Manali India – Top-10 Must-See Attractions
Snow capped mountains, serene natural beauty and the pure mountain air welcome to Manali. Manali is arguably one of the most beautiful places in India and every time we get sick of the city life and crave for a break, Manali is the first place we think of.
Sitting along the banks of the Beas River in Himachal Pradesh, Manali is a favourite holiday destination for many local and foreign travellers alike. Strolling down its streets, we often come across many wanderers and tourists who have found here their refuge in the hills. The reason why we find a trip to Manali so fulfilling is because there are so many amazing things to see not just in the city but in the area around it as well. Here is a list of the top 10 tourist attractions in Manali.
1. Kais Monastery
Located about 10 kms from the Kulla bus stand, Dhakpo Shedrupling Monastery, or the Kais Monastery with its red, gold and white colours forms a pretty picture against the lush green backdrop of the trees. The monastery, which is dedicated to Dalai Lama, serves as a boarding school and University for the study of Buddhist philosophy. The peaceful atmosphere of the monastery makes it a very relaxing place to visit and the feeling of tranquillity is overwhelming here. The monastery stays open from 6 am to 6 pm and there are no entry charges.
2. Manikaran Gurudwara
Although Manikaran Gurudwara is located about 80 km from Manali and will take almost an entire day to get there and back to Manali, it is an absolute must-visit tourist attraction in Manali. There is a natural hot pond perfect for peaceful bathing inside the Gurudwara and the delicious meals they serve in the Langar are worth a visit by their own. Throw in the fact that Manikaran is a beautiful place in general, add relaxing hot springs and inpressive temples and we assure you that the trip to Manikaran from Manali is worth every bit of time you spend. The Gurudwara is open to visit free of charge from 5.00 am to 12.00 pm and 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm daily.
3. Mall Road
Usually all hill stations in India have a mall road, which is more or less the buzzing centre of the whole place. Manali is no different and the mall road in Manali is the epicentre of the local life with the majority of most popular tourist attractions located close by. The road is lined with a number of hotels and shops selling Kashmiri shawls, rugs, caps, clothes, jewellery and other interesting articles. Mall Road is a must visit for everyone and if you are into shopping, the place is an absolute delight. Even if you aren’t, though, there are many interesting things to do there along with some really good eating places. The road stays open from 9am to 9 pm every day and is the best starting point for exploring Manali.
4. Hidimbi Temple
In the Indian epic Mahabharata, Himachal was the place where the Pandava brothers spent their time in exile and one of them fell in love with a Demon called Hidimba. This demon later performed penance and attained the status of a Goddess and the Hidimbi temple is dedicated to her. It stands over 24 metres tall with three conical roofs covered with timber. Interestingly, the walls of the temple are decorated with animal horns and there is no idols inside, but just an engraved footprint.
Located just 2 km from the Manali bus stand, the temple is a favourite amongst travellers. It stays open from 8 am to 6 pm everyday.
5. Old Manali
While Manali is a popular destination for tourists of all feather, Old Manali is a paradise for backpackers. It is simply a serene place and is oozing old-fashioned charm. If you get tired of the traffic in Manali, Old Manali will be a welcome reprieve. There are many things to do here but the best is to just take a stroll through its streets where you can pick up a few knick knacks along the way. Old Manali is a refreshing break from the more popular and chaotic Manali and it has quite a few hidden gems which visitors coming to Manali often miss out. Be sure you are not one of them and keep at least a day in hand to experience Old Manali.
6. Manu Temple
Himachal Pradesh is also known as Devbhumi, or the Land of Gods and no wonder that there are a lot of temples that you can visit here. But the Manu temple which is located about 3 km from the Manali bus stand is a real highlight. According to Hindu mythology, Manu was the creator of the human race and this is the only known temple in India dedicated to him. It was originally built in the form of a pagoda with its vaulted ceiling and marble floors added later. The temple stays open from 8 am to 6 pm every day and the entry is free.
7. Bhrigu Lake
One of the most picturesque locations in Manali, the Bhrigu lake should not be missed out while you are in Manali. It is believed to be the place where the great sage Bhrigu meditated and many Gods came here to take a dip in the holy waters of the lake. A 22 km trek from Manali, Bhrigu trek will lead you through absolutely stunning natural environment. April and May are the best months to visit the lake and soak in its pristine beauty. The peaks surrounding the lake offer a truly breathtaking view which when coupled with a cup of hot tea comes very close to perfection.
8. Rozy Falls
Manali is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Almost every step in this remarkable land brings you to another great destination. Rozy falls is one of such places. Situated on the way to Rohtang Pass, Rozy falls are surrounded by tall deodar trees, forested mountains and green valleys. It is an absolute delight to spend some time just lazing around the cascading waters and meditating. It is a popular spot with locals, too, so it can pretty crowded here during weekends. The best time to visit Rozy falls is after the rains as the water level rises significantly making it for the perfect place to let out the shutterbug in you.
9. Arjun Gufa
You can come across mentioning Manali in Mahabharata quite often. It is said that the Arjuna Gufa is where the mighty warrior Arjuna meditated and received a great weapon, the Pashupat Astra, from Lord Krishna. Arjun Gufa is located about 21 km from the Manali bus stand and a visit here will also let you explore the wonders of Prini, a village known for its natural beauty. There are a couple of temples dedicated to Arjuna’s mother nearby which are worth a visit, too. You can learn a lot of Indian lore here as the people are quite friendly and love to chat with travellers sharing with them local legends and myths.
10. Naggar Castle
Made of stone and wood, the Naggar castle is a beautiful amalgamation of European and Himalayan architecture. It is situated in Naggar town and there are beautiful pieces of art on display in the castle. There are three shrines where many locals pray regularly plus a part of the castle has recently been converted into a guesthouse. The entry to Naggar castle costs INR 15 and it stays open from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm daily.
Rich on natural beauty, Manali is a great place to enjoy stunning nature. Tranquil and relaxing, this hill station and the surrounding area offer enough attractions to keep you busy exploring for days.