Headed to Manali this summer? Here's a few tidbits you could use!
Manali comprises three adjacent hills. Each hill houses a village, and each is famous for one ancient temple: Old Manali (Manu Temple), Vashishtha (Vashishtha Temple), and Dhungri (Hadimba Temple).
The prefix ‘old’ in Old Manali distinguishes the original Manali from New Manali, which is an extension of the old town. Old Manali is also used as a distinction from its two sister hills, Hadimba and Vashistha. The gushing River Manalsu, a tributary of the Beas, cuts through the area horizontally and creates a geographical divide between Old Manali and New Manali.
If you are looking to experience Manali in its true spirit, Old Manali is where you need to be. A string of cafes serving a variety of dishes await at every step, flanking the steep road that winds its way through the town. The ones with a view of the gushing river have an extra special charm, while others offer hookahs and delicious trout fish, cooked to your taste; the Russian pancakes in some of these places deserve special mention. Bands and solo crooners ensure you don’t go a single evening without music!
For a little break, hire a scooter or bike and head to Solang Valley. The drive up there offers mesmerizing views, so keep your camera handy. Take the cable car up to the highest view point here and the view of the vistas from there is definitely going to enchant you.
Vashisht, about 2 km from Manali, is also a must-visit. Apart from the little temple known for its hot springs, you must take the scenic trek up to the waterfall hidden deep in the mountain. The route is easy and rather picturesque. Once you reach the base, cross over to the other side through the shallow freezing waters and sit on the grassy bank and just chill or take a dip closer to the fall if you dare to bear the chill!