Manali, Himachal Pradesh
|— Hill station —|
|Elevation||2,050 m (6,730 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Manali (Hindi: मनाली) at an altitude of 2,050 m (6,726 ft) in the Beas River Valley is a hill station nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley. It is located about 270 km (168 mi) north of the state capital, Shimla.
Manali with a population of approx. 30,000 is administratively a part of the Kullu district. The small town is the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and from there over the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin.
Manali is located at 32.2396 N, 77.1887 E, about 40 km (25 mi) north of Kullu town. The town ranges in elevation from 1,800 m (5,900 ft) to 2,000 m (6,600 ft) in the uppermost "Old Manali" section.
Manali is a small town. People from different parts of India have settled here. As of 2001[update] India census, Manali had a population of 6265. Males constituted 64% of the population and females 36%. Manali had an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy was 80%, and female literacy was 63%. In Manali, 9% of the population was under 6 years of age.
Manali is primary attraction for the tourists who want to visit the Himalayas. Rohtang Pass is very much popular among tourists. Kullu river nearby also offers opportunities for rafting. 
The climate in Manali is predominantly cold during winters, and moderately cool during summers. The temperatures range from 4 °C (39 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F) over the year. The average temperature during summer is between 04 °C (39 °F) and 15 °C (59 °F), and between −15 °C (5 °F) and 05 °C (41 °F) in the winter.
|Climate data for Manali|
|Average high °C (°F)||10.6
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.7
|Rainfall mm (inches)||128.9
|Source: IMD (1968-2000) |
Monthly precipitation varies between 31 mm (1.2 in) in November to 217 mm (8.5 in) in July. In average, some 45 mm (1.8 in) of precipitation is received during winter and spring months, increasing to some 115 mm (4.5 in) in summer as the monsoon approaches. The average total annual precipitation is 1,363 mm (53.7 in). Snowfall in the region, which usually took place in the month of December, has been delayed over the last fifteen years to January or early February.
Manali is named after the Hindu lawgiver Manu. The word Manali is regarded as the changed name of "Manu-Alaya" which literally means "the abode of Manu". Legend has it that sage Manu stepped off his ark in Manali to recreate human life after a great flood had deluged the world. Manali is also often referred to as the "Valley of the Gods". The Old Manali village has an ancient temple dedicated to sage Manu.
In ancient times, the valley was sparsely populated by nomadic hunters known as 'rakshas'. The next arrivals were the shepherds who arrived from the Kangra Valley and settled to take up agriculture. Some of the earliest inhabitants of the region are the 'naur' or 'nar', which is a caste unique to the Kullu valley. Only a few naur families are known to exist now. A naur family in the village Soyal near Haripur on the west bank of Manali was famous for the vast land they owned and their practice of having 'rakshas' as their labourers.
The British introduced apple trees and trout, which were not native to Manali flora and fauna. It is said that when apple trees were first planted the fruits were so plentiful that often branches, unable to bear the weight, would collapse. To this day, apple—along with plum and pear—remains the best source of income for the majority of its inhabitants.
Tourism in Manali received a boost after the rise of militancy in Kashmir in the late 1980s. This once quiet village was transformed into a bustling town with many hotels and restaurants.
The nearest airport (IATA code KUU) is at Bhuntar town, situated on NH21 about 50 km (31 mi) south of Manali and 10 km (6.2 mi) south of Kullu town. The airport is also known as Kullu-Manali airport and has more than a kilometre long runway. Indian Airlines and some private airlines have regular flights to the airport. Daily fight service( except tuesday)has been started by 15May 2013 at Bhunter airport by Air India from Delhi to Bhunter and vice-versa. Chandigarh airport is the nearest international airport.
Manali can be reached from Delhi by national highway NH 1 up to Chandigarh and from there by national highway NH21 that passes through Bilaspur, Sundernagar, Mandi and Kullu towns. The road distance from Delhi to Chandigarh is 260 km and from Chandigarh to Manali is 273 km. The total distance from Delhi to Manali thus is 533 km (331 mi).
Manali is not easily approachable by rail. The nearest broad gauge railheads are at Chandigarh (275 km (171 mi)), Pathankot (325 km (202 mi)) and Kalka (310 km (193 mi)). The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Joginder Nagar (135 kilometres (84 mi)).
See Bilaspur-Mandi-Leh Railway for the proposed railway line through this area.
Further reading 
- Verma, V. 1996. Gaddis of Dhauladhar: A Transhumant Tribe of the Himalayas. Indus Publishing Co., New Delhi.
- Handa, O. C. 1987. Buddhist Monasteries in Himachel Pradesh. -03-5.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "Travelling to Manali".
- "Indian Meteorological Department - Govt Of India". Indian Meteorological Department. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- Adventure trips - Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
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