Whenever we talk about Manali one name that is the most prominent is the Rohtang Pass. Located at an altitude of 4111 meters above sea level, Rohtang Pass is 51 km from Kullu, the twin city of Manali, and is one of the most picturesque valleys of Himachal Pradesh. This is a Mountain Pass which is in the eastern part of the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. Rohtang Pass means Piles of Corpses.
Due to unpredictable snowstorms and blizzard, this pass is also known as very dangerous. The main attractions here include Sonapani Glacier, Sulphur Springs, and Bhrigu Lake. Tourists can enjoy horse riding on the Shimla - Jalori Pass - Rohtang Pass trekking Route and skiing at the Sona Pani glacier. In summer, the temperature of the Pass is between 10 and 25 degrees. In winter, the temperature goes down till -7 degree with 8 to 10 feet of snow sheet.
By road, there is no direct route to Rohtang Pass, and to reach there one needs to go Manali route. Many Volvo bus services are also available from Delhi, Leh, Shimla, and Dharamshala. Whereas the nearest Broad Gauge Railway Station is in Joginder Nagar near Mandi. The other nearest Broad Gauge Railway Stations are from Ambala Cantt., Chandigarh and Kirathpur Sahib in Punjab near the city of Nangal. If you want to reach the place through Air, than Bhuntar Airport in Kullu is the nearest airport.
Solang Valley is a very popular as a picnic spot. It has 300 m high ski-lift that are well known amongst skiers. Solang Valley is known as Snow Point. It is located between Solang Village and Beas Kund. At the valley, visitors can enjoy varied activities like paragliding, horse riding, zorbing, and skiing. An annual winter skiing festival is held here every year. A shrine of Lord Shiva is located on the top of the hill.
Hidimdi, Hadimdi or Hadimba, this multi christened Temple is situated in Manali. This is one of the most frequently visited temples in this region. You’ll hardly find anyone who has not visited Hadimba temple during his/her Manali visit.
The temple has got a strong mythological tale associated with the epic Mahabharata. According to it, Pandavas used to reside here. It is said that during their stay, Pandavas were attacked by a Monster named as Hidimb. Bhima, who was the strongest amongst the Pandavas, defeated and killed the evil monster. But his sister, Hadimba is said to have performed meditation here praying to the Gods and take an oath to marry Bhima.
Maharaja Bahadur Singh built this temple in the memory of Hadimba and her brother in the year 1533 AD. Every year many pilgrimages and tourists arrive here to see its beautiful architecture that is the major attraction of the place. The Hadimba Temple has wooden doors with the encrypted designs of Goddesses Durga. There is a 3-inch tall image of Devi Hidimba placed inside the temple. A few meters away from the Hadimba temple, a shrine which is established in the name of Ghatotkacha, son of Hidimdi.
Located in the Parvati Valley in Manali, along the banks of the River Parvati is the Manikaran, Manikaran Gurudwara is a very famous temple located among the hills. A small town, Manikaran has developed into being a major tourist attraction with its religious pilgrim centers and incredible natural hot springs. At an altitude of 1760 meters, the surrounding landscape is as beautiful and unbelievable as the beliefs and legends rooted in the Sikh and Hindu faith which attract tourists as well as pilgrims from all over the world.
Manikaran Gurudwara – a place of worship for Sikh faith in itself is a major tourist attraction on account of the holy bathing afforded by the natural hot pond. The cooler water from River Parvathi mix with the natural geothermal boiling water brings up the hazy clouds that are both relaxing and beautiful. The flavorful and authentic food offered at the Gurudwara also adds charm.
The Beas River, also known as ‘Vipasha’ in Sanskrit, originates at Vyas Kund in the Rohtang Pass in Kullu and flows in Himachal Pradesh & Punjab. From its originating point in the Himalayas, Beas passes through the hills and lush evergreen forests before reaching Punjab. Here, it embraces River Satluj and finally enters the territory of Pakistan, covering a total length of approx 470 km. The river is the main source of drinking water for the population living in Kullu, Kangra, and Mandi regions.
The river bears the testimony of several documented & undocumented historical events. The region around the river was the eastern limit of Alexander the Great's invasion of India in BC 326. The riversides and tranquil environs of the river have incited many great sages that include Vashisht, Vishwamitra, Narad, Prashar, Parshuram, and Vyas to meditate in the ancient times. Even today, Beas reflects the same charm, attracting pilgrims and tourists from different parts of India to pay it a visit once in their lifetime.
The Castle located in the heart of Kullu was built around 1460 AD by Rajah Sidh Singh. This beautiful medieval structure is located in Naggar, a part of Manali region. An architectural blend of Himalayan and western style is displayed by The Castle.
