Manali - the blessed natural beauty
The Kullu valley has an ancient town in its lap called Manali. Surrounded by towering peaks at an arm length, Manali's major asset is its proximity to the snowline. It is a flourishing orchard industry, a popular honeymoon destination and trailhead for numerous treks as well as a great countryside ideal for adventure sport lovers. Manali literally means the 'Home of Manu'. Manu is the mythological character who is supposed to have survived when the world was drowned in Flood. He then came to Manali and recreated human life. Thus, the area of Manali is sacred and Hindus treat the temples over here as pilgrimage.
Attractions of Manali
HADIMBA TEMPLE : Manali has many attractions but the chief centre of interest, historically and archeologically, is undoubtedly the DHOONGRI TEMPLE dedicated to goddess Hadimba, the Bhim of Mahabharat fame. It has four-tiered Pagoda shaped roof and the doorway is carved with legendary figures and symbols. This temple located amidst wooden forest of deodar is about 2.5 kms. from the tourist office. It is a pleasant experience to stroll in the temple complex which was built in 1533 A.D. A large festival is held here in May.
MANU TEMPLE : 3 kms. from the main bazar in old Manali lies the temple of MANU RISHI. It is believed that this is the only temple of Manu in India, who was the creator of human race on the earth.
CLUB HOUSE : Manali Club House is located at a distance of 2 kms from the main town on the left bank of Manalsu Nallah. Cross the Bipasha river by car to reach Manali Club House which is under the shade of Deodar trees and offers many indoor games facilities. Cultural events are also organized in the auditorium of Club House. Around the Club House there are some fine picnic spots, where you can pass a good time.
TIBETAN MONASTRIES : There are 3 newly constructed colorful monasteries, where visitors can buy carpets and other Tibetan handicrafts. Two are located in the town and one at Aleo on the left bank of Beas river.
MOUNTAINEERING INSTITUTE : Manali Mountaineering Institute is located close to the Tibetan Monastery on the left bank of river Beas towards Kullu. The institute offers basic and advance training courses for adventure sports like mountaineering, trekking, skiing and plenty of water sports.
VASHIST HOT WATER SPRING : A small village situated on the left bank of river Beas towards Rohtang Pass, Vashisth is known for its hot springs and magnificent temples. Here, you will see a pyramidal stone temple dedicated to Vashisth Muni. In addition to this, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Rama. Hot Water Springs containing Sulphur, is another major attraction here.
ROHTANG PASS : Rohtang Pass is situated on Keylong - Leh Highway at an altitude of 3,979 mts. A gateway to Lahaul, Spiti, Pangi and Leh Valley, Rohtang Pass remains open from during summers, from June to October when regular buses ply between Manali- Keylong/Darcha, Udaipur, Spiti and Leh. Rohtang Pass provides you a spectacular view of glaciers, peaks and the Chandra river flowing down in the Lahaul valley.
JAGATSUKH TEMPLE : 6 kms. from Manali located on the left bank on Beas on the road to Naggar. The place is famous for very old temples of Lord Shiva and Sandhya Gayatri in Shikhara style, these are worth a visit.
KOTHI : Kothi has always been a favourite place for poets, writers and the people who love nature or peaceful environs.There are very fine views from Kothi, and the Beas river flows through a very deep and narrow gorge at this point. The well situated Public Works Department (PWD) Resthouse is a popular place for overnight stays.
SOLANG VALLEY : A beautiful valley, Solang Valley is situated between Solang village and Beas Kund. Reach this picturesque place and get the magnificent view of glaciers and snow-capped mountain peaks. Solang Valley has some fine ski slopes, where you can undertake the adventure sport. Manali Mountaineering Institute has installed a Ski lift here for providing skiing training to adventure seekers. The winter skiing festival is also organized at Solang Valley.
RAHALA WATER FALLS : 16 kms. on way to Rohtang pass. If one goes to Marhi on foot from Kothi from the old road, the sight of the falls is fascinating. It is a good picnic spot as well.
ROHRIECH ART GALLERY : Two kilometre above the bus stand is the house that Nikolai Roerich settled in when he made the kullu Vlley his home.Its also the house that Hindi cinemas original oomph girl Devika Rani lived in after she married Roerich’s son Svetoslav, in 1945.She leter had the house converted in to an art centre,which much later became the Roerich Museum.It houses Roerich’ paintings prints and family memorabilia.The governments of Himachal and Russia now jointly manage it.A lso check out Himachali costumes, Stone and woodcarvings of Russia artefacts in the Urusvati Himalayan Folk Art Museum a part of the Roerich Museum.Also within the same estate is the Roerich Art Gallery.