Manali, India is a land of lush green dense forests, with thrilling views of Beas River, spirituality with temples like Hadimba temple, Manikaran Gurudwara, and even hiking in the Rohtang Pass.
As much as I am excited about the destination I am heading to, the journey is no less exciting for me. When we decided to visit Manali, it was like a dream come true. I was young and heard lovely stories about the place. It was a family trip with uncles, aunties and a bunch of cousins. It was an approximately twelve-hour drive from New Delhi, although not a hectic one. The highway from Delhi to Manali was an entertaining experience which we enjoyed to the fullest – the roadside dhabhas (restaurants), beautiful green farms, and wonderful landscape of Himachal Pradesh. We entered the Himalayan state early morning and were welcomed by the lush green mountains, where we enjoyed our morning tea of the valley. The entire village is breathtaking with a variety of things to do in Manali but here are the top things not to miss when you visit the most famous tourist spot from Himachal Pradesh.
The day we reached Manali and checked in the Hotel, it was almost mid-afternoon. We had our lunch at a restaurant on the Mall road and went to visit the Beas River. The Beas river is the main landmark of this town with beautiful landscapes for the photographers to capture in their frame. We had to cross a Park to reach the river bank which was already loaded with tourists. It was very peaceful to sit on huge rocks and soak our feet in the chilled flowing water of the river. After sitting there for some time while enjoying Maggi with tea, we headed back to the hotel as it started to get cold around late evening.
We started the first day of our trip with exploring the spiritual side of Manali by visiting the famous Hadimba temple. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to an Indian Goddess, Hidimi Devi (a figure in the Indian epic, Mahabharata) and is surrounded by dense cedar forest in the Himalayan range.
The second half of our trip was dedicated entirely to The Rohtang pass, which is a natural divide between Manali and the Spiti Valley and also the entry point towards Leh. From the old town square of Manali, it is an approximately two hours long and bumpy ride to Rohtang Pass, and so is adventurous. As it is a relatively cold place than Manali (during summers as well), we rented warm clothes from a local shop before starting our drive. On reaching the Rohtang Pass, we were mesmerized to be in a valley surrounded by snow-covered mountains. We proceeded to trek into the snow-laden hills and felt the powdery snow everywhere with clouds running through us. Within minutes, the weather started to change drastically, and it suddenly became very cloudy, and so we decided to depart from there to avoid being stuck.
Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara
The Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara is one of the most sacred gurudwaras relevant to both Hindus and Sikhs equally. It is widely recognized for its natural hot springs, and these are used by the gurudwara staff to prepare the Langar food (mostly rice) for the devotees. The Gurudwara is not exactly located in Manali while in Kullu – another village on the way back to Delhi, so we kept this one was for the last day of our trip. Situated in Parvati Valley on the river banks of the Parvati River known for its heavy flow around the gurudwara as it has caused various accidents in the past.
As it is a sacred place for both Hindus and Sikhs, it is a must visit the gurudwara for the divine connect along with a distinguished history. In Hinduism, it is known to be relevant as Manu – known to be the first Hindu Man – post a massive flood recreated human life here. While Sikhs believe that the founder of Sikhism – Guru Nanak Dev – lifted a stone to create the famous hot springs to prepare food for the community not able to fetch food back in those days.
Just a few miles behind the Manikaran Gurudwara in Kullu, a bridge is built over the Parvati river in the Kasol Valley – caught our attention. In an attempt to appease our adventurous urge we headed on to quickly explore the other side of the bridge. There’s something really exciting about this bridge. Upon reaching the center of the bridge, it tends to move at a fast pace, or at least it appears so 😉 making it very difficult to even keep a step forward. But, going on with our hysteria we continue to cross it. At the end of the bridge, we were welcomed by another spectacular view of the steep mountains of the Kasol Valley. We even encountered some locals who use this reckless bridge for their daily chores by taking all their stuff tied to their heads…Not Kidding!! See the picture below, the locale here is carrying huge baggage at his head while trying to cross the bridge safely. How audacious!!
The footfall in Manali increases during spring & summer, but visiting the places in winters with snow all around is altogether another experience, and I’m yet to experience that, awaiting for that another trip 😀
The visit to the place can be relaxing, spiritual and memorable all at same time.
Have you been to Manali? Please share your experience with us!!
Like it?? Pin it for later!!
– The Wanderer