Skiing at Solang
A view of Dhabas and Leh-Manali Highway on the way to Rohtang Pass
Zorbing and horse-riding in Solang Valley
Suraj Tal Lake
Vashisht Baths(Hot Water Springs)
Welcome to Manali Hill Station,
Manali(alt. 1,950 m), in the Beas River valley, is a famous hill station in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, India, near the northern end of the Kullu Valley. Manali is administratively a part of the Kullu district. Manali and the surrounding area is of great significance to Indian culture and heritage as it is said to be the home of the Saptarshi, or Seven Sages.
Manali is a popular Himalayan tourist destination and accounts for nearly a quarter of all tourist arrivals in Himachal Pradesh. Manali's cool atmosphere provides a contrast to hot Indian summers. Manali is famous for adventure sports like skiing, hiking, mountaineering, paragliding, rafting, trekking, kayaking, and mountain biking. Yak skiing is a sport unique to this area. Manali also featured in Time magazine's "Best of Asia" for its "Extreme Yak Sports". Manali also offers hot springs, religious shrines and Tibetan Buddhist temples. Manali has become a favorite destination for honeymooners since the last few years.
Another spectacular site of Manali , Himachal Pradseh is Arjun Gufa. It is a cave, which lies almost four kms from Manali, Himachal Pradseh towards Naggar. Its is a part of Prini village almost one km above the road, where Pandava prince Arjun carried on with his meditation. Captivating view of snowy mountain ranges is a treat for the tourists who visit the place for excursion again and again.
A historic place, where it is believed that Vyas had performed his daily bath, Beas Kund is regarded as a sacred place by the Hindus. The originating point of the Majestic river Bias, Beas Kund is found sheltered by an igloo like stone formation. A typical rocky terrain, this place is devoid of vegetation. The crystal clear and chilly arctic waters resemble that of a spring, which would freeze the fingers.
Apart from the religious importance, Beas Kund offers tremendous defying activities like paragliding, trekking and skiing facilities to the challenge-loving people. It is the most alluring treks in the Kullu region, which can be tried by anyone.
This lies east of the Rohtang Pass and is about 6 km from the village of Gulaba. The lake is situated at an altitude of 4,235 meters above sea level. Its depth is about 3 to 4 m and and it remains under snow for the whole winter. It is held sacred to Rishi Bhrigu. Being sacred this lake is visited by the people of Kullu, Mandi and Lahaul valley. It also lie on several trek routes of the region.
Situated at an altitude of 4,270 meters above sea level, the lake is located near the Rohtang Pass that connects district Kullu with Lahaul. Rohtang Pass is at an altitude of 3,978 metres on the highway to Keylong, the mass affords a wide-spread panorama of mountain scenery. Here eye meets a range of precipitous cliffs, huge glaciers and piled moraine and deep ravines. Dashir ( also known as Dashaur and Sarkund ) is a very beautiful lake lies near the Rohtang Pass. This attractive lake has a depth of 3 to 4 m. The bath in the water of Dashir lake effects cure of all bodily ailments or imaginary.
The Dhungri Forest festival is celebrated at the Hadimba or Dhungiri temple in Manali. This four story wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. The Goddess is worshipped by the local women, who arrive in their colorful dresses to perform the ritual dance before her in order to appease her. Legend states that the king who commissioned the temple was so highly satisfied with the results that he cut off the craftsman's right hand to prevent him from duplicating it elsewhere.
One among the finest attractions in Manali is the Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa, which is a renowned Buddhist monastery built in the year 1960. A large number of refugees from the neighbouring Tibet makes this hill station as their home town and it was by them this famous monastery was constructed. This lively and pleasing monastery is well known for its pagoda-style yellow roof. Gorgeous wall paintings illustrating the ideology of Buddhism embellish the Gompa. Gadhan Gompa depicts an image of Buddha.
The monastery also enlists the names of people who were killed in the Tibetan occupation. This shrine also houses petite shops in its premises for the sale of Tibetan Handicrafts and carpets. It is through this sale and donations from good Samaritans the temple activities are keep going. This shrine functions between 6 am to 6 pm.
Hidimba Devi Temple is located in Manali, a hill station in the State of Himachal Pradesh in north India. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, sister of Hidimba, who was a character in the Indian epic, Mahabharata. The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest at the foot of the Himalayas. The sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground, which was worshiped as an image of the deity. The structure was built in the year 1553.
