and provideswonderful views of the entire surroundings. Just beyond
the Pass is theSonapani Glacier and the twin peak of Gaypan. The
Beas Kund, the source ofthe Beas river, a holy site for Hindus,
as the sage Vyas is said to havemeditated at this spot, is also
accessible from the Rohtang Pass
How to Reach
The nearest airport is at Bhuntar (50km).
The nearest narrow gauge railhead is atJogindernagar
(135 km). The nearest broad gauge raiheads are at Chandigarh(310
km), and Ambala (355 km).
The distance from Delhi via Mandi is585 km, and from
Simla the distance is 270 km. From Simla, Chandigarh andDelhi, luxury
buses run by Himachal Tourism regularly ply to Manali.