Manali is a place where a single day is enough to see all the major points of interest. Before we move to this one-day Manali itinerary, though, you must learn a little about this amazing hill station in Asia. It is a city that exists in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India, nestled in between the snow-capped slopes of the Pir Panjal and the Dhauladhar ranges. With jaw-dropping views, lush green forests, sprawling meadows carpeted with flowers, and gushing blue streams, Manali is one of the most popular hill stations in the country. With extraordinary scenic beauty, there is no doubt that the city has been blessed. With that said, let’s go see what are the best things to do in Manali.
What’s the best time to visit Manali?
The best time to visit Manali is from October to June because if you travel in late June or July, you may have to face rainy days which can spoil your trip. In October, with bright, colorful flowers in full bloom and with temperatures ranging between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius, the climate gives you a pleasant feel. If you want to see snowfall, however, December to February is the best time.
Manali becomes a paradise on earth with its snow-clad surroundings and temperatures that hover around zero. Due to landslides and land-blockages, while tourists do visit Manali throughout the year, the monsoon season (July to August) is a bit low in terms of the number of visitors.
A few facts about Manali
Manali is located at a place where three adjacent hills meet. Each hill has an old temple and a village dominating it: Old Dhungri (Hadimba Temple), Manali (Manu Temple) and Vashishtha (Vashisht Temple).
The revered Hindu sage named Manu codified Hindu laws in the Manusmriti, and Manali is named after him. According to the folklore, during a terrible flood, Sage Manu led people to this beautiful mountain and saved several species of animals
At Solang Valley, Manali’s snowy peaks offer an unbeatable arena for paragliding. The two-minute ride is a great choice for beginners, whereas the longer rides will delight more experienced flyers
With full force and rafting in Manali, the Beas requires nerves and stamina. The rafting season is from end-September to mid-October and from May to mid-June
Manali has a couple of riverside cafés called River Music or Moondance and the feel of a global village. At these establishments, at very reasonable prices, you can choose between a variety of soups, pasta, momos, pancakes, and tea
One Day in Manali Itinerary
Manali is known for valleys and natural beauties, but there are many temples to explore, too. So why not start your one day in the city with a visit to one?
Visit Vashisht Temple & Hot Water Springs
What could be better to start your one day in Manali than a temple? Visit the Vashisht Temple because it is said that Vashist was Kula Guru (teacher) of Lord Rama. It is one of the must-visit places in Manali. The village where this beautiful and important religious site is located is also called Vashisht and lies across the River Beas.
The hot water spring is one of the most famous attractions around here apart from the temple. People believed that hot springs have medicinal value and cure many skin diseases. To take a dip and rid themselves of skin infections and diseases, many people go to the Vashisht baths. There are also separate baths for men and women here.
Maximum Time Spent: 1-2 Hours
Best Time: Temple: 7 AM to 9 PM, Baths: 7 AM to 1 PM, and 2 PM to 9 PM
Entry Fee: FREE
Take a tour of Solang Valley
Solang Valley is about 12 km from the Manali Bus Station. Solang Village and a place called Burwa are also there, both amazing places to see. The valley is known for paragliding, which gives you a birds-eye view of the whole city. That’s why it is considered to be one of the most famous tourist places in Manali. Apart from paragliding, you can come here for skiing, mountaineering and trekking activities.
Maximum Time Spent: 2-3 Hours
Best Time: 10 AM – 6 PM
Entry Fee: Activities’ cost varies
Pray at Manu Temple
Manu Temple is located in Old Manali and dedicated to the Indian sage Manu who was the creator of the human race on Earth according to mythology. As mentioned, the city of Manali is named after him. It is believed that he meditated here. The only temple of Manu in India is here in Manali. It is a beautiful place with incredible natural beauty, so if you are in Manali, don’t forget to pay your respects here.
Maximum Time Spent: 1 Hour
Best Time: 8 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: FREE
Visit Hidimba Devi Temple for peace of mind
Hidimba Devi Temple, also known as the Dhungri Temple, is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi located in the middle of a dense forest Called Dhungri Van Vihar. Hidimba Devi Temple was built in 1553 by Raja Bahadur Singh and is one of the top places to visit in Manali.
