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  • Some of the best places to visit in Manali include Rohtang Pass, Kullu Valley, Solang Valley, Hampta Pass, Mall Road, Hadimba Temple, Beas Kund, Old Manali, Bhrigu Lake, Manikaran and many more.

    If you’re seeking chilly winter sunsets, mountains, valleys, and memories in snow, there are plenty of places to visit in Manali in December. Whether you wish to explore mythology and history or just want to lose yourself amidst nature, Manali has it all. It is also the winter sports capital of Himachal Pradesh and houses the sprawling Pir Panjal mountain range along with several others.

    During winters, some of the upper reaches of Manali may be shut down due to heavy accumulation of snow, but there are a handful of places including Solang valley, Rohtang pass, Gulaba where you can enjoy the winter wonderland. Visit these 20 tourist places in Manali in December for a memorable and adventurous winter which cities can’t promise you.

    Here are some of the best places to visit in Manali in December:

  • 01Rohtang Pass

    Rohtang Pass

    Your Manali trip is essentially incomplete without a visit to the iconic Rohtang La Pass. One of the most frequently visited tourist places in Manali in December, Rohtang Pass has also been featured in various movies like ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ and ‘Jab We Met’.

    Reigning at an astounding altitude of 3,978 meters, the pass is accessible only by road. Doorway to the desert of Lahaul and Spiti valleys, Rohtang Pass falls en route the Manali-Keylong highway. It is also the go-to place for adventure junkies, and various activities like ice-skating, paragliding, skiing and many more.

    It is also a great spot to practice rock-climbing, and the undulating trails of the valleys make for a great trekking experience. Offering a glimpse of the panoramic mountain ranges, Rohtang Pass also leads to Beas Kund, which is the source of the Beas River, and also a famous trekking trail.

    Activities: 
    Trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing, rappelling, skiing, ice-skating, winter sports

    Entry fee: 
    INR 550 per vehicle

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    53 km

    Jeep Safari to Rohtang Pass

    Jeep Safari to Rohtang Pass

    NNNMM38 Ratings

    d1 DaylManali

    Starting from

    O1,200

  • 02Kullu Valley

    Kullu Valley

    Kullu Valley is one of the most scenic places to visit in Manali in December. Cleaved by the gurgling river Beas, the valley is flanked by majestic, snow-covered mountains overlooking the sweeping orchards. A forest cover of pine and deodar graces the valley and makes for a beautiful hiking trail especially in winter.

    Not many travelers visit the Kullu Valley during winters, rendering it ideal for those craving for some solitude and peace. Other neighboring places to visit when visiting Kullu Valley are Kheerganga and Manikaran.

    Activities: 
    Trekking, exploration, worship

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    30 km

  • 03Solang Valley

    Solang Valley

    One of the most popular places to visit in Manali in December is the Solang Valley.  Located about 14 km away from the town, Solang Valley sits en route Manali to Rohtang Pass. Every winter, the valley sits under a thick veil of powdery snow, ideal for winter sports and hiking. From paragliding and zorbing to open jeep rides, Solang is the ultimate natural wonderland in Manali for adventure enthusiasts.

    Every year, countless travelers from around the country flock here for skiing. In fact, there are a handful of training schools and expert instructors stationed in the valley for the safety of visitors. A part of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports is also housed here. If you’re seeking some blissful memories in the snow, amongst the mountains, Solang is the place to be. 

    Timings: 
    10:00 AM to 06:00 PM everyday

    Activities: 
    Trekking, skiing, paragliding, zorbing, parachuting and other adventure sports.

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    15 km

    Camping at Solang Valley

    Camping at Solang Valley

    NNNNM38 Ratings

    d2 Daysn1 NightlManali

    Starting from

    O1,500

  • 04Hampta Pass

    Hampta Pass

    One of the most iconic places to visit in Manali in December is the Hampta Pass. It is also a famous trekking trail in Himachal Pradesh and offers a memorable adventure if you’re up for it. Overlooking the stunning valleys of Kullu and the deserts of Lahaul, Hampta Pass climbs upto a height of 14,035 ft. above sea level.

    The Pir Panjal range and other various mountain peaks are visible in a panoramic sweep from the Hampta Pass. Although the heavy accumulation of snow does not allow you to trek to the pass, it is still accessible via road. If you’re heading up there in December, crossing over to Spiti won’t be possible.

