With an expansive mountain belt, bustling tourist choice and renowned snow destination, Manali shines in summer, thrives in Monsoons and chills in winters. Once called the ‘end of the habitable world,’ Manali is an ideal place for the ones in search of both adventure and comfort. The Kulluis in brightly patterned puttoos, Tibetan women wearing ankle-length rainbow-striped pinafores, Nepali porters, Buddhist monks, and even the odd party of Zanskaris, wrapped in fusty woolen gonchas, muddled together with souvenir-hunting Indian and Western tourists-all add up to the welcoming hubbub of Manali. If you are planning a trip to Himachal Pradesh’s most popular town, use these five tips for hidden secrets from a local and make your trip one to remember.
Rohtang Pass: Rohtang Pass is a natural divide between the Kullu Valley in the south and the Spiti Valley in the north. It is an ancient trade route between two areas and is open from May to November. Once up in the mountains, which is at 13,051ft, the view of the surrounding Himalayan Mountains is wonderful. The view of Hanuman Tibba is unparalleled.
Tip: During Winters, the place is covered with snow and you may have altogether a different experience if visited in different seasons.
Jogini Falls: This waterfall is often described as one of Manali’s best kept secrets. From vantage points along the numerous hiking and biking trails in this conservation area, take in unparalleled views of the city while surrounded by vast apple orchards.
Tip: Take a hike up the waterfall and carry an extra pair of clothes, since the water is very inviting and you may end up jumping into the river for some fun.
Listen to the River: River Manalsu hems Old Manali on one side. In its origin, this river is quite aggressive, though it tames down by the time it reaches the Old Manali Bridge. The water is clear, magnificent and accessible for travellers. However, sitting by the river is not recommended. Lazy Dog and Cafe 1947 offer spectacular prospects of the river. The former is where the river is at its full flow, loud and wild. It turns mature and comparatively quiet by the time it reaches Cafe 1947. The only thing I recall from those hours is the peace that the sound of the water brought to me.
Tip: The sit-out tables in Cafe 1947 are shaded with trees. It is an ideal location to read a book while sipping some chai, as evening sets in.
Unwind with strangers : The best conversations are effortless, humorous and unforgettable. Even though Manali is a great place to meet fellow travellers, most of them tend to drift towards Sunshine Cafe in Old Manali. The cafe here is cosy and very welcoming. It brings in a major percentage of travellers passing through Old Manali. Having met some very interesting people here, I am convinced that there is something about the ambience, lights, books and music that encourages interaction amongst its guests. After that, I found myself talking with a group of foreign travellers and laughing aloud with them.
Tip: The cafe has a good collection of music, which provides perfect solace while penning down some thoughts in a notebook.
Johnson’s Cafe: Those who escaped the city but loves music and Dance – one must head to Johnson’s Cafe. Everybody in the town knows that the best place to unwind is this café – Good Food, Good music and super awesome ambience.
Tip: Just go for the DJ !
Check our adventures at www.facebook.com/travelwithroots
Planning a trip or an adventure across India? Contact ROOTS for the best way of experiencing it.
So keep traveling and sharing your roots moments with us. Stay #Rooted