A one-stop destination for tourists of all kinds, whether you’re a nature admirer, a wanderer, a sightseeing explorer, a spiritual person, or someone who loves spending time with family and children, Manali is one of the few hill stations in India that is blessed with everything one can ever ask for.
If you’re traveling to Manali in search of inner peace, the serene ambiance with a laid-back atmosphere and unparalleled tranquility gives you the much-needed break you need to declutter your mind soulfully. If you’re looking to give a kick-start to your new journey together with your better half on your honeymoon, Manali is the place to be. This hilly area, also referred to as India’s Honeymoon Capital, presents its tourists with an ideal setting where you can not only relax after the hustle-bustle of your wedding but also enjoy each other’s company in privacy.
If you’re a thrill seeker wanting to try something new and out-of-the-box on your trip, Manali presents you with several tourist destinations where you can try your hand at a diverse range of activities and bring out the best of adventure in you. In short, it won’t be wrong to say that this little hamlet pleases everyone’s mind and has something for everyone to keep them occupied throughout their stay.
Nestled in the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas, Manali has always been the preferred holiday destination for tourists from all over the nation for the above-mentioned reasons and it promises to offer a delightful experience to both domestic and foreigner travelers alike. It has snow-capped mountains, verdant landscapes, lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, beautiful valleys, lakes, wildlife sanctuaries, die-to-fall scenery, and pleasant weather that encourages people to pack their bags right away and head for a getaway to this lovely paradise.
Ideal for all age groups, the town of Manali boasts plenty of sightseeing places that are worth exploring. However, it’s obviously not possible for tourists to visit all the points of interest in one go. So, for your ease, we at Holidays DNA, have shortlisted a few of the best places that you can plan to explore on your Manali tour. These are as follows:
01. Hadimba Temple
Visit the ancient Hadimba Temple in Manali to seek blessings from Goddess Hidimba. Also referred to as Hidimba Devi Temple and Dhungari Temple among the locals, this 15th-century shrine boasts fantastic architecture that looks unique and different from the other Hindu temples you will ever see in the whole country.
It features wooden walls and doorways along with a conical-shaped roof that impresses its visitors coming from different corners of the world. The breathtaking view of the snow-capped mountains and gorgeous cedar forests in the backdrop makes it an oasis of tranquility where you can de-stress your mind and soak in the vibes amidst bountiful nature.
- Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit the Hadimba Devi Temple.
- Timings: It welcomes its devotees from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days and the recommended exploration time is 1-2 hours.
02. Solang Valley
Heaven for adventure seekers and sports enthusiasts, the Solang Valley offers a kind of atmosphere that is bound to relax all your senses with pristine, snow-capped mountains and picturesque glaciers which are no less than a treat to watch. The pure white landscapes are a sight to behold here and the unmissable scenic beauty is sure to win over your heart, making you fall in love with this place from head to toe.
Here you can try your hand at a diverse range of outdoor activities to add some fun elements to your Manali tour. These include Paragliding, Skiing, Camping, Zorbing, Quad Biking, Horse Riding, Snowmobiling, and Cable Car Ropeway. Other than these things, one can also indulge in photography to capture some unforgettable memories to cherish their visit for a lifetime.
- Entry Fee: You don’t need to pay anything to anyone except for the price of the adrenaline-fuelled activities you wish to try.
- Timings: The Solang Valley is an all-season destination and hence, can be explored at any time of the year.
03. Jogini Waterfalls
Revel in the picturesque beauty of the magnificent displays of nature at Jogini Waterfalls. Offering a delightful experience to all age groups, the Jogini Waterfalls is a popular sightseeing place in Manali where you can enjoy a trek to witness the natural phenomena of the cascading waterfall falling from a height of 160 feet.
The trekking route is so scenic that it mesmerizes almost all the trekkers as it passes through orchards and pine trees, giving you a glimpse of the dazzling river Beas and the peaks of Rohtang Pass. Make sure to look back once you reach the top of the waterfall – to see what nature has given you. Try to start early in the morning so that you can spend more time at this spot.
- Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit Jogini Waterfall in Manali.
- Timings: It is open 24 by 7 throughout the year and the ideal exploration time is 5-6 hours.
04. The Manali Gompa
A pilgrimage center for Buddhists, the Manali Gompa or the Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa is a renowned Buddhist monastery that was built in the year 1960 by a large number of refugees who shifted from neighboring Tibet to this town and made it their home.
It’s the ornate design and architecture that make it the finest landmark in Manali and a must-visit attraction for Buddhists from Nepal, Spiti, Lahaul, and Ladakh. As you step inside the monastery, you will notice that the walls feature a wide variety of paintings that depict the life and teaching of Lord Buddha in detail. You can also take a walk around the stalls located in the complex to buy some souvenirs and Tibetan handicraft items for your loved ones back home.
- Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit the Manali Gompa in this hilly area.
- Timings: It welcomes its visitors from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days except Sundays.
05. Bhrigu Lake
Take a moment to appreciate the serenity and crystal-clear blue waters of Bhrigu Lake whenever you get some spare time. Also referred to as the Pool of Gods, the Bhrigu Lake, surrounded by evergreen tree forests and alpine meadows, is a majestic lake that draws the attention of tourists, especially trekkers every year who are wanting to feel the high adrenaline rush in their bodies.
Perched at an altitude of approximately 4000 feet above sea level, this water body offers a challenging yet worth trying trekking trail that gives you a kind of experience you will not forget in your life. As you pass through an adventurous path, you will see a blissful sight that will encourage you to come to this place time and time again. Yes, it’s that beautiful.
- Entry Fee: Entry to Bhrigu Lake is free for all its visitors.
- Timings: As a localite or a tourist, you can pay a visit to this lake at any time as it remains open for 24 hours.
06. Nehru Kund
Ideal to visit in the summer season, the Nehru Kund is another famous sightseeing place in Manali that is named after the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. It is said that he used to often visit it during his stay in Manali and drink water from there.
Another highlight of this natural spring is its clear waters and the calm Himalayas that catch the attention of locals as well as tourists wanting to experience the tranquility of this place. It has natural lighting with a picture-perfect backdrop that invites shutterbugs to capture some great shots of the landscapes and jaw-dropping scenery of the valleys that are hard to miss here.
- Entry Fee: Entry to visit Nehru Kund in Manali is free for everyone.
- Timings: Though it remains open for its tourists throughout the day, the recommended timings would be from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM and you’ll need less than 1 hour to explore its surroundings.
07. Arjun Gufa
Located at a distance of 21 km from Manali Bus Stand, Arjun Gufa is an offbeat tourist destination that is widely known among the people for its legendary tale as well as the adventure of exploring this naturally formed cave from the inside.
As per the legend, Arjun, who was one of the brothers of the Pandavas from Mahabharata, meditated here to earn powers from Lord Shiva. Seeing his dedication and faith, Lord Shiva blessed him with a weapon called Pashupati Astra. And now, because of its religious significance, many people visit it to captivate its beauty and soak in the uncharacteristic calmness away from the maddening crowds of Manali.
It’s a narrow path with an uneven passage into a hill that makes the exploration more exciting and fun for thrill seekers. The overall time you would be needing to explore the cave is nearly 45 minutes. Try this adventure once and you’ll enjoy it for sure. Close to the gufa, there is a Kunti Mata Temple and Kunt Bhayo Lake which are also worthy of your time. So, if time permits, make sure to have a look at them.
- Entry Fee: Entry to the Arjun Gufa is free for all its visitors.
- Timings: As such, there are no opening and closing timings, but it’s always best to head towards it between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
08. Van Vihar National Park
If you wish to admire nature at its best and have an intimate conversation with it, you should look nowhere else than the Van Vihar National Park.
