Manali has many attractions but the chief centre of interest, historically and archeologically, is undoubtedly the DHOONGRI TEMPLE dedicated to goddess Hidimba, the Bhim of Mahabharat fame. It has four-tiered Pagoda shaped roof and the doorway is carved with legendary figures and symbols. This temple located amidst wooden forest of deodar is about 2.5 Kms. from the tourist office. It is a pleasant experience to stroll in the temple complex which was built in 1533 A.D. A large festival is held here in May.
6 Kms. from Manali located on the left bank on Beas on the road to Naggar. The place is famous for very old temples of Lord Shiva and Sandhya Gayatri in Shikhara style, these are worth a visit. Arjun Gufa 4Kms. from Manali towards Naggar, the cave is situated near Prini village 1Km. above the road where Arjun had meditated. This is good 1/2 a day excursion with charming view of the brilliant mountains.
Rohtang Pass (3979 m) is 51Kms. from Manali on highway to Keylong/Leh. It offers a panorama and spectacular mountain view. The pass is open from June to October each year although trekkers can cross it earlier. It is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley just as Zojila pass is a gatway to Ladakh. There are a beautiful sight of glaciers, peaks and Chandra river flows down in the Lahaul valley. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypan. During summer(mid June to October) regular buses ply between Manali-Keylong/Darcha, Udaipur, Spiti and Leh. Rohtang Pass is best visitable between May/June to October/November.
16 Kms. on way to Rohtang pass. If one goes to Marhi on foot from Kothi from the old road, the sight of the falls is fascinating. It is a good picnic spot as well.
13 Kms. is a splendid valley between Solang village and Beas Kund. Solang valley offers the view of glaciers and snow capped mountains and peaks. It has fine ski slopes. The Mountaineering Institute has installed a ski lift for training purpose. Located here is a hut and guest house of the Mountaineering and Allied sports Institute, Manali. Now a few hotels have also come up. The winter skiing festival is organised here. Training in skiing is imparted at this place.
5 Kms. on National Highway to Leh,a natural spring of cold clear water named after Pt. Jwahar Lal Nehru, who used to drink water from this spring during his stay in Manali. This spring is believed to originate from the Bhrigu lake situated high-up in the mountains.
Vashist hot Water Springs and Temples
Vashist, a small village located on the left bank of river Beas towards Rohtang pass is worth a visit. It is renowned for its hot springs and temples. Nearby is the pyramidal stone temple dedicated to Vashist Muni. There is another Temple of Lord Ram here. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are always full of tourists. Turkish style showers fitted baths have also been built nearby. Hot water from the nearby spring is provided for bathing.
Mountaineering Institute, Manali
Located 3 Km on the left bank of river Beas towards Kullu, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports Manali, organises basic & advance training courses, in trekking, mountaineering, skiing and water sports. Skiing and trekking equipments can be hired from here by booking in advance. Tourists can visit an interesting showroom here.
There are 3 newly constructed colorful monasteries, where visitors can buy carpets and other Tibetan handicrafts. Two are located in the town and one at Aleo on the left bank of Beas river.
2 Kms. from the town, club house has indoor games facilities which has been located on the left bank of Manalsu Nallah. There are some picnic spots near it.
3 Kms. from the main bazar in old Manali lies the temple of MANU RISHI. It is believed that this is the only temple of Manu in India, who was the creator of human race on the earth.
Kothi is also called Koshtampi. It is little below Kalpa, and is overshadowed by the Kinner Kailash peak. The village with its attractive temple, gracious willows green fields, fruit trees makes an altogether lovely landscape. Goddess Shuwang Chandika temple is in the village
Great Himalayan National Park
The National Park with an area of 754 sq. Km. is located in Kullu District and has the representative area of temperate and alpine forests of Himachal. It has some the virgin coniferous forests of the State. Vast areas of alpine pastures and glaciers cap this park. This area has many important wildlife species of Western Himalayas, like Musk deer, Brown bear, Goral, Thar, Leopard, Snow leopard, Bharal, Serow, Monal, Kalij, Koklas, Cheer, Tragopan, Snow cock etc. Trekking of Rakti-Sar, origin of Sainj river and camping in alpine pastures is unforgettable. Similar is the trekking route to Tirath the origin of Tirthan river. Visitors can contact Director, Great Himalayan National Park at Shamshi or Range Officer wildlife at Sainj or Range Officer Wild Life at Sai Ropa (Banjar) for assistance and guidance. Camping equipment and guides are provided by the Forests Department.
This sanctuary starts about 2 Km from Manali town. ItLeopard forms the catchment of Manalsu khad. A bridle path from Manali log huts/ Dhungri temple passes through dense Deodar, Kail, Horse chestnut, Walnut and Maple forests. Night stay in tents at Lambadug or Gallant thatch is an unforgettable experience. Alpine lush green pastures and glaciers beyond Galant thatch are a romantic attraction for the enthusiastic but enduring visitors. One may see Musk deer, Monal and Brown bear digging or ploughing the land and also pug marks with scent of Leopard or Snow leopard. Those who venture up to snows can see herds of Ibex in the glacier zone in summers.
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