Manali is a gift of the Himalayas filled with beautiful places to facilitate Manali tourism. The best places to visit in Manali are a mix of backpacking and honeymoon locations, adventure sports, religious tourism, wildlife exploration, and much more. Follow our guide to head down to this blissful town to explore the 10 best places herein. In this article, you will also find specific information related to different adventure activities happening here along with some safety tips that you need to follow while travelling.
Think of Manali and the first things that come to mind are the picturesque views, fun adventures, and snow-capped peaks. Manali is a town in Himachal Pradesh, one of the top adventure travel destinations in India, ideal for spending time in the great outdoors. There are numerous places to visit in Manali, but in this article, we will only be covering the top 10 places that must surely be on your bucket list.
Manali tourism features remote panoramas, sky touching deodar forests, glistening lakes, and endless pastures. Whether you are on a solo sojourn, an adventure backpack tour, or a honeymoon trip, there are several hotels in Manali to fascinate you and meet your needs. This hill town also houses cultural and historical gems associated with different cultures that are unique and mesmerizing.
Overall, this hill town in Himachal Pradesh is undoubtedly one of the most visited tourist destinations in India, and we hope our guide will help you travel it the right way!
Table of Contents
Best places to visit in Manali
Top Activities in Manali
Best Time to Visit Manali
Tips for Manali Tour
Frequently Asked Questions
The Bottom Line
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Best Places to visit in Manali
Located on the banks of the Beas river, Manali is a high-altitude Himalayan town, popular for its adventure activities in Solang, Gulaba, and Kothi, or picturesque views for couples. But there is so much more to this town that not many people are aware of - the bustling streets, rich culture, holy shrines, unmatchable history, etc. So, if you are visiting for the first time, such places to visit in Manali must be on your itinerary.
Solang Valley is an open valley of meadows, cobalt blue skies, and spectacular views, located at about 8,400 feet above sea level, and is the best place to visit in Manali by bike.
Location: Burwa, Manali
Distance from Manali: 14 km (approx.)
It attracts travellers throughout the year - in winter, for its snow, and in summer for its adventure sports like paragliding, zorbing, camping, rock climbing, and gondola ride. During winters too you can enjoy certain adventure-seeking activities like skiing and snowboarding. You can also hop onto a cable car and enjoy mesmerizing views of the Himalayas. Apart from these you can visit the Shiva temple, take a walk in the melange of nature, or ride a pony there.
Rohtang Pass is the most popular day trip from Manali, situated at a 2-3 hour drive from the town. It is located at an elevation of 4000 meters above sea level on the Pir Panjal Range.
Location: Leh – Manali Highway
Distance from Manali: 51 km. (approx.)
It is a personal favourite hub of nature lovers, artists, and photographers for generations, that also offers an access pass to Lahaul and Spiti in summers. Tourists can enjoy thrilling adventures like skiing, paragliding, snowboarding, trekking, etc over here. Additionally, you can stop by Beas Kund, an igloo-shaped temple on top of Rohtang Pass. However, due to immense snowfall, it is a prohibited place to visit in Manali in December. To protect the delicate beauty of the pass, alpine ecosystem, and small creeks, the Government has also restricted overcrowding at this destination.
Beas is a rapidly flowing river through Manali, a natural landmark in this region, that provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation along the banks of the water. Adventure seekers can experience river rafting, kayaking, and zip-lining at this place. Tourists can also visit the Vashisht village that provides excellent views of the river valley or travel to Kothi to have fun in clear blue waters. The Pridi village is also famous for the exciting rapids that it gets. Tourists are advised to avoid the river from March through April.
Manikaran is a famous pilgrimage destination near Manali, located in the Parvati Valley, the land where two different Gods live together. It is associated with various legends and attracts both Hindu and Sikh devotees, bringing religious diversity to life.
Opening Timings: Open on all days
Distance from Manali: 79.4 km
The town has the pious shrine of Sri Gurunanak Dev, Shiva Temple, Kulant Pith, and Hot springs. These hot springs are considered holy and are used to cook food by the Sikhs. All in all, Manikaran has a very relaxing atmosphere, making it a perfect escape to a spiritual experience filled with serenity and knowledge.
Manali tourism is incomplete if you don’t visit the small Tibetan colony towards the south of Manali is worth visiting for its serene and soothing Buddhist temples, Tibetan handicrafts, and carpets.
Opening Timings: Daily from 7 AM to 7 PM
Distance from Manali: 45 km (approx.)
The Himalayan Nyingmapa Gompa and Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa are the most famous. These monasteries are built by the Tibetan refugees and give a perfect glimpse of their culture. Inside, there are prayer rooms, Buddha statues, small ponds, and much more that help devotees to relax and meditate. The monasteries are built in Pagoda style.