Adorned with lush greenery, sky-touching deodar trees, and unparalleled natural beauty, the Van Vihar Park is a beautiful park that offers a perfect break from the mind-numbing restlessness of the Manali town. Here you can enjoy long walks with your family or friends to spend quality time with each other and discover a variety of local bird species.
There is also a man-made lake where you can experience boating to make the most of your visit. All-in-all, it won’t be wrong to say that Van Vihar Park is a great spot for a memorable picnic and can be visited for a good, half-day excursion.
- Entry Fee: To visit the Van Vihar National Park, you’ll need to pay INR 5 per person for people of all ages. There is an extra charge of INR 30 for a 15-minute boat ride in the park.
- Timings: It is open for its tourists from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM in summer and from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in winter.
09. Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art
All those who are interested in learning about Himachali culture in detail can head to the Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art in Manali. Established in 1998, this museum houses a beautiful collection of traditional and ancient heritage items which gives a glimpse into the life of the people of Himachal Pradesh.
From traditional dresses to household products, musical instruments, handlooms, jewelry, furniture, utensils, and much more, you can see everything here at this museum. It also exhibits the models of the ancient houses so that you can understand how early generation people lived their life in tough times.
- Entry Fee: The entry fee to take a tour of the museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art is INR 10 per person.
- Timings: It welcomes its visitors from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM from April to November and from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM from December to March.
10. The Great Himalayan National Park
The most sought-after tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh state, the Great Himalayan National Park is a perfect spot for people who love being around animals all the time. It’s a natural habitat that provides shelter to over 31 species of mammals, 181 species of birds, and 375 species of fauna along with 1000 different species of plants.
Snow Leopard is common to spot here. You can also witness a huge population of brown bears and Himalayan Tahr with the wolf, blue sheep, goral, ibex, rhesus macaque, muntjac, etc. In addition to this, one can also engage in trekking, camping, hiking, and photography to enjoy their visit to the Great Himalayan National Park to the fullest.
- Entry Fee: To visit the Great Himalayan National Park, you’ll need to pay INR 50 per person for Indians and INR 200 per person for foreigners. For Indian students, it charges INR 30 per head and for foreign students, the cost is INR 100 per head. If you have a still camera or a video camera with you, you’ll need to pay an extra charge.
- Timings: It opens its door for its visitors from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM on all days of the week and the ideal exploration time is 3-4 hours.
11. Rahala Falls
Witness the cascading waterfall falling from a certain height on your way to Rohtang Pass in Manali. The Rahala Falls, surrounded by a dense forest of deodar and birch trees, is a renowned picnic spot that offers a truly magnificent view that is a sight to behold. One can also enjoy the snow-clad Himalayan ranges around the waterfall to have the best time of their life at this location.
It’s a perfect escape for nature buffs wanting to get one step closer to nature and indeed a great spot for locals seeking a much-needed break from the maddening crowd of the town. Adventure enthusiasts can also choose to trek to the top of the cliff for a panoramic view of the waterfall and the mountains that are beautifully covered in snow. Try visiting it during the monsoon or post-monsoon season as it looks even more charming and beautiful than before.
- Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit the Rahala Falls in Manali.
- Timings: It can be explored by tourists at any time as it remains open all day. However, the ideal timings would be from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM and the recommended exploration time is 1-2 hours.
12. Rohtang Pass
Dedicate a complete day on your Manali tour to Rohtang Pass and we promise you’ll not regret it. It’s nature’s perfect spectacle that allows you to experience the unparalleled natural beauty and discover unseen wonders at your utmost comfort.
Widely renowned for its magical setting, picture-perfect backdrop, and spellbinding views, the Rohtang Pass is one of the highest passes in the Himalayas that leave you breathless with its Pir Panjal mountains ranges and spectacular beauty. The excellent route scenery encourages wanderers to visit this place time and time again and the clear blue skies with abundant lush greenery lure you to stay here for a lifetime.
