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Manali
 

MANALI
Manali, the Himalayan town in North India with mystifying natural beauty is a perfect rendezvous of beauty and nature. It is situated at a height of 2050 m (6398 ft) in the Himalayas. Situated on the bank of Beas River, it is a popular tourist destination for everyone in summers and turns out into a magical, snow-covered place in winter. To the modern day visitors, Manali conjures up images of evergreen pine groves, snow capped mountains, whispering forests, cascading water falls and the swift flowing waters of perennial Beas. A staging point for a number of treks (Beas Kund, Chandrakhani Pass) and sports such as white-water rafting, Manali is also on the road to Ladakh. Many bikers start their bike tour to Ladakh from Manali.

Weather of Manali
Dec, Jan and Feb are coldest months with Min Temp going below -10 C. Rest of the year the minimum temperature could be between 10 to 15 C.

Routes
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By Road
Manali is well connected by road with Delhi, Ambala, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Haridwar, Shimla, Dharamsala and Chamba/Dalhousie. Regular buses ply between these stations. It is connected with Leh during July to October. Manali is about 550 km from Delhi. Volvo buses and private taxis are also available from Delhi. The approximate travel time from Delhi to Manali is 14 hours.

By train
Nearest convenient rail head are at Chandigarh and Pathankot. Manali can be reached from road from these stations.

By Air
The nearest airport is Bhuntar (Kullu) Airport, 50 km from Manali, 10 km from Kullu, about two hours away. Indian Airlines and Kingfisher airlines operate flights to Kullu from Delhi and Chandigarh. From the airport the best option to go to Manali is by Pre Paid taxi which is easily available there.

Get around
There are various ways of getting around in Manali, if you are not already traveling with your own vehicle. Most tourists hire a taxi which takes you around to all the sight seeing spots in and around Manali (Rohtang, Manikaran etc). It costs about Rs.1500 per day.
The second most common way is to hire a bike. There are many places where you can hire a bike and is the most common mode of transport for foreigners. Both cruiser bikes like Bullet and sport bikes from Honda, Bajaj, Yamaha etc are easily available, though Bullet is the most commonly seen one on the roads. Rates hover around Rs. 500-600 per day in the peak season, but much discounted at other times.
Public transport is not so good. There are cheap bus services, but they are not so frequent.

Places to see of Manali
Rohtang Pass, at an altitude of 3979 m (13,050 ft) above sea level, is another adventure tourist site where it can be cold even on a summer day. It is the highest point on the Manali-Keylong road and provides a wide panoramic view of mountains rising far above clouds, which is truly breath taking. Close by is a small lake called Dassaur Lake. Beas Kund, the source of river Beas, is also nearby. Beas Kund, an igloo shaped temple, on top has a spring which is the origin of River Beas. In winter, the road to Rohtang Pass is closed.
Hidimba Temple: It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, who was a character in the Indian epic, Mahabharata. The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest at the foot of the Himalayas. The sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground, which was worshiped as an image of the deity. The structure was built in the year 1553.
Vashist Hot Water Springs and Temple: Around 3 km from Manali, across the Beas River is Vashist, a small village with natural sulphur springs. Modern bathhouses, with Turkish-style showers, have the hot water piped into them for the convenience of the visitors who come here to benefit from the medicinal properties. Vashist, also boasts a pair of old stone temples, opposite each other above the main square. Dedicated to the local patron saint Vashist, the smaller of the two opens on to a partially covered courtyard, and is adorned with elaborate woodcarvings. Those lining the interior of the shrine, blackened by years of oil-lamp and incense smoke, are particularly fine. The temple tanks are underground hot-water/sulfur springs.
Solang Valley popularly known as Snow Point is 13 km northwest of Manali and famous for its 300-meter ski lift. It is a picturesque spot and offers splendid views of glaciers and the snow-capped mountains. Jagatsukh, the former capital of Manali, is also an important spot.
Rahala waterfalls: About 16 km from Manali at the start of the climb to the Rohtang Pass, are the beautiful Rahalla Falls at an altitude of 2,501 m.

