Top 28 Best Places to Visit in Manali

April 15, 2024

Best Places to Visit in Manali : Whether you’re embarking on a solitary journey in pursuit of inner tranquility, embarking on an adventurous backpacking trip with friends, or celebrating your honeymoon with your beloved, Manali and its majestic mountains will continue to captivate you. This hill town has evolved into a haven for the wandering soul, offering unique cultural treasures that are exclusive to this region. Moreover, the affordable hotels in Manali ensure comfortable accommodation without compromising on the renowned hospitality of the area. For those planning a visit to this Himalayan retreat in Himachal Pradesh, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the 28 Best Places to Visit in Manali in 2024.

1. Hadimba Temple

Hadimba Temple, Manali

The ancient temple, also known as Hidimba Devi Temple or Dhungari Temple, was constructed by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in 1553. Devoted to Hidimba Devi, the wife of Bheema from the Mahabharata, this shrine boasts distinctive wooden architecture that sets it apart from typical Hindu temples across the country. Within the temple grounds, there is also a shrine dedicated to Hidimba Devi’s son, Ghatotkacha. Nestled amidst dense cedar forests and framed by snow-capped mountains, this temple stands as one of Manali’s premier attractions, offering a serene and picturesque setting for visitors to explore.

2. Solang Valley

Solang Valley, Manali

Situated approximately at an altitude of 8400 feet above sea level, Solang Nala forms a picturesque mini valley just a short drive away from Manali. It serves as a paradise for enthusiasts of adventure and sports, offering a range of thrilling activities. Visitors can test their skiing prowess or embark on snowmobile explorations during the winter season. As the weather turns warmer, Solang Nala becomes a hub for zorbing and paragliding enthusiasts. Additionally, a cable car ride presents an opportunity to soak in breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayas. For those seeking snow-centric activities, winter is the perfect time to visit, while summer months cater to a variety of other adventure sports.

3. Jogini Waterfalls

Jogini Waterfalls, Manali

Jogini Falls, with its thunderous cascades, is a refreshing and brief trek from the heart of Manali. The trail to this waterfall offers scenic vistas, showcasing the beauty of the Beas River and the snow-draped peaks of Rohtang. Besides its tranquil ambiance, Jogini holds significance as a pilgrimage site, adorned with ancient shrines surrounding its serene pool. To make the most of your visit to this picturesque spot—one of Manali’s premier trekking and picnic destinations—an early start is recommended, allowing ample time to immerse yourself in its natural splendor.

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4. Manu Temple

Manu Temple, Manali

Named after the ancient sage Manu, the Manu Temple is a place of devotion and serenity. Its distinctive pagoda-style architecture contrasts beautifully against the backdrop of deep valleys and towering mountain peaks, creating a scene worthy of a postcard. While reaching the temple requires a bit of hiking effort, the panoramic views from the summit and the peaceful aura surrounding the temple make every step of the journey truly rewarding.

5. The Manali Gompa

The Manali Gompa, Manali

With its intricate design and traditional Tibetan architectural style, the Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa, popularly known as the Manali Gompa, stands out as a remarkable landmark in Manali. Constructed by Tibetan refugees during the 1960s, this monastery offers a peaceful environment and a profound spiritual ambiance. Notable features of the Manali Gompa include stunning murals portraying significant Buddhist events in vibrant hues and roofs designed in the iconic Pagoda style. Visitors can also explore stalls within the complex, offering a variety of souvenirs and authentic Tibetan handicrafts to take home.

6. Bhrigu Lake

Bhrigu Lake, Manali

Imagine a scene straight out of a postcard: lush alpine meadows blending into evergreen forests, all surrounding a tranquil high-altitude lake. That’s the beauty of Bhrigu Lake, a top trekking spot near Manali. Before embarking on this trek, it’s essential to acclimatize as the lake sits at an altitude exceeding 4000 meters. What truly captivates visitors are the breathtaking panoramas of the Pir Panjal Range and the serene ambiance that defines this picturesque location.