There are many leisure and recreational activities available at the Rohtang Pass. Out of all, the most common ones that thrill seekers prefer enjoying here are trekking, skiing, paragliding, mountain biking, and snow scooter driving.
- Entry Fee: As such, there is no entry fee, but you need to obtain a special permit from the government authorities of Himachal Pradesh state to travel to this location.
- Timings: Depending on the weather conditions, the Rohtang Pass opens its door for its visitors either from May to October or June to October. Hence, it’s the only time when you can visit it and explore its surroundings.
13. Manali Sanctuary
Your visit to Manali will remain incomplete if you do not include Manali Sanctuary in your itinerary list. It’s an impressive wildlife sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh that is just a short stroll away from the center of the main town and is definitely an ideal place to see the native mountain wildlife.
Sprawling over 31.8 square km of area, this sanctuary features everything you can expect from natural habitat and has all types of flora and fauna including barking deer, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan Palm Civet, flying fox, etc. Other than spotting a diverse range of animals, birds, mammals, and reptiles, this sanctuary also offers numerous opportunities like camping and trekking to entice fun-loving souls and daredevils.
What makes the Manali Wildlife Sanctuary unique from other sanctuaries is its scenic beauty that not only de-stress your mind but also pleases your senses and soothes your inner soul. Don’t forget to bring your camera along if you like to take photographs of every place you visit to cherish memories forever.
- Entry Fee: The entry fee to visit Manali Sanctuary is INR 10 per person.
- Timings: It welcomes its visitors from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days and the recommended exploration time is 2-3 hours.
14. Old Manali
Lying merely 2-3 km away from the mall road of Manali is the town of Old Manali which is famous among the tourists for its old-world charm. Dotted with a vast coverage of apple orchards, the elegance and charm of the Old Manali invite tourists to visit this place on their Manali tour at least once and attain peace of mind.
Dine in at the rustic cafes that serve a variety of continental food to discover the real essence of Manali and treat your taste buds with mouth watering delicacies. You can also shop for knick-knicks at pocket-friendly prices from the local markets here along with enjoying a blissful stay in the hostels. The ambiance of the Old Manali is quite lively and you will definitely love the energy once you spend a few hours here.
- Entry Fee: There is no entry fee for Old Manali.
- Timings: It is always open for its visitors. Hence, you don’t need to worry about the specific timings.
15. Manu Temple
Dedicated to the Hindu community, the Manu Temple is a historical temple that holds great importance among the people for its religious significance. Named after King Manu – the Indian Sage, the Manu Temple features pagoda-style architecture along with an excellent location that makes it easily accessible for all age groups.
The valleys encompassing the temple are inviting and the unparalleled calmness you’ll notice here the moment you enter brings a sense of tranquility. The aura of this shrine is so powerful that people from all walks of life keep coming to this place over and over again. Please note that to reach the temple, you need to trek through a narrow road as it’s the only path that takes you to the shrine.
- Entry Fee: To visit the Manu Temple, you don’t have to pay anything to anyone.
- Timings: The opening and closing timings of this religious shrine are from 5:00 AM in the morning to 9:00 PM at night and it welcomes people on all days.
16. Jana Waterfall
Amongst the most enchanting tourist places to visit in Manali is another place, Jana Waterfall which is frequently visited by tourists to have some peaceful moments with their loved ones amidst serenity and beauty.
Settled in a village called Jana, the Jana Waterfall is a pure delight to watch and has a charming wooden bridge from where you can capture the falls in their best form. There is also a pool at the bottom of the waterfall to take a plunge into the water and return home refreshed and rejuvenated.
Make sure to explore the nearby stalls around this place as the vendors of these stalls offer a piping hot plate of Maggie with a cup of tea to all its visitors. Maggie is said to be a must-try here.
- Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit the Jana Fall in Manali.
- Timings: It can be explored by tourists from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days and the ideal exploration time is 1-2 hours.