Located at the base of Bhrigu peak, the Bhrigu Lake is truly a gift from the Himalayas. It offers one of the best trekking trails of Manali, surrounded by snow-clad peaks on all sides.
Location: Kullu District, Manali
Distance from Manali: 19 km (approx.)
According to legends, Maharishi Bhrigu used to meditate here. Even when the temperature goes down to sub-zero, the lake never freezes completely. The lake is located more than 4000 meters above sea level, providing scenery and panoramic views of the Pir Panjal Range. Well, if not for the trek or nature’s pristine beauty, you must definitely visit this place for its mysterious past.
Hampta Pass is another popular place to visit in Manali by bike, located 15 km away from the main city, on the Pir Panjal Range at a maximum altitude of about 14000 feet. The pass offers a journey through lush-green meadows having pine and deodar forests, making it an unbeatable arena for nature lovers. The Chandratal Lake located en route is another key attraction of the trek. Adventure junkies also roll over and relish the challenging opportunities at this place.
Explore the roots of mankind by visiting the ancient Manu Temple, dedicated to Sage Vaivasvata Manu, who built a big ship to save mankind after the apocalypse.
Location: Old Manali
Timings: 6 AM to 5 PM every day
This pagoda-style architecture stands amidst the deep valleys and mountain peaks, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Manali. Tourists will have to hike a little to reach this temple, but the views at the summit and the spiritual vibes make it worth the effort.
Enjoy the rushing cascades of Jogini Falls by doing a short and invigorating trek through the town of Vashist in Manali. With many small shrines at the base, Jogini is considered sacred by the locals. The waterfall itself is not particularly impressive but the surroundings, the white cascading beauty on the rocks, snow-capped peaks of Rohtang, wild orchards, small creeks, and pine woods are what make it truly enchanting. There are a few small restaurants and guesthouses along the way to keep you refreshed.
On the way to Old Manali, stop by the Dhungri forest to visit this ancient Hadimba temple, a four-tier pagoda that was built in 1553 and has a facade of wood carvings.
Location: Old Manali
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM; every day
It is dedicated to Goddess Hadimba, one of the wives of Pandava Bhima from Mahabharata. The temple is nestled among tall deodar trees and is home to Yaks and fluffy angora rabbits. Its sanctum is a cave shrine that is believed to house the actual footprints of Goddess Hadimba. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains at the back, the temple is one of the best places to visit in Manali.
Top Activities in Manali
Are you planning to escape the humdrum of dreary everyday life? Well, escape to this pleasantly mystic hill station, Manali, housed amidst snow-clad mountains, alluring environs, wonderful weather, delightful views, scenic sights, splashing rivers, water streams, and much more. This hill town is evergreen with several attractions like hills, kunds, adventure parks, and waterfalls, all vying for your attention. Moreover, there are plenty of rip-roaring adventure activities taking place over here, making it one of the best destinations in India. Some of the top activities are:-
Soak yourself in the Himalayan countryside by visiting villages like Malana, Kothi, and Vashisht.
Take a refreshing hot water bath at Manikaran.
Seek blessings at a four-storey wooden Hadimba temple
Enjoy parachuting or paragliding at the Solang Valley during summers and skiing during winters
Enjoy thrilling activities like snow scooter, skiing, paragliding, mountain biking, or ATV at the Rohtang Pass
Spot Himalayan birds, flora, and fauna at Manali Wildlife Sanctuary
Unplug yourself to adventure activities like zorbing, zip-lining, or paragliding in Khajjiar, the ‘Mini Switzerland of India’
Raft in the icy cold water of the Beas River
Go for a Yak ride in different valleys of Manali
Now that you know about the top activities in Manali, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, head down to this hill station, create amazing memories, and cherish your travel diary for a lifetime.
Best Time to Visit Manali
Manali, a place that offers so much in terms of its location, food, sightseeing, and activities, that you can visit this place all year round. Each season in Manali has a unique charm, always exposing tourists to cool and relaxing weather. Here is an overview of what you can expect in Manali in different seasons so that you can plan your journey accordingly.
March to June (Summers)
During summers, Manali offers a moderate range of temperature between 10-25 degrees celsius. However, the nights can still be a bit chilly, so make sure to pack woollen clothes too. This season brings along its own set of enthralling and exciting activities to refresh your eyes, mind, heart, and soul. Some of these activities include:
Exploring the natural beauty of waterfalls like Jogini Falls, Rahala Falls, etc.
