Manali is a top destination for tourist and weekend getaways. But once you get to Manali, then what?
Where do you go? What do you eat? What do you do there? Here is a short and simple guide to things
you can do in Manali.
One of the prime attractions of all temples in Manali, the Hadimba Temple is dedicated to the demon
wife of Bheem, one of the five Pandav brothers. Constructed mostly with wood and stone, it is situated
in a small clearing of cedar trees. During the month of May the place is flooded with stalls as part of the
Dhungri Mela festival. Ghatothkach, the warrior son of Hadimba and Bheem, is worshipped in the form
of a sacred tree near the temple.
Built in reverence to Sage Manu, this temple in Manali is a modern construction is situated near Old -
Manali and is said to be the only temple dedicated to the Sage. Manu is said to be the creator of the world
and is the author of the Manusmriti. This spot is said to be his seat of meditation after he stepped on earth.
The breathtaking scenery provided by the Beas River over here is an added attraction.
Famous for its sulphurous hot water springs, this temple in Manali is dedicated to a local saint named
Vashisht. The temple houses separate bathing areas where one can cleanse thoroughly before seeking
blessings at the temple. The water from the springs is said to have great healing powers, which can cure
many skin diseases and other infections.
European cuisine on offer here is purely indulgent. With specialities such as the lamb and mint gravy,
wood-oven-baked trout, and apple crumble with ice cream, the experience is best enjoyed at the garden
terrace. The Johnson Lodge next door practically spells comfort with its opulent rooms and top notch service.
As far as plush living and quality food are concerned, this is easily the safest bet.
If you’re in the mood for some top-notch Indian cuisine, head to Mayur located within the Mall Road
market. The restaurant serves both North Indian and South Indian dishes, and is also easy on the wallet.
The waiters’ uniforms are a simple touch but change the very aura of the set up.
Be sure to try out the Garlic Chicken, Fish in Coconut Milk, and Broccoli Cauliflower Cheese.
This rustic little cafe is located on the banks of the Manalsu river at the very start of Old Manali. Absolutely
every single dish served here is mouth wateringly delicious. Surrounded by pine trees and with the river
flowing next to it, the cafe provides beautifully picturesque views and should possibly be counted as a spot
for sightseeing in Manali.
Rumour has it, this was the very first music cafe in Manali.
Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art
Any trip to Manali is simply pointless if you don’t learn something about the local culture. More than a
tourist place in Manali, this Museum is a hub of cultural knowledge. Head over to learn all about traditional
textiles, musical instruments, dance masks, domestic and artisans’ utensils and masks representing devtas
(village deities) of the Kullu Valley region. If you’re lucky you’ll catch a local procession in the nearby
HadimbaTemple carrying a their devta on a palanquin.
Manali Wildlife Sanctuary
Another often overlooked sightseeing place in Manali, this Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 3,180 hectares
of land. Home to verdant foliage and wild mountain animals, this Sanctuary was officially recognised as a tourist
place in Manali in the year 1954. Animals like the Himalayan Black Bear, Musk Deer, Flying Fox, Striped Hyena,
Himalayan Tahr, Indian Hare, Barking Deer, Palm Civet, Serows, Himalayan Yellow Throated Martens, and
Kashmir Flying Squirrels can be spotted here. Endangered animals like leopards, Brown Bears, and Goral can
also be seen here.
The rich forest of this Manali sanctuary is covered with trees like Deodar, Horse Chestnut, Kail, Maple, and Walnut.
Paragliding in Solang Valley
Manali is the hub of all adventure sports activities in the Himalayas. Don’t miss out on one of the most
splendid views of the Parvati Valley, i.e. the view from the sky! Head over to Solang Valley, where all the
exciting adventure sports in Manali are conducted, and get an instructor or guide to fly you over the valley
for a good about half an hour. There are plenty of cameramen around who happily record your entire flight
so that you can cherish it for years to come.
Mountain Biking in Manali
Adventure mountain biking is a fun and and outdoorsy way to test your skills on a bicycle. The rugged
slopes around Manali offer excellent opportunities for mountain biking. Hire a bicycle locally and set off
early morning to explore small villages and get to know local people busy with their day to day duties.
Riding through Manali, like this guy here
, can be a refreshingly sustainable and environmentally friendly
way to get around. It’s also easy on the pocket!