The Hidimbi Devi Temple has intricately carved wooden doors and a 24 meters tall wooden "shikhar" or tower above the sanctuary. The tower consists of three square roofs covered with timber tiles and a fourth brass cone-shaped roof at the top. The earth goddess Durga forms the theme of the main door carvings. The temple base is made out of whitewashed, mud-covered stonework. An enormous rock occupies the inside of the temple, only a 7.5 cm (3 inch) tall brass image representing goddess Hidimbi Devi. A rope hangs down in front of the rock, and according to a legend, in bygone days religious zealots would tie the hands of "sinners" by the rope and then swing them against the rock.
Jagatsukh Shiva Temple is a shikhara-styled shrine situated at Jagatsukh, 6km from Manali in Himachal Pradesh. Built approximately around the early 8th century, it has a tri-ratha sanctum covered by a Shikhara (a pyramid-shaped royal tower situated at the entrance of temples). Jagatsukh Shiva temple resembles architecture of the Naresar group of temples. Buses ply regularly from Manali Bus Station to Jagatsukh.
12 km. A quiet but picturesque spot. The Rest House overlooks the narrow valley and commands views of the mountains. Below Kothi, for more than a kilometer the river Beas flows through a deep gorge, almost a subterranean passage, 30 meters or more in depth, and the cliffs which flank both sides of the canyon are a favorite haunt for rock pigeons. The site of the bridge provides an interesting historical episode in the early annals of Kullu.
Land of captivating Buddhist art and culture, Lahaul is situated on the Indo-Tibet border. The valley lies at a height of 2745 meters above sea level and is one of the remotest among the Himalayan valleys. The valley exhibits its breathtaking beauty amidst the splendor of surrounding snow covered peaks. Bara Shigri (boulder covered ice) is the largest glacier in the Lahaul valley.
Since the landscape of Lahaul is sculpted in a unique way, it attracts a lot of tourists from various parts of world every year. Lahaul is connected with road from all parts of the country. From Manali, one can take bus/taxi to any destination in Lahaul. Rohtang Pass (3980 meters above mean sea level), is the gateway to Lahaul valley and it connects Lahaul with the Kullu district. This valley is also approachable from Ladakh through Baralacha Pass and from Spiti valley through Kunzam Pass.
The monasteries of Lahaul are rich origins of ancient paintings, wood carving and golden images of Padmasambhav. A trekker's paradise, Lahaul's trek routes give magnificent views of splendors and wilderness of inner Himalayan ranges. Some of the places of interset near Lahaul are Keylong (district headquarter of lahaul and spiti), Gondla, Tandi, Guru Ghantal Monastery, Sissu and Jispa.
This place is famous for its hot water springs and temples of Vashisht Rishi and Lord Rama. It is located on the bank of Beas, but well above the river. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are always full of tourists. Turkish style showers fitted baths have also been built nearby. Hot water from the nearby spring is provided for bathing.
This festival is celebrated in the entire tribal belt of Himachal Pradesh and in the Tibetan colonies at Manali, Shimla, Dharamshala, Solan and Baijnath. The old Buddhist shrine, celebrating Padamsambhava's marriage with a local Princess at Rewalser in Mandi district also emerges as a pivotal attraction for these religious celebrations. This festival means a beginning of a new year and is held in the last week of February.One can witness a Chham dance, various mask dances and dramas remniscent of the post Buddhist culture with traditional orchestra.
This sanctuary starts about 2 km from Manali town. ItLeopard forms the catchment of Manalsu khad. A bridle path from Manali log huts/ Dhungri temple passes through dense Deodar, Kail, Horse chestnut, Walnut and Maple forests. Night stay in tents at Lambadug or Gallant thatch is an unforgettable experience. Alpine lush green pastures and glaciers beyond Galant thatch are a romantic attraction for the enthusiastic but enduring visitors. One may see Musk deer, Monal and Brown bear digging or ploughing the land and also pug marks with scent of Leopard or Snow leopard. Those who venture up to snows can see herds of Ibex in the glacier zone in summers.
Manali, famous for the lavish display of natural scenery, is situated at the northern end of Kullu Valley by the Beas river. Perched at an altitude of 2050 meters above sea level, this beautiful hill station is an ideal spot for adventure sport lovers. It offers skiing / snow boarding opportunities not only for professionals but also for beginners. Manali is surrounded by beautiful deodar cedar forests and huge peaks soaring to more than six thousand metres. The best skiing slopes located near Manali are Solang Nullah (Solang Valley), Kothi, Patalsu, Marhi, Gulaba, Dhundi and Rohtang. These peaks offer some of the best powder covered slopes in the world. Generally Manali region is blessed with excellent weather, but the conditions are subject to sudden changes. In Patalsu and Rohtang slopes, summer skiing is also possible.
