Residing at 200 m, Manali, a lovely little hotspot for tourists and trekkers, is nestled in the Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh. Over the years, Manali has branched out from a village to a quaint and tranquil town. With blankets of snow enriching your view during the winter months of December to March, Manali is one of the much-coveted tourist spots in India.
And if you’re visiting Manali for the first time, you’re in for a treat. Brace yourself to take in all the beauty this lovely spot has to offer. This guide will take you through the seven must-visit spots in Manali.
Places To Visit In Manali
1. Vashist Hot Water Spring
The Vashist Temple is the only courtyard of Maha Rishi Vashisht. With religious rituals being performed during festivals, the sulfurous hot water spring next to the temple features a bathing pool, separately available for men and women. The water from this hot water spring is believed to contain healing powers. Maintained in an absolutely neat and clean manner, the locals take a bath here every day after work. Taking a dip here after our hike gave us a wondrous experience and a much-needed refresher. Several shops are lined up with touristy goods and restaurants outside the temple.
Timing for the hot water bath: 5 AM to 8 PM for women, while it closes at 7 PM for men.
2. Hike To Lamadugh
A hike that gains an elevation of around 1000 m, Lamadugh is a good hike for those who wish to acclimatize for high-altitude treks. You could camp along the trail or the summit. Check out this DIY hiking guide to learn more about Lamadugh and how to do this hike on your own.
3. Day Trip To Rohtang Pass
Since two-wheelers were banned from passing via the Rohtang Pass, the tourists in Manali treat it as a day tour destination. We opted for a tour organized by HP Tourism, though there are several private cabs offering sightseeing experiences. HP Tourism was well worth the money that we paid for and is the most budget-friendly price out there. Do check it out.
4. Jogini Waterfall
Jogini Waterfall flows from a whopping height of 150 m and offers two different views when seen from the Lower Jogini and Upper Jogini. Touted as the most scenic waterfall around Manali, it also required a bit of hiking to reach. You could go behind the Upper Jogini Waterfall, which is a unique experience on its own. It takes half a day for a relaxed trip. For more details, read this hiking guide to Jogini Waterfall.
5. Hadimba Devi Temple & Manu Temple
Hidden amidst giant deodars, the wooden Hadimba Devi Temple is dedicated to the goddess Hadimba. This sanctum is covered with a three-tiered wooden plank, one over the other. A large metal umbrella surmounted by a metal finial forms the fourth roof and crowns the temple’s dome. The doorframe is ornamented with intricate carvings of various Hindu deities and beautiful designs. The sanctum looks like a small cave temple. Given its historical and architectural importance, the Hadimba Temple is declared a protected monument of national importance.
Many locals sell apples, woolen caps, sweaters, socks, etc. You can also take a yak ride and even hold a rabbit for some time at extra cost!
Her son Gatothkach lost his life choosing Pandavas in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Vir Gatothkach Temple is located nearby and is dedicated to him.
You can also catch the Manu Temple in Old Manali. The ancient name of Manali, known as Manualaya (Manu-Alaya), means an adobe of Manu. Manu, believed to be born of the sun, is said to have created the civilization and many principles for human beings. A tranquil place, this spot gives you a pleasant experience.
6. Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art
Located behind the Hadimba Devi Temple is the Museum of Culture & Fort Art. The museum offers a comprehensive collection of artifacts, artworks, and historical objects that exhibit the vibrant history and diverse traditions of Himachal Pradesh. With beautiful paintings, sculptures, textiles, and woodwork displayed in the museum, it is one to watch out for.
The interactive displays and multimedia presentations enhance the visitor experience by providing additional context and a deeper understanding of the various rituals, festivals, and customs through audio-visual aids. If you are an art enthusiast and a culture seeker, do not forget to put this on your list.
- Entry fee: INR 20 per person
7. Stroll Along The Streets
If you’re staying near the Manali bus stand, it serves as the best location to take a long, leisurely walk on the streets of Old Manali. With the pleasant atmosphere with its hue of artistry surrounding you, it is one to cherish. On the other hand, if you’re staying at Old Manali, walk through the busy streets of Mall Road. If you’re staying in the nearby settlements, both old Manali and new Manali deserve a visit for their difference in the surroundings.
Be sure to tell us in the comments which place in Manali was your favorite.
The mentioned places would keep you engaged for a good 3-4 days, especially if you are on your very first visit to Manali. Although some places mentioned above are touristy, they deserve a visit. If you’re planning on staying any longer, we definitely suggest that you look at the hikes that Manali has to offer.