    Activities: 
    Trekking, exploration

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    15.6 km

    Hampta Pass Trek, Manali 2019

    Hampta Pass Trek, Manali 2019

    NNNNN2225 Ratings

    d5 Daysn4 NightslManali

    O12,143

    Starting from

    O8,500

  • 05Chandrakhani Pass

    Chandrakhani Pass

    Shaded in the Kullu region of Himachal, Chandrakhani  Pass is a beautiful trekking trail and sits at an altitude of 3,660 meters. Affording stunning views of the Himalayan neighbours like Deo Tibba and the Pir Panjal range, Chandrakhani remains veiled from the other parts of Himachal.

    It is the perfect place to experience the rich, local culture, along with the untouched nooks of nature. A great pick for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, backpackers and trekkers, Chandrakhani is also quite close to Malana, another sleepy village forgotten by the sands of time. It is also one of the more remote places to visit in Manali in December.

    Activities: 
    Trekking, exploration

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    82 km

    Chandrakhani Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh

    Chandrakhani Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh

    NNNNN721 Ratings

    d3 Daysn2 NightslManali

    O4,800

    Starting from

    O4,500

  • 06Mall Road

    Mall Road

    Decidedly the busiest street in Manali, Mall Road is always buzzing with people. The acclaimed heart of Manali is dotted with various hotels, restaurants, bookstores, clothing shops, and much more. Ranging from warm, woolen clothes to local, handcrafted items,  is the most iconic shopping and photography spot in the entire town.

    The most famous markets to haunt are the Dragon Shopping Complex, Shangri La Shopping Complex, Lama Underground, and Hong Kong Market. Several shops selling Tibetan and Thai items also occupy some parts of the famous shopping destination. A large number of food joints will replenish your spirits and keep your hunger pangs at bay with the variety of cuisines they offer.

    Timings:
    09:00 AM to 09:00 PM

    Activities:
    Shopping and dining

    Location:
    Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand:
    1.2 km

  • 07Hadimba Temple

    Hadimba Temple

    Cradled by lush greenery and snow-capped Himalayan peaks, Hadimba Temple is one of the best places to visit in Manali in December. Resting atop a huge rock, the temple is distinctly different than the others with regards to the architecture.

    Dedicated to Goddess Hidimba, the mother of Ghatothkack, and wife to Bhima, the temple is said to have been built at the place where she indulged in long meditation. Dating back to the 16th century, the temple spans four wooden storeys with exquisite interiors that are a glimpse back in simpler times.

    The walls are lined with stone, mud impressions and idols of various deities. Carrying fine, intricate carvings on its wooden doors, the temple is of great religious importance to Hindus.

    Timings:
    08:00 AM to 06:00 PM

    Activities:
    Worship, religious purposes, exploration

    Location:
    Hadimba Temple Road, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand:
    4 km

  • 08Beas Kund

    Beas Kund

    Beas Kund is a glacial lake and the beautiful source of the river Beas - one of the most sacred rivers in Himachal Pradesh. The trek to Beas Kund weaves through beautiful, dense forests that climb upto astounding views of the Pir Panjal ranges along with other prominent peaks.

    The trek to Beas Kund begins from Dhundi via Solang Valley and can be covered within 4 days. Beas Kund is perched at an altitude of 12,772 ft., and makes for a great option for beginners. A beautiful lake lapped in lush greenery, the lake is believed to be the bathing spot of Rishi Vyas, who authored the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

    Activities: 
    Trekking, exploration

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    21.8 km

    Bhrigu Lake and Beas Kund Trek, Himachal Pradesh

    Bhrigu Lake and Beas Kund Trek, Himachal Pradesh

    NNNNN418 Ratings

    d6 Daysn5 NightslManali

    O15,334

    Starting from

    O9,200

  • 09Old Manali

    Old Manali

    The beautiful bridge that runs over the gurgling Manalsu River is the doorway to the paradise known as the Old Manali. A quiet, sleepy little hamlet, Old Manali is unlike most other places. The journey from Manali to Old Manali is like experiencing time travel. Though both are equally beautiful in their ways, Old Manali is literally a walk back in time.

    It is also a favorite destination for adventurers, backpackers and hippies alike. Home to many cafes, hostels, and restaurants, Old Manali is considerably less crowded than its faster-emerging counterpart, making it ideal for those seeking solitude, beauty and undisturbed exploration. The most important attraction in Old Manali is the Hidimba Temple located amidst lush greenery. It is easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Manali in December.

    Activities: 
    Exploring, trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing.

