Manali – one of nature’s best artwork done on earth’s canvass, an angelic beauty which lures thousands of travelers to forget all the worldly pleasures and an intoxicating romantic affair which will linger in your mind long after you are gone. Manali is a quaint resort town glistening like a jewel in the crown of the hill state of Himachal Pradesh.
By air, the nearest airport is Bhuntur which is 50 kms from Manali. One also has the option of travelling by train, Jogindernagar Railway Station being the nearest station, or one can travel by road while enjoying the bountiful nature on his serpentine way. It is 550 kms from Delhi.
I had an amazing stay at Manali during the winters of 2018. I booked the adventure tour packages at affordable rates and flew there with my friends. Manali offers myriad things to its visitors. Every corner of Manali is worth visiting. I have assorted them all into the below activities.
Trekking – The mountain fresh crisp air amidst the chirping of the birds is best enjoyed by trekking. Walking through the serene valley, crisscrossing rivulets and cliffs while enjoying nature from close quarters is surely not to be missed. The copious nature of Manali holds many amazing trekking routes like Chandrakhani Pass, Jogini Waterfalls, Bhrigu Lake and Hampta Pass. For the indolent ones, a walk through the lanes of this beguiling town is sure to be an invigorating one.
Day picnic – Manali is an ideal turf for honeymooners and family vacationers. One can enjoy quality time with the loved ones by enjoying day picnic in nature’s lap at Arjun Gufa which abounds with the legend of Arjun, the third Pandava, meditating there. I regaled at the amazing animals and nature at Van Vihar, felt amazed at the Great Himalayan National Park which is an UNESCO site and feasted my eyes at the majestic gushing waters of Rahala falls and Jogini falls.
Religious – To soothe the religious mind, Manali has a lot to offer. I visited Manikaran which is a pilgrimage site for Hindus and Sikhs alike. Manikaran is so divinely significant that pilgrims are of the belief that there is no need to visit any other religious site after visiting Manikaran. Hidimba Devi Temple built in 1553 for Goddess Hidimba, Vashisht Temple and Gauri Shankar Temple, a shiva temple evokes the deepest religious reverences within. The Manali Gompa and the Himalayan Nyingmapa Buddhist Temple has treasured the teachings of Buddhism in all its simplicity. The cosmic reposeful ambience within the sanctum is all powerful and spiritual.
Adventure – Manali is a haven for the adventure lover. Solang Valley evolves into a hotbed for all kinds of winter indulgences like skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, sledging etc. The ropeway or Gondala offers a regaling ariel view of the snow-covered mountains and the white valley below. I came to know that zorbing, quid biking and paragliding are some of the summer activities. River rafting in the clear waters of the Beas River surrounded by timbered hills is a once in a lifetime experience for tourists. Rohtang Pass, a place which is surely not for the fainthearted, has activities like heliskiing, paragliding and snow scooter driving are perfect stimulants for the adventurous streak.
One unique adventure is an Igloo stay which is house made of snow. The peerless experience of a night stay at an igloo with the starry night sky above will surely leave you awestruck.
Art & culture – In my quest to witness the history and rich cultural heritage of Manali in propria persona, I visited the Museum of Himachal Culture And Folk Art which has immaculately kept the unique rare and antiques of the hill state. Naggar Castle, a mediaeval castle which is now turned into a heritage hotel, is a testimony of the rich architectural skills of an age gone by. I marveled at the pristine paintings of the landscape of Kullu, Spiti and Lahual by the Russian artist, Nicholas Roerich at the Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery and Museum.
Manali’s angelic beauty attracts thousands of travelers every year from far and wide. Nature changes it colors in every season in its unique ways in this beautiful place. With its storehouse of activities and its exclusive and stunning places, Manali ticks all the points in the list for an idyllic memorable holiday. Your quest for an exhilarating and serene stay in never complete without a visit to Manali. As I travelled back to the cacophony of the urban life, I carried the serenity and the peacefulness of the place in my heart to accompany me during my quiet times.