Magic in the Mountains
Somewhere in the vast expanse of the snow-capped Himalaya, 6,000 feet above sea level, lies the stunningly beautiful riverside town of Manali. It’s the perfect place for romance and adventure. Honeymooning couples huddle close for warmth and intimacy; children, invigorated by the cool mountain air, prance gaily; young adventurers head out in search of heart-stopping thrills; locals, in colourful mountain gait, shuffle to work… Slowly, as the chilled air permeates the senses, you succumb to the magic of the mountains.
In this idyllic town, you don’t really have to go anywhere to do sight-seeing. There’s hardly a place that doesn’t have a view of a stupendously beautiful mountain or the cool, clear waters of the pebble-strewn river Beas.
Popular excursions just add to your experience of the Manali magic. The fresh green meadows of Solang Valley, the high-altitude road to Rohtang Pass, the pristine valleys of Lahaul and Spiti, the hot springs of Manikaran, ancient temples and humming Tibetan monasteries are just some of the attractions of this beautiful place.
The landscape lends itself to an incredible range of outdoor sports such as river rafting, paragliding, zorbing (which is rolling downhill inside a huge plastic orb), skiing, trekking, and mountain-climbing. Of course, the humble walk becomes an experience in itself in the thick wooded groves of deodar, pine, sal, rhododendron, oak, fir and birch.
Evenings are a good time to descend into the Manali marketplace, a motley montage of curios, kitsch and food. From charming Tibetan shops to touristy trinkets, and Tibetan momos to Lebanese, Japanese and Italian food, Manali is a delightful blend of cosy and cosmopolitan.
Did you know?
- Apple trees and trout — two defining elements of Manali — were not always part of Manali. The British brought them here!
- The countryside idyll in the movie Krrish was Manali, and the gurgling stream with friendly fish was none other than the river Beas.
Places to visit | Things to do | All About Manali