Every Indian’s pride, a traveler’s holy grail, an adventurer’s heaven Kullu-Manali circuit is to be a top priority on a tourist’s itinerary. The vast expanse of panoramic landscape from Chandigarh to Manali followed by NH-21 is the Kullu-Manali Circuit, Himachal Pradesh.
How to Get There?
One can reach Manali-
- by air: the proximal airport being the Bhuntar Airport located at about 50 km away.
- by train: Jogindernagar railway station is the nearest.
- by bus: buses ply between Delhi and Manali which is at a distance of about 550 km, and Manali is very well connected to Kullu and other nearby destinations by means of a network of private buses.
1. The Beas River
The immediate attraction is the beautiful, relentless flowing waters of the pristine Beas River on the southern face of the Rohtang pass in Kullu. There are many accommodations available in the vicinity and in view of this river which is a sight to be relished.
2. Solang Nala Valley
A side valley at the top of the Kullu Dale,14 km off Manali is a picturesque tourist destination. The snowcapped mountains, meandering clear water streams, nimiety of villages is a warm sight in an otherwise frigid zone. A number of accommodations including resorts are available and this place is conducive for adventure sports such as skiing (during winters), summer counterparts such as zorbing, parachuting, paragliding. If you are a person who likes to heed the sound of nature rather than your racing adrenaline, then the recently opened ropeway, trek/ATV ride to the summit is suggested.
3. Hidimba Devi Temple
Located at a distance of about 1.5km from the Mall Road the Hidimba Devi temple dedicated to Goddess Hidimba, (the Pandava, Bhīma’s wife and the mother of Ghatotkacha), is undoubtedly the most enrapturing monument in Himachal Pradesh. It is an ancient, intricately constructed wooden temple of four store located amidst the dense Van Vihar. A footprint on a stone is a sole thread of belief for the pious, and an amazement for the admirers. There are many accommodations available near the temple and many private buses ply to the destination, and this is a perfect stop-spot for every traveler or a tourist.
4. Manali Sanctuary
A seemingly illimitable abode for an assortment of wild creatures, the Manali Sanctuary located at a distance of 2km from Manali is a visual treat for all animal lovers and flora admirers alike. This sanctuary is open from morning 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and is easily accessible by buses and private transport alike. There is a variety of animal species such as the musk deer, Ibex, snow leopards, brown bears; birds like kingfisher, snow pigeon, Chakor are an amazing sight. The lush green forests, crystal clear glaciers and numerous types of trees is a salubrious setting for campers, trekkers alike.
Located in the Parvati valley on the Parvati river 45 km off Kullu, the nifty little town of Manikaran is a vortex of religious awakening and peace of mind. There are plenty of hot springs, a dip in which is considered a holy benediction; a surplus of Temples such as the famous Lord Ramachandra temple, the temple of lord Shiva. The Devtas of the Kullu valley visit Manikaran on specific dates and this is considered substantial. There is peaceful sustenance of both Sikh and Hindu belief, but the environment, the tranquility and the homeliness of that town is a reason enough for any tourist to make a quick stop.
6. Naggar Castle
The former capital of Kullu, Naggar is a settlement in Kullu district located at a distance of 26km from the main town of Kullu and is home to various tourist hotspots such as the Naggar Castle, the Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery and many temples like the Tripura Sundari temple, Gauri Shankar temple. The Naggar Castle in particular is a medieval castle built by Raja Sidh Singh, which is now converted into a rest house. The alpenglow of the mountainous region, complemented by the deafening silence of nature is that one places you must visit to soothe that anxious mind, to sit back and enjoy a hot cuppa with the nature’s camaraderie.
7. Pandoh Dam
Located on NH-21 at a distance of 10km from Manali, the Pandoh Dam embankment dam on the Beas river in Mandi is a significant tourist destination because of its purpose: hydroelectric power generation at the Dehar Power House. This dam is open on all days from sunrise to sunset and is free to visitors. It also provides an amazing backdrop for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The Pandoh Dam is a perfect destination stop before you explore the depths of Manali.
8. Shopping Destinations
- Bhuttico: It is a cooperative shopping store established by a group of women in 1944 located at Mall Road, Manu Market and NAC Market) where a variety of shawls like the Pashmina and other woolen garments are available at reasonable prices.
- Tibetan market: As the name is suggesting, this is the place you should go to buy all Tibetan artifacts, souvenirs for family and friends, the trademark rugs, shawls, handicrafts, jewelry infused with Tibetan culture.
- Old Manali market: The time machine of Old Manali, this shopping place with old music CD’s, retro style jewelry, T-shirts, confectionaries are an offset from the regular warm clothing which shoppers usually expect.