    Location: 
    Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    4.5 km

  • 10Bhrigu Lake

    Bhrigu Lake

    Bhrigu Lake is a beautiful lake nestled in the laps of the Himalayas. While the lake itself is a marvel, the trek to Bhrigu Lake is equally beautiful owing to the sunning high alpine meadows that the trail meanders through. Surrounded by thick forests and lofty mountains, and has a moderate type of trail.

    The trek begins from the dreamy village of Gulaba, and climbs up to an altitude of 14,009 ft. over the duration of 4 days. The alpine meadows leading to Bhrigu Lake are stunning, albeit quite underrated. It is one of the most beautiful treks in India, and is perfect for trekking enthusiasts who are just starting out.

    Activities: 
    Trekking, exploration

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    20 km

    Bhrigu Lake Trek, Manali 2019

    Bhrigu Lake Trek, Manali 2019

    NNNNN605 Ratings

    d4 Daysn3 NightslManali

    O6,800

    Starting from

    O5,800

  • 11Manikaran

    Manikaran

    Nestled in the famous Parvati Valley, Manikaran is a beautiful town alongside the gurgling Parvati river. Sitting at an altitude of 1,760 meters, it is located at a distance of 4 km from Kasol, the Israeli capital of India. The town is especially famous for its hot springs and beautiful hiking trails.

    Manikaran is also acclaimed as the religious center, owing to the namesake gurudwara Manikaran Sahib which attracts countless Sikhs from over the country. The town is also renowned hot springs that the gurudwara is located near.

    Activities: 
    Worship, exploration, hiking

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    80 km

  • 12Dechen Choekhor Mahavihara

    Dechen Choekhor Mahavihara
    Image Credit : drukpachoegon.org

    One of the most popular monasteries in India, the Dechen Choekhor Mahavihara is a beautiful temple with pure, divine vibes. The temple’s architecture is unique and mesmerizing. It is essentially a blend of the Indo-Tibetan styles, standing as a symbol of the cultural conglomeration that Kullu is home to.

    It also houses a beautiful statue of Lord Buddha, and several Buddhists and devotees from around the country travel here to pay homage. The monastery also affords outstanding views of the Beas Valley, while the Bijli Mahadev temple also makes a faint appearance in the distance.

    Besides being an architectural marvel, it is also one of the most beautiful places to visit in Manali in December, when a coat of white covers everything.  

    Timings: 
    10:00 AM to 05:00 PM

    Activities: 
    Worship, religious purposes

    Location:
     Dechen Choekhor Mahavihara, Gompa Road, Sarabai, Himachal Pradesh 175126

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    51.3 km

  • 13Gulaba

    Gulaba

    A quaint little village lapped in the verdant land of Himachal Pradesh, Gulaba is about 27 km away from Manali and falls under the jurisdiction of the National Green Tribunal Act. Surrounded by beautiful woods, snow-capped mountains and stunning meadows, Gulaba is also the starting point of the trek to Bhrigu Lake.

    Gulaba is widely lauded for its beautiful meadows and is the perfect destination for trekking enthusiasts. Paragliding in Gulaba is also a memorable experience, amidst the laps of the Himalayas. Far from the hustle and bustle of the town, Gulaba is amongst the most beautiful places to visit in Manali in December.

    Activities: 
    Trekking, exploration, paragliding, adventure sports

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    22 km

  • 14Gauri Shankar Temple

    Gauri Shankar Temple

    Gauri Shankar temple is located in Dashal village on the Naggar-Manali road. Carrying intricate stone carvings that reflect the style of the late Gupta period, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is an important religious destination. The temple sits on a raised foundation, while the outer surface is enhanced by the exotic carvings that resemble those in Khajuraho.

    This 11th-century temple is home to a magnificent Shiva Lingam, and the divine energy of the place is almost palpable. Around 50 meters away lies the Naggar Castle, yet another tourist spot worth a visit. The Shikhara style of architecture that the temple carries is a throwback to the Gupta era.

    Timings: 
    08:00 AM to 07:00 PM

    Activities: 
    Worship, religious purposes

    Location:
     Naggar Castle Road, Naggar, Himachal Pradesh 175130

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    15.5 km

  • 15Vashisht Kund

    Vashisht Kund

    Vashisht is a rustic village at a distance of about 3 km, and home to the temple of Vashisht and the iconic, sulfurous hot water springs. Dedicated to the legendary saint Vashisht, the village is amongst the most ideal tourist places in Manali in December. Surrounded by towering mountains, dense valleys, and thick forests, Vashisht has a pleasing, refreshing vibe throughout the year.

    It attracts several devotees and nature lovers every year and has still managed to remain aesthetically pleasing. The water in the springs is believed to have some divine healing powers and is a holy place to visit. There are several Turkish bath houses carrying water from the hot springs for you to bathe in.