Manali is also a hot spot for Heli Skiing organised by Himachal Heli Skiing (HHS) since 1989. Hanuman Tibba, Deo Tibba, Chanderkhani Pass and Rohtang Pass near Manali are known for their high peaks, thus forming a perfect destination for Heli-skiers with experience. Powerful helicopters including Bell 407, AS 315B Lama and AS 350B3 Squirrel carry the skiers to the top of a 14000 feet high snow draped slope within ten minutes. They are accompanied by internationally-certified heli-ski guides who are experts in snow safety, rescue techniques and mountain travel. After the ascend by helicopter Skiers and Snowboarders can have a thrilling ride down to the deep valleys through changing terrain, steep slopes and through trees in a wide variety of conditions. Mostly Skiing is done in high valley floors over 2000 mts through Cedar forests and long rolling ridges over four thousand metres high, in clearings between birch and oak forests. The terrain offers skiing facilities sometimes as high as 5000 mts with vertical averaging between nine hundred metres and twelve hundred metres.
Believed to be the abode of Manu, Manali houses a lovely shrine dedicated to this ancient lawgiver of India. The popular belief is that this place is closely connected with the seventh incarnation of the great sage. Mythology says that he saved the Vedas and the seven sages from this inundation. It is assumed that subsequent to the great flood, Manu landed at Manali and then lived here.
Situated in the old Manali region, this might be the only temple of Manu in India. The greasy pebbled sand stone trails that lead to the temple premises is very enchanting. The tranquil and serene surroundings of this sacred place fill the minds of the devotees with divine pleasure.
A barren landscape offering extensive views of the valley and the mountains. 15 km. short of the 13,050 feet high Rohatang Pass on the Manali-Leh road lies one of the most picturesque places in Manali region. Marhi - a mountain plateau surrounded by lush green meadows strewn with myriad wild flowers. The place remains a stopover for transit visitors and tourists during summer and autumn seasons and a transit place for the people to wait for the ferocious weather to improve at Rohtang Pass to cross over to Lahaul and Spiti valley, during the winter months.
This institute provides an enthusiast with fundamental and advanced training courses and other facilities like trekking, mountain climbing, skiing and water games. It is situated almost three kms on the left bank of Beas river towards Kulu. In order to get equipments for skiing and trekking one needs to hire them from the institute. This is done through advance booking. There is also a beautiful showroom.
Naggar Fort is another attractive tourists destination in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. Lying south part of Manali it stands as an epitome of heritage of the golden past of almost 1500 years of Pal Dynasty. Constructed with stones, and intricate woodcuttings, it is a symbol of exquisite and graceful artistic works of the whole of Himachal region. In the later period, this fortress was transformed into a hotel and resting house which provides comforts and luxury to the lodgers. Lodgers also get mesmerized by the beauty of a tiny shrine, which is placed in the courtyard of the fort building. Truly it represents as the exquisite art and architecture of the then Pal Dynasty.
Nehru kund is a landmark at Manali, Himachal Pradesh. Lying almost five kms on National Highway to Leh, it is the names of a natural spring of icy and clean water. It has derived its name from Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. The popular saying is that while staying in Manali, Himachal Pradseh PT. Nehru also drank water from the spring. Also a story is popular about the origination of Nehru Kund at Manali, Himachal Pradesh. It has its source in the Bhrigu Lake, which lies in the top of the mountains.
A serene enjoyable town, Old Manali situates to the north of the Mall. With its impressive array of brilliant, old stilted houses and well mannered people, old Manali presents a pleasing tourist destination. On the way to this hamlet one can found a good number of cafes and guest houses. Beautiful houses with wooden balconies and sandstone roofs are the main characteristic features of this locale.
Old Manali offers a tranquil atmosphere conducive for a perfect promenade. This place also holds some of the fabulous Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries. With its moderate accommodation facilities and cheap foods, it is a recommended place for those who came with stringent budget.
Situated at the starting point of the stunning Rohtang Pass, Rahala Falls are a popular picnic spot in Manali. This pretty waterfall is an aftereffect of the dribbling of water from precipitous rocks and imposing glaciers. It exhibits the exceptional beauty of the environment around. The entire area is bounded with the thick deodar forest, and lofty birch trees, which creates an unsullied and pungent atmosphere. The amazing spectacle of a cascade in the backdrop of magnificient snow clad mountain peaks, is really worthy for a watch and offers a wonderful experience that one could not forget in a lifetime.
A lofty mountain pathway that connects Kullu with Sapiti and Lahul is a popular picnic spot in summer. Almost all tourists to Manali longs to visit this imposing site since one can sense and tap the snow even in the hottest season of the year. Placed at a height of 4111 meter, Rohtang Pass in the district of Kullu commands the striking views of glaciers, mountains and the landscape. A gateway to the adjoining tourist destination, this scenic spot provides excellent opportunities for trekking.
