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Magical Manali


smiley Its winter and to top it, its the festive season so I have picked one of my favorites as the Jewel in the crown , the crown being India, for this issue. I hope you like it. Its Manali in HP, India.

Icon5 When I googled Manali, the results showed was-1910000. Huge isn’t it? So there, you wont find any lack of information in the net but that doesn’t mean that I will not feed in any detail. Of course I will , but these will be my very personal tips, tips that I had accumulated after visiting and observing Manali 6 times in 4 years.

I won’t go into a detailed description of its beauty and spoil the magic with my words, rather let the photos speak.

So lets get on to our journey to one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Icon4 Reaching Manali is the easiest and the road to Manali boasts of amazing vistas. So how do we reach Manali. Ok easy way out is to take the flight to Bhuntur, Kullu from Delhi, but you will miss out on the beautiful scenic drive. The roads are in good condition, you can drive yourself as we did. … even at night, NO bendy mind blowing gravity defying curves . And you have so many picks to take from. Like?

You can take the conventional route via Chandigarh- Bilaspur- Sundernagar- Mandi –Aut- Kullu or you can experiment for some adventure through Shimla-Naldehra-Tattapaani. Extreme adventure- then go for the drive in from Leh, Ladakh or try the Buddhist circuit of Shimla Rampur –Kinnaur-Kaza(Spiti) –Lahaul-( Details about Lahaul Spiti in my coming posts). Unconventional one- then try through the Jalori Pass.If Religious then visit – Viashno Devi or Dharamshala and proceed on to Manali through Kangra-Mandi, So the options – there are many. You can go by train. The nearest station can be either Joginder Nagar or Pathankot but again from there you have to ascend up by a car or bus, So better to take a vehicle from Chandigarh or Delhi itself.

Icon1 Best Season. You can go to Manali in any season you want. If you like snow then go in the winters. Want to try the river rafting and stuff then go during spring or Autumn. Apple Orchards? – Late monsoons. The roads will cooperate with you through out the year. Winters are cold but you can take your kids without any hesitation. That’s the reason I submitted a copy of the snap of the Baby seated comfortably in the Snow in Rohtang Pass, The altitude BTW there is quite high.

Icon5 Hotel Reservations, bus reservations. Yes everything can be booked previously through the internet. Even a bus if you want, through the Himachal Pradesh tourism website. Their Hotels are run professionally – better than the other State Govt. run hotels and you get quite a range. I mean 2 budget hotels. 4 deluxe hotels and I premium hotel- All economical-efficient and Govt. run. (psst! They have bars too). Of course you have the private ones too, like Club Mahindra. Holiday Inn etc etc. I had read a news item that HP govt. was offering a discount of 10% in Hotel Reservation for Parents of girl child, but I am yet to check that.

Icon8 Activities:

You will be spoilt for choice.

  • There is a strong possibility of finding snow in Rohtang Pass. Just 50 kms from Manali and a popular destination. You can go for snow tubing, skiing. Tobogganing. There are snow mobiles/bikes for a ride.
  • You can go for Parasailing, Zorbing, in Solang valley –another popular Hotspot
  • Hot Air Balloon, River Crossing, Rappelling or simply go for a hike.
  • During the hotter months you can go for river rafting in Kullu.
  • By the way, the Maggi though expensive is most delicious in Rohtang Pass
  • In the evenings you can go shopping for handicrafts, pubbing, discotheque, or plain Bird Watching of the other Kind. An advice – they may offer you Chingu- a blanket made from Shahtoos- Don’t buy it , its fraud. Buy only if they give you a hefty discount

Icon7 Sightseeing places:

If you like temples or architecture, then you have Hadimba temple, Valmiki temple and the Gurudwara at Manikaran. The Langar food or prasad in Manikaran is simply tasty, but you have to follow some rules in Manikaran as it’s a Gurudwara- nothing scary, just cover your head and ask a sevak or directions, If you want then I can fill in the rest but that is if you want, You can visit Naggar Castle- Now a premium hotel for its architecture .

Then as mentioned there is Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Kullu Valley. You can easily avail the tours from your Tourism Hotels or hire a cab. They also rent out snow suits. If you don’t have the proper attire and there is snow, better to hire it. The last time I had taken was at 100 Rs per piece. Or if not snow suits take boots at least. BTW if any body has vertigo or motion sickness better stock up on domperidone and cinnarizine before proceeding onto Rohtang Pass

smiley So that’s all I can remember at present. And Now you can proceed on to the visual treat. Just remember .one trip is not enough for Manali. Manali is much more than these photographs which are just random shots of Manali as I see it.





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0 26 December, 2009 Jewel in the crown December 26, 2009

About the author

She is a Doctor by profession , working in Delhi. Loves traveling, mind games and playing with words… And also the chief-co brewer of GingerChai. She is the chief brewer of some of the interesting categories you see in GingerChai. Follow @manishalsam

View all articles by Mani Padma


  1. Ambi

    Hmm.. looks like a dull day at GC.

    @Mani: Thanks for the good info! Btw, I am visiting Manali in Feb 2010.

    Do you know if the HPTDC accommodations are good, like at Kunzum or Rohtang Manalsu? I thought of going with Quality Inn, but its kinda away from the town so I dropped it for now.

    Also, if you know some good place to stay for 2 nights in Delhi, let me know.

    1. Mani

      Hi Ambi. Valentines day gift ? 😉
      OK coming back to your questions, well both Kunzam and Rohtang Manalsu are good deluxe hotels. But if you all are coming in a bigger group then you can try the log huts,again by HPTDC simply luxurious and comfortable with two bedroms one living room dining room and your personal kitchen. the tariff 5000/- 4 to 6 adults canbe accomodated. you will have your private garden and all .
      2nd question- obviously the best place to stay according to me is my house 🙂 but as you are asking about hotels my recomendation is Ginger Hotel near the railway station. You can check their website. comfortable economical with brand value or if you can manage then the Tamil Nadu House in the diplomatic Enclave of Chanakya puri. The airport will be closer.

      1. Ambi

        Kunzam is the one I selected since it is right smack in the middle of town and its just me and my wife… so, I guess that is easy for getting transport and stuff.

        Yeah I did ping Ginger but their bookings not open for Feb yet…

        1. Mani

          Yes then Kunzam is fine. Assuming your hindi isn’t that fluent, I advise you to brush up your hindi abit. So go watch a lot of hindi movies, starting with 3 idiots .

  2. Mani

    Hi everyone. I am really glad that you liked the piece and surely will put up more in the future.
    BTW There is an error for which I would like to apologize- I have mentioned a temple as Valmiki temple. Well actually it is Vashist Temple. It simply missed from my mind. The error is regreted. Any other information you need, I will willingly oblige
    @ Tinny – Hey! it is not so out of reach as you think . Just take the plunge. You won’t regret. Everything is so easy at the click of a mouse nowadays. If you need directions then you know where to find it. Nothing will please me more than people visiting the amazing places of India first, rather than running off abroad, not that I have anything against it, but first -Explore your own dear country

  3. sharat

    wow snow…wow manali…amazing presentation…feeling the chill already…and would show this photograph of ‘kid in snow’ to my mother who take out stick as soon as I say that I am taking myy 2yr old kid to a Hill station….

  4. Mani

    @ sharat thanks. Please do show it to your mom. the kid was just 1 and a half year old. you know. And no she wasn’t a localite if you recieve that argument in return. have a great time in the hills.

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