Hey travelers, I hope you are doing absolutely fine. So, what is your plan for this winter season? I am sure you must be having a dope bucket list of yours. Many people would be having Manali on their bucket list. Like, who wouldn’t like to enjoy those snowfalls, that cold climate, have a romantic walk in between the snow-clad mountain, having a cup of hot tea without even actually feeling how hot it is. Sounds interesting right? I have a list of top 10 things to do in Manali. Hope this would help you. Let’s get started.
Before starting the actual article, I want to tell you something. As I started writing about this Manali series, my friends were very eager to know about the trek which was shown in the movie “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani”. The trek on the mountain which was called as the Bhuta Parbat. They wanted every possible information on that trek which was shown in that movie. Let me tell you, the mountain sequence which they have shown was shot in Jammu and Kashmir (Kongdori) and not in Manali. So, don’t get your hopes high for that one.
Now, let’s start with the top 10 things to do in Manali, Himachal Pradesh.
1) Walking down the Mall road.
No description is needed for this place. You just take a walk around this area and you will be amazed. Everything from shopping from street food is found on this street. In the center of this place, you will find a big dome where people play bingo all day. The rewards are very good, so anyone interested in playing bingo can join them.
2) Do some adventurous activities in Solang Valley.
Solang valley is all about adventurous activities. You can do a lot of activities here like paragliding, skiing, ATV rides and many more. You can also take a cable car to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view from there.
This is the main adventure hub so the cost here is very high. If you feel hungry, there are these food stalls on the corners of the road leading to the top. You can stop for a small snack break before continuing further activities.
The prices for the activities you can do here are as follows
1) Cable car Ropeway – Rs.450 ($6.3)
2) Paragliding – Short flight: Rs. 500 – Rs.700. ($7.03- $9.8)
Long flight: Rs. 1800. ($25)
3) Beginner skiing – Rs.300 starting. ($4)
4) ATV rides – Rs. 200 – Rs.300 (For a very short ride) ($3 – $4)
5) Zorbing – Rs. 350 starting. ($4.3)
6) Helicopter ride – Rs. 2500 per person. ($35)
Availability of these activities
1) Cable Car – 12 Months.
2) Paragliding – April to Dec (Continuous) and Jan to March (Depending on the weather)
3) Skiing – Dec to March (Best Time).
4) Zorbing – April to June.
Another thing you can do is trek to the top of the mountain instead of taking a cable car. It is really fun and in case you get lost then follow the cable car lines, they should lead you to the top. When I was in Solang Valley, I trekked all the way up, it took me more than 2 hours to reach the top. It was a very new experience for me. During my trek, whenever a cable car used to pass above me people use to wave at me looking down. The feeling was really amazing.
3) Take a dip into the hot water springs in Vashistha Temple.
Manali is a very cold city. It records an average temperature of 3-4 degree Celsius. Most of the times it reaches below zero degrees. You are most likely to be wearing jackets and sweaters all the time. Just imagine getting a dip in those hot water springs in such conditions. It is like a blessing.
If you want to do this head straight to the Vashistha Temple.
It is around 3 km from the Mall road. You can walk or you can even get a taxi which should cost you around Rs.200 – Rs.300. This place is located on a hill just next to the Beas river. Walking would be a good option but remember you have to walk uphill. It could be very tiring sometimes. Make sure you choose your option wisely. On your way to the Temple, you will find many local shops. They have all kinds of souvenirs you wish to take with you.
Take a look into these shops you will definitely find something interesting. The prices are often very high as compared to the Mall road markets. You can bargain here.
As you move closer to the temple you will find some local women holding these giant white rabbits. These rabbits are called as the Angora Rabbit. You can click pictures with them with a minimal charge of Rs.20. Don’t know if they are trained or something but when you take them in your hand, they don’t move an inch. They are like very stable and they themselves allow you to click pictures with them.
After taking those beautiful pictures just enter the Temple which is on the left-hand side as you climb up. You can take a dip into those hot water springs here. It feels really awesome to enjoy that hot water in such a cool temperature. The local people consider those dip as holy so don’t make any offensive act which would be inappropriate.
4) Visit the Hadimba Temple.
Hadimba Temple is the most visited temple in Manali. It is located on an uphill around 1 km from the Mall Road area. Every tourist guide or any Manali packages you buy would definitely include Hadimba Temple in their itinerary.
Walking from the Mall road, you will have to walk up this hill. On your way, you will find small temples on the roadside and the view just keeps getting better and better as you walk towards the temple. As you reach the top you will find people with their yaks just standing around the corners of the entrance. Sitting and clicking pictures with the yaks is one of the things people like to do a lot.
Hadimba temple is one of the oldest temples in Manali. It was built in 1553 AD by Maharaja Bahadur Singh. The locals also refer to this temple as the Dhungari Temple.
