Hadimba Temple is one of the most prominent religious sites in Manali. A cave temple, it is dedicated to Hadimba Devi, the sister of Hadimb who is a demon from the Hindu mythology. Located at the foothills of the Himalayas, it is bounded by forests of cedar. This temple was constructed over a large rock emerging from the ground and dates back to 1553. This rock inside the temple is worshipped by devotees as a representation of the deity. According to a local legend, the king responsible for the erection of the temple ordered the amputation of the right hands of the artisans who worked on its construction. He did this in order to avoid the construction of a similar masterpiece. A ceremony called Ghor Pooja, which involves seeking blessings from the goddess by a ceremonial horse, is organised at this temple. This religious site is thronged by devotees on the 14th of May, which is believed to be the birthday of the presiding deity.
Solang Valley is one of the renowned attractions in Manali that is popular among skiers for its 300 m high ski lift. The valley, otherwise known as the Snow Point, is situated between the Solang Village and the Beas Kund. During winters, the Solang Valley remains thronged by tourists participating in the Winter Skiing Festival, which is organised every year. Various activities, such as skiing, paragliding, zorbing and horse riding can be taken up by visitors while being at the Solang Valley. A temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva, located on a hilltop at the valley, also attracts many visitors.
Rohtang Pass, the ‘Highest Jeepable Road in the World’, is a lofty mountain pathway which is visited by tourists during summers. This pass is situated 51 km away from Manali and connects Kullu with Lahaul and Spiti. Rohtang Pass lies at an elevation of 4111 m above sea level and offers a beautiful view of mountains, scenic landscape and glaciers. Apart from acting as a gateway to other tourist regions, Rohtang Pass serves as an ideal trek base. Tourists can undertake activities like mountain biking, paragliding and skiing at this site.This pass opens up for tourists in the month of May and shuts down in September due to heavy snowfall. The journey via the Rohtang Pass can be dangerous because of snowfall and high velocity winds. Travellers planning to visit this site need to take prior permission from the Indian Army in order to ensure the safe passage of their vehicles.
Bhrigu Lake is a popular water body holding religious significance for the Hindus. The lake is nestled amid the Great Himalayas and its banks are believed to be the site where Rishi Bhrigu, one of the seven renowned sages of the Hindu religion, meditated while residing on earth.
It is also believed that this was the site where he wrote the Bhrigu Samhita, an astrological manuscript with predictions of the future and records of the past. A natural spring known as the Nehru Kund, which is fed by the Bhirgu Lake, adds to the attraction of the place.
Mall Road, considered as the heart and the lifeline of Manali, is a known attraction of the place. The central market located on the Mall Road attracts numerous tourists. There are several shops alongside the road from where tourists can buy popular memorabilia including Kullu caps, shawls and other woollen products. The road also has numerous food joints and restaurants, serving delectable and hygienic meals.
Manali Wildlife Sanctuary, sprawling over a small area of 31.8 sq km, is one of the popular tourist attractions in Manali. On 26 February 1954, the place was declared as a sanctuary under the Punjab Birds and Wild Animals Protection Act of 1933. This sanctuary is abode to several endangered and rare species of animals, reptiles, mammals and birds.
However, travellers can mostly see the barking deer, Kashmir flying squirrel, Himalayan black bear, flying fox, Himalayan yellow throated marten and Himalayan palm civet in this sanctuary. Indian hare, musk deer, stripped hyena, leopard, monal and brown bear are a few of the other animals that can be spotted here.
Vashisht Village is a prominent tourist attraction in Manali, popular for its sandstone temples and natural springs. This village lies at a distance of 6 km from Manali, on the banks of the Ravi river. The natural springs found in this village are believed to have medicinal properties capable of curing any skin ailment.
According to Hindu mythology, the hot sulphur springs in Vashisht were created by the younger brother of the deity Rama, Lakshman. Separate bathing facilities, for men and women, have been set up by the government at the spring. Tourists can visit the Hot Bath Complex which is just a 10-minute long walk from the city centre.
