Manali

Kullu River, Manali

Manali is a city in the Kullu Valley.

Understand

Manali, at the northern end of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, is a hill station situated at a height of 2050 m (6398 ft) in the Himalayas. Situated on the Beas River (Vyaas in Hindi) and near its source, it is a popular tourist spot for Indians in summer and a magical, snow-covered place in winter. A staging point for a number of treks (Beas Kund, Chandrakhani Pass) and sports such as white-water rafting, Manali is also on the road to Ladakh via the valley of Lahaul and Spiti and Rohtang Pass, which is the main attraction near Manali.

Weather

Minimum temperature could range between -15 to -5 degrees Celsius from October till March. December, January and February are coldest months. Rest of the year the minimum temperature would be between 15 to 20 degree Celsius.

As temperature goes below freezing level, especially during winter season, travelers are advised to carry appropriate clothing.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 19 23 27 30 35 33 33 30 29 30 25 21
Nightly lows (°C) -11 -11 -6 -1 1 4 7 7 3 -1 -5 -10
Precipitation (mm) 108 133 202 108 78 88 215 221 100 52 43 59

The climate in Manali is predominantly cold during winters, and moderately cool during summers. The temperatures range from 4 °C (39 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F) over the year. The average temperature during summer is between 04 °C (39 °F) and 15 °C (59 °F), and between −15 °C (5 °F) and 05 °C (41 °F) in the winter. Monthly precipitation varies between 31 mm (1.2 in) in November to 217 mm (8.5 in) in July. In average, some 45 mm (1.8 in) of precipitation is received during winter and spring months, increasing to some 115 mm (4.5 in) in summer as the monsoon approaches. The average total annual precipitation is 1,363 mm (53.7 in). Snowfall often takes place between November end to early February. The weather in Manali is not stable.

Get in

By bus

Manali is about 550 km from Delhi, the capital of India, and there are buses connecting the town with Delhi, Shimla, Dharamsala and Leh. For service from Delhi to Manali, tickets and reservations can be made at the Inter State Bus Terminus as well as at the Himachal Tourism office on Safdar Hashmi Marg near Mandi House in New Delhi. The approximate travel time from Delhi to Manali is 14 hours; from Ambala to Manali is 10 hours; and from Kulu to Manali is 1.5 to 3 hours. Volvo buseswhich depart at around 5PM and reach at 09-10AM next dayare available from Delhi and is the best option in terms of comfort and value for money to reach Manali but you need to book these in advance. Hotels like kapoor resort book your volvo with wifi connection and personal led screen along with their hotel package.

As the windows do not open outward on the Volvo buses, passengers are advised to carry anti vomiting medicines and avoid eating just before/after boarding the bus.

By private taxi

If hiring a private taxi, ensure that the driver has experience driving in hilly regions and does not have the habit of drinking alcohol.Also make sure the driver has done the trip at least once before and knows all roads. Also make sure that the driver is used to drive for long hours. If you are going to Manali through Chandigarh-Ropar-Kiratpur-Mandi highway, then your driver would need to drive on hilly roads for at least 6 hours. The expected price is somewhere around ₹3000 to ₹4000 / day for an Indica or an Innova car from Delhi.

By train

The nearest Broad Gauge Rail Head is Ambala Cantt(290km) or Chandigarh (250 km)from Indian Capital New Delhi. Ambala Cantt is on the Delhi - Amritsar and Delhi - Jammu main lines and is well served by rail, but you will need to travel to Ambala to get a bus for the 10 hour ride to Manali. Jogindernagar and Kalka are other, less preferable, rail heads for Manali. The nearest Broad gauge station is Kiratpur Sahib in Punjab near the city of Nangal. It lies in Ropar district of Punjab. The station lies on the Ambala Cantt - Una route of Indian Railways. From here you can easily get buses for Manali.

By plane

The nearest airport is Bhuntar (Kullu) Airport (Tel: 01902-265037, 265603), 50 km from Manali, 10 km from Kullu, about one hour away. Air India has a morning flight from Delhi operated by Alliance Air.

Delhi is the nearest international airport, 560 km away from Manali. That airport is well connected to major cities in India as well as cities abroad.

Get around

There are various ways of getting around in Manali, if you are not already travelling with your own vehicle. Most tourists hire a taxi (various kinds available), which takes you around to all the sight seeing spots in and around Manali (Rohtang, Manikaran etc.). It costs about ₹1800 per day, or little over ₹3000 if you book together for 3 days (in the peak season). Dress for Rohtang cost around ₹150 for each set including boots and sking set will cost you around 200. These detail are mentioned at a board at Mall Road. Be sure to bargain.

