It is not without reason that Manali lists among the most popular hill stations in Himachal. The little Himalayan town is an absolute beauty, offering travellers spectacular views of the snow peaked mountains and its pine forests, while providing a peaceful abode to forget all worries and rejuvenate. Sure, it can be 'touristy' during the peak season, but there are many remarkable places that provides all the privacy in the world to let you enjoy nature at its best. Flowing through the heart of the old town is river Beas that not only adds to the breathtaking scenery but also makes camping outdoors a delightful experience.
If you have been meaning to take a break and travel to Manali, now would be the perfect time (the best time to visit Manali is between March to June). There are all sorts of options for all sorts of travellers - from trekking and other adventure activities to food indulgences, temple visits and wellness.
Need help planning your itinerary? Here's a list of 9 things to do while in Manali:
1. Eat trout
Yes, you heard us! If you love fish then your first meal in Manali has got to be trout. You will never find them tasting as fresh as they do while you sit by a river cafe in Manali and bite into a perfectly grilled trout. Some of the best restaurants for trout include Johnson's Cafe, Cafe 1947 and The Lazy Dog.
2. Rent a bike and explore old Manali
What better way to explore the local scene then renting a bike and going all about? Old Manali town is more popular with tourists where you can find umpteen cafes, lodges and boutiques to shop woolens and leather bags. This is also were you can laze around in riverside cafes and do absolutely nothing.
3. Paragliding in Solang valley
One of the most popular spots near Manali is Solang valley, which not only provides great panoramic views of the region but you can try paragliding too. There are different packages on offer. For those not keen on paragliding, you can take the cable car to the top of the hill and get some great captures.
4. Riverside camping and rafting
If living outdoors gives you the thrill then Manali is a great option for riverside camping. There are many adventure sports companies that organise camping experiences. You can even try your hands at angling or river rafting while at it.
5. Visit Naggar Castle
For architecture and art lovers, Naggar Castle would make for a memorable visit. It is said that the Russian painter and explorer Nicholas Roerich lived in the castle in the early 20th century, which is now converted into a museum and heritage hotel. The two-storied building houses his noted paintings and other artefacts.
6. One day trip to Rohtang Pass
Rohtang is a snow point that lies close to Manali (takes about 2 hours to reach). A one-day trip is good enough to explore Rohtang, where you can enjoy the thrill of playing with snow and try skiing, Quad or snowmobile. You need to buy a pass to visit Rohtang, which can be done online.
7. Hidimba Devi Temple
Though there are many temples in and around Manali, Hidimba Devi Temple is most popular because of its ancient charm and miraculous powers, as believed by devotees. The pagoda-style temple has an interesting architecture, and it is said to be an ode to goddess Hidimba Devi, the wife of Prince Bheema from The Mahabharata.
Hadimba Devi temple is an ancient cave temple surrounded by beautiful lush green cedarwood trees .nowhere else in India you will find a temple dedicated to Hadimba Devi .it's uniqueness lies in its location and architecture -it looks nothing like any other temple I've visited before.its old rustic hut like build makes it look extremely mystic . surprisingly,this theme carries throughout Himachal . everything is a part of nature be it trees,roads ,people - nature reigns supreme! #himachal #travel #temples #manali #hidimbatemple #hill #worship #mystic #nature #pinetrees #india #lonelyplanet #tripadvisor #himachalpradeshtourism #himachalpradesh #manalinda #travelblogger
8. Trekking to paradise
Manali is a paradise for trekkers because there are numerous trekking routes available, each with breathtaking views of the mountain ranges and the valley. Some of the popular treks include Hampta Pass Trek, Bhrigu Lake Trek, Chandrakhani Pass Trek, etc.
9. Have Sunday Brunch at Martin's
If you are in Manali on a Sunday, then a must-do is to head to Martin's for the most scrumptious Sunday brunch. It's almost like a ritual with locals. The Austrian chef makes the most delicious roast chicken, which you need to book in advance. It's a short drive away from the town into a picturesque village. Here you can enjoy a laidback meal with chilled beer while overlooking the stunning hills. Other great restaurants with a view include Fat Plate Cafe and Casa Bella Vista.
Make the most of your summer break and enjoy Manali.