    Activities:
    Bathing, worship, exploration, hiking

    Location:
    Manali, Himachal Pradesh

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand:
    5 km

  • 16Siyali Mahadev Temple

    Siyali Mahadev Temple

    Constructed as a tribute to Lord Shiva, the Siyali Mahadev Temple is one of the oldest temples in Manali. A frequent haunt for devotees of Lord Shiva, the temple is hailed for its exquisite architectural style. Sitting atop a base of stone and cement, the wooden temple is graced by chalets, pagodas, and the ceiling edges carry carved, hanging, wooden pieces that look like tassels.

    There is also a smaller temple near the main temple, and legend also has it built on the same spot where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati appeared out of a tree trunk. The resident Shiva Lingam is believed to be centuries old and several devotees visit every year to pay their respects.

    The positive and pure vibes of the temple cannot be put in words. Fenced by undulating hills and valleys, the temple is a treat for the eyes as well, with the brown of the wooden building standing out beautifully against the greenery.

    Timings:
    06:00 AM to 06:00 PM

    Activities:
    Worship, religious purposes, exploration

    Location:
    Hadimba Temple Road, Siyal, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand:
    3.5 km

  • 17The Manali Gompa

    The Manali Gompa

    Also known as the ‘Gadhan Tekchhokling Gompa’, Manali Gompa is a revered Buddhist monastery built in 1960. One of the most enchanting places in Manali, what the monastery lacks in size, it makes up for in the aesthetic beauty. The divine spiritual vibes of the monastery attracts countless Buddhists and devotees from around the country.

    The temple is graced by a pagoda-style roof and remarkable ancient murals, topped by unmatched architectural beauty. The building also fosters a few shops selling Tibetan and local handicrafts. The various ideologies and preachings of Buddhism are reflected beautifully within the temple’s walls.

    Timings: 
    06:00 AM to 06:00 PM

    Activities: 
    Worship, religious purposes

    Location: 
    Manali Center, Manali, Himachal Pradesh

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    1.2 km

  • 18Naggar

    Naggar

    Unfolding along the left bank of the river Beas, Naggar is an old town in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. Located at an altitude of 1,800 meters, Naggar is also the former capital of Kullu. A short drive away from Manali, Naggar is the best way out of the city lights. While not being overly remote, Naggar has somehow managed to keep the mainstream crowds away for long now.

    The elusive town of Naggar is home to stunning views of the neighboring mountains and valleys, and it is known only to a few explorers. Lined with several temples, hotels and a handful of art galleries, Naggar has enough attractions to tickle your fancy.

    Activities: 
    Hiking, backpacking, exploration

    Entry fee: 
    Not applicable

    Location: Himachal Pradesh

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 20 km

  • 19Manu Temple

    Manu Temple

    The Manu Temple in Manali is dedicated to the legendary Manu, and it is the only temple dedicated to him in India. Sitting about 3 km away from the main market of Old Manali, the temple is said to have been home to Manu, the creator of the human race and the author of Manusmriti.

    The temple is quite close to the gurgling river Beas, while the surrounding beauty of the mountains takes your breath away. While being rooted in mythology and religion, there are several local tales and folklore that revolve around the temple. If you’re keen about mythology, a visit to Manu Temple is sure to fuel your curiosity and fascination. It is also one of the most frequently visited tourist places in Manali in December.

    Timings: 
    08:00 AM to 06:00 PM everyday

    Activities: 
    Worship, religious purposes, exploration

    Entry fee: 
    Free entry

    Location: 
    Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    4.3 km

  • 20Nehru Kund

    Nehru Kund

    The beautiful Nehru Kund is located along the Manali-Keylong road and is named after Dr. Jawaharlal Nehru. The prime minister used to drink the clear water from the kind every time he visited Manali.

    The water in the lake is fed by the alpine Bhrigu Lake and is safe for drinking. Surrounded by a crown of Himalayan mountains, the lake exudes peaceful and tranquil vibes. The river Beas also snakes through here. If you’re seeking a peaceful respite from the fast world, Nehru Kund is one of the best places to visit in Manali in December.

