Manali, at the northern end of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, is a hill station situated at a height of 2050m (6398 ft) in the Himalayas. Situated on the Beas river and near its source, it is a popular tourist spot for Indians in summer and a magical, snow-covered place in winter. Considered the twin town of Kullu, Manali’s scenic beauty, history and culture give it the sobriquet of the Valley of the Gods. When hippies flocked the city in the ’60s and ’70s in pursuit of their utopian dream, Manali became very popular in the west.
Popular places to visit in Manali:
Solang Valley, is renowned as the preferred location for adventure activities in Himachal Pradesh. For those who love the rush of adrenaline; there is no place better than Solang in Kullu Valley to indulge in parachuting, paragliding, skating and zorbing. Solang is not just about adventure activities. Its lush greenery, apple orchards, snowcapped peaks and lakes attracts lakhs of visitors from India and abroad every year. The state-of-the-art ropeway is a favourite with the tourists and a convenient way to view Solang.
This 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.
It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, who was a character in the Indian epic, Mahābhārata. The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest at the foot of the Himālayas. The sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground, which was worshiped as an image of the deity.
Vashist Hot Water Springs
The place lies at a distance of 4-5 kilometers from Manali and is situated across the Beas River. The village of Vashist is famous for its sulphurous Hot Water Springs and is a popular attraction among tourist and pilgrims. The springs can also be enjoyed in privacy at the Turkish-styles bath houses which are available here. The village is also famous for its stone temples which are dedicated to a local saint Vasistha.
An important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Sikhs, Manikaran is a place associated with many tales and legends. Many visitors coming to Kullu Manali make it a point to stay here for a day to visit the pilgrim centers, hot springs and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. An experimental geothermal energy plant is also here.