I recently visited Manali, in Feb’19, as the desire to experience snow and chilly winter took over me. I had a ball of a time there and have a bundle of memories. Most importantly I experienced snowfall 3 times in my trip, which for me was like meeting God himself. I will be telling from my experience what are the top 7 things to do in Manali.
For a picture journey of Manali, please read this blog.
The nature of your trip determines your activities at a place. Manali is a famous hill station, mostly crowded throughout the year but there is no question about the beauty it offers and the amount of activity that can be done at this place.
Next factor is the season in which you visit. Winter offers a different set of activities while summers open up totally new doors.
Winter (Nov – Mar):
Winters bring snow, and everyone loves snow. The crunching sound beneath your feet, the feel of snow fakes on the face is an immense experience. The chill is harsh and bone cracking. But definitely more worthy of a visit than any other time.
Much more pleasant conditions. Max day temp. somewhere around 25 degrees. Days can be either sunny or cloudy and difficult to predict rain. Rohtang Pass and Kunzum pass opens after BRO clears up the road, which leads to hundreds of tourists to flock there.
Let’s list down the top 7 things to do in Manali for you, from my experience for both seasons.
So when you visit Manali, plan to do the below activities:
Manali has a nature park right in its heart and there is no better place to be after a snowfall than under the huge Deodar trees inside the park. Sprinkles of snow keep falling all over you with even a small stroke of movement on those trees. When they melt, they turn into raindrops. You can even explore Old Manali on one side and Vashisht a little more opposite of that. The weather is suitable all year round to explore on foot and helps you save some money too. Your body will thank me. 😛
Hidimba Devi, Manu Rishi, Vashisht and Sayali Mahadev can be visited. You can enjoy a good walk around and can feel the serenity that will calm your mind.
There are tons of options to shop. Items range from Kesar, spices&condiments, Kashmiri shawls, handicrafts, dry fruits etc. Most of these stores can easily be located near Mall Road. It is the shopping hub of Manali. Local Buddhist souvenirs are a great hit among tourists.
Old Manali has some of the oldest cafe’s that serves some of the most delicious items while you sit and enjoy the most outrageous views. Some great places would be Cafe Kathmandu, Cafe 1947, Sunshine Cafe and a whole lot more. For e.g. https://www.instagram.com/p/BudJQPFHHe7/. This picture should be enough to make my point.
Rafting on River Beas is one such activity that could be done on most seasons except monsoon. Summer activity also can include rope-jump, Solang Ropeway ride, Paragliding, Zorbing etc. Major attractions are bike expeditions to the northernmost destinations of India such as Leh-Ladakh and Spiti valley. During winters, you can also enjoy paragliding (operational even during snowfall), Sleigh rides, snow slides, experience snowfall from the very top of Solang Ropeway and lose your mind because of how awesome it feels.
The place is literally filled with small eateries. You should make a point to visit them as they generally make tasty items and are very cheap.
There are plenty of yoga camps organised in Manali if the weather allows and you can join them. Else, the town is quiet enough and the air is clean so that you can do it on your own time in your room in the hotel.
I will end with a bunch of photos from my latest visit. Hope you guys liked my list of things to do in Manali.