Manali, Himachal Pradesh

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Hill station
Manali is located in Himachal Pradesh
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
Country India
State Himachal Pradesh
District Kullu
Elevation 2,050 m (6,730 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 8,096[1]
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 175131
Telephone code +911902
Vehicle registration HP-58

Manali (Hindi: मनाली) is a hill station nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley, at an altitude of 2,050 m (6,726 ft) in the Beas River Valley. It is located in the Kullu district, about 270 km (168 mi) north of the state capital, Shimla. 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 has become a tourist attraction in recent years.


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; as of the 2011 census of India, its population was 8,096.[1] In 2001,[2] 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% of the population was under six years of age.


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 (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.5
Average high °C (°F) 10.6
Average low °C (°F) −1.6
Record low °C (°F) −11.6
Average rainfall mm (inches) 108.4
Average rainy days 6.6 8.2 9.3 6.2 5.7 7.3 14.7 15.0 8.5 3.4 2.8 3.5 91.1
Source: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)[3][4]

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 often takes place between November end to early February. The weather in Manali is not stable.

Vashishta Temple, Manali.
Manali is among top Indian skiing destinations.

Manali is named after the ankit 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.

ankit 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. The first apple orchard was set up by the British near Patlikuhl, which were earlier not native to Manali. 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—remain the best source of income for the majority of 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.[5]



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 and some private airlines have regular flights to the airport. Recently Himalayan Bulls in collaboration with Deccan Charters have started flights on Kullu-Chandigarh-Kullu sector thrice a day Daily flight 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 Chandigarh to Manali is 316 km (196 mi), and the total distance from Delhi to Manali is 566 km (352 mi). Buses (including Volvo and Mercedes Benz) on this route are available from all major bus terminals.


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.

Major Tourist Attractions[edit]

Solang Valley[edit]

Solang Valley is a side valley 14 kilometers northwest of Manali on the way to Rohtang Pass. The giant lawn slopes of Solang Valley provide great opportunities for summer and winter sports like parachuting, paragliding, skating, zorbing and skiing.

Rohtang Pass[edit]

Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass that connects Manali to the Lahaul and Spiti district and also to Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir. The Pass is an ancient trade route between the rest of India and the upper region of the Himalayas. Culturally it connects a predominantly Hindu region with a Buddhist one. Geographically it separates the wet and green lower lands from the arid high lands. The Rohtang Pass is blessed with abundant natural beauty which contradicts the meaning of its name. 'Rohtang' translates to "a pile of corpses".

Hadimba Devi Ji Temple[edit]

Hadimba Devi Temple is an ancient temple made of mudwashed stone and intricately carved wood with a four layered pyramidal top. The temple is dedicated to Hilimba, wife of Bhima and mother of Ghatotkacha. The temple encloses an enormous rock and a 3-inch brass idol of the goddess. A short distance from this temple is another temple dedicated to Ghatotkacha which features feet carved on a monolithic stone supposed to be of Hidimba Devi.

Old Manali[edit]

Famous for beer cafes and international tourists favourite, old manali is situated at a distance of about 2.5kms from mall road,manali. View point cottage near people's cafe gives you the best view of the picturesque Himalayas. At night, various cafes organise parties for it's guests where live performances by international artists can be enjoyed with amazing food and beer.

Jogini Falls[edit]

Jogini Falls is a beautiful waterfall where one can reach by trekking from Vashisht Temple. It's only 2kms from the temple and a gorgeous place to spend quality time with your family and friends in the lap of nature.

Pandoh Dam[edit]

The Pandoh Dam is an embankment dam on the Beas River in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Under the Beas Project, the dam was completed in 1977 and its primary purpose is hydroelectric power generation.

Bijli Mahadev Temple[edit]

Bijli Mahadev is a sacred temple in Himachali culture. Located at an altitude of 2,460m across the Beas River, it provides a panoramic view of Kullu and Paravati valleys.

Bhrigu Lake[edit]

Bhrigu Lake is a picturesque mountain lake located at an elevation of around 4,300 metres and can be reached by trekking from the Vashisht Temple (famous for hot water springs) near Manali.

Great Himalayan National Park[edit]

The Great Himalayan National Park is home to numerous species of flora and fauna. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for an exceptional natural beauty and biological diversity. The dense coniferous forests framed by snowy Himalayan peaks shelter 375 different species from the animal kingdom.

Pin Valley National Park[edit]

Pin Valley National Park is a high altitude park located in the desert habitat of Lahaul and Spiti district in the cold upper reaches of the Himalayas. The Park preserves endangered species like Snow Leopard and Siberian Ibex surrounded by colossal snow-capped peaks and dry hills of impressive beauty. The area is heavily influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, therefore there are numerous monasteries and stupas dotting the region.[6]

Manali Sanctuary[edit]

The Manali Sanctuary is located 2 km from Manali. Its dense vegetation sports some excellent opportunities for a nature walk, bird watching and observing hordes of the Ibex migrate to glacial regions during summer.


Further reading[edit]

  • Verma, V. 1996. Gadd of Dhauladhar: A Transhumant Tribe of the Himalayas. Indus Publishing Co., New Delhi.
  • Handa, O. C. 1987. Buddhist Monasteries in Himachel Pradesh. -03-5.


External links[edit]