at an altitude of 2,050 m (6,726 ft) in the Beas River Valley is a hill station nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley. It is located about 270 km (168 mi) north of the state capital,
district of Himachal Pradesh state of India. It has become a tourist spot in recent years.The Kullu valley has an ancient town in its lap called Manali. Surrounded by towering peaks at an arm length, Manali's major asset is its proximity to the snowline. It is a flourishing orchard industry, a popular honeymoon destination and trailhead for numerous treks as well as a great countryside ideal for adventure sport lovers. Manali literally means the
Manu is the mythological character who is supposed to have survived when the world was drowned in Flood. He then came to Manali and recreated human life. Thus, the area of Manali is sacred and Hindus treat the temples over here as pilgrimage.
Vashisth Village Temple
History of Manali
In ancient times, the valley was sparsely populated by nomadic hunters known as 'rakshas'. The next arrivals were the shepherds who arrived from the Knagra Valley and settled to take up agriculture. Some of the earliest inhabitants of the region are the 'naur' or 'nar', which is a caste unique to the Kullu valley. Only a few naur families are known to exist now. A naur family in the village Soyal near Haripur on the west bank of Manali was famous for the vast land they owned and their practice of having 'rakshas' as their labourers. Manali is named after the Hindu lawgiver Manu. The word Manali is regarded as the changed name of "Manu-Alaya" which literally means "the abode of Manu". Legend has it that sage Manu stepped off his ark in Manali to recreate human life after a great flood had deluged the world.
Manali is also often referred to as the "Valley of the Gods". The Old Manali village has an ancient temple dedicated to sage Manu.. According to myth, Manu the divine law-giver, was the only survivor of the Mahajal Pralay - the great flood - and is said to have fathered the human race. He certainly chose enchanting environs.
Manali still maintains its charm and beauty. With the majestic grandeur of the Himalayas on one side, river Beas cutting across the town, verdant valleys with rolling meadows and grazing herds dotting the hillsides, apple orchards and the folk music adding romance to the ambience and presenting a wondrous canvas to the traveller. Experience the local color and beauty in Kullu-Manali's temples
, quaint villages and the vibrant and festive mood of the people and their colorful clothes and handicrafts.
Or encounter adventure; on the myriad trekking trails and routes, while skiing on the snow slopes, rafting down the Beas or just as you try your hand at some amateurish angling. Discover for yourself the Kullu Valley, going upto the Rohtang Pass at 13050 feet and encompassing the beautiful Manali in-between, nestled between the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges. As its magical charms enamour, you ebulliently agree that it has rightly been christened as the "Valley of the Gods".
Tourist Attraction in Manali
For high mountain thrills perhaps nothing can surpass the magic of heli- skiing. The sport is available in the area abound by the Hanuman Tibba, Rohtang Pass, Deo Tibba and Chanderkhani Pass near Manali.
Hidimba Devi Temple
Hidimba Devi Temple
Hadimba or Dhungiri temple in Manali is one of the most important temples in the region. This four story wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar.
Himachal Pradesh has some challenging peaks and each year expeditions are organised by the Mountaineering Institute at Manali
. The Mountaineering Institute has regional centres at Dharamsala, Bharmour and Jispa, which organise adventure courses as well.
Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa
This Gompa dominates the Tibetan area around the bottom of the Mall in Manali. The Tibetan refugees built the Gompa in the late 1960's. The Gompa is covered with brightly coloured frescoes and a mid size Buddhist statute. It also carries a list of the martyrs killed in occupation of Tibet of 1987 to 1989.
20-km from Manali, is this beautiful place famous for sightseeing, picnic and photography.
In the valleys of Kullu and Manali below Chanderkhani Pass, situated at an altitude of 2,76m is a little hub of hundred houses. The village, which consists of 1,000 tribals, has an immaculate system of self-governance.
This sanctuary is located in District Kullu's nearest town, Manali. The area of this sanctuary is 3,180 hectares. The sanctuary wasnotified on 26th February 1954, under the Punjab Birds and Wild Animals Protection Act, 1933.
The Mountaineering Institute located at Manali provides training facilities for basic and advance climbing both for Indian nationals and foreigners. This institute also conducts other adventurous sports activities like high altitude trekking, minor mountaineering, rock-climbing, skiing, and high altitude rescue and relief courses. The institute has sufficient lodging and boarding arrangements and equipment can be hired for trekking purposes.
Temple of Manu
Taken as an excursion from Kullu or Manali, Nagar also known as Naggar, is a very lovely village set on a hill surrounded by forests. Naggar was the capital of Kullu valley in the 16th century and the monuments in the region are witnesses to the glory it had once lived in.
It is a spring of clear, cold water, named after the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and is 6-km from Manali on Keylong road.
Temple Of Manu
Slippery stones paths lead through the old village houses up to the temple of Manu. Manali is named after the sage Manu who meditated when he came in this area.
Tibetans have a base in Manali too. There is a large modern Tibetan temple to the South of the bus stand and also a small handicrafts centre.
Famous for the sweeping valley views and sulphurous hot-water springs, the large settlement of Vashisht, formerly known as Bashist, just 3km from Manali, is an amorphous jumble of traditional timber houses and modern concrete cubes, divided by paved courtyards and narrow muddy lanes.
Snow continues to play a major part in February's festivals and Himachal's Winter Carnival is also held this month. Ski slopes of Kufri, Manali and Narkanda come to life with adventure seekers competing their way downhill. For daredevils, Manali, as a base camp, offers best opportunity for Heli-Skiing.