Maximum Time Spent: 1 Hour
Best Time: Any time from 8 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: FREE
Enjoy a memorable evening
After spending the whole day roaming in the city, it would be best to have some rest in the evening. I would suggest spending a few minutes on the bank of the Beas River – the sound of the water hitting the stones will give you an amazing feeling of serenity and take you to another world.
If you want to go shopping for some local delights, you can just take a stroll along the Mall Road. Tibetan artifacts, artificial jewelry, woolen items and many other things (loads of winter stuff) can be bought. You will also find some drummers and guitarists singing folks songs. The crowd gathering here enjoys dancing. Apart from this market, you can also visit the Manu Market near Manu Temple.
What to eat in Manali?
There are lots of dishes and different kinds of street food in Manali you must taste while visiting, even if for one day. Here are some of the best choices:
Babru is a dish that belongs to the family of the age-old Indian snack of kachoris. This dish too is prepared out of using the soaked black gram paste and then kneading it.
If you go Manali and do not taste trout, you will miss out on something very special. After marinating it, the preparation of this fish is done by slow cooking which gives the dish an incredible quality to it. A must-try!
This dish will surely satiate your hunger pangs in the best manner possible if a sweet tooth is your weakness. It is a Himachal version of crepes. This dish is prepared using milk, sugar and wheat flour. It’s a great way to start your day – excellent for breakfast!
This is prepared from lotus stems. It is a kind of dish that owes its distinct flavors to the unique texture of the raw materials. This delectable food is prepared by thinly slicing the lotus stem, steaming it and then sautéing it in a collection of the herbs, spices and gram flour.
Where to stay in Manali?
Kanyal Road, Rangri, Manali, 175131 Manāli
Within 5 km of the Hidimba Devi Temple and 2.2 km from the Tibetan Monastery in Manali, Hotel Daffodil features accommodation with free private parking for guests as well as a restaurant. Along with family rooms, each of which has a terrace, this 3-star hotel offers room service. The rooms also have a private bathroom and a flat-screen TV. Manu Temple is 5 km from the accommodation.
The Whispering Inn by Vivaan
Club House road, Manali, 175131 Manāli
About 3 km from the Hidimba Devi Temple, this wonderful wooden building will provide you with excellent accommodation. The rooms are impeccably decorated, and the inn has so many additional features. A great restaurant, a children’s playground, a bar and a wonderful garden are all there. In addition, you are just a kilometer away from the Tibetan Monastery. Familiy rooms are available and very comfortable.
Folklore Hostel Manali
Old Manali, 175131 Manāli
Adults-only accommodation with a restaurant, a shared lounge, and a garden, Folklore Hostel Manali is the best choice if you’re looking for affordable prices. This low-budget accommodation offers free WiFi and evening entertainment. The area around the hostel is popular for cycling, all rooms are fitted with a desk, and bike hire is available, too. Manu temple is about 200 m from the accommodation, while the Hidimba Devi Temple is about 2 km away from the property.
Day Trips From Manali
From Manali, it is just about 50 km to Rohtang Pass, a place fully covered with snow. You can plan to go there, but don’t forget to take dungarees and rubber boots with you.
Famous for its hot water springs and beautiful landscapes, Manikaran is a small town situated between rivers Parvati and Beas. Manikaran Sahib, a famous Gurudwara is frequented by Sikhs from all over the country and the world. A great day trip from Manali.
Kullu is 32 km from Manali’s center. This is a hill station and sister town to Manali, home to a number of sacred temples and shrines and a hub of adventure activities as well as dreamy landscapes and beautiful scenery.
Chandrakhani Pass & Parvati Valley
This modest bit of paradise is 19 km from Manali and is an ideal stretch for a day trip of trekking and views to lose oneself in with its share of snow and clouds. The Chandrakhani Pass is located at a flattering height of 3600 meters and nestled in the Parvati Valley. It is a favorite for those who seek natural beauty.
Extra Tips For Visiting Manali
- For accommodation, you can negotiate good deals face to face. So, if possible, don’t book online.
- Explore Manali just by walking.
- Things are quite costly here when dining, so eat carefully. Bills can go up to $100 easily.
- If you are not interested in walking, just hire a bike to cover most of the distant points during your one day in Manali.
- Take an ordinary bus compared to a Volvo because it is 1/4 of the ticket.
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