If you are planning to escape the humdrum of dreary everyday life and escape to a pleasantly mystic hill station amidst snow clad mountains and alluring environs, then Kullu and Manali might just be the perfect choice for you. The best time to visit Manali can be any season really, as the beautiful hill station lies nestled in the lap of Himachal Pradesh, boasting of a wonderful weather. Kullu and Manali, situated at a height of 2,050 meters from sea level in the Beas River valley, offer a picturesque and delightful view of the neighbouring valleys, irrespective of the month you choose to visit. While, the charming resort town of Kullu offers scores of picturesque sights and temples, the stunning hilltop of Manali presents splashing rivers, water streams, and sky-high mountains. Both Kullu and Manali are easily accessible from Shimla, Delhi, Chandigarh and Ludhiana, making them among the most sought after weekend destinations for travelers seeking a pleasurable holiday.
Which season to pick?
While every season presents Kullu and Manali weather in a new avatar, the hill station is evergreen and the perfect place to unwind and celebrate your vacation amidst the beauty of nature and several attractions like hills, kunds, adventure parks and waterfalls, all vying for your attention. Owing to its cosy ambience, the hill resort is very popular among honeymooners making it a ‘lover’s paradise’. Over the years, Manali has witnessed a growing population as well as development leading to an increase in Manali tourism. To help you chart out a perfect vacation in Manali, here is a sneak peek of Manali weather and the best time to visit the hill station.
Manali summers (March to June)
- Summer in Manali starts from the month of March and lasts till June. Despite seeing an average temperature around 22 degree Celsius during summers, the weather remains moderately cool and pleasant during the day, offering a respite from the scorching heat, and makes it just perfect for sightseeing. March till June are the best time to visit Kullu Manali for a pleasant sightseeing tour and to enjoy the spring and flower blooms and cool summers.
- Manali witnesses long summers and the weather is mostly pleasant to relax and appreciate the scenic beauty and the amazing sunsets and sunrises. Like most other Himalayan hill stations, the sub-tropical weather means that the summers are marked by a stinging heat in the afternoons followed by chilling breeze and cool nights. It is advised to carry a pair of winter clothes or light jacket as only during the day time it’s sunny, otherwise, in early mornings and late evenings, it tends to get a bit chilly.
- Summer is also the ideal time to pursue all sorts of thrilling adventure activities like trekking, camping, paragliding, rock climbing, zorbing and mountain sports at Raisaon and Solang Valley. It’s a treat for adventure lovers who are looking forward to take a plunge into the world of fun and adventure with their friends and family.
- However, if you want to enjoy the true aesthetic essence of Manali, plan a visit during the onset of spring followed by the summers. The months of February and March are the best time to visit Kullu Manali to cherish the pleasant weather, floral bloom, blossoming apple orchards, rejuvenating air, snow drizzles and pristine natural beauty of the place.
- One of the prime tourist attractions, Rohtang Pass also opens its doors in summer, and attracts a huge number of visitors to Kullu and Manali. As the summer starts coming to an end, snow starts to thaw at Rohtang pass, making it difficult to indulge in snow activities.
- You can participate in the Basantotsav Festival in the summer month of April, that marks the onset of the spring season, or the famous Hadimba Temple Festival which is held annually in May and is another summer attraction. The festivities draw devotees from across Manali and nearby villages and see a multitude of different events, cultural processions, folk dance performances and magic shows. With so many activities going around, you’ll see Manali in a bright and colourful avatar.
- The popularity of Manali during summers also makes it the peak season which brings with it a huge influx of tourists and fewer tranquil places to enjoy. Summers are the time the hilltop town receives a huge rush and is overcrowded with tourists who come from across the country to admire its beauty. It is also the time natives derive the much needed monetary push after the harsh and arduous winters, as it is the peak season for Manali tourism.
- During summers, nature enthusiasts and explorers can also plan a day trip to the tribal districts of Lahaul-Spiti or the charming villages of Vashisht and Kullu which are otherwise secluded from rest of the world for nearly six months as they are covered in snow.
- The summer heat that melts the snow covered peaks and glaciers high in the mountains, gives rise to cascades and magnificent water falls below. The surrounding areas have many waterfalls that one can visit, such as Jogini Waterfall, which is surely a sight to behold. The base of the serene waterfall is surrounded by a lush green valley surrounding it which gives the place its scenic beauty and makes it just picture perfect. Food and water are easily available from small shops located near the fall, that also serve piping hot chai and samosas or other quick snacks. The Rahala Falls is another place to hang out with friends and family, where one can enjoy the amazing views of waterfalls and can relax for hours in the river water and lush green surroundings. Nature lovers can also visit the Van Vihar National Park to enjoy the beautiful natural flora and fauna of the place or take a dip in the hot spring bath, full of therapeutic properties, at Vashisht Hot Water Springs.
