Hidden Gems in and around Manali
Every traveler is familiar with the beautiful town of Manali. Surrounded by the snow-capped Himalayan mountains, the striking beauty of the place appeals to one and all. From the roaring waterfalls to the swarming markets, tourists are drawn to it all. Adventure activities like paragliding and river rafting have also boosted the popularity of Manali. However, there are still numerous hidden gems in and around Manali that are not well-known but equally remarkable. Here is a list of such offbeat places to visit in Manali :
Soil (or Soyal) is a small village with clear streams and tall trees. The pleasant sights rejuvenate the soul and have a calming effect on a person. You can get here by taking a bus to Kullu and getting off at Mansari village. The campsite is a 1km trek from there. The burbling streams serve as a pleasant backdrop as you hike your way to the camping location.
LOCATION - 14km from Manali
IDEAL FOR - Camping
Located near Prini village, Arjun Gufa (cave) is one of the most interesting tourist destinations in the area. A lot of visitors believe that one of the Pandava brothers, Arjun, meditated here, as a result of which he received the Pashupata Ashtra from Lord Indra. Others are attracted to the pristine beauty and quiet of the place. Take a stroll in the lap of nature, where you can admire the beauty of the village and let it engulf you. The spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains and the gushing streams make Arjun Gufa a must-visit destination.
LOCATION - 5km from Manali
IDEAL FOR - Nature
Manu Temple is a pagoda-style temple dedicated to the great Indian sage Manu. He was acknowledged to be the creator of the world. The way to the temple is an adventure in itself, as you would find yourself on a narrow road leading to the temple. The fresh breeze blowing around will calm your soul, filling you with feelings of sanctity. The temple follows a strict code of conduct of how you dress, so you should dress wisely. The majestic Beas River Valley that surrounds it enhances the beauty of the temple.
LOCATION - 3km from the main market of Manali
IDEAL FOR - Place of worship
Read more about travel experience from Manali in the blog written by Nat n Zin.
Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa
Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa is a small Buddhist monastery that emanates high spiritual energy. Constructed in 1960 by Tibetan refugees, it is one of the major tourist attractions around here. The yellow pagoda-style roof and the impressive murals inside the monastery are worth a visit. The monastery complex has various small shops that sell handicrafts and carpets.
LOCATION - In Manali
IDEAL FOR - Architecture and spiritualism
The Hidimba Devi Temple is an ancient place of worship dedicated to the Hindu demon-goddess Hidimbi. The temple is built around a cave, where Hidimbi, the wife of Bhima, used to meditate. It has unique architecture and very high religious significance for Hindus. The beautiful carvings and idols draw visitors from all over the country. During May, the temple authorities organize the Dhungari festival that lasts for three days. Besides that, the temple is an attraction for nature-admirers who seek peace under the shade of tall trees.
LOCATION - 100 meters from Mall road
IDEAL FOR - Place of worship
Malana is an ancient village, well-known for its eccentric lifestyle. The dressing, cuisine and festivities of this village are unique to this place. Tourists are drawn to this peculiar place as it is an exemplary holiday destination for nature lovers. Bordered by valleys and surrounded by tall, lush trees, Malana is away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Malana Valley is also famous for illegal cultivation of the cannabis plant (Malana cream).
LOCATION - 24km from Manali
IDEAL FOR - Nature, trekking
Hamta Pass is a small corridor between Chandra Valley and Kullu Valley that attracts trekkers and travelers from around the world. The pinewoods, lush forests, beautiful waterfalls and lakes are the major crowd-pullers. The trek is a challenging one, starting from Kullu Valley and leading to the breathtaking Chandratal Lake. Another attraction of the Hamta Valley is the igloos, built exclusively to give people an experience of life in the snow.
LOCATION - 15km from Manali
IDEAL FOR - Trekking
Rahala Falls is an ideal picnic spot on your way to Rohtang Pass. Throughout March to October, the melting glaciers feed the waterfall and the neighboring streams. It is a marvelous sight to behold. Amidst the tall trees and chirping birds, tourists witness nature in its true form. The scenic view of the surrounding mountains adds to its beauty, making it a paradise for shutterbugs and nature admirers.
LOCATION - Around 16km from Manali
IDEAL FOR - Nature
If you are planning a trip to Manali in the hope to explore some offbeat places that are profoundly pristine, these should be on the top of your list.