MANALI is a valley nestled at 2050 meters in northern Himachal Pradesh state. Just 42 kms ahead from Kullu this beautiful place is surrounded by majestic Pir Panjals / Bara Bhangal ranges and protected stretches of deodar. The pristine Beas river gushes right through the town and thanks to this rather ‘global village’ feel as Manali has riverside cafes waylaying the senses with a promise of tasty Indian and international cuisine. There are apple orchards around and you will find a scenic conglomeration of traditional village life and contemporary tourism sitting back to back. To sum it up, its an ideal destination for nature lovers, adventure sports and trekking.
13 kms ahead of Manali lies vast and enchanting Solang Valley guarded by lofty snow mountains which is also a hub for adventure sports. The tourists throng in huge numbers and indulge in exciting activities such as, Parachuting, paragliding, zorbing, horse riding and in winter months skiing on giant slopes of this valley. Solang is the starting point of famous two days Beas Kund (source of Beas river) trek and to scale the summits of Shitidhar Peak (5250 meters) and Friendship Peak (5289 meters).
51 kms from Manali lies famous Rohtang Pass (3978 meters) connecting Kullu valley with Lahaul and Spiti valleys. The journey to the pass itself is full of adventure and is a must in the travelers list. The stunning panoramas of the glorious array of snow peaks and glaciers, and the desolate Lahaul valley below will stay in your memories forever.
The three most famous temples in Manali are Hidimba Temple, Vashishtha Temple and Manu Temple. Manali is named after the Hindu lawgiver Manu. Legend has it that sage Manu stepped off his ark in Manali to recreate human life after a primordial flood had deluged the world.
Once capital of Kullu kingdom Naggar is situated on the left bank of river Beas. At an altitude of 2047 meters this place has a lot to offer to tourists. The famous Nicholas Roerich Estate ( a Russian painter who settled here in the early 20th century) is a must visit as now it’s a museum featuring a collection of his popular paintings. Another attraction is the beautiful Naggar Castle which is more than 500 years old built by raja Sidh Singh as it remained the official seat for kings for centuries. This place has beautiful Jana waterfall to offer too and the nearby shop caters tasty local food.
DAY 1 MANALI
Upon arrival you will check in hotel and relax in the calm atmosphere of this place. In the evening you can visit the market and check out shops selling hand crafted items. You can also sit near Beas river if you want to avoid hustle bustle of the market. Overnight stay in hotel.
DAY 2 MANU TEMPLE - HIDIMBA TEMPLE - VASHISHT TEMPLE - CAMPING
Today will be the day to visit the temples and explore the surrounding area.
This temple is dedicated to Sage Manu who is believed to be the creator of the human race and is located in Old Manali at the distance of 3 kms from the main market. It is the only temple dedicated to Manu who is also the writer of Manusmriti.
It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimba Devi, wife of Bhima, a figure in the Indian epic Mahabharata. The temple was built in 1553 over a huge rock protruding out of the ground and is surrounded by a cedar forest. Inside the temple the imprint of the feet of the Goddess carved on a block of stone are worshipped.
3 kms from Manali across Beas river lies beautiful Vashisht village and temple. Its dedicated to Rishi Vashisht who is one of the seven sage of hindu. Its believed to be more than 4000 years old and is built in traditional style with intricate wood carvings. It is also famous for its sulphurous hot water springs which is believed to have medicinal value and cures skin related problems. Just half an hour uphill easy walk will make you witness beautiful and secluded Jogini waterfall. It’s a place of female power sacred to the village goddess Jogini.
In the evening you will reach Solang valley and overnight stay will be in tents at a beautiful camping ground next to river Beas.
DAY 3 ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES
Today you’ll wake up to the chirping of birds and the enchanting views of mighty snow-clad mountains will refresh you. You can enjoy various invigorating activities such as horse riding, paragliding, zorbing and skiing in winter months. One can enjoy the cable car ride all the way to the top of the mountain which is nearly 1.8 kms lengthy followed by leisurely stroll and engaging in photography.
DAY 4 ROERICH’S MEMORIAL – NAGGAR CASTLE – JANA WATERFALL
Today after a hearty breakfast you will head towards Naggar which is 33 kms from Solang. The first attraction would be Nicholas Roerich museum where you can admire his paintings and visit two-floor house. The second place to visit is Naggar Castle which has beautiful intricate wood carvings and it also survived an earthquake in 1905 which destroyed most of the houses in the valley and nearby city of Jawa was completely ruined. The view of the vast valley from here is magnificent. Zig zagging on the road and witnessing the beautiful landscape the last place to visit today is Jana waterfall. Savour some fresh local food from nearby dhaba which is just next to the waterfall. You will return to the hotel by evening.
NOTE : Camping options are available too however with extra cost.
Today after hearty breakfast you will checkout from the hotel and this memorable trip will terminate here.