    Timings:
    07:00 AM to 07:00 PM everyday

    Activities:
    Picnic, hike, exploration

    Location:
    Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh

    Distance from Manali Bus Stand: 
    5 km

Sightseeing in Manali

Adventure in Manali

Attractions in Manali

Trekking in Manali

Nature and wildlife in Manali

Camping in Manali

Attractions

Manali-rohtang-pass-147612479498-orijgp.jpg

Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass is quite famous among Ladakh travelers but the unpredictable avalanche and severe climatic conditions make it scary some times. Nonetheless, it had made adventure seekers’ tour of Ladakh mind-blowing. A high mountain pass at an elevation of 3978 meters above the sea level, Rohtang is just 51 km from Manali. It is a part of the proud Pir Panjal Range of the mighty Himalayas.

It acts as the connecting link between Kullu Valley and Lahaul and Spiti Valley. Being an ancient trade route, it was well maintained by the natives. The generic name of the pass suggests that either the pass was the oldest and the most used pass. With the increase of visitors every year, the fragile mountain ecology will be in threat, environmentalists worry.

But the exciting beauty of the mountain terrains seen from the top of the pass is indescribable and flamboyant. The Indian Government started building a tunnel which is 8.5 km long to bypass Rohtang pass in order to reduce the travel time and distance to Keylong, Lahaul and Spiti and Leh.

The tunnel promises to reduce the distance by 50 km and the time by five hours between the south and north faces of Rohtang pass. Currently, the time taken to ascend and descend the pass itself is 5-6 hours.

Height:
 Rohtang Pass is located at an altitude of 3978 meters above the sea level in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas.

Location:
 The pass is located about 51 kms away from Manali and you can reach the pass if you take Leh- Manali Highway.

Best time to visit: 
The pass will be open from the months of May to October as the snow starts melting and the paths will be cleared.

1464159177_zingzing-20bar.jpg

Zingzing Bar

A quintessential location and a high altitude roadside bar is Zingzing situated on the road from Manali to Leh. Travelers come here to refresh with a sip of coffee or to have food to energize the body and soul to resume their journey to Leh. The multi-purpose shacks can be availed to stay overnight as well.

A space where you will love to roll a joint and smoke it up to escape from the extreme cold. Located at an altitude of 4270 meters above the sea level, the place is recognized to be the most suitable one to take rest. Peaceful ambience and the silence prevailing would leave everyone addicted to it.

The fame of ZIngzing Bar was enhanced because of Baralacha La pass also; the starting point of Baralacha La, one of the most loved passes in Ladakh is Zingzing Bar. Thus it cannot be missed during one’s journey to Leh. The temperature level at the bar will be crazily as low as -2* Celsius and as you ascend from a different temperature from the base, chances to feel altitude sickness and fluctuations in the body are quite higher.

Height:
 The highest roadside bar in the world is located at an elevation of 4270 meters above the sea level before the steep Baralacha La roads starts.

Location:
 From Manali, Zingzing Bar is situated at a distance of 193 kms and a drive of about 3 hours will take you to the bar and from Leh it is about 337 kms away.

Best time to visit:
 Zingzing Bar is found the most scenic during the months of December, January and February when the winter hits at its peak. For those who are searching for peace over a joint, Zingzing bar during winter would be the best option.

1464159265_m-baralacha-20la.jpg

Baralacha La

A story says like this; there were two lovers in mythology, Chandra and Bhaga, one is the daughter of the Moon and the other one is the son of Sun God, respectively. To do their marriage, both of them climbed to the Baralacha La and from there, they started running in opposite directions.

Both of them found Tandi as their meeting point and thus their marriage became eternal. The factor made their love shine is Baralacha La pass, a high mountain pass in Zanskar Range that connects Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

In ancient times, Baralacha La was considered to be the main trade route. Near the pass, there is this emerald like the lake, the Suraj Tal which is the source of Bhaga River. The pass is situated at an altitude of 16040 feet and on this plateau, the famous mountain ranges such as Pir Panjal, Zanskar and the Great Himalayas come together to meet.

One who wishes to go to Leh through Leh-Manali highway has to cross this pass which hides plenty of adventure and thrill in it.

Height:
 Baralacha La is the most important pass as Khardung La and it is situated at an altitude of 16040 feet above the sea level.

Location:
 Baralacha La is located 73 kms away from Keylong on Manali-Leh road.

Best time to visit:
 The months of April to October are the best months to visit Baralacha La pass as the roads will be open because the snow melts. If you are going from Manali to Leh, then it is advisable that cross the pass before noon due to the melting of snow and creation of streams on the road

1464169078_2941131775_cc6b109e86_o.jpg

Jispa

As a part of the adventure itineraries travelers follow on their tour of Ladakh, they will choose to halt in Jispa, a mesmerizing village 20 km north of Keylong and 7 km south of Darcha along the most explored Leh-Manali Highway and on the banks of Bhaga River. At a height of 3200 meters, Jipsa is located and it is the major village in Lahaul district.

