Manali is one of the most visited tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh, India. If you enjoy cold weather, para gliding, ice skating, etc, you should visit this place. Check out these travel tips to Manali and near by places like Manu Temple, Hidimba Devi temple, Solang Valley, Mall Manali, etc.
Travel Tips to Manali , Kullu and Solang Valley
If you are planning a trip to Kullu and Manali, please read this post in full. We recently have been to Manali via Kullu and then to Solang Valley.
More about Manali
Traveling to Manali from Chandigarh Via Kullu – Road Trip
We were at Chandigarh two days before our road trip to Manali via Kullu. We started early morning about 5:30am We reached Manali at about 4:30pm, a bit late than what we expected. The roads were under construction at many places. Also rains forced us to go bit slow as the roads where narrow and slippery.
Traveling to Manali by Air
There is no airport at Manali, but you can reach Kullu by Air and then travel by road to Manali. I had though of this plan initially but I found the ticket costs too high and not worth. Moreover I wanted to experience the road trip through the hills.
Traveling to Manali By Bus
There are buses operating from Delhi to Manali – Volvo Buses
Manali Climate / Temperature / Weather
Manali is a very cold place. The best climate to travel to Manali is during May-June when the temperature is ideal and there won’t be much rain. During our trip, one day was very cloudy and was drizzling all day.
Best accommodation / home stay / Guest houses at Manali
Joshi’s Home Stay – Manali
I got a home stay booked (Joshi Home Stay) using booking.com which I paid only INR 900 per day. The room was good, but no facilities like room heater or fire place. You should also be prepared with towels and other basic needs. To reach the home stay you need to walk about 100 meters from the road to the house.
You have a great view from your room, you can see the mountains with layers of ice / snow. Hosts Aana and Gautam are great.
Best Local Restaurants at Manali
There are some really good restaurants which I would recommend.
Johnson’s Authentic Food
A good restaurant for Italian, Indian food at Manali. The Italian food has authentic taste.
A nice place to have local cuisines.
A restaurant named in memory of our Independence. This is a very nice restaurant. It opens only by 12 noon.
River Music Garden Restaurant And German Bakery
A good restaurant to have Indian food by the river side. We had our breakfast here. They serve good Indian food
The Corner House – Mall Manali
This is a restaurant located near Mall Manali. If you sit at the first floor fo this restaurant towards the window side, you get a really beautiful view of the Mall Manali area and hills with ice layers.
Corner house is a Thai and Italian restaurant.
Restaurants at Mall Manali
Mall Manali is a market place where you will find all types of shops, restaurants, etc. No vehicles are allowed to this area, so you can walk around safely.
We saw few restaurants like Abishek, Sher E Punjab and South Indian restaurants with Dosa and other rice dishes – Hotel Satyam at Mall Manali.
Check out – Indian Restaurants in Maldives
Day trip to Solang Valley at Manali
This was a great experience which gave us some lessons. We took an auto (three wheeler / tuk tuk) from Manali town to Solang Valley which is about 13kms. We agreed for INR 800 for return trip and he would wait for 2-3 hours at Solang Valley. As soon as we got into the auto, he asked us to get snow cloths which he would arrange from a government shop. Rent for snow clothes for a person is INR 250 + you buy a pair of socks which is another INR 100.
Mr Rajeev our auto driver was a nice person, explained all our doubts and was very helpful. As soon as we reached the Valley parking area, we were surrounded by agents, brokers who will offer packages for sports or rides, etc. We hired a ATV bike to go to the top. If you are healthy, you should try walking rather than the ATV. We could see many walking to the top and coming down. Other option is a horse ride.
We could see some doing ice skating and other sports activities but sadly without any safety measures. Many were slipping and falling down hurting their backs and other body parts. I felt there should have been a better security / safety regulations implemented. Even the ATV bike ride to the top was without a helmet.
Cleanliness was just average, could have been much better.
This is an experience that you should never miss.
Shopping tips at Manali
Do not waste your money shopping for woollen or leather products. Be prepared with good warm clothes.
The best thing that you should do is try local food and see all the places. Do not depend much on shopping unless you know what you are buying and how much you should pay?
Temples at Manali
There are many temples at Manali out of which we could visit Hidimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple and the temple at Solang Valley.
Hidimba Devi Temple at Manali
This is a very popular temple among tourists.
Manu Temple at Manali
A beautiful temple at the top near old Manali
Temple at Solang Valley
I do not know much about this temple as I had a view from a distance.
Overall experience at Manali
Good place for holidays, the best season is during May and June. March and April is also ideal, no much crowd during this time.
We should try to implement proper control to make sure that the tourists coming should be protected from locals who try to overcharge and cheat. Hope these travel tips to Manali would be useful, a must visit destination.