17. Vashisht Hot Water Springs and Temple
Famous for its hot water spring, the Vashisht Temple is a pyramid-shaped stone temple that traces its history back to more than 4000 years ago. Nestled amidst the dramatic Himalayan topography, the Vashist Hot Water Springs and Temple has a naturally formed water spring that is believed to contain medicinal properties to cure skin diseases and other infections.
Taking a dip in this spring can help you relax your mind. For your convenience, the government has made separate bathing areas for both men and women, so you don’t have to bother about that. Around the temple, there are many shops where you can purchase some souvenirs related to the memory of this temple to remember your visit for a lifetime.
- Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit this temple in Manali.
- Timings: It opens its door for its devotees from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM and then from 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM on all days.
18. Mall Road
Shop until you drop at Mall Road! A must-visit place for shopaholics, Mall Road is a charming marketplace that receives a huge influx of visitors every day in the evening.
From buying wooden handicrafts to woolen items, silver jewelry, keychains, nameplates, Buddhist paintings, Kullu caps, and many other souvenirs, here you can find everything at reasonable prices.
In addition to all this, it also features multiple restaurants, cafes, and dhabas where you relish the flavors of lip-smacking dishes and satisfy your cravings for street food like a plate of sizzling momos. It’s a perfect spot for locals to hang out with their friends in the evening and can also be visited by families with kids.
- Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit Mall Road in Manali.
- Timings: It remains functional for its visitors from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM on all days of the week.
19. Himalayan Nyingmapa Buddhist Temple
Counted amongst the best Buddhist monasteries in Himachal Pradesh and North India, the Himalayan Nyingmapa Buddhist Temple is a famous monastery in Manali that features a traditional Tibetan style of architecture with spacious lawns on either side.
The prime highlight of this monastery is the 4.5 feet tall statue of Sakyamuni that can be seen in his sitting posture. It has eye-catching colorful wall paintings which add to the overall beauty and also exhibits a dedicated section that depicts everything about Gautam Buddha in detail. Other than that, you can also spot the various idols of Buddha in different shapes and sizes inside the monastery.
Anyone who needs to calm their mind and fill the atmosphere around themselves with positivity is welcome into the monastery. It’s a kind of place that will relax your most frazzled nerves and soothe your senses so that you can return home refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Entry Fee: To visit the Himalayan Nyingmapa Buddhist Temple, you don’t need to pay anything. However, if you wish to do photography or video shooting here, you’ll need to pay INR 20 for it.
- Timings: It can be visited from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM on all days i.e., from Monday to Sunday and the recommended exploration time is 1-2 hours.
20. Naggar Castle
Built by Raja Sidh Singh in 1460, the Naggar Castle is the 15th-century historical edifice that still retains its old-world charm of the bygone era and exhibits wooden architecture that makes it look unique from the other popular sightseeing places in Manali. Around 40 years ago, it was converted into a heritage hotel and since then it is managed by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation department.
Perched on the Beas Valley, the Naggar Castle allows you to enjoy a comfortable and blissful stay amidst scenic surroundings. All the rooms are spacious and are beautifully equipped with all the modern amenities you need to make yourself feel at home away from home. Here you can also enjoy an excellent gastronomy experience as the hotel serves food for vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian people.
- Entry Fee: The entry fee is INR 15 per person to visit the Naggar Castle in Manali.
- Timings: The ideal time duration would be from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM for all its tourists.
The hill station of Manali has a lot more places to explore for its avid travelers. So, if time permits, you can plan to extend your trip to create some unforgettable memories with your loved ones. A few of the places that are worth exploring are Beas River, Gulaba, Gauri Shankar Temple, Jagatsukh, Chandrakhani Pass, and Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery and Museum. You can also consider visiting Rozy Waterfalls, Chandratal Baralacha Lake, Keylong, and Hampta Pass Trek to have a gala time on your Manali tour.
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