In the backdrop, the lofty Himalayan Mountains create alluring images. There are 78 households in the village and the population is calculated as 332 including 235 males and 97 females. Travelers take a stopover here to stay one night during their travel to Leh. There are camping grounds and many other stay options. The village is occupied with a helipad, post office and a monastery.

The small houses shimmering in the multiple colours of nature would leave everyone stunned. Jispa is simply adorned by the rugged mountain terrains in the background and the village seems so small when you see it from a distance as the towering Himalayas play the dominant role.

Height:
 Jispa is located at an altitude of 3200 meters above sea level.

Location: 
Jispa Village is a main stop for Leh travelers and it is located 120 kms away from Manali. Keylong is in the north of Jispa about 20 km away and Darch is in the south about 7 km away. You can come to Jispa if you take the Manali-Leh Highway. The nearest airport to Jispa is Kullu that is situated at a distance of 180 kms.

Best time to visit:
 The peak tourist season is starting in May and continues till October. After that, the roads will be covered by heavy snowflakes.

1487074416_kuthar-fort-4.jpg

Kuthar Fort

Kuthar Fort is placed in the undying serenity of the Himalayas. The fort spans over an area of about 52.8 square kilometers and is located in the middle of the exotic background, pools as well as the beautiful gardens.

Location: Kuthar Fort is located at a small distance from both Arki and Subathu that are both an hour away from the Shimla airport, Jubbarhatti. Situated in Solan, the fort is one of the key attractions here.

Highlights: Some sectors of the forth are as old as 800 years however there are some new sectors that have been built and are a mere 8 decades old. Stretched in the large area of the region, there are a number of fresh-water springs flowing through here. It is surrounded by different picturesque locations such as the Gurkha Fort from Subathu, Kunihar, and Kasauli hill station.

Best Time: Open all year round.
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Darcha

Darcha is a recurring name when you pack your bags for Padum trek as it is the base camp for the moderate yet adventurous trek in the Lahaul region. Darcha is a small village on the bank of Bhaga River in Lahaul in Spiti Lahaul District in Himachal Pradesh situated at an elevation of 3360 meters. In the northernmost part of Himachal Pradesh along the Leh-Manali Highway is Darcha, a secluded permanent settlement.

Many have described the village as a “lonely cluster of dry stone huts and dingy tent camps”. The total population of the village is 298 among which 152 are men and 146 are women. Travelers going to Leh from Manali take an overnight stay at Darchu. The river nearby causes nature to be soft and calm especially at night so that the travelers would find better sleep during their tiresome journey.

The popular Padum trek ends at Darcha and there are many stalls and shops on the street to just relax and have food. The village is surrounded by Naggar Tehsil, Spiti Tehsil, Bharmour Teshil. The nearby cities to the village are Keylong, Dharamshala, Mandi, and Chamba. There is a check-point set up by the police to check the passport of all passing people and vehicles.

Height:
 Sarchu is located at an elevation of 3360 meters above sea level.

Location:
 Darch is on the border of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The nearest railway station is Shimla Railway station only that is 174 km away. Buses and jeeps would be available in plenty to reach Darcha.

Best time to go:
 Anytime is suitable to visit Darcha but during winter the cold climatic conditions may pose difficulty to stay there.

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Van Vihar National Park

One of the most frequent places to visit in Manali, the Van Vihar National Park attracts visitors mainly because of its ideal location, which is bang on the Mall road in Manali. The park is a welcome respite from the crowds and the pollution with its tall and shady groves of Deodar, birch and pine. There are a number of wooden and concrete benches within the park, which provide rest, relaxation and recreation to its visitors.

Take off your shoes and take a leisurely walk across the garden paths of this wonderful haven of nature. You could also have fun cruising around in a boat that sails in the small pond within the vicinity of this park. Set amidst beautiful and verdant environs, the park is a perfect respite for anyone who chooses to visit it and makes up for a great place for a spontaneous picnic or simply a long walk!

Timing:

08:00 am – 07:00 pm (summer)

08:00 am – 05:00 pm (winter)

Entry Fee: 10 INR per Person

Photography Allowed: Yes

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Manali Wildlife Sanctuary

Located only two kilometres from Manali, this wildlife sanctuary is a naturalistic paradise that spreads over 3,000 hectares. The terrain here is characterized by lush green forests and snow capped mountains. On a trip to this sanctuary, you are always inundated with the sights and sounds of colourful birds and exotic flora and fauna.