7. Hampta Pass

Hampta Pass Trek @5499 | Best Trek Guide

Ranked among the Himalayan treks of moderate difficulty, the Hampta Pass trek offers captivating vistas of both the Kullu Valley and Lahaul Valley. Along the route, you’ll encounter the stunning Chandratal Lake, adding to the allure of this journey. Situated on the Pir Panjal Range, the pass sits at an altitude exceeding 4000 meters and involves intriguing river crossings. Several tour groups in Manali organize Hampta Pass trekking expeditions, with costs varying depending on the itinerary and duration of the trek.

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8. Nehru Kund

Exploring the Hidden Gem of Manali – Nehru Kund – Mysterious Himachal

Nestled along the Manali-Rohtang Pass Highway, Nehru Kund is a serene spot worth exploring, especially during the summer months. This natural spring derives its name from India’s first Prime Minister, Nehru, who frequented it during his Manali visits to drink from its pristine waters. With its clear waters and tranquil Himalayan surroundings, Nehru Kund serves as a delightful stopover for travelers en route to Rohtang Pass. It’s no surprise that this scenic spot is a favorite among photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

9. Arjun Gufa

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Situated in proximity to the lively Beas River, the Arjun Cave holds a legendary tale from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. According to the myth, Arjun, renowned as one of the Pandava brothers, engaged in deep meditation at this very spot. Apart from its historical significance, Arjun Cave is an ideal destination near Manali for a charming picnic amidst nature’s bounty. From the cave’s vantage point, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of rolling hills and lush valleys. Nearby, don’t miss the chance to explore the Kunt Bhayo Lake and Kunti Mata Temple, adding further allure to this fascinating area.

10. Van Vihar

Van Vihar, Manali

For a serene retreat amidst the laid-back charm of Manali, consider taking a leisurely walk through Van Vihar Park. This beloved attraction is a must-visit in town, offering a tranquil oasis filled with verdant landscapes and towering deodar trees. Visitors can also enjoy a peaceful boat ride on the park’s man-made lake, adding to the idyllic ambiance. Bird enthusiasts will particularly delight in the park’s diverse avian population, especially during the early morning hours.

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11. Himalayan Nyingmapa Buddhist Temple

Himalayan Nyingmapa Buddhist Temple, Manali

Stepping into the Nyingmapa Buddhist Temple in Manali is like entering a tranquil sanctuary that instantly soothes the senses. Despite being nestled in the heart of the bustling town, this haven exudes a serene aura, heightened by its pagoda-style design and colorful aesthetics. Take a moment to spin the prayer wheels and appreciate the beauty of the Sakyamuni idol and intricate wall paintings adorning the temple. Renowned as one of the finest monasteries in Manali, Nyingmapa offers a sacred space to reconnect with your inner self and embrace a sense of spiritual calm.

12. Vashisht Hot Water Springs and Temple

Vashisht Hot Water Springs and Temple, Manali

Nestled within the breathtaking Himalayan landscape, Vashisht village holds significant spiritual value, boasting a magnificent temple steeped in history. With a legacy spanning over 4000 years, this temple showcases exquisite wooden carvings, ancient artifacts, and intricate paintings within its serene interiors. Adding to its allure are the rejuvenating hot springs known for their healing properties, providing a unique experience for visitors. Beyond its spiritual and therapeutic aspects, Vashisht offers a glimpse into Manali’s rich historical heritage, making it a compelling destination for exploration. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in some local shopping, particularly for the renowned woolens that the area is famous for.

13. Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art

Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art, ManaliMake sure to include a visit to the Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art if you’re interested in delving into the vibrant traditions and cultural wealth of the region. This museum showcases a fascinating array of exhibits, from intricate masks used in traditional festival dances to authentic garments and musical instruments. Since its establishment in 1998, this compact yet culturally immersive space has also curated models depicting ancient houses and temples, offering visitors a captivating journey through the heritage and lifestyle of Himachal Pradesh.

14. Kothi

Kothi, Manali

Perched along the renowned Spiti highway at an elevation of 2500 meters, Kothi is a picturesque mountain hamlet celebrated for its breathtaking vistas and panoramic views of snow-capped peaks and glaciers. Nestled at the base of Rohtang Pass, the landscape of Kothi is shaped by the meandering Beas River, lending it a serene and captivating charm. This village serves as an ideal camping site, especially for adventurers looking to trek through Rohtang Pass. Additionally, Kothi boasts a temple dedicated to Goddess Shuwang Chandika, adding a touch of spiritual significance to its natural allure.