The Castle located near the River Beas. It is an art gallery. Once, the home of the king, the mansion was converted into a rest house in the year 1978 and run by HPTDC. It displays a perfect blend of woods and stone in its architecture. The courtyard of the castle has a beautiful temple.
Van Vihar is a beautiful municipal garden located on Mall Road in front of the Tibetan market. In the lake located in the center of the park, tourists can opt for boating. Van Vihar is adorned with huge deodar trees.
Vashisht temple and springs are situated on the bank of Beas River 3 km away from Manali in a tiny hamlet. It is famous for its hot temples sulphur and springs. Taking a dip in the spring water is considered sacred by people. Nearby is the pyramidal stone temple devoted to Rishi Vashist. He was a revered sage and considered a God Figure.
Old Manali, located few kilometers away from Kullu is well-known for the old guesthouses and orchards. At a distance of 3 kilometers from the main town, Manaligarh, the ruined fort is situated.
In this region, visitors can also find the Temple of Manu Maharishi, dedicated to Rishi Manu. It is believed to be the only sanctum of Manu built in India. The sage was considered as the creator of Human race on earth. He was considered as the ancient law-giver of India.
Vashisht Village is a magnanimous place in Manali that seems like a bounty or nature. The picturesque beauty of this place attracts visitors and tourists again & again. The temple located in the Kullu is a must see in your tour and there are several other attractions too. It is situated at a distance of 7 kilometers from the Manali and can be reached easily by an auto rickshaw. A large number of Deodar and Pine trees cover this region thus making it greener.
There has a very interesting history related to this place. The name of the place has originated from the name of Rishi Vashisht. It is said that Rishi Vashisht came to know that his children were killed by Rishi Vishwamitra, he tried to commit suicide by jumping into the river, but he wasn’t successful as it is believed that the river didn’t allow him to do so. From that time onwards, it was named as Vipasha that is now known as ‘River Beas’. Sage Vashisht hence decided to meditate here in order to start a new life. In the later period, a sanctum was built around this place that is today known as the Vashisht Temple.
The Temple is built by making use of intricate wood carvings. .The hot springs of sulphur of the place are believed to have remedial properties and help to cure several types of diseases. Separate bathing arrangements for male and female are made here. Every month, many pregnant women and senior citizens with diseases arrive here to get purified by taking a dip in the spring. The temperature of the waters of the spring varies from 110 – 123 degree Fahrenheit. It is also believed that the holy water has the ability to repulse all the sins committed by an individual and make him/her feel blessed.
Nehru Kund is a natural spring located in the Manali region at a distance of about 6-7 km from the town. It has been named after the former Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru as he used to drink water from it, on his journey to Kullu-Manali. Nehru Kund is located on the Manali-Keylong Road.
Gulaba is a beautiful scenic spot located in the region. It remains covered with heavy snow from November to February. It is located at a distance of 20 kilometers from Manali and is on the way to Rohtang Pass.
Kothi is situated at a distance of 16 kilometers from Kullu-Manali, on the way to Lahaul-Spiti-Leh highway. The village forms the bottom of Rohtang Pass. From this beautiful gorge, tourists can avail the views of the River Beas rushing through it along with the deep gorge. The Kothi Gorge lies at a distance of 15 km from the town of Manali at an altitude of 2,500 meters. It takes about an hour to climb to the gorge from Kothi. This place serves as a base for paragliding.
The Zoo in Manali is the home to the Monal which is the state bird of Manali. Some of the best of the pheasants of Rewalsar Zoo of Himachal Pradesh are kept in the zoo, along with several other fauna which represents the wildlife and greenery of the region. The Manali zoo is one of the favorite tourist spots for the visitors.
Manali Wildlife Parks and Manali Sanctuary are two of the most preferred tourist places here. While on your trip, if you’re lucky, you might get to see brown bears, leopards, and wild squirrels, Flying Fox, Musk Deer, Stripped Hyena and Himalayan Black Bear. There are trekking routes along with the places to hike through the virgin forestations.
Beas Kund is the origin of Beas River. It is a popular and holy site among Hindus, especially for the people who follow Vyas, owing to the belief that Vyas Rishi used to take bath in this Kund. Beas Kund is a holy place and it is believed that a dip in the Kund cures skin and other diseases. It is sheltered by an igloo-like the formation of stones. There is no vegetation found here. At the site, tourists can choose camping and trekking. Beas Kund also serves as a base for climbing the Shitidhar, Ladakhi, Hanuman Tibba, and Friendship peaks.