While deodar, fir, chestnut, walnut and robinia are the most commonly found vegetation in this sanctuary, you can also easily spot snow leopards, brown bears, musk deer and ibex herds in the picturesque vicinity of the sanctuary.

Addition to this, Manali Wildlife Sanctuary is a paradise for the birdwatchers and the shutterbugs. Amongst the many rare and exotic species, a plenitude of tree creepers, kokla and kingfisher are the most commonly found species.

Also check: Must to do things in Manali

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Old Manali

If you want to see the other side of Manali and the touristy town, just take a walk across the Manalsu River bridge and cross over into the part of Manali that is also known as ‘Old Manali’. The exotic charm of the village will make you feel like you have walked into a whole other world. The town has somehow carved out a niche of its own and managed to retain the old world charm, where you have the characteristic world traveller, hippie vibe in its midst, it also has the traditions of the relics of the older civilizations. 

The idyllic village setting will make you feel like you have walked into the happy and hippie 1960s! The pathways are lined with swaying Eucalyptus trees and the small roads pas through valleys that are abundant with greenery. The calmness of the surroundings is broken only by the twittering of birds and the gush of the River Kullu.

Attractions: Apart from the sheer mountain beauty, there are a number of places to visit in Manali old town. The most peculiar and must visit amongst them being the quaint eateries like Lazy Dog, Red House Café, Bob Dylan’s Café, Café m 1947 and Pizza Olive. All of these serve awesome world cuisines like Pasta, Burgers and mouthwatering Pizzas

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Hidimba Devi Temple

Nestled amidst the snow-laden hillocks of Manali, the Hidimba Devi Temple, also known as the Dhungri temple, is an ancient place of worship revered by the Hindus. The cave temple is dedicated to the Hindu demon-goddess Hidimbi. Hidimbi was the wife of Bhima, one of the five Pandava brothers who are at the forefront of the epic Mahabharata.  Conceived in 1553 CE by Maharaja Bahadur Singh, the Temple is built around an ancient cave inside which Hidimbi Devi is believed to have meditated. 

Surrounded by Dhungri Van Vihar, a lush cedar forest at the foot of the Himalayas, the structure is built on a massive rock piece jutting out of the ground. This protrusion was initially worshipped as the deity before the Temple was built. 
Reflecting the distinct temperament of its patron goddess, the design of the Hidimba Temple is different than any other temples in its vicinity. With its wooden doorways, ceramic-like walls and three conical roofs covered in timber, the architecture of the Temple tells unique stories about the origins of the place in the folklore. 

Hidimba Devi Temple holds very high religious and cultural significance in the Hindu community. This can be seen on special occasions like the days of Navratri when people form long queues outside the Temple for just one glance at the Goddess. 
Along with having great religious value, the Temple gives its visitors an entrance into the wondrous world of nature. Nestled among branching trees and fallen leaves, the Temple is surrounded by rabbits and yaks who find a natural home in the forest surrounding the Temple.

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Gulaba Manali

A small village located a few kilometres from Manali, Gulaba is situated on the way to Rohtang Pass, on the Leh-Manali Highway. Named after Raja Gulab Singh of Kashmir, the village is tucked in amidst picturesque snow-capped mountains and verdant green meadows, with the Beas River adding opulence and serenity to its beauty.

Known as a great snowy region, Gulaba is also famous amongst sports and adventure enthusiasts, who drive in large numbers to the village to partake in adventure activities. Some of the major activities one can enjoy here include skiing, trekking and hiking, as well as paragliding and snow-scooter riding.

The natural landscape of the village of Gulaba attracts a large number of tourists every year, who come here to soak in the beauty of the place. Furthermore, the views from here are nothing less than enchanting, guaranteed to make you feel peaceful here. A lot of the tourists who visit the Bhrigu Lake tend to stop by at Gulaba. It is here in the meadows of Gulaba, where you can even set up camps and enjoy the stunning sunset while stargazing at the glittery night sky.

Additionally, it is here at Gulaba where some scenes of the famous Bollywood movie, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, were shot. Subsequently, the village has become a top spot for all types of travellers, from picnickers and naturalists, to those who love adventure. Yet, Gulaba remains one of the few places in Himachal Pradesh where you can simply escape from your busy and hectic lifestyle and experience the serenity and tranquillity.

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Bhrigu Lake

Also known as the ‘Pool of Gods’, Bhrigu Lake is a majestic an picturesque water body that is located at a distance of about 43km from the town of Manali. Each year, the lake attracts thousands of trekkers and visitors who come here to appreciate the serene, crystal clear blue pools of the lake as a part of their itinerary to visit Manali tourist places. 