15. Beas River

Beas River, Manali

Throughout your journey in Manali, the Beas River stands as a prominent natural feature, accompanying you on various segments of your trip. For stunning views of the river valley, Vashisht village is a top recommendation, offering picturesque vistas to admire. If you’re seeking a closer encounter with the Beas’s clear blue waters, a visit to Kothi is a must. The Beas River is also a hub for thrilling water sports like kayaking and rafting, with the village of Pridi renowned for its exciting rapids, perfect for adventurous souls seeking an adrenaline rush.

16. Great Himalayan National Park

Here's what my experience of trekking at the Great Himalayan National Park was like - India Today

Renowned as one of Manali’s top attractions and the surrounding areas, the Great Himalayan National Park holds the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage designation. This sanctuary is a haven for a plethora of rare species, boasting over 1000 plant varieties, 209 bird types, and 31 mammal species. The majestic snow leopard reigns as the apex predator, alongside populations of Himalayan tahr and brown bears. Nature enthusiasts and photographers will delight in capturing the mesmerizing wildflowers and breathtaking glacial valleys scattered across the park’s vast expanse. Visitors can also partake in outdoor adventures such as hiking and camping in specific zones within the National Park. Remember to secure permits in advance for park entry, and the park provides various comfortable accommodation options for your stay.

17. Gulaba

Gulaba, Manali

Exploring the outskirts of Manali is essential for immersing yourself in the unique local culture and breathtaking scenery. Adding Gulaba to your itinerary is highly recommended, especially for those seeking snowy landscapes and immersive trekking experiences in Himachal Pradesh. This village is a beloved destination among winter travelers, offering mesmerizing trekking routes and ideal conditions for camping and stargazing due to its high altitude and minimal light pollution.

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18. Old Manali

Old Manali, Manali

Old Manali refers to the more antiquated part of town. Here, visitors can wander around the streets and catch vignettes of a bygone age, when Manali was a sleepy pilgrimage town before the backpackers arrived in droves. Old Manali offers some of the best views in the region because of the forests and apple orchards around the settlement. The bridge over the high-current Manaslu River separates Old Manali from the main town and is an iconic image in itself. While here, you can go café crawling at some of the popular cafés in Manali, such as Café 1947, Born Free, Evergreen, and Sunshine or go on a shopping spree and buy dream catchers, boho chic clothing, shrugs, and woolens.

19. Rahala Falls

Top thing to do in Rahala Falls (2024) | All about Rahala Falls, Manali,  Himachal Pradesh

In the monsoon and post-monsoon periods, Rahala Falls presents a breathtaking spectacle, its torrents plunging onto the rocks and misting visitors with refreshing mountain waters. Adjacent to the falls, numerous picnic spots beckon for leisurely gatherings with loved ones, complete with delicious basket treats. The surrounding area boasts scenic hiking trails meandering through dense deodar and silver birch forests, offering an enchanting experience for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike.

20. Jagatsukh

Jagatsukh, Manali

Nestled amidst the mountains, Jagatsukh is a charming village renowned for its temples and scenic beauty. The panoramic view of snow-capped peaks and lush green forests adds to its allure, making it a feast for the eyes. As one of the prominent villages in Kullu, Jagatsukh offers a glimpse of traditional vernacular architecture, enriching the cultural experience for visitors. It also serves as an excellent base for trekking enthusiasts venturing into the Deo Tibba Mountains. Among its notable attractions is the Devi Sharbali temple, contributing to the array of intriguing tourist spots in the Manali region.

21. Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle, Manali

Set amidst the picturesque Beas Valley, Naggar Castle stands as a testament to the region’s rich history, dating back to the 15th century in Kullu. Originally constructed by Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu, this historical gem has been transformed into a heritage hotel under the management of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. The castle’s wooden architecture is a marvel, showcasing a blend of traditional regional styles with added European influences acquired over time. From the castle’s vantage points, visitors are treated to breathtaking vistas of the town and the lush alpine forests that surround it.

22. Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass, Manali

Allocate a day on your Manali trip for a visit to Rohtang Pass, and it will undoubtedly be a highlight. Positioned at an impressive altitude of 4000 meters on the Pir Panjal Range, this mountain pass promises awe-inspiring moments. Loved by nature enthusiasts, artists, and photographers for ages, Rohtang Pass is not just a scenic delight but also an adventure playground offering activities like mountain biking and skiing. Its cinematic appeal is undeniable, having graced the screens of Bollywood films like “Jab We Met” and adding to its allure as a must-visit destination.

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23. Katrain

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Katrain is a haven for fishing enthusiasts, boasting a unique undulating landscape that sets it apart from the vast terrains you’ll explore during your Manali adventures. This charming village encapsulates the quintessential Himachali essence, offering a taste of local delicacies bursting with rustic, wholesome flavors. Besides its abundant trout-filled waters, Katrain beckons hikers to explore its scenic trails, making it an ideal spot for both angling and trekking enthusiasts alike.

24. Gauri Shankar Temple

Gauri Shankar Temple, Manali

The Gauri Shankar Temple stands out for its unique Shikhara architectural style and intricate stone carvings adorning its walls. Dating back to the 12th century, this temple is a testament to the Gurjara-Pratihara traditions and is devoted to Lord Shiva. Its walls are adorned with a myriad of carvings depicting various deities and sacred symbols, showcasing the rich religious heritage of the region. Nestled amidst verdant surroundings, the Gauri Shankar Temple holds significant cultural and spiritual importance as one of the foremost temples in Manali.

25. Manali Sanctuary

Places to Visit in Manali in December 2022 - Your Getaway Guide

Just a short distance of around 2 km from town, the Manali Sanctuary promises an unmatched encounter with wilderness. Spanning across 31.8 square kilometers, this sanctuary shelters numerous endangered and seldom-seen species of flora and fauna. In the summer, watch for ibex herds descending into the area, ready your zoom lens for some fantastic photography opportunities. The sanctuary’s charm is further enhanced by maple, walnut, and deodar groves, particularly captivating during autumn when their leaves paint a vibrant canvas of colors. For those craving adventure, the sanctuary offers trekking and camping options, adding an extra layer of excitement to your visit.

Roerich Art Gallery - Naggar: Get the Detail of Roerich Art Gallery on Times of India Travel

The Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery and Museum, named after the renowned Russian artist who sought refuge in Himachal Pradesh after the revolution, pays homage to his artistic legacy. Established in 1962, this museum showcases a collection of artifacts that include rare photographs of the artist, captivating landscape paintings, and portraits depicting the local indigenous communities. Housed in the very building that once served as Roerich’s residence during his time in the region, the museum offers a unique insight into his life and creative journey.

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27. Chandrakhani Pass

Chandrakhani Pass, Manali

Embarking on a trek to Chandrakhani Pass unveils the captivating natural splendor of Himachal Pradesh in all its glory. This trek also grants you access to the renowned village of Malana, known for its unique community and renowned cannabis cultivation. Chandrakhani Pass serves as a magnet for photographers, offering panoramic views of the region’s prominent peaks, including Deo Tibba, the Parvati range, and Pir Panjal, making it an ideal vantage point for capturing the breathtaking beauty of the area.

28. Bijli Mahadev Temple

Located in the Kullu Valley, Bijli Mahadev Temple is a popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. As per legends, it is known for its unique ritual where a lightning bolt strikes the Shiva lingam inside the temple, shattering it into pieces. The priest of the temple then uses flour and unsalted butter to join the pieces back together. To reach the temple, one has to undertake a steep trek of about 3 km from the village of Chansari. The trek is a bit challenging, but the beautiful views of the Himalayan ranges and the lush green valleys make it worthwhile. The temple is open throughout the year, but the best time to visit is between the months of March and June, and September and December.

Best Places to Visit in Manali: Manali’s array of tourist attractions caters to diverse interests, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you seek the serene beauty of misty peaks, crave adventure through thrilling treks, or prefer to unwind amidst warm small-town hospitality, Manali has it all. It’s time to start planning your trip and discover what calls to you most.

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