Manali is a picturesque hill station in north India’s beautiful State – Himachal Pradesh. One can experience breathtaking views of valleys, snow-capped mountains, lush green alpine trees all around, river running throughout the town, and off-course the chilly breeze!
Though Manali is popular for snowcapped mountains and lush green forest, now, it is a home to most Himalayan treks too. Travelers and adventure lovers come here for some most popular treks such as Hampta Pass Trek, Bhrigu Lake Trek, Beas Kund Trek, and many more. Trekking can be experienced here in summers and rainy season only. In winters these mountains are fully covered with thick blankets of snow.
Adventure lovers can experience a bunch of hands-on adventure activities like river rafting, paragliding, skiing (in winters), zip line, etc. Manali welcomes every type of travelers, whether it may be Trekkers, Honeymooners, Family, and friends, Solo travelers, etc. Travelers can also enjoy spending cozy nights in well-accommodated tents too.
How to reach Manali?
One can easily reach Manali by roadways from New Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar. Though nearest city to Manali is Chandigarh i.e. approx. 285 km, which takes 7 – 8 hours of road journey. These cities are well connected by railways, airways & roadways from any part of our country. Regular bus options are available from New Delhi Chandigarh and Amritsar to Manali. Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses are also an option to reach the town. One Can travel by private/sharing cabs too for which the cost varies seasonally.
New Delhi – Manali = 530 Kms Approx. (12-13 hours)
Chandigarh – Manali = 285 Kms Approx. (7-8 hours)
Amritsar – Manali = 410 Kms Approx. (10-11 hours)
Bus fare from New Delhi / Chandigarh / Amritsar varies from Rs. 600-2000 (Depending upon the category of bus chosen by the traveler.
Where to stay?
Manali offers a bunch of options for accommodation from budget to luxury experiences depending upon the traveler’s requirements. But I would like to add that whether it’s a budget property or Standard or Luxury, one can explore beautiful views almost from all the windows!
I personally feel spending on hotel accommodation is not a good option. Rather you can spend that on exploring new places. As we are talking about some budget & Standard options so here are somewhere I personally stayed and enjoyed the experience spending less penny 😉
Budget: Hotel Grassland (Mall Road)
This property is in the main town or Mall Road itself. Simple and decent rooms for hippie travelers. Travelers can see the view of Mall Road as well as the lush green Cedar Tress around. The best thing about this place is everything is just beside you, the market, tea shops, restaurants, medicals, shopping, etc. The charges for a night are around Rs. 800 – 1200 on double occupancy in off-Seasons (September to November and January to Mid-April) and Rs. 1200 – 1700 approx. on seasons (15th April to August and December).
Note: Do not expect any room services. The Dining facility is not available.
Standard: Hotel New Adarsh (Mall Road)
Hotel New Adarsh is also situated in the market road / Mall Road of the town. A good option and a traveler can expect some room services also. The rooms are very nice with warm wooden interiors. They have their restaurant and food can be served in the rooms too. They charge Rs. 2000 – 2500/- for double occupancy in off-Seasons (September to November and January to Mid-April) and Rs. 2800 – 3500 approx. on seasons (15th April to August and December).
Deluxe: Hotel Mountain Apple Retreat (Aleo)
This one is my all-time favorite! The name says it all. Perched on the mountain, surrounded by apple orchards and lush green alpines. The view from here is the main highlight of this property! Travelers can experience snow-capped mountains with the beautiful sight of a mountain covered with alpines all over. Highly recommended place! The rooms are so neat and clean with a cozy bed and running hot waters. The food is just delicious. One can enjoy bonfire and spend some time at their lawn. The Charges are Rs. 2000 – 2500 in off Seasons (September to November and January to Mid-April) and Rs. 2800 – 3500 approx. on seasons (15th April to August and December).
There are lots of other options too, but I personally tried these and the experience was good with each one.
Places to Explore in Manali!
To explore the hill one can hire a private as well as shared cabs. But I would suggest covering the local places by hiking. It is one of the most convenient way to explore local Manali on foot.
Day 1: Explore Local Places on foot; which includes:
- Tibetan Monastery (Mall Road)
- Van Vihar National Park (Mall Road)
- Hidimba Devi Temple
- Siyali Manadev Temple
- Club House
- Old Manali
Spend some time in the evening at Mall Road, shopping, experiencing street cuisines, etc.
Day 2: Solang Valley with Vashisth Hot Spring
Solang Valley, Nehru Kund, Shanag Bridge, Vashisht Temple, and Hot Springs can be done on the same day.
Rohtang Pass can also be visited but only in the months from May-ending to Mid-October. (Depending Upon the snowfalls)
Day 3: Kasol and Manikararn
Kasol is a beautiful village 75-80 km from Manali. Kasol is a base for most of the treks around the hills. It is known for camping and trekkers hub. Travelers can visit Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara with the natural hot springs along the river Parvati. Enjoy some time shopping and having some food around. Later on, head back to Manali. On the way returning to Manali visit the beautiful Kais Monastery & Naggar Castle.
Day 4: Leisure time and departure
Spend your day at leisure shopping. Evening Catch your respected bus or cabs.
Activities to in Manali:
Manali is a place for adventure lovers. One can do River Rafting in the Beas River at Kullu, Paragliding at Kullu, and at Solang Valley, Skiing at Solang Valley during winters and Rohtang Pass during summers are the most popular activities held here.
Hiking, Mountain Biking, Zorbing, Snow Scooter, Camping, Trekking, Ziplining, Cable Car Ropeway at Solang Valley, Quad Biking, etc.
Some Experiences you can try:
- Try out some Tuna Fish Pizza at “Oven in the Garden” near Tibetan Colony, Leh – Manali Highway
- Some Punjabi delicacies at “Sher-e-Punjab” Restaurant in the Mall Road
- Chinese lovers should definitely try out some at “Chopsticks”, Mall Road
- Hiking to Solang Valley from the main town is just an amazing experience