Rising to a height of about 14,100ft it is located on the eastern courses of the Rohtang Pass. One of the many glacial lakes of the Kullu Valley, it makes up for being a perfect weekend outing on your next trip to Manali. 

 The lake is bordered by snowy peaks of the Himalayas on all sides and is a moderate to difficult trekking escapade.  Also nearby is the Nehru Kund, which is a natural water spring that is fed by the waters of the Bhrigu Lake and is truly picturesque. 

The trekking route to Bhrigu Lake starts either at the village of Gulaba or Vasishth Temple, either ways it perches you up at a height of almost 14000ft right on the second day, making it one of the most captivating treks of the Pir Panjal Ranges.  Locals of the village believe that this lake has been blessed by the sages and Gods which is why, it never freezes over completely even in the times of harsh winters.

Distance from Manali: 18 Kms

How to get there: Follow the Kullu-Naggar-Manali Road through the village of Gulaba

Best time to Visit: May to June 

Attractions/Activities: Trekking

Type of destination:  Trekking and religious

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Solang Valley

Located 13 kilometers from Manali, Solang Valley is nestled away between the Beas Kund and Solang Village. The valley is famous among tourists for its stunning views of snow-capped mountains and magnificent glaciers that attract ski fanatics from all over the world.

The beauty of Solang Valley is unparalleled and many people visit the valley every year just to enjoy its pristine, snow-white magnificence. Especially in winter, when the entire place is covered by fluffy, milky white snow, the whole place appears as if it is straight out of a movie. groves of emerald green trees dotting the pure white landscape, clear blue skies, and magnificent mountains as far as the eye can see – Solang is truly at its most splendorous in winters.

Besides admiring its unmissable picturesque landscapes, people also visit Solang Valley to enjoy various winter sports. Adventure enthusiasts love skiing in the pure, driven snow here, and when the winters ease off a little, you can also try zorbing and paragliding.

The views of the place from the open sky as you paraglide through the valley are truly indescribable and need to be witnessed to be believed. If you really want to get a full dose of the pristine beauty of this valley, try camping here amidst its lush green meadows.

You can also try other adventure sports like quad biking and snowmobiling in Solang Valley. For the true thrill chasers, there is Solang Ropeway – a state of the art cabin to enjoy the sweeping views of the valley. However, if you are traveling with family, there are several places you can check out too.

The Great Himalayan National Park, Kothi, and Rohtang Pass make for very interesting sightseeing places. Whether you go to Solang Valley with friends or family, there is a lot to explore and enjoy here.

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The Castle Manali

Built in 1460 AD, the Naggar Castle has a unique architecture that comprises of stones and wood. About a century ago, this castle of Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu was converted into a rest house, and presently it is being taken care by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.

In its rechristened avatar, the castle is now The Castle Heritage Hotel. Naggar Castle came into the limelight after a bollywood movie was shot here. A grand Tibetan carnival dance was shot here and hence this castle grew in touristic prominence.


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Rahalla Falls

Cascading from a height of 8,500ft, the Rahalla or Rehala Falls as they are called as one of the most stunning natural places to visit in Manali. They are located at a distance of 16km from the town on the way to the Rohtang Pass and are must stop over on your way to visit this haven of snow. The falls are formed by glaciers as they melt on their way down from the mountains. It is one of the best places to enjoy photography or just sit peacefully by and admire the natural beauty. 

The more adventurous can go trekking up the mountains behind the waterfall cascades. The waterfalls are set amidst dense thickets of Deodar, birch and pine trees, making it one of the stunning places for photography. The sight of the place and the gentle rhythm of the falls gives instant peace and harmony to anybody who chooses to visit it.

Timing: The waterfalls are best visited in the months of March and November

Entry Fee: None

Photography Allowed: Yes

Missing

Krishna Bhavan Mandir

The Krishna Bhavan Mandir was built in the year 1926 and is beautifully made even though it is so old. Tourists love the place not only for the religious sentiments attached to it but also for the marvelous architecture of the place.

Location: It is located in the town of Kasauli and is one of the major religious destinations of the place.

Highlights: If you know a little about architecture you would easily recognize the mix of European and Indian style of architecture. But the temple is very famous for its church like shape and for the same reason is one of the most visited places by tourists. It is also known for the fairs held in the temple every year.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the place is during summers as the atmosphere is quite pleasant and Kasauli is best visited during the months of March to May.

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