Situated at an altitude of 6589 feet above sea level and 3 km from Manali, Himachal Pradesh, is the Old Manali town, a serene settlement situated at the bottom of a valley with a vast coverage of apple orchards. Manali is divided into Old Manali and New Manali by the Manalasu River. Old Manali is led by a bridge over the river. As compared to New Manali, it is cleaner and less crowded, making this place a lot more frequent than New Manali.
Perhaps the serenity of Old Manali is unique. The vibrating eucalyptus, gently winding roads, the swift waters of the Kullu river, and the beautiful hills of this destination make it a perfect natural retreat. Enjoy some delicious continental food at low prices here, and shop for small things from the local markets here. The sunrise and sunset here are intoxicating, and you will surely love the energy of this place. Old Manali is most famous for its Hidimba Temple. Nestled in the lap of serene nature, this destination is the perfect place to experience the pure beauty of Himachal Pradesh.
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Things to Do
You can rent a scooter and explore the streets of Old Manali on your own. Get your adrenaline pumping with the water rappelling activities available here. Don’t forget to buy some delicious cherries which are famous here. Explore the true spirit of Himachal in Old Manali, and you definitely won’t be disappointed!
Old Manali Cafes
Cafe 1947: Nehru Kund, located at the beginning of Old Manali, near VPO Bahang, is one of the most famous cafes in that area. It’s indoor and outdoor seating along with the adjacent setup next to the river adds to the ambiance of the cafe. Burgers and pizza are a must for people visiting that cafe. It is open every day from 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM and only on Wednesdays from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
Drifters Cafe: Situated at Manu Temple Road in Old Manali, this is one of those places where one can expect a delicious breakfast along with other delicacies that make a person keep coming back to the restaurant for more. From the seating arrangement to the hospitality as well as the flavored drinks, everything is good. This cafe is open from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm and if one is planning to visit Drifters Cafe, it is recommended to try Eggs Benedict, Waffles, and Pancakes.
Lazy Dog: Located on Manu Mandir Road in Old Manali, this cafe is open from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The food here is an absolute delight for the taste buds, but what makes the restaurant delicious is the desserts that should not be missed. Food is cheap and one gets the opportunity to watch live performances by local bands such as The Local Train and Rudra’s during peak season.
Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted Coffee House: Situated in the heart of Old Manali, this place is very famous for breakfast and coffee, due to which it is quite crowded. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, people enjoy chatting with each other over a cup of coffee and having a good time.
Born Free Cafe: Known for its delicious pasta, chicken, and hummus pita bread and smoothies, this cafe, which is open at Manu Mandir Road in VPO, Old Manali, is open from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Even though it may not be as spacious as other cafes in Old Manali, it is very simple.
Places to Visit
It is one of the most popular temples in the area of Old Manali. The temple is dedicated to Queen Hadimba, who was the wife of Bhima and its roots lie in the old days of Mahabharata. Due to its unique style of construction, its doors are made of wood and have a conical-shaped roof along one wall, which is not seen in other temples. It is open on all days of the week from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Jogni Falls is one of the most beautiful places in Old Manali. It is a half-hour trek from the main city and is truly a beautiful sight. The water dripping from the springs keeps on flowing back and forth and the person who goes under the water gets refreshed. However, it is advised not to shout or talk loudly as Jogni Falls is considered spiritual, and talking or shouting loudly is considered disrespectful.
It has a very long history, named after the sage Vashishta, who was known as King Vishwamitra in his previous birth. The temple is more than 4000 years old and has a hot spring which is the main attraction of the temple. Hot spring water is also believed to have medicinal properties. Vashisht temple is open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm and the bath is open throughout the day from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm and then from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Situated at an altitude of 2047 meters above sea level, it has served as the official seat for kings for centuries. According to a legend, it was built 500 years ago by Raja Sindh Singh, and stones were used to build the palace. In 1978, the palace was converted into a rest house, and later it is run by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC).
Old Manali Market
Shopping at Old Manali Market is a very different experience as compared to shopping in other parts of Manali. Away from the busy lanes of Mall Road, the market is full of small shops thronging with people. With a variety of shops selling music CDs, funky T-shirts, beads, and jewelry, this market also falls into the hidden alleys of shops that sell fruit jams, jellies, and pickles.
How to Reach Old Manali from Manali
Old Manali can be reached on foot, which takes 15-20 minutes to reach by climbing from New Manali as the distance between them is 3 km. One can also take an auto-rickshaw or taxi from New Manali which are available in abundance.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Old Manali
Q. Which is better Manali or Old Manali?
A – Old Manali is much cleaner and more beautiful than New Manali. You can have stunning views from Old Manali which remain hidden from New Manali. We come to the mountains to get away from our urban life, to get away from all the noise. You will find Old Manali peaceful and serene.
Q. Which is better Old Manali or Kasol?
A – Kasol is very relaxing and not a sloppy place. Whereas Manali has a lot more beautiful natural landscapes to see and other beautiful places which are quite accessible. So in my opinion Manali won here.
Q. What is the old name of Manali?
A – The particular place where he established his residence was present-day Manali which is believed to be the changed name of ‘Manu-Alay’, the abode of Manu.
Q. What is special in Old Manali?
A – Old Manali is most famous for its Hidimba Temple. Nestled in the lap of serene nature, this destination is the perfect place to experience the pure beauty of Himachal Pradesh.