Manali with its unspoilt scenic grandeur is extremely popular with the tourists, for a lavish display of natural scenery. It is one of the principal show places of the Kullu region. To its North, South and West are an ostentation of pinnacles and ridges which, in fine weather, stand out in bold relief against skyline. At the lower elevation and in every direction there are vivid green patches of grassland and evergreen valleys ascending in irregular formation present probably the best view in the country. Manali is situated at an altitude of 1,926 metres and spreads in 12.5 square km. It is the real starting point of an ancient trade rout. Manali is connected with direct bus services from all cities of Himachal, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The distance from Manali to Shimla is 260 km., Chandigarh 320 km., Delhi 583 km., Pathankot 326 km., Dharamshala 253 km., Udaipur ( in Lahaul-Spiti ) 166 km., Keylong 104 km. and Kaza 244 km.
Famous Places Around Manali :
Rohtang Pass :
( 51 km. ) At an altitude of 3,978 metres on the highway to Keylong, the mass affords a wide-spread panorama of mountain scenery. Here eye meets a range of precipitous cliffs, huge glaciers and piled moraine and deep ravines. To the opposite is the well defined 'Sonepani Glacier' slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geyphang snow crowned. The Beas river rises near the crest of Rohtang from a block of Mica-Schist. To its left, 200 metres higher, is the little lake of 'Sarkund' ( Dashahr ) visited by a large number of people every year. The bath in the water of Sarkund lake effects cure of all bodily ailments or imaginary. The pass is open from June to October each year although trekkers can cross it earlier. It is the gateway to Lahaul-Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley.
Solang Valley :
( 13 km. ) A beautiful valley between Manali and Kothi which offers views of the glaciers and snow covered mountain peaks. The plateau is frequently used for holding camps by the trekking parties. The surrounding areas of Manali from 3 to 20 km. are suitable for rock climbing. The winter skiing festival is organised here as well as training in skiing is imparted at this place.
Club House :
2 kms. from the town, club house has indoor games facilities which has been located on the left bank of Manalsu Nallah. There are some picnic spots near it.
Tibetan Monastery :
A new but colorful Buddhist temple. It contains many idols of Buddha. This monastey is famous for its carpet weaving and Tibetan handicraft.
Hadimba or Hidimba Devi Temple :( 1.5 km. ) Built in 1553 A.D. also known as 'Doongri Temple' dedicated to the Goddess Hidimba ( Hirma Devi ), the wife of Bhima, has a four tiered pagoda shaped roof with a doorway carved with figures and symbols. Although carving is simple yet beautiful. This temple was built by Raja Bahadur Singh of Kullu.
Vashisht :( 3 km. ) This place is famous for its hot water springs and temples of Vashisht Rishi and Lord Rama. It is located on the bank of Beas, but well above the river. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are always full of tourists. Turkish style showers fitted baths have also been built nearby. Hot water from the nearby spring is provided for bathing.