Information about Manali
Manali is an ancient town located near the end of the Kullu valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. Manali is only 40 kms. away from Kullu to the north. Manali is surrounded by the towering peaks at an arm length and is located near the snowline. Manali literally means the home of Manu. Manu is the mythological character who survived when the world was drowned in flood. The fish saved him and later he recreated human life at Manali. Manali is also known as the Switzerland of India. Today, Manali is a flourishing orchard industry, trekking destination and a famous tourist destination for the honeymoon lovers. It is an excellent place for a holiday, a favorite resort for trekkers to Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Leh and Zanskar regions in Kashmir valley. The landscape here is breath taking. One sees well-defined snow capped peaks, high mountains which are surrounded by silent snows and deep boulder strew gorges, the Beas river with its clear water meanders through the town. On the other side are deodar and pine trees, thick forests, tiny fields of wild flowers, small picturesque hamlets and fruit orchards. Manali is also a sacred pilgrimage place for the Hindus. December to February are the best season for snow-skiing and heli-skiing in Manali. The climate of Manali is very cold. The summers are cool and the winters are also very cool. Due to its altitude the climate of Manali is loved by one and all. The best time to visit Manali is in the month of May and October.
History of Manali
The story of the establishment of Manali is very interesting. One day, Varvasvata, the seventh incarnation of Manu found a tiny fish in his bathing water. The fish told him to look after it with devotion as one day it would do him a great service. The seventh Manu cared for the fish till the day it grew so huge that he released it into the sea. Before departing, the fish warned Manu of an impending deluge when the entire world be submerged. When there was flood, Varvasvata and seven sages were saved by the fish. As the water subsided the seventh Manu’s ark came to the rest on a hillside and thus the place came to be known as Manali. As the earth slowly dried, here arose a place of breath taking natural beauty. Today this place is a prime holiday destination for the tourists.
Shopping in Manali
For the shopping purpose, the Mall is a perfect place in Manali. In the Mall you can purchase various items like clothes, decorative pieces, gift items and woollen goods particularly the shawls. The New Shopping Centre Market near the bus stand also sells a good selection of items. Around the bazaar there are innumerable stalls stacked with hand-woven goods. The other specialty of Manali is the Himalayan handicrafts, mainly assorted Tibetan curios such as prayer wheels, amulets, dorjees or thunderbolts, masks, musical instruments, jewellery and Thangkas.
Festivals in Manali
The Himachal`s Winter Carnival is held in the month of February. During this period the snow plays a major role. Ski slopes of Kufri, Manali and Narkanda come to life with adventure seekers competing their way downhill. For the adventure lovers, Manali offers best opportunity for heli-skiing. The Gompa is covered with brightly coloured frescoes and a mid size Buddhist statute. The Gulaba Camp is the beautiful place famous for sightseeing, picnic and photography.
Tourist Attraction in Manali
The major tourist attraction in Manali is the Hidimba Devi Temple. This temple is one of the most important temples in the region. This four storey wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest. Another attraction in Manali is the Vashisth Village. This village is known for the sweeping valley views and the Sulphur hot water springs. Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa is the another attraction in Manali. This Gompa dominates the Tibetan area around the bottom of the Mall in Manali. The other tourist attractions in Manali are Manali Sanctuary, Manu Temple, Club House, Tibetan Monasteries, Nehru Kund, Solang Valley, Kothi, Rahala Water Falls, Rohtang Pass, Arjun cave and Jagatsukh.