Rozy Falls: On the way to Rohtang, amazing water falls worth seeing. This water fall looks amazing between the high hills.

Monasteries: Manali is known for its shiny gompas or Buddhist monasteries. It is maintained by donations from the local community and by sale of hand-woven carpets in the temple workshop.
Old Manali: At a distance of 3 km northwest of Manali is Old Manali, famous for its orchards and old guesthouses. There is ruined fort here by the name of Manaligarh. There is also the Manu Maharishi Temple, dedicated to sage Manu.
Gauri Shankar Temple at DASHAL village(700 mtrs. from Sarsai )on the main left bank Kullu Manali Highway.It is a 12th century protected monument.Also see lush green apple orchards, play with water stream out thereat Fun park near Hidimba Temple
There are some interesting temples of Tibetan Buddhist lineages located between old and new Manali.

Naggar: The Castle, Roerich House and Art gallery are places to see. Moonlight dinner on the balcony of Hotel Castle restaurant is worth experiencing, with the lovely sight of twinkling lights below in the Beas valley. Bijli Mahadev temple, about 20 kms from Naggar, is also worth visiting.
Zana Falls: 15 Kms from Naggar and 35 Kms from Manali, at Zana Village, beautiful Fall is worth to visit. The valley is amazing. There is one water fall on the road side and two water falls (which are not too explored by tourist) are amazing. Moreover Traditional Himachali food is available here at small hut type shop.

The Manali Gompa: Manali Gompa was built in 1960. It is one of the important places for Buddhists. Buddhists come to this place from Ladakh, Tibet, Spiti, Lahaul and Kinnaur. Manali Gompa is world famous for a large statue of Buddha and for its wall paintings.

Kothi: Kothi is located at the bottom of Rohtang Pass. It is a beautiful and photographic village where tourists can capture different thrilling views of the deep gorge through which the Beas swiftly runs. This is an amazing place to experience the natural beauty of high altitude mountain.

Nehru Kund: Nehru Kund is located at the distance of around 6 km from Manali. It is one of the natural springs of natural water in India. Nehru Kund is named after the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru used to drink water from this Kund, while his journey to Manali. Nehru Kund is on the Manali-Keylong road, about 6 kms from Manali. It is understood that a landslide has wiped out this spring.

Places to Eat in Manali
Old Manali is one of the best places to hang out in the evening. It has a great collection of restaurants/bars and shops. It is also not crowded like the Mall Road, with the crowd consisting mostly of foreigners.

Bob Dylan's Cafe (also known as Roasted and Toasted) is in the heart of old Manali. It serves the most delicious cookies and sandwiches. With its extremely good menu and pocket friendly price, it remains one of the most popular destinations after a day's sightseeing. Also, at no extra cost you have a very comfortable movie theater where you can choose among some 100 movie titles and watch as you munch on those delicious cookies. And yes, they do play Bob Dylan's songs.
Pizza Olive has the best pizza in town and is worth the trek to Old Manali. Also try the fabulous tiramisu.
Green Forest cafe lying on the Hadimba-temple old Manali road, only a few hundred meters from the temple, is also a very popular destination for both locals and foreigners. It serves Tibetans soups, veggie dumplings and other sandwiches and snacks.
Lazy Dog also in Old Manali, it has an extensive multi cuisine menu. The food is quite good and the ambience is great.
Johnson's Bar and cafe located 5 minutes walk up from the mall road, it is a great place to hangout in the evening. The food and service is quite good, and is thus a very popular place.
Chopsticks - (opposite the bus stand).Really good Tibetan food.
Il Forno, (ca. 100 m below the Hadimba Temple, in direction of New Manali). Original Italian pizzas prepared by an Italian cook. Prices higher than Indian average but still cheap for Italian pizza
Cafe Zeppelinn, Kothi village (13km from Manali, on the way to Rohtang Pass). All day long is the last Cafe once you leave Manali and are heading towards Rohtang Pass. It is run by young entrepreneurs for their love of life in the mountains and music. They serve good pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and momos. They also play excellent ROCK music from the 60s and 70s. Most Para gliders will land at their Cafe and should enjoy their services while waiting for their friends or families to pick them up..

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