Are you looking for a destination that will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and transport you to a world of peace and tranquility? Do you want to experience the traditional culture and natural beauty of Himachal Pradesh in a charming and cosy village? If yes, then Old Manali is the place for you.
Old Manali is a hidden gem of Himachal Pradesh that offers a perfect blend of nature, culture, adventure, and relaxation. It is located 3 km uphill from the main town of Manali, across the Manalsu River. It is famous for its apple orchards, quaint guesthouses, and cosy cafes that offer a variety of cuisines and live music.
In this article, we will explore the best places to visit, things to do, and experiences to have in Old Manali. We will also give you some tips and recommendations on how to plan your trip to this amazing destination. So, let’s get started!
How to Reach Old Manali
Old Manali is easily accessible by road, air, or rail from various parts of India. Here are some of the ways you can reach Old Manali:
The nearest airport to Old Manali is Bhuntar Airport, which is about 50 km away. You can take a flight from Delhi, Chandigarh, or other major cities to Bhuntar Airport. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Old Manali. The taxi fare is around Rs. 1500-2000 and the bus fare is around Rs. 100-150.
The nearest railway station to Old Manali is Joginder Nagar Railway Station, which is about 160 km away. You can take a train from Delhi, Chandigarh, or other major cities to Joginder Nagar Railway Station. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Old Manali. The taxi fare is around Rs. 2000-3000 and the bus fare is around Rs. 200-300.
You can also drive to Old Manali by taking the National Highway 3 from Delhi or Chandigarh. The road is well-maintained and scenic, but it can be crowded and prone to landslides during peak season. The distance from Delhi to Old Manali is about 540 km and the distance from Chandigarh to Old Manali is about 300 km. You can also take a bus from Delhi or Chandigarh to Manali town and then take a local taxi or auto-rickshaw to reach Old Manali.
Where to Stay in Old Manali
Old Manali has a range of accommodation options for different budgets and preferences. You can choose from homestays, guesthouses, hostels, hotels, resorts, or campsites. Here are some of the popular places to stay in Old Manali:
This is a backpacker’s paradise that offers dorms, private rooms, and cottages with stunning views of the mountains and the river. It also has a cafe, a library, a rooftop terrace, and a bonfire area. The price range is Rs. 300-1500 per night.
Zostel Manali, Vashisht:
Situated in Bashist, within 3.7 km of Hidimba Devi Temple and 2.6 km of Circuit House, Zostel Manali, Vashisht features accommodation with a shared lounge and free WiFi throughout the property. The property is set 2.7 km from Tibetan Monastery, 4.3 km from Manu Temple and 12 km from Solang Valley.
Johnson Lodge & Spa:
This is a luxury 3-star resort that offers deluxe rooms, suites, and cottages with wooden interiors and modern amenities. It also has a restaurant, a bar, a spa, and a garden that overlooks the valley . The price range is Rs. 4000-10000 per night.
What to Eat & Where in Old Manali
Old Manali is a foodie’s heaven that offers a variety of cuisines and dishes to suit every palate. You can find local delicacies such as siddu (steamed bread stuffed with nuts), thukpa (noodle soup), momos (dumplings), trout fish (fried or grilled), etc.
You can also find international cuisines such as Italian, Israeli, Tibetan, Chinese, Mexican, etc., in the many cafes and restaurants that line the streets of Old Manali. Here are some of the popular places to eat in Old Manali:
This is one of the oldest and most famous cafes in Old Manali that offers Italian food such as pizzas, pastas, salads, etc. It also has live music, board games, books, and a riverside seating area . The price range is Rs. 300-800 per person.
Lazy Dog Lounge:
This is a cosy and comfortable lounge that offers continental food such as burgers, sandwiches, steaks, etc. It also has a bar, a fireplace, a pool table, and a garden that faces the river . The price range is Rs. 400-1000 per person.
Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted Coffee House:
This is a quaint and quirky coffee house that offers freshly roasted coffee beans and delicious desserts such as brownies, cakes, pies, etc. It also has art works, souvenirs, and a rooftop terrace . The price range is Rs. 200-500 per person.
You may also like to read: Best eateries in Old Manali | A Global Village
What to Do in Old Manali
Old Manali has something for everyone who loves nature, culture, adventure, or relaxation. You can do various activities such as trekking, camping, rafting, paragliding, skiing, etc., in the surrounding areas of Old Manali. You can also visit some of the attractions that are located in or near Old Manali such as:
This is an ancient temple dedicated to Hidimba Devi, who was the wife of Bhima, one of the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata. The temple has a unique pagoda-style architecture with a cone-shaped roof and intricately carved wooden walls and doors. It is surrounded by a cedar forest and offers a serene atmosphere for worship and meditation. The temple is open from 8 am to 6 pm and the entry is free.
This is a medieval mansion that was built by Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu in 1460 A.D. It is a blend of Western and Himalayan style of architecture, with stone and wood as the main materials. It overlooks the scenic valley of Kullu and has a museum, an art gallery, and a heritage hotel inside it. The castle is open from 7 am to 10 pm and the entry fee is Rs. 15 per person.
Old Manali Market:
This is a vibrant market that sells local handicrafts, souvenirs, clothes, jewellery, and other items. You can find some unique and colourful products here, such as woolen shawls, Tibetan prayer flags, wooden masks, and apple products. You can also bargain with the vendors and get some good deals. The market is open from 10 am to 8 pm and the entry is free.
This is a stunning waterfall that cascades down from a height of about 150 feet. It is located about 2 km away from Vashisht Temple, which is another attraction that you can visit in Old Manali. The waterfall is considered sacred by the locals and offers a refreshing sight for the visitors. You can reach the waterfall by trekking through a scenic trail that passes through apple orchards and pine forests. The trek takes about an hour and the entry is free.
This is a temple dedicated to Sage Vashisht, who was the guru of Lord Rama. It is situated on the banks of the Beas River and has a natural hot spring inside it. The water of the spring is believed to have medicinal properties and can cure various ailments. The temple also has beautiful carvings and paintings on its walls. The temple is open from 7 am to 9 pm and the entry is free.
What to Experience in Old Manali
Old Manali is not just a place to visit, but a place to experience. You can immerse yourself in the local culture, lifestyle, and traditions of Old Manali by interacting with the friendly and hospitable people who live there. You can also experience the festivals and events that are celebrated in Old Manali such as:
Hadimba Devi Festival:
This is an annual festival that is held in May to commemorate the birthday of Hidimba Devi. It involves a fair, a procession, a dance, and a sacrifice at the Hidimba Temple. You can witness the colourful costumes, rituals, and performances of the locals during this festival.
This is an annual carnival that is held in January to showcase the cultural and artistic diversity of Himachal Pradesh. It involves various competitions, performances, exhibitions, and parades in Manali town. You can see the talent and creativity of the people from different regions of Himachal Pradesh during this carnival.
This is an annual festival that is held in October to celebrate the victory of good over evil. It involves burning effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghnad at various places in Manali town. You can join the festivities and enjoy the fireworks and music during this festival.
Also check out: All about the trip- Old Manali
Old Manali is a hidden gem of Himachal Pradesh that offers a perfect blend of nature, culture, adventure, and relaxation. It is a place where you can escape the chaos of the city life and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. If you are looking for a destination that will give you unforgettable memories and experiences, then Old Manali is the place for you.
We hope this article helps you plan your trip to Old Manali. If you have any questions or feedback for us, please let us know in the comments section below. Thank you for reading and happy travels!