Manali, Himachal Pradesh

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External view of ancient Hidimba Devi Temple in Manali
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Manali is located in Himachal Pradesh
Manali is located in India
Coordinates: 32°16′N 77°10′E / 32.27°N 77.17°E / 32.27; 77.17Coordinates: 32°16′N 77°10′E / 32.27°N 77.17°E / 32.27; 77.17
StateHimachal Pradesh
2,050 m (6,730 ft)
 • Total8,096[1]
 • Rank22 in HP
 • OfficialHindi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code+911902
Vehicle registrationHP-58

Manali is a resort town nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley in the Beas River Valley. It is located in the Kullu district, about 270 km (168 mi) north of the state capital, Shimla, 309 km (192 miles) north east of Chandigarh and 544 km (338 miles) northeast of Delhi, the national capital. The small town, with a population of 8,096,[1] 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. It is a popular tourist destination and serves as the gateway to Lahaul and Spiti district as well as Leh.

Manali is a cosmopolitan place where Tibetans, Ladakhi, Kashmiri, Kullvi and Lahuli people reside. These people often came to do business at this place and slowly settled here. The main occupation of the local people is Tourism, Farming, Horticulture, handloom industry. The official language of Manali is Hindi but due to its development in tourism, the locals also understand the English language very well. In common parlance, the locals here use the Kullvi dialect also known as Kullu language.[2]


Manali is named after the Sanatan Hindu lawgiver Manu. The name Manali is regarded as the derivative 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 lies in the North of Kullu Valley. The valley is often referred to as the 'Valley of the Gods'. Old Manali village has an ancient temple dedicated to sage Manu. According to the epic Manusmriti, the Sage Manu took the water of the river in his hands to take a bath, and he found that a small fish with water also came into his hands. This small fish sought protection from the Sage Manu. Sage Manu took this fish to the Ashram, but in whatever vessel he used to put it, suddenly it grew in size and the pot was inadequate. When Sage Manu put it in the river again, the size of the river also became smaller. Finally, Manu Rishi dumped it in the sea and he came to know that this fish is the Fish Incarnation (Matsya Avatar) of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu took this incarnation to warn Manu Rishi from the great flood. Manu Rishi preserved all the creatures of the earth during the water age by collecting it in the mouth of this Fish Incarnation.

The British introduced apple trees in the area. The first apple orchard was set up by the British near Patlikuhal, before this, no apple trees grew in the area. To this day, apple— along with plum and pear— remain the best source of income for the majority of inhabitants. Both Rainbow and Brown Trout was also introduced into the rivers and streams of the area by the colonisers. Apple cultivation in Manali was started in 1870 by Captain RC Lee, who was an officer in the British Army. He bought 33 acres of land in a village called Bandrol, about 18 km from Manali, near Patlikuhal. After this, his father sent apple, plum, pear and cherry plants from England and Captain RC Lee planted these plants on his farm.

With the increase in disposable incomes and somewhat owing to the rise of disturbances in Kashmir in the late 1980s, Manali witnessed a surge in tourist traffic. Manali is a safe paradise for tourists than Kashmir, where every beautiful view of nature is present which is often expected in Kashmir. This once quiet village was transformed into a bustling town with numerous homestays as well as the occasional boutique hotel. During the warmer summer months, cafes and restaurants can be seen doing brisk business.[citation needed]


Himalayan mountains in Manali, Himachal Pradesh.

Manali is located at 32.2396 N, 77.1887 E, about 547 km (340 mi) north of New Delhi.


Manali has grown from a trading outpost/ village to a small town; as of the 2011 census of India, its population was 8,096.[1] In 2001, Manali had an official population of 6,265. 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 63.9%. 9.5% of the population was under six years of age.[3] During the summer months there is a marked surge in the transients as many of them are employed in the hospitality businesses.


Snowfall in Manali

The climate in Manali is predominantly cold during winter and moderately cool during summer. The temperatures ranges from −7 °C (19 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) over the year with the hottest day crossing 30 °C (86 °F) and the coldest day going below −7 °C (19 °F). The average temperature during summer is between 10 °C (50 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F), and between −7 °C (19 °F) to 15 °C (59 °F) in the winter.

Climate data for Manali, Himachal Pradesh (1981–2010, extremes 1968–2011)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.5
Average high °C (°F) 10.8
Average low °C (°F) −1.1
Record low °C (°F) −11.6
Average rainfall mm (inches) 83.5
Average rainy days 5.2 7.4 8.0 5.5 5.8 6.4 12.1 13.6 7.7 2.3 1.7 2.9 78.6
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 61 61 53 56 61 63 74 76 75 69 61 62 64
Source: India Meteorological Department[4][5]

Monthly precipitation varies between 31 mm (1.2 in) in November and 217 mm (8.5 in) in July. On 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). Manali experiences snowfall predominantly between December and beginning of March.



The nearest airport Bhuntar 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. Air India has regular flights to the airport from New Delhi.

Helicopter taxi service[edit]

Pawan Hans, the Government charter agency, provides heli-taxi service connecting Shimla to Chandigarh, Kullu and Dharamshala.[6]


Manali can be reached from Delhi by national highway NH 1 up to Ambala and from there NH 22 to Chandigarh and from there by national highway NH21 that passes through Bilaspur, Sundernagar, Mandi and Kullu towns. The road distance from Chandigarh to Manali is 310 km (190 mi), and the total distance from Delhi to Manali is 570 km (350 mi). Luxury buses (including Volvos) usually ply overnight on this route and are available from all major bus terminals. Besides 12 Non-AC services, HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) runs five daily Volvo and AC buses on Delhi-Manali route and two separate Volvos by HPTDC (Himachal Tourism Development Corporation).


There is no close railhead available close to Manali. The nearest broad gauge railheads are at Una 250 km (155 mi) away, Kiratpur Sahib 268 km (167 mi), Kalka (275 km (171 mi)), Chandigarh (310 km (193 mi)), and Pathankot (325 km (202 mi)) . The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Joginder Nagar (175 kilometres (109 mi)). The Kalka–Shimla Railway is nostalgic narrow gauge route culminating at the state capital of Shimla wherefrom one has to travel by road to Manali.

Environmental concerns[edit]

Manali has witnessed a flurry of activity related to hydroelectric power and tourism. Unplanned and rampant construction has led to severe depletion of forests and pollution of river bodies, along with garbage being disposed on the side of the mountains. There has been a loss of habitat to various species of fauna, not limited to the Himalayan Monal, incidentally the state bird of Himachal Pradesh.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Verma, V. 1996. Gadd of Dhauladhar: A Transhumant Tribe of the Himalayas. Indus Publishing Co., New Delhi.
  • Handa, O. C. 1996. Buddhist Monasteries in Himachal Pradesh. ISBN 978-8185182032.
  • Penelope Chetwode 1972, 1989 "Kulu: The End of the Habitable World" (ISBN 9788185113203) Time Books International


  1. ^ a b c "Manali (Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India) - population statistics, map, and location". Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Trip India Trip Customized tour experts". Manali local travel guides. 16 July 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  4. ^ "Station: Manali Climatological Table 1981–2010" (PDF). Climatological Normals 1981–2010. India Meteorological Department. January 2015. pp. 469–470. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Extremes of Temperature & Rainfall for Indian Stations (Up to 2012)" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. December 2016. p. M69. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Shimla-Chandigarh helicopter service now operating six days a week". Himachal Tourism Official Website. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 21 November 2019.

External links[edit]

  1. Himachal Tourism Official Govt Website
  2. Trip India Trip Himachal Pradesh based tour operators