There is something for everyone to see in Manali. A true paradise for travelers, Manali is a must-visit place and needs to be included in your bucket list if you are an avid traveler.
Manali is one of those few destinations that can be considered a paradise for travelers. Nestled amongst some of the most picturesque mountains in the world, this little hill town has what it takes to inspire one to travel more and explore new destinations. Couple that with budget-friendly accommodation, and you have a true gem indeed. Don’t forget to take along this itinerary of the top places to see in Manali when you do visit this paradise.
Located in Old Manali, the Hadimba Temple dates back to 1553 and was constructed by Maharaja Bahadur Singh. Also called the Dhungari Temple, Hidimba Temple houses two shrines dedicated to Bheema’s wife, Hidimba Devi, and her son Ghatotokacha. Nestled amongst snow-capped mountains and lush green cedar groves, Hadimba Temple is easily one of the most visited tourist spots in Manali.
An ode to Tibetan architecture, Manali Gompa is one of the best places to see in Manali. Dating back to 1960, the monastery houses vividly colored Tibetan murals under a Pagoda-style roof, offering visitors the chance to relax in peaceful settings.
Nyingmapa Buddhist Temple
Known for its serene, peaceful setting, Nyingmapa Buddhist Temple lets visitors connect with their spiritual side on a different level altogether. The temple features pagoda-style architecture and houses vibrant wall paintings, prayer wheels, and the beautiful Sakyamuni idol, a Shangri-La paradise.
A trip to Manali is never complete without visiting Vashisht Baths, one of the best places to visit near Manali town. The beautiful blend of ancient stone temples and natural hot water springs is sure to rejuvenate your body and soul. Do not miss the opportunity to take a bath in the hot springs, known for their medicinal properties.
Rohtang Pass requires an entire day to be explored. Located around 4000 meters above sea level along the Leh-Manali Highway, the Rohtang Pass is among the highest mountain passes in India and takes you through the breathtaking Pir Panjal Range.
Rohtang Pass is a favorite among nature lovers, photographers, artists, adventure seekers, and even movie production houses. The pass has featured in many Bollywood movies over the years, including the Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor starrer, “Jab We Met.” Apart from the breathtaking scenery, numerous adventure activities like skiing, snowmobiling, and mountain biking make the Rohtang Pass one of the best places to see in Manali.
Located at a staggering height of 8400 ft above sea level, this mini valley is situated in Burma, which is about 14 km from Manali. Known for its picturesque beauty, the valley is also a hotspot for adventure seekers. While skiing and snowmobiling are peak activities during winters, paragliding, zorbing, and cable car riding take place during the summer months. Definitely, a place to visit if you love anything and everything adventurous!
Meandering along the entire valley, Beas River will greet you at multiple locations while you are in Manali. A trip to the beautiful villages of Kothi and Vashisht enables you to get as close to the striking blue waters of the river as possible. While the surrounding views are stunning and serve as a major tourist attraction, Beas River takes pride in being a hub for adventure seekers. Rafting and kayaking are popular water sporting activities in the river, while riding the rapids at Pridi is a must-try for adrenaline seekers.
A trekking destination, Hampta Pass, is situated in the Pir Panjal Range at the height of 13,000 ft. A Mecca for trekkers, the easy-medium-difficulty pass allows trekkers to enjoy stunning views of the Lahaul and Kully Valleys, as well as Chandratal Lake. The trek also takes visitors across many fascinating rivers, making it a must-visit pass when you visit Manali. Do not forget to look around for tour groups that conduct trekking tours to the Hampta Pass, the cost of which would vary with the number of days and the itinerary planned.
Located in Vashisht Village, Jogini waterfalls are among the best places to see near Manali. Reachable via a short yet extremely scenic trek, the place is best visited in the early mornings for its peaceful and tranquil surroundings.
While the falls border the Rohtang peaks and River Beas, the pool is surrounded by many ancient shrines. This makes the Jogini Waterfalls an important site for visiting pilgrims as well.
You might have heard of picture-perfect destinations and may have even seen a couple of them located in other countries, but Manali houses one of India’s postcard-perfect locations, the Bhrigu Lake.
Located around 14km from Manali, Bhrigu Lake is a renowned trekking destination in and around Manali. The striking lake is situated around 13,000 ft above sea level; the striking lake requires trekkers to move through evergreen forests and alpine meadows. Offering stunning views of the nearby Pir Panjal Range, Bhrigu Lake is surely a must-visit destination if you love Mother Nature and her remarkable works of natural art.
Nehru Kund Springs
Nehru Kund is a natural spring situated along the highway leading to Rohtang Pass. A hotspot for nature lovers and photographers, the natural spring gets its name from India’s first Prime Minister, Nehru, who is said to have visited it during his trip to Manali.
Surrounded by the breathtaking Himalayan Mountain range, the Nehru Kund spring is a necessary stop on your way to Rohtang Pass.
One of the best places to see in Manali, this charming and serene hamlet rests on the Spiti highway around 2500 metres above sea level. Offering visitors unparalleled views of stunning mountain peaks and majestic glaciers, the hamlet is located at the foot of Rohtang Pass, making it a great spot for stopovers and camping while trekking to Rohtang Pass. The meandering Beas River flowing through the village and the Shuwang Chandika Temple are added attractions to the hamlet.
Among the best places to see near Manali, Gulaba is a quaint mountainside village, which offers splendid views of the surrounding snow-capped mountain ranges. Added to this are other highlights like trekking, star gazing, and the chance to learn about a new culture, which makes Gulaba a great place to visit in Manali.
About 29 km from Manali, Rahala Falls is situated along the Leh Manali Highway and is a visual treat for travelers. The majestic grandeur of the falls can be witnessed in its full glory during and after the monsoon season. This is when the water flowing down the falls reaches its full capacity, making the falls look majestic.
Ensure to carry extra clothing as you will get sprayed by the water and mist from the falls. Picnic spots near the falls enable visitors to enjoy relaxing moments with their families and friends before moving on. The area surrounding the falls also houses many hiking trails, which will take you around the cascading waters and through dense deodar forests.
Great Himalayan National Park
Quite easily one of the best places to see in Manali, the Great Himalayan National Park is a must-visit if you are a wildlife lover. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park is located around 49km from Manali. Surrounded by a terrain featuring many stunning glacial valleys, the park is home to a wide variety of plants and animals.
Over 209 birds, 31 species of mammals, and 1000 plants call the Great Himalayan National Park their home, including brown bears, snow leopards, and the Himalayan Tahr. Permits are required to enter the park, and those wishing to stay overnight can choose to do so in the accommodation units provided by park officials.
A wonderful wildlife sanctuary located close to the valley, Manali Sanctuary is a short drive from the town. Spread across a stretch of 31.8 square kilometres, the sanctuary is a haven for wilderness lovers and those wishing to experience the wilderness at its best.
The sanctuary is home to dense deodar, walnut, and maple groves, which are a sight for sore eyes during autumn when the groves turn into a myriad of colors. Best visited during the summer months, the sanctuary offers camping and trekking facilities for visitors as well. Make sure to keep your cameras handy to capture photos of certain species of birds and animals you may not see anywhere else in India.
Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art
Situated in the Utopia Complex on Hadimba Temple Road, the Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art is an ode to the region’s rich heritage and traditional values. Open round the year, the museum houses a wide variety of traditional and cultural items local to the region, including garments, musical instruments, festival masks, and models of ancient houses and temples. Offering you a culturally rich experience, the museum is one of the best places to see near Manali.
There is something for everyone, so go solo or go with the family to make the most of this beautiful destination.
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