Manali, in Himachal Pradesh, is one of the top adventure travel destinations in India. It’s ideal for spending time in the great outdoors, and many of these places to visit in Manali reflect the numerous activities that can be done in the area. Below are the 10 top places to visit in and around Manali.
However, many of the attractions and adventures you’ll find in Manali can be quite dangerous—especially if the region is experiencing severe weather such as flooding or natural disasters like landslides. To better prepare for wherever you go in the region, be sure to check weather and road conditions before you set out on your trip.
ADDRESS – Solang Valley, VPO Palchan, Manali, Distt, Burwa
Solang Valley is located about 30 minutes from Manali and attracts travelers both in winter, for its snow, and in summer for its adventure sports. From January to March, it’s possible to ski and snowboard there, and a gondola carries visitors 1.3 kilometers up to the runs. After the snow clears, paragliding becomes popular. However, keep in mind that it’s not well-regulated and there are safety concerns (people have died in the past).
Additionally, many people who visit Solang Valley opt out of the adventure-seeking to experience a bit of culture by visiting the Shiva temple above the village. If you don’t want to walk up to it, it’s possible to ride a pony there.
ADDRESS Rohtang Tunnel North Portal Approach Rd, Manali Visit the website
Rohtang Pass is a popular day trip from Manali, although heavy traffic can be an issue that makes it a challenge to reach. Situated a two-to-three-hour drive from Manali town, it connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti valleys of Himachal Pradesh.
Due to its high elevation of around 4,000 meters (13,000 feet), it’s often subject to bad weather. The main attraction at Rohtang Pass is snow, particularly when it has already cleared from other places. Unfortunately, waste management is poor and facilities for visitors are lacking. The number of vehicles is also restricted and it’s necessary to obtain a permit at least a day in advance to visit.
Still, once you get to the Rohtang Pass, there are plenty of snowsport activities offered when there’s snow on the ground. Additionally, you can stop by Beas Kund, an igloo-shaped temple on top of Rohtang Pass that has a spring that is the origin of the Beas River.
The powerful Beas River flows rapidly through Manali and provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation in its waters and along its banks. However, due to the rapid flow of the river, it can be quite dangerous even for the most experienced rafter, especially after the snow melts in the spring and the water levels rise. Tourists are advised to avoid the river from March through April as a result.
If you’d prefer to be more active while visiting the Beas River, ziplining (flying fox) across it and rafting down it are popular options. Numerous companies in the Kullu Valley offer river rafting, commonly along a 15-kilometer stretch of Grade II and III rapids from Pirdi (near Kullu town) to Jhiri. The rafting season is best from mid-April to June, and from mid-September to October. Trips can easily be arranged in Manali.
ADDRESS – Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Uphill above the bustle and chaos of Manali town, you’ll find the relatively peaceful village of Old Manali, which is dotted with simple traditional-style homes.
Old Manali is a laid-back traveler center, and the road here is lined with guesthouses, cafes, and small shops—ideal for chilling out and watching the world go by. Right at the top sits Manu temple, dedicated to sage Manu, who was the first man created by God according to Hindu mythology. The views are worth the steep but scenic walk to get there.
ADDRESS Hadimba Temple Rd, Old Manali, Manali
Stop by Dhungri forest on the way to Old Manali to visit the ancient Hadimba temple (also known as Dhungri temple). The temple, a four-tiered pagoda, was built in 1553 and has a facade of wood carvings. It’s dedicated to Goddess Hadimba, the wife of Bhima from the Hindu epic The Mahabharata.
Yak rides and huge fluffy angora rabbits ready to pose for photos are added attractions there. Additionally, a fascinating three-day temple festival takes place here in mid-May every year, and people from all over the region come to attend it.
Manali Nature Park
ADDRESS – 2 ground floor Pnb building, mall road, road, Dhungri Village, Manali,
If you love immersing yourself in nature, don’t miss taking a stroll through the thick cedar trees in Manali Nature Park, which borders the Beas River between Manali town and Old Manali.
The towering trees of Manali Nature Park provide a dense shield from the outside world, giving the park a magical, mystical feel. There’s also another similar park, Van Vihar Park, with the entry adjacent to Manali town, if you want to continue your exploration of the natural beauty of the region once you’ve finished hiking through Manali Nature Park.
ADDRESS – Vashist, Himachal Pradesh 175103, India
Another travelers’ hangout with inexpensive guesthouses, Vashist is situated on the opposite side of the Beas River, about 10 minutes uphill from Manali town.
If you’re interested in alternative therapies such as Reiki, massage, past life regression, and tarot, there’s an excellent Reiki center there. It’s open from April to October, and regular spiritual retreats are held throughout the regular season. Otherwise, the main attractions are temples and hot springs.
ADDRESS – On waterfall way V.P.O.-Vashist 5 km. from, Manali Visit the website
A picturesque and enjoyable short hike through the hills behind Vashist will take you to the Jogini waterfall. The waterfall itself is not particularly impressive but a dip in its chilly water is invigorating, and the surroundings are truly enchanting. There are a few small restaurants and guesthouses along the way, so you can stop for a meal before or after you take a dip in the refreshing waters under Jogini Waterfall.
