Kullu or Manali is a high-altitude Himalayan resort town in India’s northern Himachal Pradesh state. It has a reputation as a backpacking center and honeymoon destination. Set on the Beas River, it’s a gateway for skiing in the Solang Valley and trekking in Parvati Valley. It’s also a jumping-off point for paragliding, rafting and mountaineering in the Pir Panjal mountains, home to 4,000m-high Rohtang Pass.
Manikaran is a small hilly town close to Kullu and Manali, famous for its temples, gurudwaras and the hot springs.
When heading to Manali for a vacation, two absolutely essential destinations in the itinerary are Rohtang and Solang Valley. 14 kilometres to the north west of the main town of Manali, Solang Valley is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh.
Great Himalayan National Park
This National Park gives unparallel ecological views of the western Himalaya headed to the formation of the Great Himalayan National Park in the district Kullu of Himachal Pradesh. This park is popular due to its wildlife species of Western Himalaya like Brown bear, Musk deer, Thar, Leopard, Goral, Bharal, Serow, Monal, Snow leopard, Kalij, Koklas, Tragopan, Cheer, etc. Tourists love to trek Rakti-Sar and for some camping in alpine pastures is memorable. Apart from these, there are many kinds of small mammals that include Giant Indian Flying Squirrel, Porcupine, Himalayan Weasel, Indian Pika and Yellow Throated Marten. The park remains open all throughout the year but huge rush is found from April- June and September-November.
Just 42 kms away from Kullu, Kasol is situated in the bank of Paravati River. It makes a good holiday destination for tourists. It is the main hang out spot for visitors. The place is quite popular for trout fishing. Huge numbers of internet cafes and travel agents are also available there for tourist’s assistance. Its scenic valley, snowy mountains and great climate enthrall trekkers, backpackers and nature enthusiasts.
Hadimba Devi Temple
Apart from those striking views of hills and nature, there is a religious place ‘Hadimba Devi Temple’ that is considered as one of the best destinations for family vacations. It is the main centre of interest for tourists, which is dedicated to goddess Hadimba. She was the wife of Bhima, one amongst the five pandava brothers of the Mahabharata. This temple is situated in the midst of the forest known as Dhungiri Van Vihar. It has wooden carvings that draw fabulous roles and themes of animals & cosmic dancers. Large number of visitors attend the festival organized here in the month of May.
One of the most famous and turning on spots is Rohtang Valley. This place is 3,978 mt. above sea level and very popular for trekking activities. Manali is the main gateway to Rohtang Pass where twin valley of Spiti and Lahaul lies beyond it. This valley remains open from April to October every year. Due to heavy snowfall, it is entry is restricted after the month of October and the permission for trekking is only given by Indian army, after the snow is fully cleared. The same road connects to Ladakh from Manali. During early morning in summer and late autumn after 11:00 AM or mid-day, the top of the Rohtang pass is at times open to break snowstorms.