Manali Musings

Manali is magical. The nirvana quiet snow-capped mountains, rising towards the endless jewel blue sky. The river Beas resembling a swirling brook hopping over the rocks happily. The lush green meadow embracing everything looks straight out of a story book.

The scenic beauty!

There are very few places that can amuse a toddler, a teenager and a septuagenarian alike. Manali is one such destination where there is something for all age groups. Manali is synonyms with honeymoon couples. It’s also an adventure filled back packing destination. It’s an all time favourite for family holidays. There are many places of worship like temples, monasteries and gurdwaras too.

 

The view from our hotel room!

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Places to Visit in Manali

Manali is blessed with breathtaking topography. I can spend countless hours doing nothing just soaking in the beauty of the place. But there are many sight-seeing options worth exploring and I have listed a few must see when you’re in Manali.

Hadimba Temple:

Hadimba Temple!

High and dense Deodar trees enveloping this beautiful temple is located in absolute serenity away from the hustle and bustle of Manali city. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Hadimba, the wife of Bhima of the Mahabharata. It’s built-in a 3 tier pagoda like structure. It’s unusual construction comprises of wooden planks placed one over the other and a huge metal umbrella forms the fourth tier like a roof crown. The walls, the windows and door frames are beautifully decorated with intricate carvings and paintings. The location and the beauty of the temple itself make it a worthwhile visit. The temple of Ghatotkach, the son of Hadimba and Bheem is also located near it.

Pro Tip: Enjoy an afternoon siesta in the shade of the dense Deodar trees. You can thank me later.

Solang Valley:

Solang valley!

This is a valley formed between Solang Village and Beas Kund. It’s about 14 kilometres from Manali City. The view of this valley is exactly the stuff what a postcard is made of. The snow peaked mountains, the emerald-green of the conifer trees, the mighty glaciers all this enveloped by the blue velvet sky makes it a sight to behold.

Wildflowers!

This valley is picture perfect in both summers and winters. The colorful para gliders dotting the sky can be seen even before reaching the valley. It’s famous for paragliding, zorbing and parachuting in summers whereas in winters it’s a ski haven.

Rohtang Pass

The road to Rohtang, Manali

The road leading to Rohtang is stunning!

Rohtang means Pile of Corpses in Tibetan language. It’s amusing to know how something so breathtaking is so treacherous because of the winds that can turn the pleasant weather into something totally dangerous.

Snow point at Rohtang!

This pass connects the Kulu Valley to Lahaul and Spiti region in Himachal Pradesh leading to Leh and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. This pass is open only in the summer months and thronged by tourists. The snow point of Rohtang Pass is located about 51 kms north of Manali at the Manali Keylong Highway; at the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas.

The Beas frolicking away!

As per the order of National Green Tribunal, only 800 petrol and 400 diesel vehicles are allowed in a day to pass Rohtang. Hence it is important if you plan beforehand. If you want to visit it be prepared to leave Manali by 4:30 am since the drive is quite tough with narrow roads leading to traffic jams.

A small village en-route!

Pro Tip: The road journey leading to Rohtang Pass is absolutely stunning. Make sure to stop on the way to click lots of pictures. There is a waterfall Rahala about !6 kms from Manali which is a photographers delight.

Vashist

A cute local Vashist villager

This small village is located about 6 kms from Manali along the banks of Beas. This known for its hot springs and an ancient temple dedicated to sage Vashist. People bathe in these natural hot springs believed to have medicinal properties.

Chandrakhani Pass

The road to nirvana!

This is the most beautiful and serene pass that I have seen. At a height of 3660m this treks indroduces the trekkers to the rustic beauty of Himachal. The views of Deo Tibba, Pir Panjal and Parbati are simply spectacular.

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About Pooja Samtani

Hi, I am Pooja, the main writer of our family travel blog Laid Back Traveller. My life is an amalgamation of mundane and that of a digital nomad. The travel bug actually hit me after I completed my education and started earning. It was then I actually started experiencing places than just visiting them. Thus started a zeal to explore to satisfy my wanderlust. After marriage things just worked out better for me thanks to my equally zealous Hubby. Accompanied by our daughter who is ever ready to get out of home, we often set sails on many interesting (and sometimes crazy) family adventures with dreams to travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us. Mail me at poojasamtani@laidbacktraveller.com

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