Picture this; a stretch of treacherous narrow lane leading into the mountains with buses fighting to stay on the road in certain parts. As the vehicle twists and turns, you are alternatively served the sights of rock faces and the gushing river. If you are travelling at night, the waters look luminescent blue, reflecting the moon's light and a look at the sky rewards you with a million stars. The pure, unadulterated vision of nature is overwhelming, to say the least!
Tempted yet? Kullu Manali is a trip that re-defines a traveller's understanding of beauty. Nature here, in all its untamed glory has something to offer both travellers looking to relax as well as those seeking adventure!
Here is a visual tour of the places to visit in Kullu Manali. The photos describe select experiences that are not to be missed!
The Road To Manali
The wondrous journey to Kullu Manali begins at the road leading here from Chandigarh. Try driving down or taking the many private or state buses that ply the route. Don't bet on great comfort, but it's a small price to pay for the magnificent views!
Photo Courtesy: Felix Dance
This scenic spot en-route to Rohtang Pass can be approached by road in summer months and by mountain bikes later. Known as an idyllic picnic spot with a view of snow-capped mountains, the Beas river and serene grasslands, make a stop here for some great photos. Gulaba is increasing in popularity for the adventure sports offered here. If luck favours, then you might also catch a sunset like this!
Photo Courtesy: Jimish
Among the places to visit in Kullu Manali is Solang Valley, located 14 km away. It is famed for the variety of summer and winter adventure sports offered. You can take your pick from paragliding, skiing, parachuting and zorbing, depending on the season. The ropeway car to the top is also a wonderful and safe experience!
Photo Courtesy: Joginder Pathak
Among the places to visit in Kullu Manali, Rohtang has a morbid name, meaning 'a pile of corpses'! It was named so because of the deaths caused by harsh weather conditions on the pass. But rest assured, you can have a safe trip here and come away with lasting memories. The 51 km journey from Manali takes you to Rohtang Pass that is flanked by the rivers Chenab and Baes. A trip you don't want to miss!
Photo Courtesy: J'ram DJ
This one is for travellers seeking the ultimate thrill. Pirdi is the starting point for white water rafting in Kullu Manali. It is located 45 km from Manali, and you will need to leave early to reach here on schedule. A two-hour journey across the gushing river will enliven you like nothing else! Other thrilling water sports are also available
Photo Courtesy: Kiran Jonnalagadda
The river's birthplace, Beas Kund is popular among trekkers. Many trekking trails such as Friendship Point and Hanuman Tibba starts here. If the sight of River Baes does not satisfy your restlessness then try the variety of adventure sports here. The introspective can camp out under the stars at Dhundi.
Photo Courtesy: Balaji.B
Many of the tourist attractions in Kullu Manali are located in Naggar village. The Naggar castle, located atop a hill is a peek into the ancient culture of the place. It's also an interesting example of mountain architecture made in wood. Other attractions in Naggar include ancient temples and forts, also made in wood.
Photo Courtesy: Richard Weil
Hot Spring in Vashist
Kullu Manali is popular as a hill station, known to experience snowfall and extreme temperatures during winters. It is also known for the natural phenomenon of hot water springs! Among the places of interest is the town of Vashist, 6 km from Manali, where you can see the hot water spring. The surrounding town area is abuzz with shops selling blankets at discounts. If you happen to visit here during a local wedding, stop to enjoy the traditional song and dance. The temple nearby is also popular.
Photo Courtesy: Vineet Timble
The town of Manali itself is charming with many scenic spots from where you can enjoy the surrounding mountains, tall Deodar trees and the streams passing through. Explore the town by foot for great shopping and curio finds.
Photo Courtesy: Anoop Pandit
Delicacies of Kullu Manali
The local food includes Sattu(made from wheat), Bhatura, Jatu(red rice) and Kodra rotis(cereal). Milk products are available in plenty as well. Indulge in regular cups of tea and explore many other food options such as Tibetan Momos.
Photo Courtesy: Saad Faruque
Kullu Manali is famous for its homemade wine. Locally made wine from Barley called 'Chatki' and rice wine called 'Lugri' is available. Also check the fruit based wines such as apricot, plum, apple, etc.
Photo Courtesy: Neil Palmer
Shopping at Kullu Manali
Kullu Manali offers a host of shopping opportunities. Products range from winter clothing at great prices to dry fruits and jewellery. So-called 'Silk' sarees are also available at rates so cheap; you don't have to bother if it is silk or not!
Photo Courtesy: J'ram DJ