Located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Manali sits at the northern end of the Kullu Valley in the heart of the region’s highest mountain ranges. A popular stop on the ancient trade route to Ladakh and beyond, Manali was also popular with the British who introduced apples and trout fish. To this day, apples, plums and pears remain a decent cash crop for locals.
Tourism in Manali received a real boost after the rise of militancy in Kashmir in the late 1980s and today accounts for nearly a quarter of all tourist arrivals in Himachal Pradesh including a healthy number of Indian honeymooners. It is famous for adventure sports such as alpine skiing (in season), hiking and trekking, mountaineering, paragliding, rafting, kayaking and mountain biking. It also offers hot springs, spectacular religious shrines and Tibetan Buddhist temples. Manali itself is based around one street – The Mall. Northwest of here is Old Manali and across the Beas River is the nearby village of Vashisht. Popular points of interest include the 16th century Dhungri Temple and the Museum of Traditional Himachal Culture.
Manali harbours the highest concentration of Tibetan refugees in the Kullu Valley hence the presence of prayer flags fluttering everywhere and the shiny gompas. The Gadhan Thekchokling Gompa built by Tibetan refugees in the 1960s dominates the Tibetan area at the bottom of The Mall. The Mall is stacked with shops selling souvenir handicrafts and woolen items, for which the town is famous.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Manali, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to India
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