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.
Here are some popular itineraries for a trip to Manali
If you are planning a Manali holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Manali Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Manali.