Welcome to Manali – A valley nestled in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh near the end of Kullu Valley. The mountains are covered with snow during December – January, which can go till mid March as well. April – June is windy and breezy with the sun shining in the afternoon and windy in the evening. We planned our trip in mid April.
Clothing during April: Light cotton dresses during the day and a denim jacket or light full sleeves jacket to cover up at night. Shoes are a must because you need to walk a lot and the area is rocky.
Where to stay: We opted for a luxury stay at The Himalyan and the castles and cottages were beyond amazing. Head to ‘Where to Stay, Manali’ to know more about my experience.
What I wore: I always try and pack light and mix/match a lot of clothes which can be used in different ways. Head to “What and How I wore in Manali’ to know more.
There a lot of things you can do in Manali during April because the weather is amazing and you can walk a lot without spilling in snow or burning yourself in the heat. It’s a place where picturesque lakes, tall and dense pine trees and snow covered mountains calls for attention. April to June is the best time to explore the destination while December to February is a perfect time for snow lovers.
How to reach Manali:
- By Air: The nearest airport is at Buntar which is approximately one hour (50 kms) drive to Manali.
- By Rail: The nearest railway station is Chandigarh, then a drive of 315 Kms.
- By Road: Distance from Delhi to Manali is 570 Kms which takes around 12 hours via Himachal Tourism and state transport or private Volvo buses which runs on a regular intervals.
Let me guide you to some of my favourite things you can add to your itinerary when you travel to Manali:
- Hadimba Temple: We started our excursion with the temple. Away from the hustle bustle of city life, it is surrounded by tall pine trees and is a very peaceful place. It is around 2 kms away from Manali which can be covered by foot or take an auto. The temple is dedicated to Hidimba, wife of Bhima. The temple is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground, which was worshiped as an image of the deity.
- Monastery: Tibetan monasteries are one of the major attractions in Manali. We visited the two main monasteries that draw a large number of tourists from around the world. Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa Monastery, which is constructed in 1969 representing Tibetan style architecture. You can spot a huge statue of Lord Buddha and at the entrance you can spin prayer wheels. The other one is Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa, designed in pagoda style looks quite alluring. You can also pick souvenirs for home – Buddha statue, prayer flags and dreamcatchers at a decent price.
- Mall Road: There is always a mall road at any hill station. Mall road is something you should never miss. It is crowded, yes! But then you can find a variety of cafes to eat at and various shops selling products which you can take home. We bought Name plate for our home, which is painted with small huts and mountains on a wooden plate at 200 bucks! You can also buy Lord Buddha statues at a decent price depending on the size.
- Old Manali: There a lot of things which can do in Old Manali: Get up early and take a photo walk around the place – Experience the view, capture all that while you walk, spot yaks and ladies carrying conical winter basket and bunnies. Shop – You can shop a lot of things like leather jackets, embroidery patches for your shirts, funky caps and soak the hippiness of the area. Good food – you can relax for some breakfast at the German café or chill for a meal or a drink at The Lazy dog café. Get a Tattoo – Also, there are a lot of tattoo shops in old Manali which is reasonable and good.
Café’s: Oh, Food! We cannot stay hungry and we need good food when we travel. Please note, good food. We research a lot before we take a bite. Our list for the food we had at Manali cafés. And, the road side food too.
- Chopsticks: We ordered chicken momos, fried rice and chilly garlic chicken sauce. The quantity they offer is huge! A perfect meal to kick start your lunch.
- The Lazy dog: We relaxed for a while at the lazy dog café for a drink and the ambience was very welcoming.
- Johnson’s Bar and Café: We are from Delhi and if you think Manali cannot offer DJ Night, you are wrong! This café was amazing. The ambience and the food went really well that night and the DJ played best of the songs. We ordered a bowl of chicken ceaser salad, which was fresh and delicious with some wine pouring and delicious chocolate shakes!
- Amigo: If you have a sweet tooth and you are craving for some pastries or cream roll. Stop here! They offer fresh cream roll, cookies, pineapple upside down pastries at a very reasonable price.
Quick tip to keep in mind:
- Start early as the view in the morning is a perfect time to capture the snow covered mountains
- Wear comfortable clothes and footwear (Sports shoes) as there is a lot of walking which means a lot of hill walking (Cardio)
- Don’t miss the Butta and momos on the streets of Mall road
- Book your hotel which falls in the walking distance of the spots you want to cover
- Prefer overnight journey and experience the sunrise on your way
- Don’t stuff yourself with food as the drive on the hilly area might make you pukkish
Hope you guys enjoyed the post!