Those who know me, keep asking why I love Manali so much. Why do I keep revisiting it time and again? Well, the answer is simpler than the question itself. Manali is a small town located in the Beas River valley, amidst the mountain slopes which provides mesmerizing panoramic views. Manali has always been my escaping place. There is an endless number of things to do in Manali for fun and rejuvenation.
The numerous water streams, branching out from the Beas river cover the area in and around Manali. The cold breeze on the roads, the scarce amount of vehicles on the roads, the motorheads traveling along with their groups, the backpackers from all around the globe creates a calm and soothing atmosphere. The scenic landscape and the ever-changing weather makes one’s blood gush through the veins.
Manali used to be a beginning point of the ancient trade route between Ladakh and Khotan. Maybe that’s why it is still a key point to travel to Leh-Ladakh. Manali caters to the need of any kind of travel mindset. Be it a solo traveler or a newlywed couple, everyone can find here something of their interest. There’s a whole bunch of things to do in Manali. It has infinite options for relaxation, adventure, pilgrimage, sightseeing, and obviously food.
1. Visit Old Manali
The place comes at the top of my list because every time I visit Manali, I stay in Old Manali only. It has unbelievably good guest houses, hotels with a picturesque view of the valley. Also, the prices of these places won’t take a toll on your pockets. You can find a good room in Old Manali for as low as 500-600 INR.
Old Manali is full of pretty little cafes and eateries which serve a variety of continental food. I still remember when I had the first pancake of my life, it was in a cafe of Old Manali only. Sweet little memories. You can also go cafe hopping if you feel like it. This is one of my favorites things to do in Manali. The majority of backpackers from all around the world stay in Old Manali only. This makes it a hub of cultural exchange. One can easily find different people bonding over activities such as singing or playing an instrument by the river.
2. Hidimba Devi Temple, Old Manali
The second place which you can visit is The Hidimba Devi Temple. It is located in Old Manali itself. The locals call it as Dhungiri temple since it is located in the midst of a cedar forest known as the Dhungiri Van Vihar. It is dedicated to Hidimba Devi, the wife of Bhima from the famous Indian epic, Mahabharata. It is one of the most popular tourist spots in Manali. The famous Bollywood flick “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” was shot near this temple.
3. Manu Temple
This temple is dedicated to the famous sage Manu. Manali also derives its name from the same sage. The temple has a fascinating pagoda structure. It has been a center of attraction for tourists for quite some time now. A visit to this mesmerizing temple is sure to rejuvenate your mind and body.
Let’s move on to the next thing to do in Manali. Nature lovers will surely love this one.
4. Manali Sanctuary
Many people don’t know about this but there’s actually a wildlife sanctuary in Manali. In short, it is also known as Nature Park. The park is full of enormous pine trees which can make anyone intimidated by the power of nature. There’s a small lake which also offers boating experience by paddle boat. The sanctuary houses various kinds of flora and fauna including the Himalayan Black Bear, Kashmir flying squirrel, Yellow-throated Marten, etc. The sanctuary is located at a walking distance from the Mall road.
5. Vashisht Temple
Vashisht temple is located in Vashisht village, which is said to be founded by Guru Vashisht. HE was the sole guru of Ram and Laxman. The village was ruled by the direct ancestors of guru until 1534. The hot water springs of Vashisht temple have become a favorite spot of tourists. The water of the temple has medicinal properties since it is rich in Sulphur.
6. Jogini waterfall
Jogini waterfall is located about 2 kilometers from Vashisht. The beautiful pine trees and orchards help guide the way to the waterfall. The trekkers experience a spellbinding view of the snow-capped peaks and the innumerable streams of water.
7. Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art
Established in 1998, the museum is located in the old Manali area. Its size may be small but, it has a wonderful display of the ancient and traditional heritage of the state. It draws attention from the tourists as well as the researchers from worldwide.
8. Solang Valley
Who doesn’t know about Solang Valley? A beautiful, quiet, calm relaxing place with the best of views. The scenery is absolutely picturesque. One can enjoy a plate full of hot momos once you reach the top. You won’t regret visiting it. Solang is famous for various adventure activities such as zorbing, paragliding, quad biking, zip-lining, angling, etc. Since the internet is full of articles about these activities, I’m not going to discuss them here.
With this, I leave you with a few things to do in Manali. There are a lot of other things which you can do around Manali like visiting Rohtang or going on treks such as Bhrigu Lake. I will share them in a separate article. Kudos if you read till the end. Thank you for being awesome. Let me know if you want me to write an article on any specific place in or around Manali. Do follow me on Instagram for regular updates.