A temple, which enshrines a black stone figure of a ‘Rishi’ or sage wearing a lion cloth, is located in proximity to the springs. Pilgrimage sites dedicated to Kala Guru and the 7th incarnation of Hindu deity Vishnu, Rama, are also located in the Vashisht Village.
The Rama Temple enshrines the idols of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lakshman. According to popular folklore, Rishi Vashisht, one of the seven great sages of the Hindu religion, was left disheartened on finding out that his children had been killed by Vishwamitra, a well known Hindu sage.
In his grief, Rishi Vashisht tried committing suicide by jumping into a river but instead was carried away by the waters to the village of Vashisht. He then started a new life in the village. The river which took the rishi to the village was named Vipasha, meaning freedom from bondage. The Vipasha river is now known as the Beas river.
Beas Kund, known as the origin of the Beas river, is a prominent tourist site in Manali. The place is considered sacred by people belonging to the Hindu religion. They believe that the Beas Kund was used by Rishi Vyas as a bathing place. According to locals, taking a dip in this sacred lake cures all kinds of skin ailments. The Beas Kund is sheltered by an igloo-like stone formation. This formation acts as the base for treks to the Friendship Peak, Shitidhar Peak, Hanuman Tibba Peak and Ladakhi Peak.
Nehru Kund, situated at a distance of about 6 km from Manali on the Manali-Keylong Road, is a natural spring. The kund was named after the first Prime Minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru. On his way to Manali, he would drink water from this particular spring.
Hamta Pass, located at an altitude of 4268 m above sea level, is one of the popular trekking bases in Manali. This trek base takes travellers up to the headwaters of the Chandra river which is located in Lahaul.
Tourists enjoying trekking can also explore the lower parts of the Bara Shigri Glacier. The Hamta Pass is built out of numerous snow bridges that were constructed over time across the Hamta stream.
A beautiful and famous picnic spot at an altitude of 2,501 m, Rahala Falls is located at the starting point of the Rohtang Pass, 16 km from Manali. Glaciers feed the waterfall which eventually falls over steep rocks. Surrounded by birch and deodar forests, the site is a secluded place of unspoilt beauty.
The period between May and October is ideal for a visit to the place. Magnificent snow-clad mountain peaks of the Himalayas form the backdrop of the waterfalls. The place can be accessed in 20 min by bus or taxi from Manali.
Rozy Falls is a beautiful waterfall situated en route to Rohtang from Manali. The waterfall, tumbling down the face of large rock formations, makes for a breathtaking sight. Visitors can spend leisurely time picnicking near the waterfall.
Jagatsukh Village, the former capital of Kullu, is one of the biggest villages of the region and is popular for its various religious centres. The place is primarily known for an old temple known as the Shiva Temple, which is constructed in shikhara style consisting of a flat-topped pyramid-like structure.
There is also a chalet-roofed temple that is dedicated to the Hindu deity Sandhya Devi. Apart from these temples, the village also has a Sharvali Devi Temple, and a small shrine of Gaurishankar. The main and common feature of these temples is the tri-ratha sanctum with a shikhara. It is said that these religious sites were built during the 8th century.
Indrasan Peak, located at an altitude of 6223 m above sea level, is a popular trekking trail that lies in Lahaul & Spiti District. The trekking trail to Indrasan leads tourists to a ridge that lies in the midst of the Parvati river and the Beas river.
Tourists going through this route can enjoy beautiful views of many snow-capped peaks, namely the Aliratan Peak, the Indrasan Peak, the Pancharatan Peak and the Deo Tibba Peak.
According to popular folklore, the King of Gods of the Hindu religion, Indra, had once taken shelter in this mountain. The trek to this peak brings tourists to the Chandrakhani Pass, which is believed to be the meeting place of all Gods and Goddesses.
Old Manali is a picturesque town located at a distance of around 3 km from Manali. The place is popular among tourists for its old guesthouses, temples, monasteries and several orchards. Other attractions of the place include the ruins of Manaligarh Fort and the temple of Manu Maharishi, devoted to a famous Hindu sage known as Manu.
The period between May and October is ideal for visiting this place. Visitors can also plan trips to the Solang Valley and the Hadimba Temple, which are two of the popular tourist attractions located nearby.