Manali is a spectacular hill station located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
Whether you are a solo traveler looking for inner peace, a honeymoon couple who fancy romantic moments, or an adventure enthusiast craving some thrilling experience, Manali never fails to fascinate you with its natural beauty.
The rustling Beas river, mighty snow-peak mountains, dense forests with towering pine trees, and the clear blue sky excites the traveler within you.
The cool climate and mysterious snow give you relief from the scorching heat of the Indian plains. It’s no surprise that this high-altitude resort town is one of the most visited places in India.
So, if you are planning a trip and wondering about the best places to visit in Manali, I have listed the top seven destinations you can’t miss.
7 Best Places to Visit in Manali
1. Beas River
You have to admit that a river in a hill station is a blessing for travelers. Beas is a stunning 470 km river flowing through Manali, making the place a paradise.
It begins from the Himalayas and passes through scenic hills and forests before meeting the Sutlej river in Punjab.
It is said that Ved Vyasa, the revered sage who authored Mahabharata, created this river from its source lake called the Beas Kund.
From being the eastern limit of Alexander’s invasion of India in 326 BC to providing a meditation space to great sages like Vishwamitra, the Beas river has witnessed many events of historical importance.
The clear blue waters, the treacherous flow, and the rushing sound make it one of the best places to visit in Manali.
You can sit along the river bank and spend time in solitude to enjoy the calmness. While river rafting and other adventure sports thrill your heart, the breathtaking views make excellent Instagram photos.
This holy river and its tranquility attract travelers from across India to experience its remarkable beauty.
2. Jogini Waterfall
How about a short hike to a scenic waterfall? Yeah, I am talking about the Jogini waterfall, one of the best places to visit in Manali.
At 7 km from the bus station, Jogini waterfall lies near the Vashisht village in Manali.
Its 150 feet cascading fall makes a pool at the base, which is perfect for swimming (if only you know swimming). The stream that forms the fall merges into the Beas river downstream.
Starting from the Vashisht temple, the narrow and steep 4 km track route takes you through dense forests, pine trees, and apple orchards that make stunning photos.
The best time to visit the waterfall is from April to September.
Remember that the destination may not be that beautiful, but the trek and the sightseeing are worth trying. You can dip your toe in the cold water from the fall and enjoy the wonderful scenes with hot sips of tea.
It takes around an hour to reach the base of the fall and another 20 minutes to climb to the top. You will be walking steep hills, so be ready with walking shoes, a water bottle, an offline map, and lots of excitement in your heart.
3. Solang Valley
A trip to Manali is incomplete if you miss the striking Solang valley. This popular tourist attraction has picturesque scenes of glaciers and snow-capped mountains.
It is located between Solang village and Beas Kund, at an altitude of 2560 m above sea level and 14 km from the main town of Manali.
The destination is a treat for adventure enthusiasts because of the sports like paragliding, skating, horse riding, zorbing, etc.
The valley gets fully covered with snow from October to January, when you will see many skiers gliding over the snow.
You don’t know skiing? No problems because there will also be many training institutes teaching it from the beginning.
The snow melts during the summer to reveal the eye-catching lush green layer of plants. At this time, you can trek through the forests and enjoy zorbing and paragliding.
4. Hadimba Temple
A 500-year-old temple has to be on your list of the best places to visit in Manali. Especially when it is one of the most popular destinations in the area!
Built in 1553, the Hadimba temple is devoted to the goddess Hadimba, the wife of Bheema from the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
With pagoda-style architecture, the construction of this wooden temple is unique and stunning.
It has three square roofs and a fourth cone-shaped roof at the top that stretches 24 meters high. With intricately carved wood on the walls and statues of Goddess Hadimba in the shrine, the temple has an aura that rejuvenates your soul and calms your mind.
This place is just 3 km from the bus stand, and its premise is surrounded by fascinating cedar trees.
You can visit the temple any time of the year to seek blessings from the Hadimba Devi and enjoy the peaceful environment.
5. Hampta Pass
The Hampta Pass trek is the dream of every adventure lover.
At a distance of 15 km from Manali, Hampta Pass is situated at the Pir Panjal Range at an elevation of 4200 m from the sea level.
The place is known for the natural beauty of striking rock walls, open meadows, waterfalls, forests, and glaciers. It’s no surprise why Hampta Pass is one of the best places to visit in Manali.
The trail of the trek is packed with treacherous terrains, which are compensated by the breathtaking landscape and lush-green valleys that soothes the depth of your soul.
The scenic views are a treat to the eyes, and crossing the adventurous pass is an experience worth cherishing forever.
This 35 km trek can take 4-5 days, and the best time to do it is between June to September. You will find many companies that offer trekking packages covering the panoramic Hampta Pass and charismatic Chandra Tal lake.
6. Rohtang Pass
An adventurous drive to Rohtang Pass is one of the best things to do in Manali.
This high mountain pass is located at a whopping elevation of 3980 m from the sea level and around 50 km from Manali.
Situated at the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, it is a natural divide between the Kullu valley in the south and the Lahaul valley in the north.
The place offers the most extraordinary scenes of mighty mountains on the way as well as the summit. Lush green hills, beautiful waterfalls, and layers of snow even in the summers make it a popular choice for travelers.
The term “Rohtang” means a pile of corpses. Surprising, right?
This name indicates that many people die from bad weather and landslides while crossing the pass.
That’s the only problem with the Rohtang pass- it is difficult to reach. It is open to tourists only from June to October, and you will have to obtain a permit to visit the place.
There are no accommodation options or restaurants at the destination. So, you will have to start your journey in the morning, visit the place by noon, and then return in the evening.
6. Vashisht Temple
When you head 3.5 km from Manali bus station, you will reach a small village known as Vashisht village.
The area is popular for the Vashisht temple, dedicated to the sage Vashisht, one of the seven Saptrishis in Hindu mythology.
This 4000-year-old temple is decorated with beautiful wood carvings and houses a stone image of the rishi.
The old construction and the historical importance of the temple make it one of the best places to visit in Manali.
The temple is located at an elevation, and you will find a sloping road covered with souvenir shops and crowded with travelers. You will also enjoy the beautiful view of the lower valley with rivers and distant buildings.
The Vashisht village is also popular for its sulfurous hot water spring. It is believed that taking a bath in its water has medicinal benefits and heals skin diseases.
Manali is a paradise for travelers and adventure lovers. The natural beauty of dense forests, majestic mountains, calming rivers, and fascinating waterfalls make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The above seven places are a must-visit when touring this Himalayan hill station. And once you do that, your life will never be the same again.