Hello buddies, today I will share my experience on best places to visit in Manali. This will not be the list, but the complete documentary on how I visited those interesting places in my budget and how I enjoyed it. But before I start, I should give a brief introduction of Manali. When you hear the sound of chilled flowing river Beas, amidst the lofty Himalayas, when you see the mesmerizing scenic beauty of sky touching heights of deodhar trees, when you have a friendly chat with simple yet lively people, when you taste Paan Bahar flavored local liquor, you know that you are in Manali. For other information regarding Manali, you may read this on wikipedia.
Buddhist Monastery: Places to visit in Manali
Buddhist Monastery was the 1st place which I visited in Manali after my Volvo bus dropped me at bus stand, the Monastery is approx 2 km from Manali bus stand, and you may hire an auto at 30-50 INR (Negotiable), ask the drivers to take you to Mall Road. The Monastery is just 2 min walk from Mall road. I was lucky enough to visit it on the day of Buddha Purnima and enjoyed the ongoing events of local himachal music and dance, and yes free of cost tea with snacks. Inside the monastery, there is a small restaurant which offers tasty Bengali and Gujarati food at a very cheap rate. I ordered a non-veg Bengali Thali, which included plain rice, tasty veg curry, fish and salad. I didn’t expected to get the taste of Bengal in himachal, but adding to my astonishment, I got exactly the same flavor. The cost of the bengali thali was 130 INR only. This was the perfect start of Manali trip.
Club house: Places to visit in Manali
Club house is located in old Manali, and it is around 3.5 Km from Manali bus stand and 2 Km from Mall road. The auto rickshaw will charge around 70-100 INR (Negotiable). The entry fee to club house is 20 INR and here you may indulge yourself in several activities like boating, bouncing on the rope, have local foods, and do some shopping, but my advice will be to ignore shopping over there, as they charge abnormally high rate, if you are going there with family, you can spend few leisure hour in club house, as there are many activity for children and adults of all age. Food is of average quality with reasonable rates. I bounced on the rope and it was an amazing feeling when my legs touched icy cold water of river Vyas. I also did boating with my wife, and the boating charge was around 100 INR for couple.
Hadimba Devi temple : Places to visit in Manali
After my expedition in club house, I took auto for Hadimba devi temple, another well known historical place in Manali. It is approx 2 km from club house and 3 km from mall road, and auto driver charged me around 50 INR. Hadimba devi temple is situated amidst the heights of deodhar trees. The sight will take you back to some 400-500 years old architectural example. Truly mesmerizing experience. But unfortunately, I didn’t enter the temple because of long line of people waiting to enter. I adored this temple from outside, remembering the mythology of Mahabharata. I was unable to leave this place before entering the cedar forest, which has spectacular trees, the entry fee to this nearby cedar forest was 10 INR and I spent couple of leisurely hour here. You can take some great selfies here wearing local himachali costume. You may also buy fresh cherries and strawberries.
Vashisht temple : Places to visit in Manali
Vashisht temple is known for its mythological importance and its natural hot spring. It is about 3 kilometers from mall road, Manali. Auto driver charged me around 80 INR after negotiation. The place is serene and peaceful, only when, you visit here early, in the morning. I did a mistake to visit here in evening, and I was stucked in Jam packed narrow lane, with local shopkeepers trolling me, with their shawls. Don’t buy anything here, because they charge abnormally high. You have to enter the temple bare-foot, and if sun is not in your favor, you will miss your shoes. My experience at Vashisht temple was not good.
Beas river : Places to visit in Manali
River Beas is heart and soul of Manali, not only it will relax your body but also fill you up with lots of energy and enthusiasm. The sound of Beas river have magical effects and is a great escape from hustle and bustle of city life. The water is icy cool, which is not fit for swimming because of its high rapids, but it is perfect for rafting. I went to adventure club “Meridian Adventure” which is few kilometers from Mall road, Manali. I did rafting with my fellow travelers and spent a night in tent beside the river Beas.
Mall Road : Places to visit in Manali
Mall road, in Manali is much sought after destination, to do some shopping. It is approx 3 kilometers from Manali bus stand. Mall road has got some cool outlets and restaurants, goods are sold at affordable price here. Locals sells some great handlooms and woolen items, which you may customize, as per your need. I had a wonderful experience, while dealing with a local shopkeeper, who sold me a pair of woolen shoes for my daughter, only at 50 bucks. A highly recommended place, if you want to buy antiques and shawls. I went there in evening, and did some shopping for my buddies at Delhi. Buddhist monastery and van vihar is also situated in Mall road, which makes it perfect place to take evening walk, after a tiring day.
Van Vihar : Places to visit in Manali
Last day of my Manali visit, was made special by nature’s gift “Van Vihar”. It is peaceful and quiet place situated amidst, the hustle of Mall road. Entry fee to Van Vihar is 20 bucks and you may spend your time here watching the heights of deodhar trees, which talks with sky. The place is full with activities for children and adults. You may do some boating here, which costs around 50 bucks for 15 minutes. A perfect place for families and honeymooners, to spend time and enjoy walking in the shades of trees, taking fresh air with random memorable selfie clicks.
Marhi, Snow point : Places to visit in Manali
Marhi is situated in between Manali and Rohtang La. Visiting Marhi is one thing, and travelling to Marhi is another. Spectacular views of sky touching snow clad mountains, with river Beas adding magical charm to it, will mesmerize you. Words of Caution : Wear heavy woolen and gumboots, or hire it at 250 bucks. Marhi’s temperature is 12 to 15 degree on an average, and you may visit this place only in summer. My co-travelers who were unaware of Marhi’s temperature, were not able to take part in activities, and they spent there time in vehicle. You may do fun activities in Marhi like, playing in snow, crossing the river, which is cold like shit.
If Himachal is a cake, then Manali is cherry on it. It has a unique taste and flavor of its own. Whether you travel to manali, solo or as couple or in a family, you will make great memories. There is no shortage of attractions in Manali and you should include the above mentioned places in your list. Share your own personal experience and photos in comments.