Between heaven and earth

Between heaven and earth

Travel Tales

Between heaven and earth

Unmatched in its landscape and beauty, Manali is a superb holiday destination in Himachal Pradesh with an incomparable charm. During our trip there, we went to several stunning hamlets and towns.

Kullu, situated in the heart of Silver Valley, is an attractive place en route to Manali. It was once known as Kulanthpitha — the end of the habitable world.  One shouldn’t miss the opportunity to go river rafting in Kullu on the swift swirling River Beas that gushes past spectacular mountains.

The meandering road from Kullu to Manali is a fascinating one, lined with wooden fencings and an unbelievable number of deodars, conifers and small shrubs replete with scented flowers of every colour. Every turn on the road brings forth a new expanse of high hills with River Beas running parallelly.

A must-visit in Manali is the Rohtang Pass, which is a land of lofty snow-clad peaks, breathtaking scenery and deep ravines on the highway of Keylong. There are a host of ‘dhabas’ near Marhi offering lip-smacking delicacies. It is also the gateway to the enthralling Lahaul and Spiti Valleys. Just a few kilometres from the pass is the Sonapani Glacier, which is a mesmerising point.

River rafting, fishing, mountaineering, paragliding, skiing and horse riding are a few of the popular sports in Manali. One will definitely enjoy skiing in the beautiful slopes of Solong Valley during winter. Wrapped in greenery, the valley offers a splendid views of the Himalayan peaks.
Another major attraction in Manali is the Dhoongri Temple. The bazaar beside the temple is full of shawls, blankets and sweaters. Here, I enjoyed shopping for my loved ones. There are also ice cream parlours, restaurants and snack places that one wouldn’t really want to miss.

Just near the Hidimba Temple flows the Manalsu River which ends in River Beas. Our curiosity to see the original village of Manali, that houses the ancient temple of sage Manu, brought us here. It is believed that Manali is named after Manu who is said to have dwelt here.
The next day, we explored some more scenic locations such as Jagatsukh and Naggar villages, where one can also see the popular Shiva temple built in Shikhara style. From Jagatsukh, we headed towards Naggar village which was also the capital of the king of Kullu for about 1400 years. The next morning was spent visiting Gulaba, located 20 kilometres from Manali. It is a spellbinding picnic spot with exotic flowerbeds.

Shopping in Manali is a sheer delight with the Tibetan market offering an exquisite range of articles. Handicrafts, textiles and jewellery make for perfect souvenirs. The many picturesque waterfalls here, with cascading water gushing down the cliffs, are another attraction of the place.  
Manali is one destination that one should not miss. The mysterious valleys, the beautiful view of cultivated fields, snow-covered cliffs and the sweeping River Beas will definitely leave one asking for more.