According to the Hindu mythology, Manali got its name from Manu, the lawgiver of India appointed by Brahma, the God of Creation. It is believed that Manu arrived in the region after 7 cycles of creation and destruction.
Manali is also considered to be the holy abode of 7 revered sages belonging to the Hindu religion. Here is a guide to some of the weekend getaways around Manali.
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Mandi, also known as 'Varanasi of the Hills', is a well known district situated in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Located on the banks of the River Beas, the historic city of Mandi was earlier known as Mandav Nagar after the great Sage Mandav. Famous for its stone temples, the destination has more than 300 shrines devoted to the Hindu deities Shiva and Kali.
Photo Courtesy: Ritpr9
Keylong, popularly known as the ‘Land of Monasteries', is a beautiful sightseeing tourist destination of Himachal Pradesh. The exhilarating and archaic mountain ranges along with lush green valleys makes this one of the best places to visit. It offers visitors with the opportunity to visit several Buddhist pilgrimage centres. For the adventure junkies Keylong is a paradise as it offers various adventure sports like trekking, fishing, camping, paragliding, skiing and jeep safari.
Photo Courtesy: Vyacheslav Argenberg
Lahaul lies in the Indo-Tibetan border in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The natives have fair skin and hazel coloured eyes and are of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan lineage. Most of them practice Buddhism and religiously follow their customs and traditions. Prayer flags flapping over the monasteries are a highlighting feature of this place. All these shrines showcase the religious inclination of natives of this region.
Photo Courtesy: Nvvchar
Bir is among the popular tourist destinations of the state of Himachal Pradesh. The major population of the town comprises refugees from the neighbouring country, Tibet. This place is popular for its various centres for spiritual studies such as the Deer Park Institute and the Dharmalaya Institute.
Photo Courtesy: Dave Kleinschmidt
Palampur, a hill town, is renowned for its magnificent landscapes and serene atmosphere. Dense forests of pine and deodar and crystal clear streams add to the charm of the place. The place is ideal for spending a quality vacation as it is unlike any commercial tourist spot. Resting at an altitude of 1220 mt above sea level, this place is a treat for nature and art lovers.
Photo Courtesy: Rakeshkdogra
Spiti is a desert mountain valley in the north eastern part of Himachal Pradesh. With an average height of 3,810 mt above sea level, it is one of the least populated regions in India sparsely populated with villages and monasteries. Keep in mind, that you might experience altitude sickness due to the height of Spiti. Allow a few days to acclimatize and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Photo Courtesy: 4ocima
Kangra is located at the meeting point of the Manjhi and Bener streams in Himachal Pradesh and is nestled between Dhauladhar Range and Shivalik Range. It is commonly known as Dev Bhumi, which means the abode of the Gods. In the Indian epic Mahabharata, Kangra is referred to as the Trigarta Kingdom. The city was ruled by numerous kings before it came under the British. Following the partition of the country in 1947, it became a part of Punjab, but was transferred to Himachal Pradesh in 1966.
Photo Courtesy: Aleksandr Zykov