Saturday, April 6, 2013

Manali

Manali is a beautiful picturesque hill town in Himachal Pradesh. Unlike Simla it is in a valley with awesome river Beas flowing alongside , infact the  rivers criss-cross the entire area.It is 585km from Delhi and it takes approximately 16 hours to reach , but the gruelling drive is worth it.It is connected by air too , but a drive is the best way to enjoy the changing scenery and weather.
Situated high up in the Himalayas Manali is picture perfect and is surrounded by lush forests and snow clad mountains.The fast flowing icy Beas river fresh from the glaciers is a sight to behold!
There are many tourist spots like monastries, temples, water falls for an avid tourist.Vashist hot sulphur springs maintained by Himachal tourism are quite popular, one can visit the baths on a nominal payment and enjoy the benefits of the healing waters.
Rohtang Pass located 51 kms from Manali is the gateway to the ancient silk route which was frequented by traders between India and China long ago and is still used. One has to get permission  from local authorities as the Pass is of strategic value with military presence. Special  heavy duty vehicles and buses are available for tourists as the road is rough in places and requires good knowledge of mountain driving. As we go up the winding mountain roads we can feel the atmosphere changing, the air becomes crisp and pure with snow-laced road lending a unique charm.
Rohtang Pass is 3980 meters above sea level and is gateway to higher Lahaul and Spiti valleys.The mouth of river Beas , Beas Kund is accessible from here. The Sonapari glacier is a hot tourist spot and one has to trek or take a horse ride. Yak rides are a novelty for both young and old.
There are small roadside dhabas or hotels offering tea, cold drinks innovatively cooled in the flowing waterfalls make one smile.
One can take a taxi for seeing Rahalla Falls , Gompa Monastry ,Hadimpa temple and other tourist spots. For the adventurous Solang Valley offers para gliding and winter sports in winters.
Manali is not about just gorgeous tourist spots, it has a bustling market, comfortable hotels and all modern facilities required for a perfect holiday.
We visited Manali some time back , and returned  via Kullu to Delhi .Himachal Pradesh is simply the most favourite holiday spot for our family.

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