ADDRESS – Pangan Gompa Rd, Pangan, Himachal Pradesh 175143, India
There’s a small Tibetan colony just south of Manali town that’s worth visiting for its serene and soothing Buddhist temples, and shops selling Tibetan handicrafts and carpets. One of the temples, the Himalayan Nyinmapa Gompa, is home to a huge gold statue of Lord Buddha. The temple is beautifully illuminated at night.
Gelukpa Cultural Society Gompa, further along on the same lane, has an atmospheric prayer room filled with small statues. Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa was built by Tibetan refugees in 1960 and is covered in brightly colored frescoes. Inside there’s a medium-sized Buddha statue. The temple also has a list of Tibetan martyrs killed from 1987 to 1989 in the Tibetan unrest.
ADDRESS – Bridge, Manu Temple Rd, near Old Manali, Old Manali, Manali, Visit the website
Many travelers use Manali as a base for trekking through the surrounding mountains. If you don’t want to go alone, Himalayan Trails in Old Manali offers a wide range of outdoor activities including guided treks and day hikes. Himalayan Caravan Adventure is also recommended for trekking and outdoor adventure activities including day hikes, rock climbing, and rafting. For extra adrenaline, you can also take on the Himalayas by bike! Hampta Pass is a popular five-day trek from Manali and requires reasonable fitness.
Frequently asked questions about Manali
Q. What are the best things to do in Manali for a honeymoon?
- Enjoy River Rafting: If you share a love for adventure, then this thrilling activity is the perfect way for you to bond with your partner.
- Visit Old Manali: The perfect you to make some new memories with your partner is to explore the rustic charm and soak in the laid-back vibe in Old Manali.
- Experience a Hot Spring Bath: Enjoy some cozy moments with your partner as you dip your toes into the sulfur springs that have healing properties.
- Admire the beauty of Rohtang Pass: Walk hand in hand and gaze admiringly at the picturesque beauty of the snow-capped Rohtang Pass.
Q. What are the best things to do in Manali in November?
- Find peace in the Hadimba Temple: The atmosphere around the temple and admiring the beauty of nature in November will soothe your soul.
- See wildlife in the Van Vihar National Park: Tender care is administered to the different kinds of wildlife that can be seen here in this national park. You can spot Nilgai, cheetahs, bulbuls, etc.
- Trek to the Jogini Waterfalls: The pleasant weather in November is the perfect opportunity for you to embark on this easy trail to Jogini Waterfalls.
- Stroll along the Beas River: The scenic beauty around this holy river that you see in November is simply mesmerizing.
Q. What are the best things to do in Manali in January?
- Trekking across Hampta Pass: Enveloped in the snow in January, trekking across the Hampta Pass and witnessing the ethereal beauty of nature will leave you breathless.
- Experience Paragliding in Solang Valley: If you are an adventure junkie or you want to get over your fear of heights, paragliding in Solang Valley is the perfect opportunity for you to do that. Apart from the boost of adrenaline, you also get to admire the picturesque beauty of nature amidst the snow.
- Enjoy the Manali Winter Carnival: Organized from 2nd January to the 6th, the Manali Winter Carnival is a grand affair. You get to see a wide array of cultural shows and sports competitions.
- Buy Souvenirs in Mall Road: A trip is incomplete without a souvenir that will remind you of the wonderful memories of the trip. Mall Road has numerous small shops that you can explore to buy souvenirs like woolen clothes, handicrafts, etc.
Q. Which are the best adventure sports to do in Manali?
- River Rafting: This adrenaline-inducing adventurous activity is the perfect way to conquer your fears. Apart from the thrill of balancing the raft amidst the tumultuous flow of water, the magnificent beauty of nature that you can see is simply breathtakingly beautiful.
- Paragliding: The picturesque beauty of nature that you get to witness when you are up in the air is truly amazing. Apart from viewing the glorious beauty of nature, you can also quench your thirst for adrenaline with paragliding.
- Trekking: The panoramic beauty of nature that can be seen along the trek and after reaching the final destination is worth the pain. You get to experience an adventurous activity and make some new memories at the same time.
- Mountain Biking: The thrill of exploring the rugged terrains of Manali on a mountain bike topples whatever fear you might have had. But, maintaining the safety protocols instructed is absolutely essential.
Q. What are the best short treks in Manali?
Looking for a break from your dreary lifestyle with a short outing in the Himalayas? Check out the list of best short treks in Manali for a thrilling trekking experience.
1. Trek to Lamadugh
2. Trek to Bijli Mahadev
3. Bhrigu Lake Trek
4. Chanderkhani Pass Trek
Q. Which are the best rafting tours available in Manali?
River rafting in Manali is one heart-racing adventure that gets thrill-seeking travellers on their toes.
1. Rafting At River Beas In Kullu
2. Rafting Adventure At Tattapani
Q. Which are the best places to visit in Manali with friends?
Tourist places in Manali never cease to amaze with their picturesque serenity and the wonderful charm typical of mountain regions.
