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Manali Tourism

The snowy Utopia
State : Himachal Pradesh
District : Kullu
Type of Tourism : Hill Station
Population : 17,786 (As per Indian census- 2005)
Altitude : 1,950 meters
Languages spoken : Pahari, Himachali, Lahauli, Tibetan, Hindi, English
Clothing recommended: Light woolen in summer, heavy woolen in winter
Best Tourist Season : October to December and March to June
Telephone Code : India (01902), International (+91)
Pin Code : 175131
What to buy : Woolen Sweaters, Shawls, Pullovers, Chingu, Blankets, Kullu Cap, Hippie Clothes, Pullas (Grass Slippers), Local Tweeds, Carpets, Pashmina Shawls, Customized Key Chains, Name Plates, Sliver Jewellery, Fruit Products, Jam, Juices, Dry Fruits, Apricot Oil, Honey, Saffron, Shilajit, Musk, Olives, Almond, Pickles, Traditional Handicrafts, Tibetan Curios, Thangkas, Amulets, Dorjes, Prayer Wheels, Namadas, Masks, Musical Instruments, Tibetan & Kashmiri Arts and Handicrafts, Metal Craft, Bamboo Products, Gem Stones, etc
Shopping Tips : There are any numbers of shops selling almost similar items. So do not buy anything in haste. And do not forget to bargain. Do not buy Saffron, Shilajit or Musk from local vendors because they might cheat you and sell you fake products. Shop from government authorized stores only
Food Specialties : Vada, Patrodu, Bhatura, Milk Based Products, Madra, Raita, Pulses, Banana Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake, Croissants, Cookies, Brownies, Homemade Cheddar And Yak Cheese, Kaddu Ka Khatta, Sepu Vadi, Sidu, Sattu, Shakuli, Dham, Mittha, Guchhi Matter, Grilled Fish, Chicken Anaardana, Kullu Trout, Lassi, Chakti And Lugri (Home Made Wine From Barley And Red Rice)
Local transportation : Taxi, Hired Motorbike, Bus, Auto Rickshaws

About Manali

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’.

History of Manali

Earlier, Manali was inhabited by a tribe of nomadic hunters called ‘Rakshasas’. Later, shepherds from Kangra Valley arrived here and settled taking up agriculture as their primary food source. Some of the most primitive residents of the Manali region are known as 'Naur' or 'Nar' who used to have the Rakshasas as their servants. A few Naur families exist even today in a village named Soyal near Haripur to the west of Manali. They are particularly acknowledged for the immense land they possessed. In ancient times, Manali furnished as the starting point of the prehistoric trade route to Ladakh leading to Karakoram Pass and later on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin.
During the British Era, British fell in love with the pristine natural beauty of this dreamland and developed it as a summer retreat and an appealing hill station. They even introduced the cultivation of apples and trout fish here. Today apple, pear and plum farming happen to be the preeminent income source of Manali people. With the rise of militancy and turmoil in Kashmir, Manali received a boost in its tourism aspect and the small silent village of Manali was rapidly transformed into a lively and bustling hill resort in late 20th century. Recently the cultivation of Marijuana and the growth of a hippie culture blemished the credentials of Manali but it soon recovered its reputation and fame.

Manali Adventure

Manali is one of the most sought after destinations of north India where adventure seekers are satisfied by a wide spectrum of adventure sports provided here. They include river rafting, trekking, rock climbing, paragliding, skiing, zorbing, mountaineering, mountain biking and so on. There are a number of agencies scattered about that would arrange your choicest sport activity, provide you training, equipments and an expert of that field. Enjoying these exciting ventures at Manali turns out to be a memorable experience of one’s life.