- Though the hill station enjoys a pleasant climate year-round, the best time to visit Kullu Manali is during the summer season when the weather conditions are perfect to traverse the charming town. So beat the summer heat by planning a holiday here as the months of March till June are full of refreshing breeze and are the best months to visit Manali.
Manali Monsoon (July to mid-September)
- Monsoons in Manali are fraught with danger as the state of Himachal Pradesh is often prone to unpredictable landslides during this season and it is not an ideal time to visit or engage in any activity outdoors. The heavy to moderate rain showers during the rainy season, causes the soil layer covering the hills to become slackened, giving rise to various problems like landslides and slippery roads which cause most of the motorways to shut down. Surrounding places located at higher elevations are prone to thunderstorms and ceaseless rainfall too.
- But if you like misty and peaceful hill stations, this is the best time for you to head to the hill town of Kullu and Manali. Even though most tourism options like adventure sports activities will be closed during the season, it’s still a good choice for those seeking solitude in the hills or a romantic escapade away from the overcrowded and polluted city life. The monsoons may deter your sightseeing plans, but the mist and fog covered hills make up for it and the sceneries look better than they would on a typical day.
- July and August is the time when the monsoon sets in. The average high temperature of the season stays around 21 degree Celsius while the low average rolls down to about 12 degree Celsius. Occasionally heavy rainfall triggers landslides which makes travelling in the mountains perilous. The rains starts to slow down in September and Manali witnesses a gradual increase in tourist activity.
- Kullu and Manali are popularly known for their pleasant weather, scenic views and numerous trekking and hiking trails. If you want to travel with the clouds and a little drizzle then monsoon is the best time to visit Kullu Manali.
Manali winters (October to February)
- Winters in Manali stretch from October till the end of February and are characterized by chilly weather conditions and the beauty of the place increases manifold. December and January are the coldest months of the year and temperature often drops to subzero levels accompanied by snowfall. It is highly recommended to carry super warm woollens as the temperature drops below freezing point and the entire hill station is covered in a garb of shiny white snow.
- Winter in snow-covered Kullu and Manali is enchanting if you would like to see snow or engage in other activities in the winter showers or snow. Most adventure enthusiasts prefer winters as the sparkling snow allows many adventure spots like skiing and ice skating and breathtaking sights not available during the rest of the year. Revel in the snow covered hill station and play with snowballs in the winter season with your loved ones. There are many vendors selling ‘snow wear’ including a pair of snow shoes, gloves and snow suit, that you can hire at a reasonable price.
- However, when the days are a little sunny, you can plan to explore popular tourist attractions such as Rohtang Pass, Manali Wildlife Sanctuary, Jagannath Temple, Indrasan Peak, Manu Temple and other landmarks during this time. Or you can simply sit back and sip hot tea and shovel down a plate of Maggi while soaking up the golden sunshine peeping through the majestic snow clapped hills. Don’t forget to gorge on some lip-smacking local dishes when in Manali.
- If you want to enjoy Kullu and Manali in its full splendor, it would be better to plan your trip during the winters. The winter months experience a decent amount of snowfall and attract its share of footfall too. In fact, winters bring the merry Christmas celebrations during which the entire town is illuminated with strings of lights and colourful decorations, perfect to put you in a gala mood.
- The winter months are also the time when Dussehra, Diwali and Hadimba Devi Festival are celebrated with great pomp and show, which attracts many tourists from all over India and abroad. It is a wonderful experience to be a part of these big festivities in Manali.
- You can also participate in one of the most awaited festival of the year in the valley, the exciting Winter Carnival that is held in January each year. The carnival is organized at the ‘Manu Kala Kendra’ in Manali, and attracts massive participation from cultural groups and students from various schools and colleges of India.
Engage in some rip-roaring adventure sports during summers, play in the pristine snow with your loved ones in winters or take a leisurely stroll through the meandering mountain roads of the Mall Road and make some amazing memories to treasure forever while in Kullu and Manali! The hill station remains an ideal getaway for all those seeking respite from the scorching heat and overcrowded city life and continues to enthral its visitors round the year. All in all, September to March is the best time to visit Kullu Manali. Without much ado, start planning your next vacation. Your wonderland is waiting for you!