Bollywood movies have ingrained in us all the love for hill stations, what with our favorite stars romancing in the snow. And if that wasn’t enough to make us fall in love, global warming did its bit by raising the mercury levels so much that we long to go to a hill station even during winters. Manali is one such hill station that is a favorite of domestic travelers, as it offers something for every kind of traveler, be it a snow-clad mountain lover or an adventure junkie. If you are still wondering if Manali should be the next destination on your travel list or not, here is a small list that will make you book your tickets.
- Rohtang Pass
Got you on this one right? Rohtang Pass is sort of on the bucket list of anyone wishing to see some amazing snow-capped peaks. This snow-covered Pass on the highway to Leh is open for tourists between the months of June to October and sees a lot of tourist traffic during that period. It is at a height of 3979 meters, and you can get a mesmerizing view of Chandra River and stunning glaciers from here. Rohtang Pass leads to Lahaul, Spiti, and Leh and most tourists generally club Manali with these places as well. You can enjoy activities like skiing and sledging near the Pass while clicking some great pics.
- Adventure sports in Solang Valley and Khajjiar
You are an adventure sports type, eh? Manali is the answer to your quest for some adrenaline pulsing adventure sports. You will find a lot of activities to your liking in the Solang Valley and at Khajjiar, right from some white water rafting on the rapids of Beas River to trekking, camping and even a cycling tour around the city. Zorbing, paragliding and horse gliding too are available in Manali. Take the ropeway when you go to the Solang Valley to get a gorgeous view of the place. The winding slopes make even non-skiers want to try their hands or rather feet at it. Now for the best part about Solang Valley; it is riding a yak. Well, it’s an adventure in itself, isn’t it? Seeing the amazingly cute yet strong animal up close and getting to ride it too. Do not forget to make someone click your pic while you are sitting on one, for you don’t get to do this every day.
- The monasteries
Kullu and Manali are home to a large amount of Tibetan population and their monasteries which make for a wonderful tourist site, not to mention the fact that you get to sample a lot of Tibetan delicacies like thukpa while you are here. You can visit the Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa and Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa monasteries and if you are interested in taking back home some souvenirs, you can go to the Tibetan Handicraft Center, where you will find some interesting and traditional gifts.
- Manali Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary will make you witness the true beauty of Manali through its lush green forests set amidst some breathtaking mountains. If you are a bird watcher or a photography enthusiast then this place will prove to be a paradise for you. Varied species of flora and fauna here will rejuvenate your senses and will make you want to sit and back and just soak in the beauty and fresh air. If you haven’t had your fill of the wildlife you can also spend some time at the Van Vihar National Park or The Great Himalayan National Park.
- Hadimba Devi Temple
Even if you are not an ardent devotee, you must visit this one for its architectural beauty. This ancient temple is dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, who was the wife of one of the Pandavas, Bheem. The seven-storied temple is surrounded by forest and snow in winters, making it a picturesque site.
- And then there is this
There are some things that tourists do and some that are meant for true travelers like going for a dip in the hot water springs at Vashisht Village which is 3 km from Manali. If you are a foodie at heart do not miss out on eating some good South Indian and Punjabi fare at Kwality Sher-e-Punjab restaurant while you are in Manali.