1. Hidimba Devi Temple (This ancient 15th-century temple, is dedicated to Goddess Hidimba who was the wife of Bheem, one of the Pandavas)
2. Solang Valley(The elevation of Solang Valley is such that it offers a perfect place to play in the snow and go skiing on the slopes)
3. Rohtang Pass(You will see panoramic views of snow-capped mountains and flower-covered patches all around)
4. Manu Temple( the views of tall hills blanketed with lush green forests this temple offers make spectators gasp for breath)
5. Old Manali(The idyllic village setting will make you feel like you have walked into the happy and hippie 1960s)
6. Manali Sanctuary(See dense thickets of trees like poplar, willows, horse chestnut, deodars, and thickets of blazing red rhododendrons)
Q. What is the best time to visit Manali?
Before you decide what to do in Manali, you must pick the right time to travel to the hill station, which might ultimately determine the kind of experience that you will have there. – The monsoon season prevails from the month of July to September, which is not regarded as a good time to visit Manali.
– The winter season occurs between the months of October to February and it is a good time to visit if you like snow and cold. Please note that the temperature drops below zero at this time.
– The summer season in Manali begins with the month of March and lasts till June, which are the months during which most tourists visit the hill station.
Q. What are the best campsites in Manali? Feeling unsure about what to do in Manali? Do you know that camping is one of the most popular recreational activities which people indulge in, while they are at Manali?
Here are our top picks for camping sites in Manali, which will leave you thrilled.
– Camping in Sethan- Riverside camping, rafting, and paragliding in Manali- Valley of Gods camping – Solang Valley camp- Camping at Bhuntar- Camping at Bhanupul district in Kullu- Wild Himalaya campsite- Tirthan Jibhi Camp- River Beas Camp
Q. What is famous in Manali?
Manali is famous all over the world for a number of things including its spectacular tourist destinations, delicious cuisine, and beautiful souvenirs. Some of the popular elements of this place include:
– Adventure sports- Tibetan Handicrafts- Tangy and spicy river trout- Hadimba Temple- Rohtang Pass- Beas Kund- Jogini Falls
Q. How can I spend 2 days in Manali?
Here are the things you can do in 2 days in Manali:
– Experience paragliding over Solang Valley- Seek blessings at the Hadimba Temple- Enjoy white water rafting in the Beas River- Experience riverside camping under the starry night sky- Witness snow at Rohtang Pass- Shop your heart out at Mall Road- Enjoy the amazing nightlife in Old Manali
Q. What should I buy in Manali?
Some of the best and most recommended things to shop for in Manali include:
– Himalayan and Tibetan Handicrafts – Kullu caps and shawls- Woollen clothing- Dorjes and thangkas- Kesar – Prayer wheels- Silver jewelry- Bamboo trinkets- Carpets and rugs
Q. What is there to do in Manali?
There are many interesting things to do in Manali that are entertaining and exciting at the same time. Some of the best things to do in Manali are camping, river rafting, shopping at Manu Market, and paragliding.
Q. What is the best time to visit Manali?
The best time to visit Manali is from October to June. October to February is the winter season for Manali and if you plan to visit the destination in January, you are most likely to experience snowfall. Whereas, March to June is the summer season and the weather is great.
Q. What are the adventure sports one can try in Manali?
There are many interesting adventure sports that you can try in Manali which will give you an adrenaline rush. Some of those activities are zorbing, paragliding, mountain biking, trekking, and Jeep Safari.
Q. Is Manali a safe destination to visit?
Yes, absolutely! Manali is quite a safe place to visit and explore. In fact, Manali is safe for solo female travelers too. The only thing needed is for you to be a bit cautious.
Q. What are the best things to buy in Manali?
Some of the best things to shop for in Manali are Tibetan handicrafts, woolen clothes, Thangkas, Kullu and Kinnauri shawls, praying wheels, and Dorjes. The shopping experience in Manali is unique and unmatched.
Q. Which are the best cafes in Manali?
Manali is a foodie’s paradise and there are many great cafes that one can explore here. Some of the best cafes in Manali are Cafe 1947, Drifter’s Cafe, Casa Bella Vista, and Cafe Meraki. The ambiance and the settings of these cafes are warm and cozy and the food is great too!
Q. What is Manali famous for?
Manali is famous for many things and not just one. As for Hindu mythology, the place is said to have a great origin. The place is also known for being home to many Tibetan monasteries. It is also known for the multiple tourist attractions it’s home to.
Q. What is there to do in Manali at night?
Manali is a great place to enjoy thrilling nightlife. From camping under the star-lit sky to dancing in the pubs, Manali has it all. Some of the best things to do in Manali at night include exploring the famous Mall Road, camping at Solang Valley under the star-lit sky, visit clubs like Khyber, Chelsea Club, and Cafe 1947.
Q. Which language is spoken in Manali?
The official language of Manali is Hindi while Pahari is the most common language spoken here by the local people.
Q. At what height is Manali located?
Manali is located 2050 meters above sea level.