Manali is a popular tourist town in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is located at a distance of about 550 km from Delhi, at an altitude of 2050 m.
This small town offers a bundle of natural beauty, ancient heritage, great food and adventure sports. The Beas river flows through the town and splits it in two parts. July August is the season of Apples. The town really is beautiful. As such Manali can visited throughout the year. People visit in summers to escape the heat in the plains – that is the peak season. During winters people visit Manali to experience snowfall and winter activities. Time during the monsoons is the low season – the motorcycle riding tours start from Manali in June and continue till September / October.
Be it summers or be it winters, Solang Valley is one of the most gorgeous and adventurous places to visit in Manali. It’s not just another skiing paradise, but a lot more than that when it comes to the unique experiences it offers. So, irrespective of whether you’re an adventure junkie or a calm nature admirer, this is the best place to visit for your next holiday.
Rohtang La (Rohtang Pass)
Located at an altitude of ~4000 m, and ~50 km from Manali, Rohtang La connects Kullu valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valley. Due to heavy snowfall this pass remains closed for traffic generally from November to May. This is the first pass that you cross when traveling from Manali to Leh.
It is the longest highway tunnel in the world. The strategically important tunnel is 9.02 km long and it connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year. The valley was earlier cut off for about six months every year due to heavy snowfall.
The tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL).
The south portal (SP) of Atal Tunnel is located at a distance of 25 km from Manali at an altitude of 3,060 metres, while the north portal (NP) of the tunnel is located near village Teling, Sissu, in Lahaul Valley at an altitude of 3,071 metres.
Adventure and Winter Sports
One can visit Manali for adventure and winter sports such as paragliding, rafting and skiing. Kullu near Manali and the Solang Nala offer paragliding to enthusiasts. Guided rafting is conducted on the Beas river near Kullu. The best locations for skiing near Manali are Rohtang La and the slopes of Solang Nala near Manali.
Accommodation, food and local commuting
Many hotels are available in Manali and near by areas. For Ex. the Naggar Castle is a heritage hotel run by the HPTDC. Log Hut area, the Mall Road and the Vashishtha areas offer plenty of options for accommodation.
If the non-vegetarians don’t eat the trout fish by the river they are going to be missing out a real experience. Street food like chat can be tried out at the Mall Road. Some of the good options for food and drinks in Manali are (1) the Johnson’s Cafe (2) Cafe 1947 (3) Chopsticks Manali (4) Drifter’s Inn & Cafe and (5) The Lazy Dog. One major thing about the food in Manali is that the ingredients are fresh and mostly locally produced.
A taxi stand is located near the Mall Road and one can easily book taxis / auto rickshaws for local and intercity commuting. A number of motorcycle / two wheeler rental shops are located in the Vashishtha area. Riding on a Royal Enfield to the Rohtang La is a good experience.