Kullu valley has an ancient town in its lap called
Manali. Surrounded by towering peaks at an arm
length, Manali's major asset is its proximity
to the snowline. It is a flourishing orchard
industry, a popular honeymoon destination and
trailhead for numerous treks as well as a great
countryside ideal for adventure sport lovers.
Manali literally means the 'Home of Manu'. Manu is
the mythological character who is supposed to have
survived when the world was drowned in Flood. He
then came to Manali and recreated human life. Thus,
the area of Manali is sacred and Hindus treat the
temples over here as pilgrimage.
valley of gods, as the Kullu valley has come to be
known, is perhaps the most delightful region in the
western Himalayas. The ancient Hindus regarded it as
the furthest limit of human habitation -
Kulantapitha, and its original name finds mention in
the epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as well
as Vishnu Purana.
Like a slender delicate-hued fern glistening in the
morning dew, the valley spreads out its charm on
either side of the upper reaches of the river Beas.
Running north to south, the main river valley is
only 80 km long and 2 km at its broadest, yet a
fairly wide area is open to the visitors to enjoy
the spectacle of variegated mountain scenery.
In the spring Kullu is at its most colorful with
pink blossoms and white flowers while the higher
slopes are aglow with gorgeous rhododendrons. With
autumn, clear blue skies return and fields and
forests alike show wonderful tints of crimson and
ochre. By December, there is no greenery except the
majestic pines and cedars in the forests. In winter
the hillsides are flanked in white.
Situated on the banks of the Beas, Kullu, the
headquarters of the district, serves as a nerve
centre of the valley and is the starting place for a
number of treks. The deodar-fringed grassy maidan,
Dhalpur, is a stage for many colorful fairs.
Places to see in Manali
Hadimba Temple: Hadimba or
Dhungiri temple in Manali is one of the most
important temples in the region. This four-story
wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest
called the Dhungiri Van Vihar.
Temple of Manu: Slippery
stones paths lead through the old village houses up
to the temple of Manu. Manali is named after the
sage Manu who meditated when he came in this area.
Kothi : 12
km. A quiet but picturesque spot. The Rest House
overlooks the narrow valley and commands views of
the mountains. Below Kothi, for more than a
kilometer the river Beas flows through a deep gorge,
almost a subterranean passage, 30 meters or more in
depth, and the cliffs which flank both sides of the
canyon are a favorite haunt for rock pigeons. The
site of the bridge provides an interesting
historical episode in the early annals of Kullu.
Solang Valley : 13
A splendid valley between Manali and Kothi which
offers views of the glaciers and snow-capped
mountain peaks. The plateau is frequently used for
holding camps by the trekking parties. Good skiing
slopes of the Mountaineering Institute. Venue of
annual winter carnival from February 10-14. Bus
service up to Palchan village (10 km) and then by
jeep or on foot.
Rahla Falls : 2
km from Kothi. Here the river Beas hurtles down from
a height of about 50 meters. Charming spot for
Manali Sanctuary : A
bridle path from the Manali log huts goes past the
Dhoongri Temple and wanders into the dense deodar,
kail, horse chestnut, walnut and maple forest which
is a part of this sanctuary. Camping overnight in
tents at Lambadug or Galiani Thatch is possible.
Old Manali: The
old Manali area is located some 3-km from the
present day Manali. The old Manali is covered with
guesthouses, which look ancient now, and orchards
where the livestock move at will.
Tibetan Temple: Tibetans
have a base in Manali too. There is a large modern
Tibetan temple to the South of the bus stand and
also a small handicrafts center.
Arjun Gufa: On
the left bank of the Beas, 5-km from Manali near the
village of Prini, is the 'Arjun Gufa' or the cave of
Arjuna. In here Arjuna practiced austerities to get
Pashupata Ashtra or weapon from Lord Indra.
Rohtang Pass 51
km. At an altitude of 4,112 metres on the highway to
Keylong, the pass affords a wide-spread panorama of
mountain scenery. In place of the pinnacled hills,
sheltered valleys and cultivated tracts, the eye
meets a range of precipitous cliffs, huge glaciers
and piled Moraine, and deep ravines. Almost directly
opposite is the well defined Sonepani glacier,
slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the
Geypang, jagged pyramids of rock, snow streaked and
The Beas river rises near the crest of Rohtang from
a block of Mica-Schist. The pass normally opens for
traffic after mid-June and officially closes in
November. To its left, 200 metres higher, is the
little lake of Sarkund (Dashair) visited by a number
of people, the general belief being that a bath in
these waters effects a cure of all bodily
ailments-real or imaginary. 10 km before Rohtang is
the barren-landscape of Marhi which hums with
activity during summer and autumn months because
almost everyone stops here for refreshments.