The local people worship Hadimba Devi. During Navratri, people all across India come worship Goddess Durga. But only in Manali, you will see people worshipping Hadimba Devi. If you visit this place during Navratri you will find this place crowded all the time.
5) Get aroused by the architecture of The Buddhist Tibetan Monastery.
Tibetan Buddhist Monastery is one of the three Tibetan Monasteries in Manali. It is a very beautiful place and the architecture just resembles our modern style. Everything looks and feels very modern and you won’t even believe that this place was built during the 17th century.
They have this spinning wheel just outside the temple. It is also referred to as the prayer wheel. The locals believe that spinning it is as effective as reciting sacred texts aloud. You can visit this Monastery between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. When you enter this place on to your left you will see these colored flags hanging on the walls of the Monastery.
On your way to this Monastery, you will find these small shops where the locals sell handicrafts made by the locals in the Tibetan style.
6) Climb up to the Jana Waterfall.
The Jana waterfalls, I bet you wouldn’t have heard about this place earlier. It is an unexplored part of Manali. It is about 25-30 km away from the city center. The road till these waterfalls is just amazing. Your vehicle goes from the ghats and those curvy roads. During this journey, you can see some of the most exciting places where the locals live. I saw a house literally on the edge of the cliff. It was an amazing experience driving up to the waterfall.
After you reach the base, you can park your vehicles there. For reaching the top you have to trek through the forest. It is not a very long trek. It should only take you 20-25 mins to reach the falls.
7) Enjoy a plate of local Himachal food near the bottom of Jana Waterfall.
After you enjoy those cold and freezing waterfalls come back down to the base of that hill from where you started climbing. You find some local people selling that local food. They won’t cost you much. A full plate would cost you around Rs. 100 ($1.4). I exactly don’t know the name of what they have included in that dish. You can see in the picture for yourself.
They have red rice in Manali and instead of eating it in a fancy restaurant you should definitely try it here. There is a red colored chutney like thing in this meal which I first thought was the red chutney we get in Mumbai. When I first tasted it, the taste was something sweetish. I asked the lady there and she was like it is sugar. She said in Manali we have red sugar and many local people use them in their daily routine. The best part of that whole meal was the white colored Momo thing. It is like Momo, but the stuffing which they put inside this is totally different and the taste is just awesome. I just loved it.
I’m sorry I don’t remember the name of any of the things. The lady did tell me the names everything but I am terrible at remembering things
It does taste good. Make sure to stop by during your visit here.
8) Enjoy a breath-taking view from the Naggar Castle.
This is the one place you should pair up with the Jana waterfalls. Before going to Jana waterfall, you can visit this place on your way.
When you enter the premises, you will find an old temple and just walk beside the temple and you will find a door to the castle. Enter the castle and you will see a cafeteria type place, walk towards the edge of the place and you will be greeted with a beautiful view. This place is very famous among local photographers. If the place is crowded you will find a queue for clicking pictures.
This place also accommodates people in their castle.
The prices are as follows.
1) Royal Suite. – Rs.4500
2) Luxury. – Rs.3900
3) Super Deluxe. – Rs.3500
4) Cozy Deluxe. – Rs.2800
5) Deluxe. Rs.2000
6) Economy. Rs.1800.
9) Spend your evening on the banks of the Beas river.
Isn’t it fun, just love sitting on the banks of the river when the sun is setting and enjoying the beautiful view? If you also love doing it then you should definitely stop on the banks of the Beas river and you will have a great time here.
This place is just great for clicking pictures. You will get the most beautiful backdrop that nature provides you ready made. All you have to do is go and just take a picture.
The only difference you will feel here is the cold water. Cold is not how you describe that water. It is freezing water. I did a crazy thing of putting my hand inside that cold water and it was so cold that I couldn’t literally feel my hand for a few minutes.
There is nothing to describe more about the place. This place speaks for itself. You are definitely going to have a ball here.
10) Take a view of Manali from the hot air balloon.
Hot air balloon in Manali? Yes, that’s right. Now you can enjoy a beautiful view of the whole city from the Hot air balloon near the Beas river. This is a different kind of hot air balloon. It is not completely in the air as the other ones. They tie a rope to the bottom of the balloon and once it reaches a certain height it stops and after a few minutes, they pull you down back.
It is worth seeing one time if you want to see the entire city. The view is pretty amazing, the beautiful mountain covered in snow, the Beas river flowing right through the city, feeling the sun right on your face from the top. The cost of this hot air balloon is Rs. 700 ($9.8).
That’s it for today’s blog.
Hope you like these 10 things to do in Manali.
See you in my next blog.
Keep Travelling. Keep Budgeting.
Founder – Stubborn Hippie.