The second most common way is to hire a motorbike. There are many places where you can hire a motorbike (easy to find if you ask around), and is the most common mode of transport for foreigners. Both cruiser bikes like Bullet and sport bikes from Honda, Bajaj, Yamaha etc. are easily available, though Bullet is the most commonly seen one on the roads. Rates hover around ₹500-₹600 per day in the peak season, but much discounted at other times. A good place worth a look will be in Bike rentals Manali office in Vashisht 9816044140, have a good selection of Royal Enfields and Pulsars. Also 'Tinku' Bike mechanic near old Manali bridge is an honest shop for bike rentals.

Public transport is not so good. There are cheap bus services, but they are not so frequent. Yet, if you are going to stay for a long time, it is better to know the times and use them, as other modes of public transport and exorbitant compared to bus. For e.g., auto rickshaws take ₹200 from manali mall road to Solang valley, while the bus will cost you just ₹10. The buses are not punctual specially because they seem not have a written schedule. The best option is to ask about timing at the bus terminal. Buses starts to run at 7-8AM. Frequent a bus can be cancelled or late. You can get in / out almost at any place on the route just waive the driver.

Public bus routes

See

Mountains from Manali
Gauri Shankar Temple
Hidimba Temple

There are some interesting temples of Tibetan Buddhist lineages located between old and new Manali.

Kothi:

Spring water of the 'Nehru Kund' is believed to originate from the Bhrigu lake.

Kothi is located at the bottom of Rohatang Pass. It is a beautiful and photographic village where tourists can capture different thrilling views of the deep gorge through which the Beas swiftly runs. This is an amazing place to experience the natural beauty of high altitude mountain.

Do

Paragliding from Gulaba to Solang valley.

Trekking:

Buy

Keychains, name plates, etc. which are customized to ones own message are worth buying as mementos. Also one can get his name carved/written on a single grain of rice. One can also visit Manali Market to buy woolen stuff like sweaters, pull overs, shawls, blankets, etc. Hippie clothes/ jewellery can be found in Old Manali.

Do not buy saffron (kesar), musk (kasturi), or shilajit from street vendors; most of these products are fake. Buy from government-authorized shops only.

Eat

Drink

The locals drink two kinds of alcoholic beverages: Lugdi (plains) or Chang (Himalayan), a kind of crude beer made from fermented rice or barley and Sharab (plains) or Arak (Himalayan), an alcoholic drink distilled from Lugdi/chang. Arak can also be made from jaggery or apples or any other fruit.

It might be an interesting experience to visit a local home when the ladies make arak (quite regularly). You can sit in the fields where the ladies make it, have hot water from the distilling to wash with and "test" the product at frequent intervals.

Because there are apple orchards all around Manali, it's often possible to find apple cider. Besides this, there is alcohol available in bars, larger restaurants and the larger hotels.

Kullu-Manali Valley is known as fruit bowl of India. Himcoop Juice Bar at The Mall Manali is one of the well know corner shop since 1972 selling 100% Natural Apple Juice and fruit drinks made from local fruits besides some syrups known as Fruit Crush to carry home to prepare fruit drinks after deluting with fresh water. Himcoop Juice Bar is located on the Main Mall as one of the corner shop next to Temple.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Home Stay

Stay safe

Manali is a safe city but during seasonal time a surge of visitors keep visiting this beautiful place and some people exploit this opportunity for their own benefits. So a note of cautious is given while roaming around the city.

If you get lost and don't have enough directions get around the city then just ask for Manali Market. From there you can easily head to any destination of your choice.

Don't exchange currency in illegal market. Always ask for receipt after doing currency trade with exchange dealer.

A word of caution about paragliding in Manali. Many pilots of these parachutes are un-trained and obtain licences in the usual way any licence is obtained in India. Many a tourist visits the Lady Willingdon Mission Hospital with broken bones, sometimes protruding out, after accidents. Some para-gliders crash into innocent bystanders who end up with spinal injuries and paralysis. Serious, complicated cases with multiple organ injuries and heavy blood loss are stabilized to the extent possible and referred to either Chandigarh or Shimla. Sadly, some don't make it. Blood availability is very very limited in this hilly area. So think very carefully before deciding to paraglide in Manali.

Go next

Travelling northward from Manali is the breathtaking region of Lahaul and Spiti across the Rohtang Pass. The "highway" crosses the pass and forks at Gramphoo (12km) the left one goes to Lahaul and is the Manali Leh highway and the road on the right leads to Spiti via Kunzum La. The Rohtang pass also marks the boundary between the fertile Kullu valley with its lush greenery and the sparse vegetation Lahaul and Spiti. The Ladakh, Zanskar and Changthang areas further on are even more barren.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 28, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.