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The endless snow carpets enveloping the entire plateau, the dazzling snow crowned mountain peaks enclosing the terrains and the dense deodar and pinewoods escorted with the meandering Beas River is the most lively word picture of Manali; the paradise reincarnated. Perched at the altitude of about 1950 meters in the Beas River Valley near the northern end of the Kullu Valley, Manali is one of the most fancied and most sought after hill resorts of Indian terra firma. Located approximately 250 kilometers to the north of Shimla in Kullu District in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Manali is the ecstasy personified in its real sense. Sandwiched in the midst of two flamboyant Himalayan crests; Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar, Manali, acclaimed as the Queen of valleys beckons millions of tourists every year. The commanding vista of surrounding snow clad sierras, deep rock spread ravines, gracefully surging Beas, eye catching flower beds, lovely apple orchards, all-embracing meadows, pleasing ambiance, challenging and exiting adventure activities and to top them all, the religious and mythological significance of Manali attracts innumerable admirers of beauty as well as adventure seekers to this Arcadia.
The epithet ‘Manali’ finds its origin in the name of a Hindu mythological figure ‘Manu’ – the law giver. The word Manali has been derived from a term ‘Manu-Alaya’ which literally means ‘the home of Manu’. As the legend goes, at the time of ‘Mahapralaya’ i.e. the cycle of absolute destruction and restoration, the sage Varvasvata, the seventh Manu along with the ‘Saptarshis’ boarded Manu’s Arch which was driven by the first incarnation of Lord Vishnu i.e. Matsya (a huge fish). They landed atop one of the Himalayan hillocks and survived the mighty fatal deluge. As the ‘Mahapralaya’ subsided, Manu and the seven sages settled on the beautiful precipice and recommenced the human life on the earth. The place from where the revival began is today known as ‘Manali’. An ancient temple dedicated to the sage Manu located in Old Manali testifies this mythical tale. Moreover, the Vasistha village positioned about 3 kilometers from Manali and renowned for its natural hot water springs ascribe one of the seven sages, Muni Vasistha. Often Manali is referred to as ‘the valley of Gods’.

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Katrain, MANALI