Rohtang Pass presents the convoluted molds of snowy barbs originating from a massive glacier that had slither down. From here, the dense woody forests become visible as tiny grasslands. Trekking to Rohtang Pass is an exploratory expedition that bears out attractive mountain peaks with the spectacular view of menacing crags stringed by silvery cascades. Depending upon the snowfall in the upper regions, Rohtang Pass opens at anytime during the month of June for travel and a seal in October.The tedious journey is often dangerous owing to the high velocity wind and the unpredictable snowfall.
Sharvali Devi Temple is an antique shrine situated at Shooru village, about 8km from Manali in Himachal Pradesh. The temple is thought to have been built by the Pandavas, the mythical brothers from the epic Mahabharata. Sharvali Devi temple is situated near the Jagatsukh Shiva Temple.
Solang valley is a side valley at the top of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India 14 km northwest of the resort town Manali on the way to Rohtang Pass, and is known for its summer and winter sport conditions. The sports most commonly offered are parachuting, paragliding, skating and zorbing.
Giant slopes of lawn comprise Solang Valley and provide it its reputation as a popular ski resort. A few ski agencies offering courses and equipment reside here and operate only during winters. Snow melts during the summer months and skiing is then replaced by zorbing (a giant ball with room for 2 people which is rolled down a 200 meter hill), paragliding, parachuting and horse riding.
This lake is situated at an altitude of 4980 meters above mean sea level and lies below the summit of the Barachala Pass in the Lahaul division of district Lahaul and Spiti. The Barachala connects Manali and Lahaul to Ladakh. The name Baralacha means 'Pass with cross roads on summit' (Roads from Ladakh, Spiti and Lahaul join on the top of it). There is no road yet from Spiti, only a path exists. This pass is also an origin of Chandra, Bhaga and Yamuna rivers. And the lake which draws a considerable number of visitors - especially in summer - lies by its head. This is the source of the river Bhaga. There is a good trek to it by Zingzing bar.
There are 3 newly constructed colorful monasteries, where visitors can buy carpets and other Tibetan handicrafts. Two are located in the town and one at Aleo on the left bank of Beas river. The trip to Manali, Himachal Pradesh would be incomplete unless and until one go and visit the Tibetan monasteries. They are constructed only recently and tourists mob the monasteries to buy decorative items like carpets and varied handworks of Tibet. Strategically, one temple is located within the town, while the remaining two are built on left bank of River Beas.
These are two important places of pilgrimage in Pattan Valley. At Triloknath is a six armed image in white marble of Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattava. Visitors will enjoy crossing the Chandra-Bhaga river and the trek of 3 km to reach the destination. The temple of Marikula at Udeypur is highly remarkable for its wood carvings. Udeypur is 166 km from Manali.
A tiny locale, situated on the banks of the majestic River Ravi, Vashisht is bestowed with natural springs and fabulous sand stone temples. Just about thirty minutes leisurely walk fetch oneself to this sleepy hamlet. Situated at the suburbs of the town, Springs of Vashisht are very significant for their medicinal value. The gushing waters of the hot brooks are excellent ailments for skin diseases. Large number of people folk here to have a dip in these hot streams. The authorities have arranged separate bathing provisions for men and women.
Besides these gurgling streams, Vashisht also houses pretty old shrines dedicated to lord Ram and his kula guru, sage Vashisht. These stone temples show excellent and exquisite carvings on woods. The interior of the temple is getting blackened by the continuous use of oil lamps and other incenses. Placed on the banks of the majestic river, these temples present a serene and tranquil ambience to the visitor.
There is a 4000 year old temple of Guru Vashishtha on the right side of the springs, built by the king Janamjaya. Inside it, there is a black stone statue of the Rishi Vashishtha, clad in dhoti. The village Vashishtha is famous for hot water springs.
There are two prominent Vishnu Temples in Naggar. One is on the way to the Naggar village on the right side of the road. This Vishnu temple is a humble pyramid-shaped structure and carries substantial archaeological importance. The festival `Ganer` is observed here.
The second Vishnu Temple is located near the castle on the eastern side, a few steps down the main road towards the Naggar village. This also bears semblance to a pyramid with a slatted roof. A notable point to be counted here is that, there is complete absence of a `mandap` in the front portion of the Vishnu Temple. The idol stands on a plinth (kamalasan) and is a chaturbhuj (an idol with four hands) figure. The platform is itself a stone square measuring a foot high. Petals of kamal (lotus) are exquisitely carved around it.
- Fairs and Festivals : Nalwari, Dhoongri etc.