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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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
08:00 am – 07:00 pm (summer)
08:00 am – 05:00 pm (winter)
Entry Fee: 10 INR per Person
Photography Allowed: Yes
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
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
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.
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.
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
Type of destination: Trekking and religious
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.
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.
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
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Hampta Pass trek is a 5 Nights 4 Days starting from Manali. The trekking distance is 35 Km with a moderate difficulty level. The highest altitude will be achieved at Hampta Pass is 14, 100 ft. Experience Hampta Pass trek with Thrillophilia starting from Rs 8500 Per Person at a discount of Flat 30%.
Manali is probably the first city that comes into the minds of amateurs and pros alike when it comes to trekking. Click here to see the list of best treks in Manali with upto 30% Off.
1. Chanderkhani Pass Trek at Flat 17% Off
2. Bhrigu Lake Trek at Flat 18% Off
3. Beas Kund Trek at Flat 15% Off
4. Kheerganga Trek With Camping at Flat 13% Off
Located at a distance of 24 km, this trek takes about 6 hours to reach the enrapturing Bhrigu Lake from Gulaba Village. Click here to book Thrillophilia's Bhrigu Lake trek which is of 4 days/3 Nights.
The Hampta Pass trek difficulty is thought to be not much, hovering between easy and moderate. But in reality, the difficulty level of the trek is subjective and completely reliant on the weather conditions. In the winter season, the trek gets difficult because of heavy snow sheets. In summer when the snow melts the trek becomes easier.
Manali is about 19 km away from Bhrigu Lake. You can reach the lake by bus which you can get from the Main Government bus stand. From the bus stand, you can either catch a bus or take a taxi and drive. It takes close to 1 hour to reach Bhrigu Lake which is a preferred trekking spot in Manali.
The Bhrigu Lake trek is considered to have a moderate level of difficulty. There are two main reasons for the moderate level difficulty. The first reason is that the maximum reachable height is 4300 meters above sea level and secondly the ascent and descent is steep which can make it slightly tough.
Manali is special for its weather, its charm, woody forests and hilly beauties. In winters people come from all over to visit the Rohtang pass to envision the snow-clad peaks. It is one of the most popular hill stations in India and also one of the most visited places in the country.
Located at a distance of 16 minutes from Manali, the Jogini falls can be covered on the road by the Leh Manali Highway. The distance of 5 km is full of smooth roads and beautiful sights.
The winter season ranging from October to February is considered the best season to visit Manali.