A few places are so addictive that one has to go there again and again. Manali is one of them, and here is a compilation of things to do in Manali, coming straight from my personal experiences.
The city is a valley surrounded by mountains beside the crystal clear water of Beas river invites you to forget your hectic lifestyle.
It’s a place loved by adventure sports enthusiasts, backpackers, and, of course, Bike riders. Located in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, it is a very famous tourist destination and registers huge crowd throughout the year.
It’s a favourite pick by all kind of people, both tourists and even travellers. On top of all, it’s a well-known Honeymoon destination for North Indians.
The city gives you an access to the mighty Himalayan mountain range. If you have a dream of a bike ride to Ladakh, then it is the gateway. Manali-Leh Highway is one of the most beautiful and enchanting highways in India.
Every year bikers come to Manali for their road trips to, Spiti District, Leh, and Ladakh.
There are many things to discover and enjoy in Manali, which now I’ll pen down one by one!
How to Reach Manali
By Air: Bhuntar Airport in Kullu is the nearest Airport which is around 50KMs from Manali by road.
By Road: The Most common way to reach Manali is by road. You can hire a taxi from Chandigarh, or Delhi. Manali is 310KMs from Chandigarh and 590KMs from Delhi, There are a good number of buses available too. The best and my favorite way to reach Manali is by your personal Motorcycle or Car.
We did our Trip on Motorcycle during Winter, but it is not a convenient option for any season as you’re looking for an escape from the tiring lifestyle.
By Train: Joginder Nagar is the nearest railway station, but still, it is 165 KM far. The train is not the best mode of transport. Also, there is no direct train to Joginder Nagar from Delhi or Chandigarh.
Things to Do in Manali
Let’s start with the compilation from our side, consisting of best things to do in Manali. I visited the town during Winter (December), so consider this list as things to do in Manali during Winter.
#1 Rafting in Beas River
Beas river is the lifeline of Himachal Pradesh. You can enjoy river rafting here.
The flow of water and showers of freezing water from melting snow are good enough to give you chills and thrills.
Authorities have banned rafting and riverside camping activities in the rainy season to avoid any mishappening.
Manali River Rafting Cost: 400-1000INR (Depending on the Season and crowd)
#2 Tea at Mall Road
Tea is every traveler’s favorite beverage, and I cannot imagine a trip without regular tea intervals.
There is a small tea shop at the Mall Road, offering a good tea, a wooden bench to sit at and enjoy the ambiance around.
Cost of Tea at Mall Road: 10INR
#3 Van Vihar
Van Vihar is a good place to relax under the darkness of Deodar trees, also known as Himalayan Cedar. Van Vihar is located near Mall Road which is at walking distance.
When I was in Manali I stayed there for a while. I was very near to the touristic crowd, but that dense forest helped me to escape from all the noises and distractions.
I really enjoyed the solitude greeted by the Van Vihar.
Van Vihar Cost for An Adult: 20INR
#4 Veg and Non-Veg Food
There are plenty of options for foodies here. You can enjoy, both veg and non-veg food and that too according to the budget. It’s not on the cheaper side, but the quality is good for the price.
Mall Road has lots of cafes and Veg/Non-veg restaurants. They serve North Indian, Chinese, South Indian and Gujarati cuisines. There are some good cafes in Vashisth (nearby main town) also. So, you can drive there and try those joints too!
#5 Hadimba Temple
Hadimba Devi Temple, also known as Hidimba Temple, is located at 2KMs from Mall Road. You can either walk or hire a vehicle to the temple.
Hadimba Devi was the wife of Bheema (from Mahabharata) and lived there in a cave with her brother Hidimb.
Temple is surrounded by the cedar forest and you can relax your brain with a pleasant vibe.
During winter, the whole place gets covered with snow and converts into a gorgeous landscape. I guarantee you’ll spend more time here than anywhere after the snowfall!
#6 Vashisht Temple and Hot Water Springs
It’s a 4000 years old temple in Vashisht named village. It is named after the kula guru of Lord Rama. For us, it’s a peaceful place to calm mind.
You can hire a ride or you can take your own vehicle there, also you can enjoy natural hot water bath inside the temple which is free of cost, and for females, there is a separate area which is covered.
It is believed, that water of hot springs can cure skin diseases. Many people visit Vashisht Temple to take a dip to cure their skin infections and diseases.
Distance of Vashisht Temple from Manali – 3.5KMs
#7 Rohtang Pass
Rohtang is not just a pass. It dares you and if it gets angry, it will test you to an unimaginable level!
Rohtang pass connects Kullu-Manali to Lahaul and Spiti Valleys in the Himachal Pradesh. It is a high altitude mountain pass and remains open from May to November. Rohtang Pass is very tough to drive on due to unpredicted weather.
Only 1200 Vehicles (800 Petrol and 400 Diesel variants) are allowed to cross Rohtang Pass in a day. To be there, you’ll need a permit which can be applied online.
#8 Paragliding and Skiing in Solang Valley
Paragliding and Skiing are the two available adventure sports for enthusiasts in Solang valley. You can experience Paragliding at 3000INR and 900INR, depending on the height from you’ll decide to jump.
Tip – You can experience Paragliding in Kullu for the same price and the flight will be longer compared to the one in Solang Valley.
Skiing needs proper snow covered ground, so if snow is there, you can also enjoy skiing also. You should!
#9 Trek to Anjani Mahadev in Solang Valley
Anjani Mahadev is a must visit temple in Solang valley. It is believed that mother of Lord Hanuman worshiped here.
You get to see a Shivalinga of 20-30 feet made from ice just like Amaranth. The temple is accessible via a small trek of 3KMs for which you can easily hire horses.
Horse charges at Anjani Mahadev Temple: 600INR per Person
#10 Shopping at Mall
Manali is full of shops selling winter wears, of course, they will sell winter wears and you can get some best quality products, all you need is knowledge and your bargaining skills, they often raise the prices for tourists so be aware of pricing and quality.
There are many shops selling Leather Jackets and Kullu Shawls, but buy only if you have knowledge of fabrics.
You can also buy some souvenir or gift items from this market around Mall road in Manali.
#11 Movie at Piccadilly Cinema
I run a film specific website FilmyKeeday.com, so, watching films at new places is my thing. This is optional, but if you love cinema then Piccadilly Cinema is present 1KM away from Mall Road.
Piccadilly cinema has a good ambiance and food items like popcorn, nachos, etc. Other food items are cheap, and on top of all, you can even enjoy a beer while watching the film, which I haven’t heard anywhere in the country yet!
These were the good number of things to do in Manali and I hope you keep it bookmarked.
Did any of the aforementioned things on your list?