Paying a visit to Hadimba Temple, Buddhist Monasteries, Manu Temple, and other holy shrines
Exploring the enchanting museums of Himachal Culture and Folklore
Rafting on the Beas river
Paragliding in Solang Valley
Camping, Trekking, and other mountaineering adventures
Manali during the summers attracts travellers from all across India and abroad. This is the time when the weather is at its best with an abundant comfort level. Manali, during summers, is also surrounded by gorgeous flora and fauna, lush greenery, beautiful sceneries, and a fresh atmosphere. So, start putting your adventure shoes on.
July to September (Monsoons) - Adventure junkies, start packing your bags to visit Manali during monsoons to witness the most refreshing flavour of this place. The slopes are very prone to landslides during this time, and we highly recommend everyone to stay safe and take proper precautions. Some of the activities during this time include:
Visiting different mountain peaks while enjoying the drive through dense and thick forests
Exploring the cultural side of Manali by visiting different holy shrines, enchanting monasteries, museums, etc.
Relaxing at different hot water springs (some are indoors)
Heading to different restaurants and bars to taste mouth-watering local food
The temperature of Manali during this season remains about 10-25 degrees celsius. But please note, most of the places also shut down to avoid accidents during this time of the year. This would be the best time to enjoy those alluring hotel discounts.
October to February (Winters) - As the monsoon starts halting, the chill starts sweeping in from around the beginning of October. During this time, the temperature hovers around 1-10 degrees celsius or below. We recommend that tourists pack plenty of warm clothes. This is the time when tourists can enjoy various ice sports, witness the beauty of snow-capped peaks, celebrate campfires, and much more. Some of the activities include:
Taking a stroll through the Rohtang Pass or other peaks
Enjoying activities like snowboarding and skiing
Trekking to Beas Kund, Chandratal Baralacha Lake, Great Himalayan National Park, Arjun Gufa, etc.
Indulging in the hot water springs in Beas Kund, Nehru Kund, etc.
Experience the white paradise on earth with thick blankets of snow and a romantic icy background to shake hands in unison with nature in its full glory. Manali offers something to everyone - be it a solo traveller, a honeymooning couple, or just a group of friends. This destination will never disappoint you!
Tips for Manali Tour
Manali is the best place to visit for nature lovers, honeymooners, and adventure seekers. Manali tourism promotes spiritual and wellness activities too. But before you plan your vacation, here are some tips to make your journey a hassle-free experience.
Manali is situated 6,730 ft above sea level. One can experience cool weather in Manali throughout the year. Therefore, we recommend tourists carry a bunch of woollen clothing like sweaters, scarves, shawls, and warm jackets. It is also advisable to carry raincoats and rain boots during monsoons.
It is recommended to avoid visiting this place during the rainy season, as roads are prone to get blocked due to landslides and falling of trees.
Manali has a lot to offer in terms of food to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Do try the local cuisines available here, however, it is advisable not to eat from street vendors and to drink only mineral water.
Book your accommodation in advance to avoid inconvenience and prevent overspending. Whichever accommodation you pick, do keep a check for HVAC, woollen blankets, and hot water facilities.
It is recommended for foreign tourists to carry Indian Rupees for making financial transactions as there are very few Forex service providers in Manali.
There are many places to visit in Manali by bike, which remains the best option for travel. However, not everyone is comfortable driving in the mountains. So, it is highly recommended to book private cars and local guides to reach various attractions of Manali.
Manali is home to adventure seekers. However, do not fall into the trap of locals who may try to cheat you. Therefore, do a detailed comparison of various packages available before choosing an adventure sport.
To both foreign and domestic tourists, it is highly advisable to always keep your ID proof and other documents handy. There are various places where the local police will insist on having the check.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which are the must-visit places in Manali for couples?
Manali is one of the best places to visit for couples. All the newly-weds or those who would soon be tying the knot, Manali gives you a perfect opportunity to sit in the laps of nature, enjoy scenic beauty, soothing weather, and an intimate atmosphere. Couples can visit archaic temples and religious sites, the Great Himalayan National Park, hot springs, Solang Valley, Rohtang pass, etc. Thus, choose Manali for your post-nuptials trip to cherish the best moments.
Are 2 days enough for Manali?
If you want to experience the true essence of Manali and its nearby places, we highly recommend a minimum of 4 days of the trip. This is because most of the places remain open from 9 AM to 6 PM only. Many of the places mentioned are located on opposite ends. Therefore, a two-day trip will be very hectic and you will have to rush through different places or skip some of them. However, a four-day itinerary will help you properly spend time at all the places without any hassle. In these four days, you shall truly feel relaxed and happy.
Doesn’t this list of captivating places to visit in Manali intrigue you enough to stir up vacation plans in your very near future? This fascinating city has so much to offer people from all walks of life, age, or preferences. So the next time you plan your trip to Manali, do take a tour of these places! We have thus, given you a gist of all the things you can do and explore in Manali, and we hope these tips will make your trip an enjoyable one